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Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by AllroyPA, Jul 14, 2009.
Y'know what's a great way to get there? Open Itunes and go to the "radio" tab - choose a category you might not usually listen to - jazz, blues, country, ambient. Crank it up, and tell yourself that for the next 30 minutes, you'll jam along with what EVER comes on - you'll take a few seconds to get the appropriate sound (clean, heavy, spacey, whatever) and figure out the key, and try to do melodies, chords, whatever that fits the style and tone of the song. Try to get in the mindset that you're a hired gun called in to make the song work.
I've been doing that for a while, and it's fun, and it really gets you out of a rut. And some of the best stuff in my "songwriting scraps" folder are riffs & melodies I've come up with while doing that. So keep some kind of recording medium handy.
The other thing I've found is when you do that and record it - or jam with people and record it - is when you sit back and just listen, you're usually a lot better player than you think you are.
One other tip I can throw out there - my wife's a yoga teacher and I finally broke down and started going (I'm pushing 50, and I feel a LOT better in the morning since I started). But one thing you can do in a heavy yoga class is kind of "zone out" - a lot like running or riding a bike.
I try to get in that state when I'm playing - where your "upper mind" kind of shuts down and you get kind of "dreamy" - I've ran tape while doing that, and played it back, and every time it's like "who the hell was that?" You'll really find your subconscious WANTS to get some stuff out, to "say" some things. Get your intellect out if the way, and it can be pretty freaky what you can do. Hard to describe, but man, it's amazing. And it seems to stick with you - it can be like two weeks practicing in an hour.
Since I was a kid, I realized playing is a series of "plateaus" or levels. You struggle your way up, and then you kind of "level off" at a new level of ability and enjoy that; then you start feeling like it's a struggle to do "the next thing" you want to reach. There's a real see-saw for me between "wow, I'm there" and "Will I ever get THERE?". That zone-out kind of practicing really seems to speed up that "level-to-level" process. And I think the most valuable things in art are things that "free up" you creativity, that open up your sort of "inner voice".
Especially for solos - I believe the purpose of the solo (other than in "show-off" styles of playing) is to "express what the lyrics can't say". Think of the world of difference between the solos in "I can see for miles" (pete townshend, ONE NOTE) or Jimmy Page's complex yet emotive solos in "Song Remains the Same" - or Eddie V.H's amazing break in "feel your love tonight". In all cases, they seem to take the emotions the singer is putting out there and underline 'em, push them to the next level. I love working towards that.
My motivation is just making sounds that sound good to me. Anything. A lick, a chord, a progression. When it sounds like music and I know that I made it sound like that it makes me happy.
When I play "Red River Valley" or "Puff the Magic Dragon" and sing along with my daughter and my wife, that makes me happy. When my daughter asks me for more, well you get the idea.
It's like B.B. King says: "cause when I strike a chord. It gives me what I wanna hear ..."
It just makes me feel good and that is reason enough.
I just love it. In my time, I must have played thousands of gigs. Whilst I got money back then, it wasn't really that, it was just for the enjoyment I got from playing guitar in bands.
These days, I don't do many gigs, but still enjoy playing jams with as many people as I can.
Playing with others or at times JUST PLAYING. Its all good and a very relaxing pass time.
Just playing,really.when you plug in a Strat,something sort of happens ya know?
My motivation is the buzz I get from playing. At first that was learning a few bars or an intro of a song I liked. It's still the same today, the buzz is still there. Whether I've spent a weekend learning all the guitar parts to Zep's Ten Years Gone or fine tuning an "original" blues in E the feeling has diminished.
Bump this up for new members ...
Just starting back up again after a few years off. Always mostly played alone with backing tracks. Too busy to find the time to play with others.
I'm happy. I can grab the Strat, put on the headphones and transport myself away for an hour.....
I think that my search for the perfect "tone" is always fighting with me. I like to model my sound after John Mayer. No, I don't like a lot of his music anymore, but his tone is killer! I find myself doing countless mods and when I play with other people, I realize how good my "own" tone actually is.
Sometimes I forget that tone is a never ending battle. Sure, 80% of it is in the hands, but that last 20% will always be tinkered with. I must have a disease because I am always trying to get my guitars to sound like something else, like trying to make a PRS sound like a Gibson or making a Strat sound like a Tele, or even putting coil tapping in a PRS to make it sound like a strat (which actually worked!).
The secret to tone is understanding your guitar. Learning more about my gear has helped me to cope with what I can and can't do. For example, no matter what I do I'm not going to get a true Mayer sound without the Two Rocks, but I can play a pretty good cover that sounds like me.
Sometimes, I get lost in adjusting pedals and lose out on valuable playing time. For example, I have gone through three overdrives in the past couple months. I tried the OCD and fulldrive 2 and they just don't sound as good as a cheapo TS7 Tubescreamer. Why does good gear not sound good to me? Is it that I've become accustomed to lower end gear and the "real" stuff just isn't what I'm used to?
