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Uninspired


Salfromchatham

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happy New Year everyone...

Sitting here with a banging head cold, after a long day at work, and for the fifth straight day I tried to walk into my home office, pick up a guitar, and play. I've tried open tunings, dropped D, standard tuning, Gibsons, Martin's... No matter, I try to just start playing, and.... Flat. Nothing. Chords sound bad. Picking sounds bad. Writing a song is an elusive dream.

I tried playing some Stones. some b-side Eagles, some of mine, some offbeat newer stuff (to me) like Badfinger... Nothing works. I'm flat. I got nothing.

The musical gods have forsaken me, and I now sit with all the vibe of an accountant under fluoro light. With musak in the background.

Hold me? Save me? Inspire me? Tell me a joke? Tell me my future? Give me lottery numbers?

Ciao.

Wet blanket.

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It must be something about this time of year because I was pickin' last night with the guy I've played with for years and after about an hour we were both so uninspired and generally BLAH that we simultaneously just called it a night. We can normally play for about four hours but it just wasn't happening. Post holiday doldrums I guess.

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happy New Year everyone...

Sitting here with a banging head cold, after a long day at work, and for the fifth straight day I tried to walk into my home office, pick up a guitar, and play. I've tried open tunings, dropped D, standard tuning, Gibsons, Martin's... No matter, I try to just start playing, and.... Flat. Nothing. Chords sound bad. Picking sounds bad. Writing a song is an elusive dream.

I tried playing some Stones. some b-side Eagles, some of mine, some offbeat newer stuff (to me) like Badfinger... Nothing works. I'm flat. I got nothing.

The musical gods have forsaken me, and I now sit with all the vibe of an accountant under fluoro light. With musak in the background.

Hold me? Save me? Inspire me? Tell me a joke? Tell me my future? Give me lottery numbers?

Ciao.

Wet blanket.

 

But you're there in spirit, clearly! I think, too, that this is a BLAH time of the year-maybe the wan light or something. You tried a lot more things than I ever do when I am in that place; usually, when I bore myself after a couple of lines or two of a couple of songs or two, I just put the guitar away and fu-get about it. No use shopping in closed stores, I say.

 

Besides, "The musical gods have forsaken me, and I now sit with all the vibe of an accountant under fluoro light..." is clean as bone, so it looks like you'll probably come out of this in fine shape.

 

In the meantime, go start a good Netflix series or something. Me, I am almost done with Season 1 of the Sopranos, so that's what I'm doing until the light comes back around.

 

In other words: There, there...

 

#-o

 

 

 

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What I do when the 'finger funk' hits is listen to BK's clips and then face the reality that I should either smash all my guitars or laugh it off and start playing Tom Petty songs until it goes away.

 

Be glad you don't have an important gig tonight.

 

Petty's, ' She's Gonna Listen to Her Heart ' is a great starter. In the key of D. You just can't ef it up.

 

A handful here can pick up the guitar at any given moment regardless of how they are feeling and nail it. It's because they are superior in their musicianship. The rest of us keep on working at it to feel a little of that magic whenever it comes. If it's not happening you have to sit back and wait, although as suggested earlier it's a great opportunity to work on improving mechanical skills.

 

'The Waiting Is the Hardest Part'. In D...Petty's favorite key.

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'Hope it's not too late for some Christmas inspiration:

 

Either an 11 year old can inspire, or will make you want to throw your guitars in the trash bin. Hopefully, it will be the former:

 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=715462025255296&id=306334729501363&refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2Ffrano.tv%2Fvideos%2F715462025255296%2F&_rdr

 

Joe "Toneface" Bonamassa take note: youthful joy and innocence trumps "too cool for school" any day of the week.

 

Feel better.

 

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When I'm in music funk, I have a hard time getting enthused about what I play. It does happen, but not in a way that literally kills the fun of playing. Still, I look for ways to get past it. What helps me is to go to the Sound Cloud and YouTube pages of people in this forum. That inspires me. Sal, you're one of them... Makes me want to play or write something like what I'm hearing. I hear all of this raw and non-commercialized talent and it encourages me. Sometimes when I'm going to a gig, I'm really kind of in a funk and wishing I was staying home that evening. Then, someone will compliment my songs or leave a nice tip, buy a CD---then just like that I'm back on top. Also, I'm always kind of looking and listening for inspiration for a new song. Could be something my wife or grandkids say. Could be a comment by a friend or some eternal axiom that I read in a coffeehouse. I guess in some ways my mind is always on a path. The path might lead nowhere, but then again, who knows?.......... For myself, I don't stay away from my music and guitars for very long. I'm afraid I'd forget the little bit I actually know.

