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What motivates or inspires you to pick up your instrument and play?

For at least the past 15 years for me it has been the expectation of an upcoming jam or gig.  Especially the past 3 or 4 years, I've had a lot of different gigs with various bands. So I was just busy trying to get down song sets. I really didn't focus too much on technical stuff. When we gig I don't use sheet music or I-pad, so I usually just spend what time I carve out for practice making sure I memorize the chords and changes etc. for the songs on our list. I didn't really "practice" so much as I "crammed"

Last month, when all our gigs for Spring and Summer got canceled, I figured I'd work on my chops since I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. one thing I had sorely neglected was my right hand picking technique, so that was one of the aspects I focused on and for several weeks I was making good progress. However, it's now been almost two weeks since I've even touched the guitar. I just have no motivation with no gigs or even jams planned. Plunking around the house doesn't do it for me. After I get off here, i'm going to force myself to play  though.

Anyone else feeling this way? Or maybe the boredom and isolation encourages you to play more? 

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Yeah, I'm playing more. I don't gig, so this is just more time for me to have some fun.

What motivates me is songwriting. I like to write songs, play the instruments, record them, mix, master, rinse, repeat!

I have a lot of fun every time I take on a new recording project. I recently recorded an instrumental with drums, bass, guitar.

I share the results with family and friends. Or sometimes not. Sometimes I just do it for me.

Sometimes it can be frustrating. And I am not always happy with the results. But I always get better at it, and always learn something new.

That's what motivates me to play. [smile]

 

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Chasing the perfect guitar solo ... When I am not playing regularly, that perfect solo gets much farther away.   Playing regularly keeps me much closer than not.  

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I'm sitting here looking at my hot rodded G400 an new tube amp with some new effects. I'm about to have a great time..

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Gigs have been my motivation and more specifically not wanting to embarrass myself and also not let the other bandmates down. Sounds nauseagenic but true.

Speaking of, the Alzheimer's Arkansas gig that I play every year was officially cancelled today. It was scheduled for August 1st. Things keep getting pushed back. I remember a few months ago when the folks involved in a meeting scheduled for this week said there was no way things wouldn't be back to normal by now.

To your original point, I was playing a lot last week but haven't played in a few days and now just don't feel like playing. Guitar has always been my refuge. It will be again. Just an extraordinarily weird time right now.

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I see that many people play guitar or music in general to relieve a bad mood or anxiety. I have to be in a fairly good or positive mood to even want to play.

I just got that new PRS amp and used it at a rehearsal and I think two gigs. Haven't plugged it in since. But I did just get out my LP and played unplugged for awhile. Maybe this weekend I'll plug in and some tube crunch will inspire me.  😎 

   

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I have not been as motivated as I should be or thought i would be being at home so much nowadays...BUT... we are coming out of restrictions around here, and band rehearsal may soon become a reality 😀so I'd better get my sorry @ss back into it!!!

The 3 new songs I've pulled together are quite easy to get motivated to play cos they are fresh and I'm looking forward t hearing the guys make them sound great, but the other 12 or 15 in the set take a bit more effort to get into - but the thought of rehearsal will do the trick - I'll play em this weekend for sure!

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I don't gig either.  Like Brad1, I play for the fun.  Theres about 35 to 40 songs I can play.  As a kid it was mostly Ventures as they were my inspiration but now, at 67 I play more variety but mostly 60's & 70's. My inspiration to pick up a guitar is not only to have fun but to always improve and learn more songs. I always practice unplugged or on the Acoustic which is often.  Dementia runs in my family so I do several things to try and keep my mind straight.  Guitar is the number one thing I do.  I have played chess since I was just a toddler my mom said and I have played chess computers and in tournaments forever. That really helps. But I only have to look at all the great guitarists in this world and I don't need to look any further to be my inspiration to play better. Haha, Thats my story and I'm sticking to it, LOL 

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4 minutes ago, Retired said:

... Like Brad1, I play for the fun ... .

Wow.  I hope that we ALL are playing for fun.  LOL

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I have seldom had this problem.

I always want to play. Not necessarily practice.  I pick up the guitar and go somewhere with it.  It may be soloing over a chord progression (imagined usually) and changing with those chords instead of the easier modal approach. That takes some concentration. Or creating a new soloing idea & figuring out the technique. In other words its keeping the brain engaged rather than just repeating what the muscle memory does best. Its also productive, and may generate songs etc. 

I find that playing this way is almost addictive. I simply want to keep doing it.

 

 

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Jay, 

I am with you on this one. 
There is no better motivation to play and practice than having to get ready for an upcoming gig. 

Without a tangible goal in sight, you are left to your own devices, and then household distractions grow exponentially. 

😗

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Music has always been like a Drug for me.. Playing Instruments has been a passion almost my entire life.. Gigs or no Gigs it's about the Music. Although, being a Singer Songwriter, Recording Artist, Producer has a lot to do with it.. That being an Art unto itself requiring much dedication to a huge Learning Curve in addition to just playing Guitar...

During this Quarantine one of the Bands I play with is going to try a Virtual Recording Session. Emailing Tracks to each other.. Maybe try to do a Rehearsal on Zoom too...  Anybody else doing that?

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I remember when I first started playing it was like my brain was exploding.  Playing the first 8 notes of Stairway to Heaven was intense.   It's not like that anymore for me unfortunately.   

I don't really "practice" these days.  I play so my fingers don't get out of shape.  I've been recording so I have an actual reason to play.  Don't see myself playing bar/club gigs ever again.   

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20 minutes ago, Larsongs said:

During this Quarantine one of the Bands I play with is going to try a Virtual Recording Session. Emailing Tracks to each other.. Maybe try to do a Rehearsal on Zoom too...  Anybody else doing that?

