In a rut: What do you do to break out?


Senior Stratmaster
Jul 15, 2020
Mid West
As a student taking lessons, I find something that I like to learn that is beyond my abilities, and go for it.

Steve Vai -- For The Love Of God
Gary Moore -- The Loner
[ As examples of what I am pressing myself to completely learn. ]

Way out of my abilities. But it's fun, and I learn new things.

If it's fun and challenging, you may find a new appreciation for what you get out of it. And what you are absolutely capable of.

You guys are awesome players, and Fantastic coaches // critics.

I admire you guys and some day hope to participate in the SoundCloud things posted.



Nov 1, 2013
northeastern us
Play something totally different from what you usually would.
As someone who generally does jazzy stuff like this

or spacey stuff like this:

was both a challenge and an interesting change of pace:
working on this:

was both a challenge and an interesting change of pace....
J.S. Bach on an electric bass.
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Senior Stratmaster
Feb 3, 2020
close to the edge
take what ever it is that you know, ie: a minor pentatonic riff in box1 and find other positions to play it in. learn to play it backwards, then limit yourself to 1 or 2 strings. Do what ever it takes to break you out of your comfort zone
I also enjoy watching Chris Buck Play (just thought I'd throw that in)


Senior Stratmaster
Nov 19, 2021
I have this problem. I personally think it's a combo of things but mostly not enough practice invested in both technique and theory. I've been doing a lot of experiments with additional notes and chord progressions to break out of that A minor pentatonic comfort blanket and it's doing ok. I've probably improved mostly by finding a simple chord progression with minor, major and 7 chords. Just 3 or 4 is enough. I've ventured into chorus and verse territory but am still wrapping my head around bridging. I play a chord, experiment with a short solo/riff type thing, next chord and so on. I look at the notes in these chords to see where I can play different notes in the little solo/riff (we're talking 3-8 notes). I seem to be unable to not bend notes a lot, so have been trying sliding notes too.
Sometimes I hit something that sounds great to me and develope and repeat.
I'm very much an amateur but find I've been a lot less frustrated using this method.
Best advise over and above anything else is to stick with it. These hurdles are pretty normal but definitely not permanent.
Have fun. That's all I try to achieve now.

Papa Che

Mar 25, 2017
Go after a melody and a groove. Start with one note and try to groove it. Dam, dam, da, tap, tap, dam, dam, ta-daaa, dam, dam, da, tap, snap, …

Do not engage in a blues scale!!! Forget blues scales! Melody and Groove! This is your new religion! :D then add a scale in the solo part!


Mar 16, 2014
East Texas
I'm learning blues, and I feel like I'm the Okayest blues player in town. But...I also feel like I'm in a rut. Trying new backing tracks and working with a relative who helps me learn new stuff, but still feel like I'm not making progress. Does this happen to you? What do you do to break out of a rut?

If this is not the correct forum for this question, please advise and I will post elsewhere.

Study Classical, Folk, and Blue Grass.

If those aren't your thing, then just stick to the 3 Kings.

BB, Freddie, and Albert.