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Postby planetluvver » August 21st, 2012, 8:26 pm

I I am having trouble in feeling motivated to practice. I am rather depressed in general lately, so it is not limited to my guitar practice.

I have been at least practicing the chords I do know once a day, so I do not lose the progress I have made so far.

I am not really asking for advice, just thought posting would help me feel part of a community, and might give me some motivation.

Heck, even the thought of listening to a CD seems a bother.
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Postby Alan Green » August 21st, 2012, 10:42 pm

The trouble is, when you feel like that then everything's a chore. You need to get out more.

Turn on the radio - one of the pop stations. Make sure your guitar is in tune and try to strum along.

You'll be gobsmacked how simple a lot of that stuff is.

And if they can do it.......
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Postby greybeard » August 21st, 2012, 10:50 pm

Write a blues song!
I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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Postby Rocket Dog » August 21st, 2012, 11:08 pm

Sorry to hear that planetluvver, hope it passes soon.
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » August 22nd, 2012, 4:32 am

I hardly ever practice but I spend a lot of time thinking of playing. If I play too often I get stuck playing the same things and that can be a downer. I picked up a guitar yesterday after a few good weeks without playing and I felt like Jeff Beck all night - couldn't find a bad note.
You're not going to unlearn the guitar if you take long breaks in between practices.

Try this. Keep a guitar out and when you pick it up say a phrase that sums up how you feel. Like this; "I hate my crotchy boss - I hope he gets e bola." And play that phrase using completely random notes so each note is a syllable.
You can come up with some really outside the box interesting things - I takes about zero effort and thought - and you can address your feelings constructively. You might strike gold, you might get nothing but its hard to disappoint yourself for picking bad notes at random.
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Postby s1120 » August 22nd, 2012, 4:57 am

MAN I gotta say I feel your pain!!!! Ive hit a few of these and its been a struggle. I used to just walk away when I was down and depressed. I walked away for the guitar for a year after my Mom passed away... Well I thought about it, and came to think when your down, pick the thing up!! Who cares how you sound? Just pick it up.... learn something diferent, play a few songs you know.... work on some chord changes... Work through it!! Sadly I put that pratice to work this spring when I lost my dad... I started to slip into the "walk away" thing.... But I step back, regroupd, and hammerd it out!!! Picked up my Resonator that I had, that my Dad realy liked the sound of,[he was a blue grass fan ] and started playing!!!

Also I find when I hit a wall learning, it helps to find a day I can realy sit down, and devote a good few hours to praticing!! Eaven if you have to struggle at first, but the end of that time youll probably get a few things down, and will have picked up a little drive to keep at it!!!
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Postby Vic Lewis VL » August 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am

planetluvver wrote:I I am having trouble in feeling motivated to practice. I am rather depressed in general lately, so it is not limited to my guitar practice.

I know exactly how you feel - I've hardly picked up a guitar for months. Since Marilyn (my partner for 14 years) died in March, music, television and a lot of other things seem so trivial I just can't be bothered. I'll pick up a guitar occasionally, play a few desultory chords, maybe a 12-bar blues, then put it down again - doesn't seem to be any point. I keep telling myself, those callouses are disappearing - you really need to pick up the guitar and play for at least an hour a day. Then I think, what's the point...nobody's listening.

I've tried to get back into the habit of playing again....somehow I lack the will-power and motivation to force myself to get back into a daily routine. Strings on both my guitars will be snapping soon - been so long since I changed them, they're starting going black. I haven't even been writing songs - you'd think that being in a sad and lonely mood would give you a great insight to the blues, right? Wrong - just hasn't worked that way, I haven't put pen to paper (or rather, cursor to screen - I do most of my writing straight to computer.) for weeks and weeks, and I've got no idea where the next song will come from. Even the Sunday Songwriters Group isn't helping - I still check in every couple of days or so, see what the latest assignment is, but I'm drawing blanks.

I know what I need to do - start playing music again. Put the radio on, listen to music on you tube, pick up a guitar and sing along. There was a time not so long ago, I'd put the radio on - my fave oldies channel, playing 50's 60's and 70's music - and play along with whatever came on. I could lose myself in the music for hours.....