Both groups I play with have talked about doing this, but so far we haven't actually tried it.

Someone gave me an old Tascam DP-01 8 Track thing. I have it plugged-in and have been looking through the Manual, but I really have no clue what I'm doing with it. I haven't recorded anything yet. 

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The hookers and blow that are stipulated* in my contract.

rct

 

*It works better if you say it like Daffy Duck.

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5 hours ago, Larsongs said:

During this Quarantine one of the Bands I play with is going to try a Virtual Recording Session. Emailing Tracks to each other.. Maybe try to do a Rehearsal on Zoom too...  Anybody else doing that?

Currently doing that with people from work.  I've suggested it on other guitar forums and couldn't find any takers. 

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Starting around 18  years ago, I forced myself to practice every night for at least an hour, sometimes two or three, whether I was motivated or not. I may have missed a night a month. My practice sessions were very structured, broken into three sections- technique, theory, learning and practicing new songs.  Probably 6 or 8 years ago, I got tired of that. While I improved tremendously, I found I got better just having fun, playing and applying what I'd learned. These days, I'm kinda bored with it. I figure I've gotten as good as I can get, which is better than I thought I'd ever be, but not nearly as good as I'd like to be. I'm getting the most pleasure these days from telling Alexa to play songs by artists I like and seeing what I can do with them.

I'm also paying more attention to tone, and this has led me toward experimenting with pedals. For the longest time, I was just using what I could get out of an amp. Most of what I was playing was clean, and that's because when I started to get serious about playing, most of the stuff I liked was played clean. Since I'm getting back to B-side tunes and older, more obscure (to me) Rock and Fusion, the call for tone modification has taken me in new directions.

A lot can be said for just getting started. Once I have a guitar around my neck, everything gets better.

Edited by zigzag
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3 hours ago, zigzag said:

A lot can be said for just getting started. Once I have a guitar around my neck, everything gets better.

That really says it all.

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Usually, I'm practicing the songs I need to know for the gig I've got next. As a sideman, that keeps me pretty busy learning new stuff and polishing up on old stuff. Since the shutdown, I find that I've got plenty of time to work on what I want to work on and that's exciting for me. I decided that I'd go back and work on theory and technique. I usually try to put in at least two hours a day, ( occasionally more), in two sessions. I'm playing all the modes of the Major, Melodic Minor and, Harmonic Minor scales in all intervals...Seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths, and octaves. That's been helping me a lot! I've been delving more deeply into chords so, I spend a good bit of time reharmonizing jazz tunes that I already know; trying to sound like the gospel piano guys from church. This has led me to explore the idea of chords as triads with various bass notes (which is how these guys think). For instance, Dm7 is an F major triad with D in the bass, or A7b9(13) is an F# major triad with A in the bottom. During my second session, I just play; searching for new chord progressions and ways to utilise the technical stuff. I also go over stuff that I just plain like to play. Yesterday it was Cantelope Island by Herbie Hancock and 'Cause We've Ended as Lovers by Stevie Wonder. Today, i've been working on All the Things You Are in all twelve keys which is a very good exercise! Playing any song in every key is great for getting to know your fretboard! Also, I've been exploring the diminished scale more thouroughly. Half-Whole over dominant sevenths and Whole-Half over minor 7b5's. Anyway, I have no problem getting inspired to play as there is SO much on which to work! Music is a puzzle that, no matter how one puts it together it always makes a cool picture! I could drone on about this for hours...you see, I'm obsessed! It's time for session two...later fellas!

Edited by G Mac
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22 minutes ago, G Mac said:

...I also go over stuff that I just plain like to play. Yesterday it was Cantelope Island by Herbie Hancock and 'Cause We've Ended as Lovers by Stevie Wonder....

 

Yeah! 'Cause We've Ended as Lovers is all variations on a theme... great song for noodling. That's what I'm talking about... just picking up the guitar and playing.

And playing thru the modes of melodic and harmonic minor all over the fretboard really gives you an intuitive feel and ear for hearing your options when improvising... really broadening your vocabulary.  Playing never gets old when you're learning that stuff. At the same time, it takes dedication. I wish there was a way to hear all of that in my head before I had to spend endless hours practicing it. I'd rather have been able to play it than explain it.

Edited by zigzag

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I still find myself playing everyday.  I’ve got two hobbies: model railroading and guitars.  The two feed-off of each other and inspire each other.  I can do both at the same time, which I do quite often.  Also, over the last few weeks I’ve found myself doing more early morning picking on the back deck.  I might work on some little solo I’d like to use in an old song, or maybe work on a new song.  Actually, over the last few weeks I’ve written three new songs.  Hadn’t written a song for several months before that.  In addition, my dad passed-away on April 5 at ninety-six and that seems to have added to my desire to pick-up a guitar and write..  Incidentally, the three new songs are all on the somber side.  ....I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who enjoys practicing.  I’m primarily someone who ends-up playing what I like and am familiar with and occasionally trying to add some new wrinkles to my technique.  I might spend two hours just gently strumming the same 2-3 songs.   I’m not disciplined enough to practice in a regimented way.  Wish I was.  It’s kind of Helter Skelter for me.  Likely why I’m just a “jack of all trades and master of none” when to comes to musical instruments.  Anyway, I really enjoy playing.

Edited by MissouriPicker

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The next gig and whatever 50 songs we are taking.  I stay busy with the setlists and practicing singing and playing.

rct

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17 hours ago, rct said:

The hookers and blow that are stipulated* in my contract.

rct

 

*It works better if you say it like Daffy Duck.

Ron, so I tried and you're right, it does..

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