Slump.....How long this time?

AXEnGEAR4J

Senior Member
Messages
5,898
As all musicians know there are periods of time when your mind is either not in the creative mode and even to the point of not enjoying to play. Life events either get in the way whether its time, health, loss, mood etc.. The best music in the world was created from the experience of major life events.

Having been through a bucket full of major life events for the past 5 years my creativity and desire has diminished substantially.

I would like to hear how other pull themselves out of the slump to find the desire which coincides with motivation.
 

thecornman

Senior Member
Messages
2,428
I got out of my slump of not being overly inspired to play guitar anymore after 30 years of doing it by embracing synthesizer music after rejecting it for so long! Best thing I could have done. Have not been able to stop creating music since.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,712
As all musicians know there are periods of time when your mind is either not in the creative mode and even to the point of not enjoying to play. Life events either get in the way whether its time, health, loss, mood etc.. The best music in the world was created from the experience of major life events.

Having been through a bucket full of major life events for the past 5 years my creativity and desire has diminished substantially.

I would like to hear how other pull themselves out of the slump to find the desire which coincides with motivation.

Great question! Wish I had a concrete answer. From my own experience, I know that feeling where you are home, but worn out, or emotionally beat down or stressed. You think about playing and then realize you can't even get your mind off all the crap stressing you. Those are the worst times for me to pick up the guitar with the intent of specific practice, because what comes out of me is a distracted mess of notes.

Sometimes in that cases I just pick up the guitar with no goal or intent and just start playing slowly and just explore guitar sounds. I'll often start finding myself just freely roaming the guitar and some stuff starts coming out that the notes are ringing, two or three notes randomly chosen and played together sound weird/cool, etc. before I know it I've been sitting there just free flowing slowly, totally not in time, random stuff turning into ideas.

It's not great "playing" but it just juices me up to fall upon cool sounds from this random search.
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,838
Learning something new really helps, personally and at a collective (band) level.

As a band, we've been together (through various lineup changes) for 12 years.

Around year four we decided we wanted to get much better so we practiced the same 20 or songs every week ...and after a few months we almost broke up because it was so boring.

Now we have a core of about 60 songs and we know another 75+ songs and we learn about 25 new songs (that we like) every year. Our collective enthusiasm is always highest during those new song learning periods.

Same goes for me individually. When I'm learning new material or new ways to improve my playing my interest goes way up.

Also, branch out and listen to other music than you normally do.

-bEn r.
 

Dave2512

Member
Messages
5,795
2012 to now, just starting to commit enough time to playing again to see gains. Which is really just playing into shape. Getting there is like riding a bike it comes back quickly going beyond the previous high mark is tough.
 

headpond

Member
Messages
2,644
I get hit hard with a slump every 3 years. Its some unwritten cycle for me. In the past, I've just put the guitar down for around 3 weeks and proceeded to give myself a chemical lobotomy. Then I'll return, crack open the case, and it's like seeing a long lost friend again.
 

dansworld

Senior Member
Messages
4,318
Take a break and do something else. Ride a bike, take a trip, read (or write) a memoir, paint a picture, learn how to cook in an ethnic style.

"In order to create one must recreate."
 

AXEnGEAR4J

Senior Member
Messages
5,898
Great question! Wish I had a concrete answer. From my own experience, I know that feeling where you are home, but worn out, or emotionally beat down or stressed. You think about playing and then realize you can't even get your mind off all the crap stressing you. Those are the worst times for me to pick up the guitar with the intent of specific practice, because what comes out of me is a distracted mess of notes.

Sometimes in that cases I just pick up the guitar with no goal or intent and just start playing slowly and just explore guitar sounds. I'll often start finding myself just freely roaming the guitar and some stuff starts coming out that the notes are ringing, two or three notes randomly chosen and played together sound weird/cool, etc. before I know it I've been sitting there just free flowing slowly, totally not in time, random stuff turning into ideas.

It's not great "playing" but it just juices me up to fall upon cool sounds from this random search.