Alan Green wrote:Turn on the radio - one of the pop stations. Make sure your guitar is in tune and try to strum along.
I just said that, but it's good advice....I love the old 60's pop music, and most of it is quite simple - except virtually every pop hit of the 60's had a key change somewhere, where you'd be playing in A (A D and E, or A F#m D and E) then all of a sudden you'd be playing in B - B E and F#, or B, Abm E and F#. I'm going to make an effort to do just that tomorrow morning....it's been way too long.

Greybeard wrote:Write a blues song!
Looks like good advice, but if you're really feeling low, the last thing you want to do is put your feelings down on paper or a computer screen. They say you have to feel the blues to write the blues - but trust me on this one, when you're feeling down, the last thing you want to do is write about it. Although I suppose you could write a song about how you can't write a blues song because you're feeling too depressed to put pen to paper or pick up a guitar.......

EzraplaysEzra wrote:I hardly ever practice but I spend a lot of time thinking of playing.
I NEVER practised - I played songs. I really wouldn't know a scale if it hit me in the face - but that's not stopped me developing into a decent rhythm guitarist. Yeah, I play a little lead as well, a little bass guitar, but I never think about what I'm doing too deeply... I just FEEL my way into the music.

The problem is, the feeling's not there any more - I'm hoping it's just temporarily absent. Like I mentioned earlier, since Marilyn died I've been floundering.... it seems like nothing can hold my attention for long enough to get excited about.

Hopefully, in time, I'll get that feeling back.....and hopefully, Planetluvver, you will too. I'm going to make a start tomorrow morning by putting on the radio, picking up the guitar, and FORCING myself to play for an hour or so - hopefully, afer the initial grind, I'll start to enjoy it. Music's been a constant part of my life since I was a little kid, it's always been the one thing I could rely on to lift me up when I was feeling a little low. I don't think....no, I KNOW....I've never felt lower than the last few months. I also KNOW I have to get out of the rut I've been in.....

Like I just said, I'm going to make a start by turning on the radio tomorrow AM and playing along. Got to do something positive....how's about you do the same? Let's get back into the music - and life - together, see if we can help each other along the way. Your post has certainly inspired me.....I hope maybe I can help you through your slump. Let's get up in the morning, cup of tea/coffee, and 1 - 2 - 3 - LET'S ROCK!

:D :D :D

(Still smiling, somehow....)

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)
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Postby Cat » August 22nd, 2012, 1:22 pm

I'm in this sort of place right now...thanks to a bad hand. But I leaned in to listening to stuff that I really like from long ago, The Kinks, most especially. All two-fingered power chords that I can manage for the moment. These spates come and go, they always have...like some sort of tide.

What's going on (or NOT going on) in your life is what's causing it. My wife got me started taking Tango lessons with her two months ago and now Argentinian chord progressions are quite present in my mind...who'd've thought???

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Postby Lucille » August 22nd, 2012, 3:37 pm

planetluvver wrote: I am rather depressed in general lately.

That is difficult to get out of sometimes. Has it happened before? Sometimes, these things just happen, but sometimes, they can be related to chemical changes. If the depression gets worse, go talk to your doctor. Ups and downs are part of life. But sometimes, if it is you, it is hard to tell how down your down is.
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Postby guitarforlife » August 22nd, 2012, 7:48 pm

I go through stages where I don't play as much or I feel stuck in rut and not as creative. I try to learn a new song in a style that totally different than I'm used to or practice jamming with a new scale that I've never tried before.
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Postby cnev » August 23rd, 2012, 5:24 am

That's what depression does it makes every thing seem like a chore and takes all the energy out of you. I don't have an answer everyone is different but for some people just walking away for awhile is the best thing and for others keeping at it is the best.

But in general you need to occupy your time maybe with activites that don't require alot of thought or anything, do some new things etc. In most cases you will probably need to force yourself to do these as it's a struggle to fight depression.

But if you beat yourself up because you haven't played then you are just fanning the fires of depression and you are working against yourself.
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Postby planetluvver » August 23rd, 2012, 6:59 pm

Thank you all!

It is helpful to know that I am not alone. Depression has a way of isolating a person.
I do take anti-depressants and I have a doctor's appointment coming up tomorrow, so maybe my meds will get tweaked.

I have made the effort of listening to some solo guitar music and watched a DVD of the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival.

For those of you that are greiving losses, thank you for sharing.
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Postby Cat » August 24th, 2012, 6:58 pm

Actually...re-reading these posts...you are quite correct with the "slogging" comment. That's what ya do! Slog through it...

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"
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