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The Dreaded Slump

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Rounder44, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Rounder44

    Rounder44 Strat-Talker

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    Oh man...

    As it sometimes works I have some free time but no desire to play guitar and when I do play just uninspired pentatonics...

    I think at least pick up the guitar and play some scales and keep hands an fingers moving and maybe something will inspire.... but it all sounds wrong..

    What's your trick for getting out of a severe creative slump where you actually feel like you've regressed instead of at least static?

    It's been ~2 weeks of slowing down and today just as soon sit on couch and stare at TV....

    Thanks,

    R44
     
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  2. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    I don’t know man. I’ve been pretty uninspired myself lately. My son will be visiting in a couple of weeks. So at least I will have someone to play with.
     
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  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You have to find inspiration.

    Think about what made you want to play in the first place. Playing music should be a joyful experience.

    It's not the pentatonics that are uninspired...it's you playing them.
    Look for inspiration. Listen for it. It'll come. And be kind to yourself.

    Here's something to try. If you have a looper or a way to record, play a vamp only using a Fmaj7 chord.

    Now for your "scale"... play the A minor pent box at the 5th fret.

    It's familiar...because you've probably played this blues box more than once. But what you're playing it over (the Fmaj7)isn't.

    But it'll work...because Fmaj7 is a stacked chord. FACE. It has a F major triad and an A minor triad in it.

    Learning music is a series of ascents and plateaus. You're just at a plateau. :)
     
  4. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast Strat-Talk Supporter

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    For me it goes in waves. Maybe that's what separates me from the pros.
     
  5. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The pros play all the time. Yeah, they are good but, a lot of it is a function of doing it a ton.
     
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  6. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Sticker bushes and Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

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  7. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Sticker bushes and Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

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  8. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    You need a goal.

    Buy a lesson package, subscribe on Youtube, make a real achievable goal and work towards it.
    Then find an outlet to play what you have learned (a band or a jam session) thus giving you a time limit and pressure from your peers to play well.
    Recording is another outlet - there's lots of forums you can post your results in.

    Problem is many have zero or little time to really learn, practice and improve as we are overwhelmed with work, family, chores, bills diapers etc etc etc. That's why the best players learn when they are 12-18 with tons of time and no responsibilities.

    I retired 18 months ago and bought a couple of Blues Speak courses. I spend hours a day learning new stuff and play it live at jam sessions. The progress is excruciatingly slow. But every so often I get a breakthrough which makes all the suffering worthwhile. My goal is some kind of new lick each week - but also incorporating it into a live song.

    I have a bunch of recordings of my playing from the late 70's and 80's and the improvement is scary. But it is now for my own personal benefit/achievement, not to get chicks. Although the arthritis is a bit of a pain (pun intended)...
     
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  9. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

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    Listen to a wholly different genre of music and try to make the right noises for it.
     
  10. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Find the time.....reread that....to play with other musicians if you havent or done so already.
    Another thing is to find a random lesson on youtube and learn something from it.
    Another thing is just to put it down for awhile.
     
  11. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

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    Swap amps
    Swap guitars
    Play with backing tracks
    pick a song to learn

    Basically I will try anything to break the cycle to repetition (which I fall into a lot!).
    That being said, that cycle of repetition can be great for developing mechanics, so try not to see it as a slump, but keep it positive and view it as a mechanical stage of learning.
     
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  12. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

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    Stop playing for a month. Do something else.
     
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  13. mjea80

    mjea80 Strat-Talker

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    Push yourself to learn something out of your comfort zone.

    Also, get a looper if you don’t have one. Put 4 chords from a key you’re not super familiar with and just get lost in dropping lead licks over them for awhile.
     
  14. billgwx

    billgwx Strat-Talker

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    Last winter I went into near total hibernation mode as far as guitar was concerned, and when spring sprung came back stronger than ever. Lately I've felt a bit of a playing slump coming on due to a lull in steady appearances plus stupid band drama--nothing like the latter to uninspire. Just gonna take another break, live other aspects of life more fully, go with the flow.

    Outside of that, going back and listening to those who influence my playing/attitude toward music can be a big boost. Playing other styles help too but for me that's usually more unintentional.
     
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  15. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

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    I bought a cheap keyboard years ago, when I go through what you're talking about I start playing the keys instead.
    Full disclosure: I am by no means a keyboard player, but it's not hard to hammer out some chords.
     
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  16. NickDG

    NickDG Strat-Talker

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    I play everyday. And, sure, I often have to force myself. But sometimes a new small piece of kit helps me through the worst of it. Something as simple as a new guitar strap will do it, or this gizmo (below) I just picked up. I have a decent pedal board but sometimes find myself turning dials and switches more than actually practicing so I don't use it all the time. Anyway this thing is just $35 with free shipping on Amazon Prime and for the last week I've been having a ball with it.

    And yes, I know he says, "What!!!!!" Too much.

     
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  17. misterwogan

    misterwogan Senior Stratmaster

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    And projects that help you achieve the goal.
     
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  18. Stratafied

    Stratafied Strat-O-Master

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    I think it happens to everyone, you’ll feel inspired again.
     
  19. Strums

    Strums Strat-O-Master

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    I always keep an acoustic out and ready to go. Sometimes that's all I need to get into playing again.
     
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  20. mshivy

    mshivy Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just ride it out
    I think everyone goes through things like that, it’s just a part of life.
    And as far as pentatonics go, there’s plenty of praised guitarists who have never gone past pentatonics.
    And are well paid for it!
     
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