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Thread: Lack of Motivation

  1. #1
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    Lack of Motivation

    So Last year I decided I wanted to learn how to play electric guitar bought myself an Ibanez grx40 starter kit with everything I needed.
    Was using an online course and had a friend that played that was helping me out with problem areas.

    Started off light doing 15-20 minutes a day until I got my fingers calloused enough that I could play more and just slowly started adding more practice time until after a couple of months I was upto about an hour.

    Unfortunately I ended up getting fairly ill, was still practicing guitar until I ended up way to sick to do much of anything spent some time in hospital and have since been diagnosed with a serious illness that requires alot of management makes me feel like crap all the time recovery may be several years or not at all.

    I was really enjoying playing even though I was struggling with it, Now that I have my health relatively under control I need a new primary focus in life as I can't do alot of the other more physical things I used too, Seeing I have lots of time up my sleeve I'd really like to get back into guitar only problem is after everything thats happened I've broken down mentally had to go on antidepressants and get counselling , for some reason I don't have any enthusiasm for anything anymore even things I used to really enjoy that I can still do, I just kinda sit in a chair all day dozing or watching tv and occasionally surfing the net.

    Does anyone have some good advice for me on how to break this slump and get back into guitar?

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    If it's the pills, not much we can do. Went through a spell with my eyes, Graves disease, total of 7 eye operations over a 4 year period, Quad by-pass thrown in just for the heck of it. Sunlight is still a problem, BUT, during that time I had a lot of inside time on my hands so I studied theory. Since you are on a theory site, that may be what will give you some purpose and something to focus on.

    Print off some of the articles and plow through them. Sounds like you have the time right now. Yes ask questions here everyone will help.

    The following is a start at the beginning, dirt simple step by step something I worked up that may help.
    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/...ad.php?t=11975



    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 09-26-2010 at 01:33 PM.

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    My social worker is setting me up to go to a mental health centre where they have beginner guitar classes, they reckon I need to start doing things to get myself out of this perpetual gloom.

    Had a look at some of the theory found it quite hard to follow, Just went to a certain point on it and now keep re reading until it slowly makes more sense.
    Last edited by Seppuku; 09-28-2010 at 06:06 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppuku View Post
    My social worker is setting me up to go to a mental health centre where they have beginner guitar classes, they reckon I need to start doing things to get myself out of this perpetual gloom.
    Had a look at some of the theory found it quite hard to follow, Just went to a certain point on it and now keep re reading until it slowly makes more sense.
    Well your not alone, because the truth is most people find music theory hard to understand from books (or from bad verbal explanations).

    There are various reasons why it’s hard to understand.

    One reason is that music theory itself is a mess. There are lots of strange words, and lots of different names for what seems like almost the same thing ... eg modes are like scales, but err...not quite. And what is a “key” ... needs a long tangled explanation, etc. etc.

    So that’s just a mess at the heart of music theory itself ... it’s not logically worked out and consistent like maths or science.

    Second problem is that in books, the theory explanations are often very badly written. As if the author never took any trouble to think whether his/her words would make clear sense to most readers.

    To be honest, I found that many books were so badly written that it seemed like I really needed to understand the theory before I tried to read the book explanation! ... otherwise the book explanation was just mumbo-jumbo (usually because the author had assumed all sorts of vital things without ever bothering to explain them).

    OK, so the point of all that is just to say - I want to encourage you to stick at it, to realise that most of us find music theory just as confusing and difficult as you, and ... never give up (because it will work in the end ... but you need to stick at it like glue).

    Keep us in touch with how it's going, yeah?
     

  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppuku View Post
    My social worker is setting me up to go to a mental health centre where they have beginner guitar classes, they reckon I need to start doing things to get myself out of this perpetual gloom.

    Had a look at some of the theory found it quite hard to follow, Just went to a certain point on it and now keep re reading until it slowly makes more sense.
    Like Ian says, don't worry if it doesn't make sense. Understanding it won't really help you play guitar - IMO. You may find some things click once you start playing again, but it's often the sounds that make sense of the theory, rather than the other way round. (Even tho it's supposed to be the other way round!)
    In any case, it's the sounds that matter! Playing guitar is great therapy for all kinds of things, because it's an alternative way of expressing yourself (even if you only do it for yourself and no one else). Even as a beginner (or as someone coming back to it), you can make beautiful sounds with very little effort. The trick is not to aim too high - to listen to every note you play, and how it relates to those either side of it - either in a tune or in a chord.
    Think of it like learning to walk again after a bad accident. You don't expect to run a mile straightaway - for a while you just enjoy the activity of placing one foot in front of the other; each step is a little triumph. Great music always has simplicity at its heart.
    And learning with others is great too - playing music together can be a way of communicating with others without any pressure to "make sense"!

  6. #6
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    Hi Seppuku

    ...I don't have any enthusiasm for anything anymore even things I used to really enjoy that I can still do, I just kinda sit in a chair all day dozing or watching tv and occasionally surfing the net.
    It seems from your post that you are under a big depression. If that's the case, guitar difficulties or musical theory difficulties are not the cause. I'm sure, once you feel more upbeat you'll find that you never stopped loving guitar playing.

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    Well had my first lesson today.
    I was a little out of my comfort zone seeing I've been housebound for so long, but I found it enjoyable nonetheless, used an accoustic guitar today.

    Learned B7 chord and got retaught C apparently the one I'd learned was the lazy version.
    Have those to focus on and patterns G-A-D-A-G and E-A-B7-A-E to practice alot until next thursday.

    The guy teaching me is a social worker who's played guitar for along time and has taught quite a few people at the centre.

    Now I just have to make myself practice every day.
    Last edited by Seppuku; 09-30-2010 at 06:29 AM.