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What I learned from riding with John Wayne says :

 

When the goin' gets tough, the tough gets goin'.

 

What I got from growing up with teachers, who listened to Donovan-records in the 70's says :

 

It's your bio-rhytms, Sal, , the tide of mind. Take a walk around the tulips and lean back. Caress the cat of patience - give the tired horse a free field.

 

What I got from the spirit of Stephen Stills says :

 

I embrace the many coloured beast (get yourself together, dude). .

 

Maybe don't play any music for a few days but do pick up the guitar and simply practice technique; scales (if you run scales), chords and picking patterns?

 

Plus 1 - ^ idea.

 

Get it all down on earth, , , then see if the wings slowly begin to show again from there.

 

 

 

Good Luck with it all - Best Thoughts

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Try playing anything but something. Step away from songs. Pick up your most comfortable guitar. The one that feels most like an old friend and just make some noise. How are you feeling? What would that sound like? Make those sounds. Just tone and technique, and let emotion drive any structure.

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P.S. Time to order a box of Brian Eno's & Peter Schmidt's cards - Oblique Strategies.

 

Don't know how many of you know them, but they were launched in 1975 and represent what we could call a fate-gamble

 

a'la L. Reinehart's book The Dice Man from a few years before.

 

I play them once in a while with a couple of beatniks - 5-6 times over the last 20 years - and actually did one recently with 'my' bass-player.

 

Won't reveal my message here - a bit private, , , besides it was too brutal.

 

Enjoy the excitement - let's hear how it lands. .

 

 

http://www.davidbowie.com/sites/g/files/g2000002506/f/201306/os_eno_schmidt_bowie_set_1000sq.jpg

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_Strategies

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What I do when the 'finger funk' hits is listen to BK's clips and then face the reality that I should either smash all my guitars or laugh it off and start playing Tom Petty songs until it goes away.

 

 

 

 

See what happens you go AWOL from your guitar lessons, kiddies! [tongue] [tongue] [tongue]

 

 

Always someone better in this life, sometimes from hard work, sometimes from pure talent and the cruel others.

 

 

A long story cut short, but at school I had another guitar friend of equal talent (none) and this other guy the same age (14?) heard us talking, asked us if we wanted to see his new guitar...and off we all toddled after school to see a 14 year old do a spitting image reproduction of Joe Pass Greatest Hits! On a beautiful Gibson electric archie, no less.

 

All good, decision to tread on guitar (his) and mine not seen through and we all waddled off to scratch our heads as we dragged our little guitars down the street by the rope strap.......

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Lately I have found that I get inspired when I find a good topic for writing a new song. I can't get inspired just by picking up a guitar. I need a mental image, a target, of what I want to achieve (maybe this is also why I write/rewrite, record/re-record so much. I really want to get to that mental image).

 

So maybe try scanning what's around you to come up with a song topic that you just have to turn into a song. When you find that topic, inspiration will come.

 

Lars

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I will take a break. Guitar for one week. Forums for a month. I think that's what I need. BK is right...

If I don't check back by Feb 2, then I will have either met with tragic circumstance or hit the lottery!

Ciao my friends

 

Sal don't be rash. Stay around. Reading the gems in these pages will, I promise, inspire you.

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Sal,

 

I agree with JDGM, forget about song playing, writing, etc. Practice your picking, scales, chords, until your fingers are bleeding. Also, when I get in a bluesy type of funk, I throw my Neil Young "After the Goldrush" album on my turntable and listen to him sing "Oh Lonesome Me", if that doesn't snap you out of it, I can't help you. Keep the Faith, Brother. [thumbup]

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Sal,

 

I agree with JDGM, forget about song playing, writing, etc. Practice your picking, scales, chords, until your fingers are bleeding. Also, when I get in a bluesy type of funk, I throw my Neil Young "After the Goldrush" album on my turntable and listen to him sing "Oh Lonesome Me", if that doesn't snap you out of it, I can't help you. Keep the Faith, Brother. [thumbup]

 

 

Funny that , watching a neil acoustic show would inspire me pretty much every time.

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