Tips for motivation?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by kchay, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. kchay

    kchay SS.org Regular

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    I figured I'd make a post about this. I've been struggling to really get motivated on playing or writing for years now, and it's seemingly getting worse. I don't really know what to do in regards to making practice less of a chore; I used to play a fair bit, and I'll go through phases of playing, then I'll burn out and not touch it for weeks on end.
     
  2. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    There were lots of points talking about motivation and songwriting in this thread: Songwriting Woes.

    I highly recommend reading through it!
     
  3. Tonal_Blasphemy

    Tonal_Blasphemy SS.org Regular

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    Hrmm. Are you enjoying playing anymore? Have you thought about remembering what motivated you to play in the first place? Have you thought about seeking a more skilled player to help get you motivated again? Someone that can show you new content. I'm not talking a little better, I'm talking a lot better.
    Maybe reach out of the forums. See if someone will hook up with you over skype. They might be able to critique your work or push you in new directions. Playing with others hardly ever helps me because I'm socially awkward. I do ok over skype though.

    For me I've noticed I work hard on my scales and runs but they never sound like other peoples. I grind away and never get that traditional sound I'm accustomed to hearing. I'm starting to think it's just my style and maybe I should embrace it.

    Music is a reflection of your inner self. If you're struggling to write music, you might not have anything to say or express on your instrument.

    Do you suffer with depression? Most guitar players that walk away for long periods of time tend to be depressed.

    Seek skilled guidance it will help. Good luck.
     
  4. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Get a bass! It's like a guitar, but it's not just like a guitar. You basically know how to play it already, even if you're not that good at playing. Use your fingers instead of a pick, to make it even differenter. Suddenly, you've got a whole new range tones to be fickle over, you've got a whole new technique to work on with your right hand, you've got a whole new approach to writing music because you can't just play it the same as you would a guitar. Well... you can, but results are often less than desirable.

    Idk, I just recently picked up a bass a couple months ago and I'm still excited about it. Just an idea!
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I know this is heartbreaking, but maybe, if you don't enjoy playing, simply stop playing. It's an art form and a means of expression. If you don't enjoy it, maybe it's not worth doing.

    The only reason to play guitar is to get enjoyment out of it. If you think it'll get you laid or get you rich, you're dreaming. I suppose once that is gone, then that's that.

    On the other hand, if you give it up, and then you find out that you miss it, you should come back with a stronger appreciation of it, which will motivate you.
     
  6. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    I would recommend learning a song (or parts of one) from a band you love.

    I don't know what bands you listen to, but I am learning "It's Not Safe to Swim Today" by Veil Of Maya. Even though I am still trying to get my playing up to speed with Marc (so fast), I have already seen great results because of it.

    I was in the same spot as you but after learning a song that's not mine and making those "ah-hah!" connections to their playing, I've already come up with 4 or 5 cool/unique riffs that I am proud of.
     
  7. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    go out with a girl who previously dated a much better musician than you. Your underlying feeling of inadequacy will motivate you.
     
  8. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    I would also recommend playing with other musicians if you get the chance.
     
  9. takotakumi

    takotakumi SS.org Regular

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    Go watch a band you really like live. Going to shows definitively motivates me a lot aside from having an amazing time.
     
  10. Crescendo

    Crescendo Surgical

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    Important tip: If you don't already jam with someone else (find a drummer?), do it. There's that excitement you get when you get to play with someone else, or to someone, and you don't get that when you noodle your guitar alone. Suddenly, it makes sense for you to play the guitar.
     
  11. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    This.

    Playing alone in your room is not bad, but far from ideal. Music is art, it is studying, it is commitment, but it is also fun and being part of a group/band, even a duo, makes it more exciting.

    Been there, done that. Stopped playing for a couple of years, joined an acoustic duo (a trio with me) to play ukulele. I fell in love with music again.
     
  12. kchay

    kchay SS.org Regular

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    I've asked around a little bit and the suggestions are appreciated. I'll look through the first link.