  8. #8
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    I practiced for 40 minutes last night.
    My fingertips are a bit softer than I thought they would be after all this time and I felt a bit sore in the body after awhile.
    I've been told by other guitarists I know that 2 hours a day is the minimum you'd want to be practicing I think I should probably just start off slow and build up to that to get my body used to it, maybe do half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night and slowly increase each.

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppuku View Post
    I practiced for 40 minutes last night.
    My fingertips are a bit softer than I thought they would be after all this time and I felt a bit sore in the body after awhile.
    I've been told by other guitarists I know that 2 hours a day is the minimum you'd want to be practicing I think I should probably just start off slow and build up to that to get my body used to it, maybe do half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night and slowly increase each.
    There's no optimum length of practice. (2 hours a day might be an approximate average, between the amateur and the insanely committed pro.)
    Don't time yourself, or feel inadequate if you're not doing as much as someone else is.
    Generally, the more you do, the faster you will improve - but it also has to be properly focussed practice, and it needs to contain plenty of variety (eg not hammering away on scales all the time!).

    My basic rule for practising is: Do it until either (a) it starts hurting, or (b) it gets boring. Then stop. Go and do something else. You'll learn nothing of any use if you're bored or in pain (or uncomfortable). (Research has shown that even just listening to music, thinking about what you might play, is just as beneficial as actually playing. I mean, obviously you have to do SOME playing... http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...d-we-practice/)
    Above all, always ENJOY your practice sessions. It should NEVER be hard work. I mean, it can be strenuous and challenging, but should always be enjoyable.
    The best musicians are always those who have to be persuaded to STOP playing occasionally. Not those who have to be nagged to practise.
    Last edited by JonR; 09-30-2010 at 09:15 PM.

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    Research has shown that even just listening to music, thinking about what you might play, is just as beneficial as actually playing.
    This is true. For example, the coordination required to play any instrument can be trained just by imagining it. Have you ever noticed that the work your brain does when you are trying to play something new is exactly the same if you are only imagining it. The simple action of "think about it" is the same as "doing it". This concept is largely used, for example, in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

    Let me share a story that happpened to me which, I think, shows this.
    I play drums since I was 14. But my interest for this instrument started to grow inside me when I was 9. Because a drum kit was really expensive, I could never got one. So, in the time between my 9 and 14 years old (when I finally got my first drum kit) was spent listening to a lot a music, imagining how the drums were being played in each particular song. So, during all those years I was not playing drums, I was only imaginning me playing drums. The consequence of this was that, wehn I play drums for the first time, I played two complete songs correctly, without any flaws (I have recordings of this somewhere).

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    Yeah at the moment I'm trying to do half hour bursts throughout the day my fingers are not as conditioned enough to allow more at the moment and at one stage the other day my fretting hand was shaking after 15 minutes and I couldnt get the chords to ring clearly so I just stopped.

    I understand visualization I used to watch alot of footage of Martial artists fighting and training and would spend the majority of my time thinking about performing different techniques and found executing new techniques in practice came very easy to me.

    Of course it will be a little harder for me to do this with guitar as its an entirely new pursuit for me but I have been trying to think of chords and the changes every now and again.
    Once I've built up more knowledge I'm sure I'll be able to apply the same visualization techniques that I used for martial arts to the guitar.

    I'd like to add also that starting on the guitar has kickstarted me into action, I'm not moping around and feeling horrible all the time its like the pursuit of guitar mastery has given me a reason to live life again.
    I have to admit I do find it a little frustrating but also much more challenging than any activity I've pursued.
    I'm really looking forward to when I've learned enough of the basics and conditioned my body enough that I can sit down and play for several hours if I want too.
    Last edited by Seppuku; 10-02-2010 at 08:53 PM. Reason: forgot to add paragraph.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppuku
    I'd like to add also that starting on the guitar has kickstarted me into action, I'm not moping around and feeling horrible all the time its like the pursuit of guitar mastery has given me a reason to live life again.
    I'm glad to know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seppuku
    I have to admit I do find it a little frustrating but also much more challenging than any activity I've pursued.
    I'm really looking forward to when I've learned enough of the basics and conditioned my body enough that I can sit down and play for several hours if I want too.
    A good challenge it's what gives life its taste. And it's great, everytime you can overcome one.

    You have the passion for your instrument. You'll get there.

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    A lot about MOTIVATION in general is - it's not just a mental thing. It's a physical thing as well. You have to be feeling physically well to be motivated.

    For example, have you ever been really lazy and just gorge on junk food and watch TV for a few days on end during a vacation or something? It leaves a pretty disgusting feeling where it's hard to get yourself to do anything.

    By contrast, 30 min of some basic exercise (whether it's cardio, weightlifting, or just following an intense stretching program) makes you feel ready to conquer the world and the feel stays with you.

    So physical health is important for motivation. You mentioned that you are sick, but like I said, a good intense 30 min stretch program 3-4x per week will do wonders.

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    Thats solid advice, I've allready been doing it for quite awhile.
    Half hour walks mostly, some light weights when i feel upto it.

    I think its mostly the destruction of my way of life and the poor quality of my new life thats got me in this deep depression.

    Guitar was going to be one of the things I used to enjoy that I could still do as part of my recovery from the depression, it was working too for about a week then the guy teaching me never showed up to the lesson,

    Since then things have slowly gone downhill till I'm back to doing the bare minimum again, I eat and drink what I can, get my exercise take my medication and sit around wondering why I even bother.

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    Well I started back into a little practice but varying amounts sometimes 1 half hour session sometimes 2 training different things each time.

    Had another lesson last thursday and have one more next week before the guy goes on holiday, after that I have a course on my computer that I can use called jamorama.

    Arranged to take lessons next year with a professional tutor that plays electric starting sometime january.

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