I think my biggest motivation right now to play is to get back into a Church where I can be a part of the Praise Band. I was the lead guitarist in a church for two years before being asked to step down because I was missing practice because of college classes. I was pretty hurt that I told them going into it that I was in college, but they wanted me to play anyways. Then, to tell me "sorry but if you can't come to practice or evening services because of school then we are going to have to find someone who can be here every service.)
Those were the best times of my life playing in the Praise Band. I got to play guitar three days a week (when I wasn't in class) and people really seemed to dig what we were doing up there. I have never been much on playing in clubs. The audience in clubs are too drunk to care what you are playing and I've found that church audiences are really listening and really care what you are playing. I miss it...
Sorry for the INCREDIBLY long post, but I just felt the need to get some stuff off my chest and vent a little. I have seriously considered selling off my gear and giving up music because of what the last church did to me, but I know that one day I'll be playing again and having fun.
Playing music has helped me overcome some extremely hard times. When I was a bit younger (late teens/ early twenties) I was facing many difficulties. I never did drugs and I never had trouble with the law or anything like that but ... it was rough. Thanks to surviving those difficulties I now have a strong character and, thanks to my efforts, instead of becoming an idiot, I've become a decent human being with a lot of compassion for the others.
Needles to say, music has been a very important part of 'coming back to life', and always will be a very important part of my life.
Music, its all about that. I love listening and playing. I still have fun jamming to CDs as well as jamming with people.
Najjs jag älskar alla PRS modeler
Simple for me. I have loved the sound of guitar since I was a young boy. Bought my first guitar for $20 with money I made on a paper route. When I play and I'm on I kinda get a euphoric feeling that is not matched by anything else. It just makes me feel good whether I am playing by myself or with a band and I don't need no stinking beer! LOL
I am at it for three years now and just play for myself. I have not practiced enough to be a good player and could kick myself in the butt for that but I still love the sound and learning new stuff.
These days if I am playing with my buddies, it's for fun. If I am playing alone then it's usually some kind of release for what I may be feeling at the moment. My wife knows to leave me alone at those moments. She can usually tell what I am feeling by what style I am playing. It's very therapudic (sp).
I’m motivated by several different things to play music.
One is – it’s genetic. I was born with a predisposition toward musical talent. That sounds arrogant on one level, but now that I have kids I see that’s it’s in the genes. Heck, my son was responding to music in the womb – the first time we saw my wife’s stomach visibly move was listening to “Sweet Home Alabama” in the car and he was rockin’ out in rhythm with the music. The next song on the radio was slower – he stopped moving. The song after that was “Already Gone” by the Eagles and he started right back up again. When he was born he literally came out singing – his cry was “Laaa” instead of “Waaa.” When he was two he walked up to a drum set for the first time and played a perfect 4 count. He set him on the stool and within a couple of minutes he was doing rudimentary drum rolls. He sings like a bird – he’s seven now and can sing along in perfect pitch with “The Immigrant Song” by Zeppelin.
My mother was also a musician, and although she died when I was only 3 months old, people who knew her say that I play guitar the same way she played piano – right down to note choice. How weird is that?
Second – I’m a gear hound. I get a kick out of creating sounds and using gear (check out pictures of my pedal board sometime!)
I love playing because it allows me to express emotions through the instrument that I cannot express in words.
Finally, some of the deepest emotional/musical experiences I’ve had have been playing with my church Praise Band. I’ve done clubs, toured, studio work, etc – and it was all fun, but it’s just much more intense in a worship service, leading several hundred people, all singing and creating music together for a higher purpose and focus than just mere entertainment. The music enters a different dimension that is just so much more intense, and thereby inspires more passionate playing – which in turn inspires those around you to play their best - it’s like this cycle that keeps build on itself…
Cool thread. It's not about motivation for me, not just about playing either. For me music, playing, listening, researching, whatever has been nearly a life long need. Music has helped me find an identity, it's helped me spiritually, it's helped me mourn, grow, love and learn. Without it I''m sure I could survive but I wouldn't have that important tool. Because of that I never take it for granted.
When I started learning to play guitar it was important to me to develope the skills to be able to emulate my favorite music. Once I had accomplished that I felt closer to it and it inspired me to continue. Eventually I was capable of making music unique to me, when that I happened I felt like I had been given a great gift.
I play for the love of guitar. Nothing in my life has ever captured my attention like guitar and music. The only reason I stop playing is because my fingers are sore. Everything else is just a bonus.
I have, within the last few years really gotten into guitars and gear. Thats also really interesting and fun but I think thats a bit separated from my love of playing.
for me it's just a driving compulsion, doesn't matter if I've got a band together or not, I've got to play all the time. If I don't play and release the ideas that build up in my head they poison me. Then I get miserable and depressed.
I really have no choice, that's why I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my guitars. If music made me a music junkie, then guitar would be my heroin. I just can't stop. Plus since I've been playing since I was such a little kid, a lot of my identity and personality are wrapped up in the guitar. If I were to lose the ability to play guitar I don't think I'd want to live, because I'd lose 50% of what makes me Me. I don't know who I'd be if I wasn't a guitar player.