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Thread: Motivation

  1. #1
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    Default Motivation

    Hi all,

    Don't know how many folks are still lurking around here, but here it goes. I haven't really been playing guitar much, really over the past year. It's not really a lack of time. I just haven't. I wanted to do something that would re-motivate me to play and possibly add some incentive. Something that got me thinking are the Fender Deluxe Strats/Nashville Teles. I like the flatter fretboard, bigger frets, noiseless pickups, etc. I think either would complement my Jackson well. Of course, there's no point in even thinking about getting one if it's just going to gather dust.

    I've tried different things to improve my soloing speed in the past. It has become abundantly clear that I just don't have the manual dexterity to be a shredder. Only took me 50 years to admit that. So saying "if I can play such and such screaming solo by such and such date" is really out of the question. My thought was to learn a group of songs, mainly rhythm but also possibly the solo, assuming it isn't too technically adventurous. Assuming I would accomplish this by a certain date, then maybe look at getting one of those as a "reward." Then I know I'd be playing it and I might even be able to convince my wife to allow it. I could also start saving/looking for a good used one.

    I do enjoy playing, but I've just found it way easier to pick up a PS4 controller and play a game rather than grab a guitar. I'd like to at least tip the scales a bit.

    Any thoughts? Ideas? Things you've done? I'm all ears.
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, modded Squier '51, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  2. #2
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    Hey Rev,
    I found myself in a similar situation; at a time when I actually had more time to play, I found myself finding other things 'that needed to be done first' that got in the way. Not sure what that's about... But I found myself into a way of working that got me to see that I was really making some progress and developing skills, and soon I was 'going overtime' when I would sit down to play because I was really enjoying it. FWIW, here is what I did that seemed to propel me forward:

    - I worked on these exercises by Quist that are musical and therefore fun to play, but that really develop skills pretty quickly if you play them daily:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxT3AVjVIok Warming up with Mozart
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXHVCxhaIqQ Warming up with Randy Rhodes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-aFdscuzns an arppegiated stretch exercise, but fun to play

    Then I decided to develop a better sense of basic theory using this TrueFire course - very useful, I found - presented in small bites and related to playing
    https://truefire.com/guitar-lessons/...duction/v40732

    I also went back over lessons that I've been working on for a while and paid attention to what the chords were that I was actually playing - it was very satisfying to feel that I was starting to get this under my belt, and it was also hugely useful for understanding what was going on in the rhythm parts that I had been playing, across all kinds of songs.

    Also eye-opening (in a way that got me looking hard at chord structures and related scales on the neck in an interesting way) were some lessons sent by Robert via Master Guitar Academy in December on 'how to play over backing tracks' (these were free, but, Robert, I feel that I owe you for those...).

    Most recently, my brother-in-law has gotten back into playing (he's very good) and wants to come jam with me, so I am now working hard on the various blues rhythm parts that I've worked on over the years. I find that I am paying attention to them in a new way, with the idea that I am going to be playing them with someone - again, that's making me play better and with a new interest in what I am doing, in anticipation.

    As I said, all of these things have pushed me into new territory and to feeling - knowing - that I am really making progress, and at a rate much faster than I have ever experienced - and at 64, that is a good, and unexpected, feeling! All the best to you in getting charged up again and making progress - now put that game controller down!!!

    PS - another strange and unexpected by-product of all this is that I have completely lost any symptoms of GAS. I have actually tried to force myself to look at guitars and gear, and there is just no interest. Finally very satisfied with the guitars that I've ended up keeping and more interested in playing them!
    "GAS never sleeps" - Gil Janus

    "Now you got to pay your dues. Get that axe and play the blues." - Spudman

    Gear: Epiphone Sheraton II, Epiphone Wildkat, Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass, Fender MIM Strat, Tacoma DR-14, Recording King ROS-626, Johnson JR-200 resonator; Fender Super Champ XD amp

  3. #3
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    I think motivation is a big factor in becoming a better player. Motivation leads to practice. So, what motivates you when it comes to music and guitar?

    Goals that can realistically be reached is a good idea to set.

    For many, joining a band or go to open mic night can be a great motivator. Some pressure can be a good thing!

    (Glad you liked the practicing videos, Ted!)
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
    Master Guitar Academy - I also teach via SKYPE.

  4. #4
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    Robert and Ted, thanks for your insight. I would love to be able to jam with someone. I had a situation a few years back where it seemed like that was going to become a reality, and then that person moved and it all fell apart. That would have kept me going--definite goal and definite amount of time to accomplish it.