I concur! Some of my best music comes from exactly that, if I can remember it that is which is another topic I would like to post.
When the feelings of sadness surround you, that first step is sometimes the hardest.
Sometimes I feel it's guilt because of the joy it brings when surrounded by those close who have very unfortunate devastating situations.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,712
I concur! Some of my best music comes from exactly that, if I can remember it that is which is another topic I would like to post.
When the feelings of sadness surround you, that first step is sometimes the hardest.
Sometimes I feel it's guilt because of the joy it brings when surrounded by those close who have very unfortunate devastating situations.

Yeah man, the guilt part is tough when others are really hurting, that is for sure :(
 
Messages
2,729
I got out of my slump of not being overly inspired to play guitar anymore after 30 years of doing it by embracing synthesizer music after rejecting it for so long! Best thing I could have done. Have not been able to stop creating music since.

I've been thinking about this. I get drepressed due to pain in my left (fretting) hand after playing guitar or bass a few days in a row, and then lay off for weeks. I wonder if it would still happen playing keys - your wrist bends the other way, which is a good part of the pain I feel. (I suppose some early arthritis in the fingers is going on too).
 

thecornman

Senior Member
Messages
2,428
I've been thinking about this. I get drepressed due to pain in my left (fretting) hand after playing guitar or bass a few days in a row, and then lay off for weeks. I wonder if it would still happen playing keys - your wrist bends the other way, which is a good part of the pain I feel. (I suppose some early arthritis in the fingers is going on too).

I have been fighting arthritis for most of my life! Thanks mom and dad. I have always just had to play through the pain and it is what it is. I still feel it when playing keyboards, but the nice thing about synths is you can punch patterns into sequencers and let them do a lot of the work so if you are in to much pain you still will have the abilty to make music.
 

Lance

Member
Messages
10,867
Maybe try a new guit gadget. Something really different. Like one of those whack-a-do Electro Harmonix pedals.

Quite often I am unable to play because of health issues, and my back just screams, "Nope. You'd best put that thing down, and I mean RIGHT NOW!" This happens a lot and I have only been practicing for like 3 - 4 hours per week. Man, that used be just Saturday morning before this back issue happened. It's been about 3.5 years since it all started.

Or, like the cornman suggested. Try a different instrument that has always interested you, but you never got around to. I'd do that myself, but what I want is an old Hammond B3 & leslie cabs. Definitely do not have the space for that. I went and bought a cheap Yamaha digital keyboard, and started doing some really different things. I'm a bit of a delay junkie. I would run the keyboard through my guitar rig and using two stereo rack delays, I would just do like a Karate chop of one hand on the white keys & the other on the black keys in rapid succession in time with the panning stereo delays set to all kinds of really weird, neato sounds. Oh, and that's with a marimba patch, btw.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
Listen to, learn from, and play music outside of the comfort zone. Learn a new instrument. Listen. Listening, critically and for pleasure, might possibly be the single most important thing that musicians can do.

The wackiest rut buster I ever did was also among the most effective. I strung up a couple of beater guitars as three stringers. One had the low E, D, & B strings. The other had the A, G, and high E strings. I worked out for about an hour on each instrument. I would improvise with various stuff for a while, and then attempt to play some facsimile of my parts for songs that I did with the original pop rock band I was with at the time. Then I'd pick up the other three stringer and do the same. After a couple of hours I'd pick up a complete six stringer, and my approach and visualization was radically different. This was my routine for several months. It busted the rut.

In retrospect, this helped me both practically and creatively. It made me more able to create parts on the fly and be less panic stricken when I'd pop a string mid-song at a show. Improvisationally, it sparked an interest in octave displacement, and allowed me to see intervals on string sets that I'd previously not. It also forced me to become adept at playing melodies on a single string, an application which I find to be incredibly useful, in everything from playing slide to using an E-bow.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,550
1. A new gadget (something that inspires or points you in a new direction)
2. A new tuning or another stringed instrument like bass, mandolin, ukulele
3. A new hobby involving hard physical effort
 

s2y

Member
Messages
20,603
I'm in a bandless slump at the moment due to kids and work.

1. Listen to different music and see what grabs you.
2. Get some courses (like True Fire) that interest you.
3. Try a new tuning.
4. Go to the occasional jam session.
 




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