Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Sheik Yerbouti

In a funk, and not the Ohio Players kind....

Recommended Posts

I was able to play my guitar this weekend alot longer than I've been able to play in a while. I think I've either plateaued or dare I say, lost the interest I had before. I tend to do that, get really jacked up about something, do it intensively for a while (a month, 3 weeks, 6 months, etc) and then either burnt out or get bored.

In the short time I've picked up the guitar again, I've noticed my skills improving. Now, I see them actually receeding some or not having nearly the rapid growth as before.

I don't want to lose the passion, I love guitars, I love music, and I would love to continue to try to make both (if for my ears only), so please, if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep this fresh without it becoming frustrating, I'd love to see them. I tried picking up some jazz tabs, but they were way over my head. I am a beginner at best, but a long history of music (my mom taught piano in my house before I was born until I was close to 18).

So please, any suggestions to keep it fresh would really be appreciated. I love blues, Beatles, Zeppelin, Stones (even drop G tuning for Keef), more or less anything like that.

I guess I'm looking for more of those "Hey, I couldn't play that before" moments.

Thanks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm there about every other week. I get frustrated with my lack of improvement, and yes, even feeling like i'm receding. It's gotten to the point where my day hinges on how well my practice went the day before. That's pretty pathetic. lol. That's when I change my practice methods around - sometimes that means just putting on the blues and jamming along. But I finally needed to make a sign and hang it up in my basement that reads....

Get encouraged by what you can do, not discouraged by what you can't......

 

That has brought me out of a funk many times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sheik,

Anytime you are learning something it is inevitable that you will hit valleys, plateaus and mountains.

I used to feel the same as you quite a lot when I only played the acoustic. So I bought an electric. That did a lot for my motivation. Do you have an acoustic? If not, maybe get one.

I also, purposely, try to mix up different things to practice and work on. Sometimes I will spend a few days or even weeks working on scales, theory, or what I call "book stuff." When I start getting tired of that (and I always do),

I might just spend an hour playing whatever comes into my head, letting my fingers kind of "flow freely" on the fretboard. Perhaps I will spend some time working on some technique stuff also, bends, pull-offs, hammer-ons,

pinch harmonics, etc.

The key for me is to always be learning something new. For me, that always seems to keep it fresh and new to me.

A new scale, a new song, a new picking technique, etc..

And I enjoy writing my own stuff. That is absolutley the one thing, more than any other, that keeps me wanting to play all the time. I have only been playing the electric guitar for about 2 years. And I play it now, more that I ever have. Sometimes I find myself playing 2-3 hours a day. And I'm not in a band. I just enjoy creating so much.

Do you write your own stuff? If not, maybe you should try. If you already do, maybe spend more time on it. I know that working on my own music makes time pass by fast, and keeps we trying new things and coming up with new ways to express myself on the guitar.

Don't worry, I'm sure you are about to climb out of that valley soon, and start scaling (pun intended) that mountian any time now. O:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, I'll add to that...TRY not to gauge your progress, by other's expectations, or abilities.

You're unique! Keep it in perspective. Enjoy what you manage to accomplish, in the moment.

"Baby steps!" I know that's what's worked for me. Lofty ambitions are one thing, but often...

unrealistic. So, try not to be to judgemental about your progress, or lack thereof. Relax...it

will come...just keep at it. Even the "big guys" have these same problems/doubts/blocks,

at times. And, as stated by others, work on different styles, scales, etc. Practice, practice, practice...LOL!

But, have FUN, too. Sometimes, just walking away, for awhile, is all you need. If the love is really there,

it will always be there.

 

CB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Play with other people!!! I can't stress it enough. Multiple instruments and voices (assuming they blend) really get the juices flowing. My jam buddy hurt his hand and hasn't been able to play for awhile - and I miss it. When we play together and nail a particular song, it feels great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Play with other people!!! I can't stress it enough. Multiple instruments and voices (assuming they blend) really get the juices flowing. My jam buddy hurt his hand and hasn't been able to play for awhile - and I miss it. When we play together and nail a particular song' date=' it feels great.[/quote']

 

I second Ron...

Look for others who have same musical interest; join a band; get Band in Box and play with a computer band...

Having some sort of gig to look forward to also helps you get motivated to practice- even if it's at a school of music...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I have to just walk away and not play for a day or three. That usually does it for me.

 

What keeps me on the hook is that- I'm always listening and looking for NEW and OLD music. Most, if not all of my ideas come from merging the old with the new.

 

If I'm not playing......I'm listening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

G'day Sheik,

 

Have been going through problems motivating myself to learn for years, age probably is a major factor for me. I see by your avatar that you have a casino. Recently I bought one and simply cannot put the bloody thing down....I love it and my playing has improved since I've had her. Now I'm not an experienced player just like you, and so haven't got suggestions to help you other than you find a guitar that you love so much you just can't put her down! Maybe take some lessons if your not already?? Perhaps experiment with different times that you practice if you can as I know I am too tired at night.