    The issue is precisely realistic goals. Previously mine weren't. They were well-intentioned and I made a good-faith effort to meet them.They were just beyond my ability. When I was going through the Metal Method materials years ago, that was all divided up nicely into manageable chunks. Since then, I haven't been able to come up with anything. I think I need to make a list of songs to learn and try to set some dates for it.

    In my line of work, everything can change in a heartbeat, but that doesn't mean that I can't set goals and try to achieve them. I thought the guitar might be a good "carrot on a stick" thing in lieu of being able to play with others or anything.
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, modded Squier '51, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  5. #5
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    I also highly recommend you record small pieces frequently. You can and should then also share with other players, to get feedback and encouragement. TheFret is good place to this.

    It could be a few licks, a chord progression, a rawkin' riff, or whatever you want. The point is to do it regularly, and use the recordings as milestones in your progress. You think of it as small puzzle pieces, slowly building something bigger and more complete.

    The other potentially huge benefit is motivation. You'll get encouragement, and you'll start to notice strength and weaknesses in your playing, and you're going to want to redo and redo and improve. That is a great thing!
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
    Master Guitar Academy - I also teach via SKYPE.

  6. #6
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    I know this isn't for everybody, but getting into the DIY side of music electronics really motivated me to play more. Playing through a pedal or an amp that you built yourself is a real kick and prompts a lot of additional playing to find all the new & different sounds that you can produce.
    DVM's Ever-Expanding Gear List:

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  7. #7
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    Very hard to offer you a custom answer. I found myself rather motivated to create new music rather than practising other's tunes. I still do it to be up to date with the repertoire of my two bands but that is just a part of my musical practise.

    For me what I found very refreshing are Open Tunings that opens many new horizons for me to create my music pieces even if I don't play them I'm just very happy to create them I must have composed by now almost twenty of them. If you don't play with a band you can still have lot's of fun with a music software like Garage Band which offers you a custom drummer which I found very good to practise timing and develloping ideas.

    Right now I'm exploring Double Dropped D tuning (DADGBD) which is frequently used by such as Doyle Bramhall II or Neil Young, it opens up new way of playing chords and tons of different riffs which take you away from repeating over and over the same damn licks of standard tuning
    Guitars:
    Fender 1978 Telecaster Thinline Custom USA, Nash TL-72 Thinline Telecaster, American Vintage 57 Reissue Strat, Telecaster Esquire MIJ, Martin J-41 Special, 1933 National Duolian, 1941 National National Tricone 1933 (Baritone neck)

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  8. #8
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    Thanks Jipes and DVM,

    I think as far as electronics go, modding the guitar's pickups, pots, etc. is about as deep as I really want to go. What you've suggested, Jipes, is something I've heard from many others. It's great advice for those who play a lot and have run into a rut. Having said that, it's also one of the reasons why I'd like a good hardtail guitar to mess with some of that stuff.

    I think I've got an idea what I'm going to do. I want to give it a couple of days to make sure I'm going to stick with it. It's something I've wanted to do for years, but never got around to. Details (hopefully) to follow. The good news is that my fingers are a bit tired right now I was also reminded that I really like the sound of my Jet City, especially with my "Thesis 96" DVM OD in front!

    As an aside, I went to the local store where I had once seen that Fender Deluxe Strat, but it must've been sold. I touched the neck on it and realized it would need the fret ends filed back. Unfortunately that seems to be a common refrain around here with Fenders in every price range.
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, modded Squier '51, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  9. #9
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    Well, here's my sister-in-laws new year's resolution 'sword of Damocles'. She gave me $150 bucks to hold onto. She told me that she has to go to her gym regularly each week this month; if she doesn't follow through, I am to send her $150 to the re-election campaign of a certain politician that she detests....! You can, of course, choose your own poison with this scheme. Maybe your deal could be that if you follow through and get the money back, you can use it on a new guitar ...
    "GAS never sleeps" - Gil Janus

    "Now you got to pay your dues. Get that axe and play the blues." - Spudman

    Gear: Epiphone Sheraton II, Epiphone Wildkat, Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass, Fender MIM Strat, Tacoma DR-14, Recording King ROS-626, Johnson JR-200 resonator; Fender Super Champ XD amp

  10. #10
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    What did you think of my comments, Marnold?
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
    Master Guitar Academy - I also teach via SKYPE.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    What did you think of my comments, Marnold?
    Hmm. I thought I had responded. Apparently I hadn't. But I agree. I've been wanting to do some recording ever since I got my Rode NT-USB mic. I've only used it to record my voice for radio broadcasts. The big thing will be dealing with the level without clipping since obviously my amph will be much louder than my voice. Audacity should be able to handle it.
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, modded Squier '51, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  12. #12
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    Just keep the input level below -15 DB at the highest peak. Around -18 is recommended. Read this article - https://ledgernote.com/columns/studi...dio-recording/
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
    Master Guitar Academy - I also teach via SKYPE.