    I've been diagnosed with depression and struggled with it for most of my life. I've got no awareness of why I exactly started playing, either. Just did.

    I find that I have some brief periods of "ok, I might play and learn something cool" but it's not quite the same feeling I used to have with learning (sitting and learning for hours on end).

    I also don't seem to get the same enjoyment of playing with others that everyone else does. I don't get the appeal- tried a live band thing with some uni mates and the last time I played, I felt terrible. Haven't played live since.

    I've only really been putting stuff out on YouTube, so it's not like my playing really has an outlet anymore. Writing doesn't give a big kick either, so I'm a little lost. Just feels stupid to quit when it's the only thing I feel I have going for me at this point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  13. Tonal_Blasphemy

    Tonal_Blasphemy SS.org Regular

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    I was getting some of that just from reading your post. I don't do well playing with others , but I like learning from others. Have you considered starting a one man project? Not sure what styles of music you're into. A one man metal project could be fun. Do you play any other instruments?

    Depression distorts everything we see. It can also be an amazing outlet for creativity. :lol:

    Good luck.
     
  14. kchay

    kchay SS.org Regular

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    I have considered it, but again, writing in itself is no fun to me really either. I don't feel like there's anything genuinely interesting to express, so I don't see the point right now.

    I just play guitar, dabbled with bass but yeah.

    I guess hah. It's made me think oddly.

    Thanks.
     
  15. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Pack it up, put it in storage, get back into it when the time comes. Unless all guitars suddenly disappear, you can get back into it when you want to. Just don't sell it off - you'll end up buying gear back later.
     
  16. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    Best thing for me was getting a Roland JD XI. Comes with a drum machine, and the sequencer is capable of playing that, along with two digital synth sounds and one analogue. It's a REAL handy tool for putting together some simple loops and building a song, sometimes almost by complete accident- I've run into several moments where I'm literally just screwing around making absurd noisy atonal crap, but then I'll switch that sequence over to another patch and realise "Hey, this sounds pretty cool... Lemmie add a beat to that..."

    If you take that same idea, maybe get yourself a drum machine, some recording equipment, some other instruments, and just start putting things together piece by piece, you might be surprised what you come up with. Record a basic loop or something, eventually you'll get a feel for what kind of beat you want, and you might find yourself thinking "Well, this is cool, but it could use something more..." and you'll wind up adding more instruments on top of that.

    Even if it doesn't come out sounding like an amazing work of art, and you never release it, that's some songwriting experience under your belt, and the more you keep at it, the more you build off of it.
     
  17. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    [​IMG]

    ya dig?
     
  18. Crescendo

    Crescendo Surgical

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    You answered your own question then. Depression is a bottomless pit that sucks the lifeforce out of you, therefore you lose interest in hobbies, and you might start looking for wrong solutions, because you're forgetting about the root of your problem. Stop chasing your own tail, and give professional and medical help a chance.
     
  19. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    This should get a million likes. If you know that you're depressed then you should go get professional help. Pronto.

    Having been in a similar situation, the only other piece of advice I dare give is that don't quit music completely. Giving up on your hobbies/friends/degree gets rid of your motivational problem, but it leaves you with a far greater problem - what are you going to do instead? That quote from you is actually incredibly insightful and I just wanted to point it out.

    Just don't give up, buddy. We're here for ya.
     
  20. kchay

    kchay SS.org Regular

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    Have already given it a chance. Been on several different antidepressants and sought counselling. The counselling just got too expensive to maintain, and the antidepressants, whilst helpful, just served to make everything very bland (got me into suicidal moods too). Not really worth it for me.

    That's not to say I'm dismissing the idea down the line. It's just a matter of cost, really. I'm hoping someone had a different idea I hadn't heard before that I could chase; planning to go travel a little bit and see things. I don't really actively believe in a "cure" so much anymore; I just don't see it ending.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017

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