 

Good luck mate...we all go through phases.

 

 

Dig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, let me compliment you on your screen name. I've been here a few months, and have seen it up there. Always pronouncing the Sheik as "ShEEk". The other day I was driving to a gig, sitting at a traffic light and all of a sudden your screen name popped into my head, and Sheik was pronounced "Shake". I laughed out loud, partly because it's a great pun and partly because it took me months to get it. Thanks.

 

OK now to answer your question (note: some repetition ahead).

 

Don't try to play something too far over your head. Baby steps are good.

 

Don't practice only one thing, different books, theory, songs, scales, etc., on different days are helpful. Some of the practice should be playing songs you like, even if it is from an EZ music book. Part of your practice should be FUN.

 

Play with others who are at your level or somewhat better than you. But make sure they are musicians who are in it for the FUN. They don't call it playing music for nothing.

 

Every now and then, go back to something you already learned and play it. It feels good to play something you are decent at. When you are done, try to remember how difficult it was to learn that, and you will have an idea on how much you are progressing. Sometimes we don't see our own progress because we keep learning new stuff.

 

Record yourself, and then listen back months later to hear how much better than you were you are now.

 

And I repeat (because I can't stress it enough), keep it FUN.

 

I love this quote from Serge Rachmaninoff, "Music is enough for a lifetime - but a lifetime is not enough for music."

 

My take on that quote is that I could live to be 100 years old, and there will still be more to learn than I know. That's the reason why music will last me until I go to the great gig in the sky. There will always be a new discovery waiting for me to find it, all I have to do is keep looking. And discovering new things is what keeps music from being boring and mundane. I'll never know it all, and that's fine with me.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see... there's a few things that get me going when I'm in the inevitible funk:

 

1. Picking up a guitar magazine. I try to find one with at least one (but preferably more than one) song that I know and like. But usually, it's the lessons and interviews I get the most out of. The lessons will often show me a new way to approach an old song. Or maybe they'll give me inspiration for a songwriting session. The interviews help me see what goes on in the pros heads and helps me to think more like a guitarist. And of course, there's new songs to learn

 

2. Listening to some new music. Sometimes by listening to what other folks are doing, you can get inspiration. It's easy to forget that a good part of becoming a better musician is listening to musicians. And don't be afraid to get something from an unfamiliar genre. It may open your mind to new playing styles or techniques. Or at least give you some new stuff to freshen up your mind.

 

3. Instructional books. I've never actually finished one, but every instructional book I've bought has given me at least one or two new tools in the guitar skills. And you can go back to them when you're in your next funk. Two of the best I ever got were "Blues Lick Factory" and some 1950's-era jazz-instruction book.

 

4. Jamming with others. Like the other folks have said, this can get the creative juices flowing. Often bandmates will feed off of each other making the whole much greater than the sum of its parts. If nothing else, bands often bring new songs for learning to the table.

 

5. Change instruments or strings. When I find myself not being able to get the sound I want out of my guitar, usually a string change will bring new life into it. It's crazy how often it's dead strings bringing me down. In a similar vein, if I'm not happy playing my LP, I might mess with the Strat for a few days. Or switch from electric to acoustic. Or play bass a while. Also, when playing guitar by itself gets stale, try singing while playing. Anything fresh can help.

 

 

But, yeah, like everyone has been saying, this sort of thing happens. Best thing to do is not let yourself be too discouraged. Keep playing, keep expanding, keep learning. There's so much out there that even the pros can learn new techniques or styles or whatever to make them better musicians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First of all' date=' let me compliment you on your screen name. I've been here a few months, and have seen it up there. Always pronouncing the Sheik as "ShEEk". The other day I was driving to a gig, sitting at a traffic light and all of a sudden your screen name popped into my head, and Sheik was pronounced "Shake". I laughed out loud, partly because it's a great pun and partly because it took me months to get it. Thanks.[/quote']

 

Same here! I finally caught on some time last month, and it gave me quite a giggle.

 

Good one Sheik!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahhhhm Guy's lets not give him too much credit Sheik Yerbouti is a Frank Zappa album!!!

 

And one of my favorites too. "I have been in you", "Flakes", "Broken Hearts are for *ssholes", and "Dancin' Fool" are Great songs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahhhhm Guy's lets not give him too much credit Sheik Yerbouti is a Frank Zappa album!!!

 

I never, ever laid claim to it, never. I thought it was clever and I thought I'd use it, been using it for online gaming and forums since 1995. Been a FZ fan for a long time, And Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch is one hell of a long name. Although I do dig the moniker Yellow Shark..

Anyway, thank you very much for the advice and support. I think if I play a few songs I know I can play and move forward by baby steps it won't be so intimidating or discouraging.