  13. #13
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    Well, that is good to know - based on my analog past, I have set my digital recorder for just below 0db...
    "GAS never sleeps" - Gil Janus

    "Now you got to pay your dues. Get that axe and play the blues." - Spudman

    Gear: Epiphone Sheraton II, Epiphone Wildkat, Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass, Fender MIM Strat, Tacoma DR-14, Recording King ROS-626, Johnson JR-200 resonator; Fender Super Champ XD amp

  14. #14
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    Hy guys haven't been around for a while . I am suffering the same issue. I had some serious health issues that I had to do 6 months of Chemo. That gave me neuropathy of the fingers. I could not even do up a button. Of course I panicked and decided to sell off my collection so my wife would not be stuck with them. I stopped playing and sold a lot of my guitars. That was five years ago! I finally came to my senses and realized after 10 or 11 semi annual follow ups I wasn't going to go anywhere, if you know what I mean. I went back to my guitar room and started to play again. I have regained 98% of my dexterity in my fingers and was surprised how quickly I was able to get back to where I was then. BUT I really have no motivation to keep going . I kept most of my really good guitars and have no desire to buy anything new. So I am also looking for motivation to have a breakthrough to get beyond my current level. My focus for the last five years has been health. Now I am probably in better shape at 71 than I was in my 40s. My hang up is chords. I do nothing but solo. In a blues call and response setting playing to backing tracks . This might be just what I need. I might have answered my question.
    Any way just thought I would say hello.
    The Blues is alright!

    Guitars: 1968 Gibson SG, 2005 Gibson SG Standard, 2006 Gibson LP Classic Gold top, 2004 Epiphone Elitist LP Custom, 1996 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 2001 Epiphone Sheraton II, 2007 Epiphone G400.
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  15. #15
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    Really happy to hear that you've seen the end of the tunnel and that you went back to play guitar ! HAve you never been interested in playing bottleneck ? It can also be a great way to start something fresh and not so demanding as you can do easy licks with open tunings
    Guitars:
    Fender 1978 Telecaster Thinline Custom USA, Nash TL-72 Thinline Telecaster, American Vintage 57 Reissue Strat, Telecaster Esquire MIJ, Martin J-41 Special, 1933 National Duolian, 1941 National National Tricone 1933 (Baritone neck)

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    Tweed Vibrolux Custom Denis Manlay, Fender Deluxe Reverb Silverface (1976)

  16. #16
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    Hey Zman! Glad to hear that most of your dexterity has returned! I've been enjoying playing and actually made some progress but I ran into a problem: pain in my left elbow. From some research it is not unheard of for guitar players. I've got some stretches and have been cutting back a little bit. Oddly enough, it never hurts when I'm playing. It's always after the fact. I did something to it a couple of years ago when I was helping move my son out of the dorm. Rest took care of that but I don't want to quit completely.

    Update: Figured out what the problem was. In the solo I am learning there is a fast legato line running from the seventh fret to the nut. I practiced it A LOT to get it clean at speed. It is obvious that that was taxing those muscles/tendons too much. I'll lay off that part of the lick for a while. For the first time in a long time I really want to play!
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, modded Squier '51, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  17. #17
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    Good news all around! Glad to hear from you Zman, and to hear that you've rounded the bend on the health challenges AND gotten back into playing. I finally got tired of the lick-playing-only stage and started to be convinced that all of us git players like the idea of the 'screaming solo', but that the majority of playing in reality is rhythm. One great way into that, and into learning interesting and useful chords in a blues context (all of which combine a rhythm part and licks/solos) was lessons like Robert's 'Bar Blues', 'Hendrix chording lesson' and 'Rhythm-Licks 4'. Another favorite is David Hamburger's Truefire course 'Blues Alchemy'.

    Rev - this says it all: "For the first time in a long time I really want to play!" Bravo!
    "GAS never sleeps" - Gil Janus

    "Now you got to pay your dues. Get that axe and play the blues." - Spudman

    Gear: Epiphone Sheraton II, Epiphone Wildkat, Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass, Fender MIM Strat, Tacoma DR-14, Recording King ROS-626, Johnson JR-200 resonator; Fender Super Champ XD amp

  18. #18
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    Rev, you know what motivates me? Going to a stellar concert performance and coming back all pump up. You know what else motivates me? Playing great music with friends. The list is long...getting old, favorite hardware to work again, a new sound altering device that puts a big shit-eating grin on my face. Oh my...I hope like Stella, you get your groove back.

    Rock on, sir!
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    -Pete

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