*note to self, respond to litigation by Mrs. Zappa about use of name...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahhhhm Guy's lets not give him too much credit Sheik Yerbouti is a Frank Zappa album!!!

 

I never got into Zappa very much. Heard him on "underground radio" in the day, and could appreciate his talent, but musically he didn't speak to me.

 

Notes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I never' date=' ever laid claim to it, never. I thought it was clever and I thought I'd use it, been using it for online gaming and forums since 1995. Been a FZ fan for a long time, And Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch is one hell of a long name. Although I do dig the moniker Yellow Shark..

Anyway, thank you very much for the advice and support. I think if I play a few songs I know I can play and move forward by baby steps it won't be so intimidating or discouraging.

*note to self, respond to litigation by Mrs. Zappa about use of name...[/quote']

 

Nah I think it's great too...I'm a Zappa fan as well...just wanted to clue some of the other guys in as to where the moniker originated that's all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw "Ohio Players" in the topic post, the mere mention alone was a funky groove vibe flashback, so I just had to tune in. Sugerfoot's 'fro itself was a sight worth a ticket. However, the Zappa clan never did it for me either "Notes" (apologies Sheik).

 

Sheik -- If you are self-taught (or mostly so) DISCIPLINE is one of the key ingredients and it is the one most ignored. You simply have to play, play something-anything, even when it doesn't sound like you want it to and even most of those time when you don't really feel like playing. If you have a practice regimen (that's especially good for when you feel you're making progress) -- but throw the regimen out the window when you are bored and mix it up when you feel bogged down. Try something new; scales, chords, techniques, music genre, etc. - or go back to something you did/are doing well already and hone it even more. BUT PLAY!

 

YOU HAVE TO PLAY -- if you truly love guitar, as you play before you know it you will find new inspiration, challenge, progress, something and then suddenly you are motivated all over again. I try never to let my guitar sit idle for more than 1 day. Even if I just pick it up to admire it or to polish it a little, I find myself playing a note or a triplet, and then a bend and a run and a progression....

 

I have always just supposed that music teachers tell students what I have said about this: I don't know, I've never had one, per se. On the other hand, I could say that everyone who plays has been my teacher because I have learned something from every player that has crossed paths or airwaves to reach me. BUT PLAY MAN! You have to PLAY, and that is why I always say...

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby, I'm going to play on:-"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone hits plateaus every now and then, Sheik... You've gotten a lot of great advice already.. My personal favorite is playing with others... No matter what kind of music, or skill level... I also like to learn new songs when I start feeling kind of inert... Pick something that you normally wouldn't choose to play.. I think jazz will just add to your frustration, though.. It's like another language.. But I used to collect all kinds of music books by all kinds of artists.. I'd look in used book stores, discount bins, if someone was going to throw it away, I'd take it.. I didn't care who it was.. I didn't care if I even liked it... Learning something outside of your chosen genre can break you out of a rut... You might learn a new chord, or a progression that you never thought of.. Or a melody that just sounds cool... Play around with it.. Make it your own..

 

I also consider it a wasted day if I go to bed without having played a guitar... Even if just for a few minutes..

 

 

 

But if you're gonna give up the guitar.... Can I have your Casino?? [-X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if you're gonna give up the guitar.... Can I have your Casino?? O:)

 

 

ROFL. Nice try!!!!

8-[=D> =D>

I've taken some of the great advice here and put it to good use. I found myself running late for work this morning because I was working on a blues lick. I always try to at least pick up one of my guitars and hold it briefly and will find myself picking, then strumming even if for a little bit.

And I'm glad someone else dug the hyper funky Ohio Players. I think I like funk more than I know.

 

Lerxst, if you like I have some really nice pics of the Casino...:-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learn the scales for the music you want to play. Practice them for a few minutes every time you sit down. Pick out a few of your favorite licks from the guitar players you enjoy listening to. Get the tabs, go to YouTube and find someone who is playing that lick and watch. Do the licks over and over and go to something else. Come back periodically and do them some more. Keep playing them and the scales and realize that the more you repeat them the easier and faster they get. Practice chord changes until you can do them cleanly and effortlessly.

 

USE YOUR PINCKY! You need to use all four fingers when you play guitar solos. If you don't, you will find yourself stretching to reach things that would be easy with the four finger method. You will see a lot of famous guitar players who are three finger players, but the best ones use all four.

 

Learn all the notes on the fingerboard. Learn to switch quickly from position to position on the neck and learn all the box patterns for scales and their extensions. Pick something that is hard to play and do it as an exercise. Know that repitition will make you improve.

 

And, I can't say enough about YouTube. Search for general guitar instruction and solos under the name of the song. It's like having a friend you can watch and learn from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, got past the plateau and back to the joy of playing and learning again. I knew it would pass, just bummed it happened so soon. Going to a training class and thinking about bringing my dot studio and vox amplug with me, rather than sit in front of a hotel tv.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...