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Slump... sigh

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by bobbypols, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. bobbypols

    bobbypols Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Well, two weeks ago I went to a jam, and I was smokin - chops and all. Even my practice regime performance was as if my fingers were light as air and deadly accurate. Two weeks later, Im nothing what I was two weeks ago. The metronome is at least ten bpm behind on all exercises, and my jamming is more stiff, and lack confidence. Anyone else feel my pain... just shouting out i guess? Man i hate slumps, any advice to get back up to optimal performance???

  2. ksuaggie

    ksuaggie Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    The wife and I were talking last night about our daughter and her gymnastics class. She had done some spectacular move last week, but couldn't pull it off this week (weekly classes). The instructor said that this isn't unusual, a lot of times she sees students progress, take a small step backwards, and then progress further. Maybe the same is happening to you. Relax, work on something else to take the pressure off yourself, and when you come back to it, you might be surprised.
  3. JamminJeff

    JamminJeff Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Music performance of any kind is cyclical and after years of roller coaster rides, mental blocks, hitting the wall, etc., you just learn to let it pass. Often what's on the other side is a whole new jumping off point. For those of us who practice, rehearse, play almost daily, taking a few days off from an instrument does wonderful things for creativity.

    I don't know if sometimes our natural chemistry is at some low out of balance state or if it's something else. More often than not, our daily destractions drain us more than we acknowledge.

    Playing music is an evolutionary process and I remind myself to be patient. It's not a marathon we're running here. It's also a spiritual kind of thing, especially when in ceative jam session with the right people. Things happen with a right people that are above where we think our skill level it at. The right players can pull things out of us that we didn't know existed. Also being willing to do some pulling. Pushing is not a good idea in music.

    Music is organic but many people are approaching it like math.
  4. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    texas (lots of edible animals)
    i have to agree with everyone else. take a couple of days off. go fishing instead.
  5. ?&!

    ?&! Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I teach 4 nights a week, and I never know what to expect when I pull my guitar out of it's case. Some nights I'm burnin' from the git go, other nights it takes me two hours to even feel remotely warmed up. As ol' EC once said, "It's in the way that you use it, it comes and it goes...".
  6. 5E3

    5E3 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    I think JamminJeff nailed it. I just plow ahead and eventually come out of it. Trying to learn something new always helps me. Hang in there!
  7. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    In a van down by the river
    Well, you can go with the whole "No pain, no gain" sort of mindset which I think is the break thru sort of advice. Or you can go with my new mantra which is "No pain, ....no pain". I find this really suits me best. :D
  8. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    I suspect this is the real reason that musicians get into drugs.
  9. tubetone74

    tubetone74 Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    JamminJeff: Man, I wish I lived near you so we could do some jammin! You struck many "chords" ;} with you points. You summed up what I have also believed about music. Play on brother.
  10. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Yes, JAmminjeff is the man today.

    I like the bit about organic vs math.

    That is so true. I'm having a few issues with our drummer at present, who has the songs of his youth so ingrained in his memory that he can't stand to hear anything different. Me, I like to have a little fun with it.
  11. joemesser

    joemesser Member

    May 13, 2006
    The Great NorthWet
    Surrender to the flow.......
  12. mike walker

    mike walker Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    manchester England
    So, you're in your bedroom (practicing guitar!!) You're flying. Easy. On the gig, you get sausage fingers.
    The fretboard disappears. You try and try to play it like you could in the bedroom. The harder you try, the further away it gets. Then your mind takes over, and whips you thru the supposed ridicule of everyone in that room.
    Next day, in your bedroom, you're flying. But, not trying.
    Energy, and how you conceive it, is a slippery fish. Often a eureka moment just happens, kind of takes us by surprise. We were so relaxed, but we didn't know we were. We just were. No trying.
    When you try and play funky, chances are it'll be less funky. What does that guy say to neo in the matrix? 'Stop trying to hit me, and hit me!!'.
    Keep keeping on. A 'slump' is a body breather, a stock taker, a natural phenomena that happens to all of us. Trick is to see it for what it is, and ride with it. It passes, like a eureka moment, or happiness, or sadness, or whatever.
    So, you're on the gig, flying.

  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Mar 20, 2005

    That's what helps me. Just learn something new. It ignites everything and you'll be good to go.

    For me, it's that I'm never satisfied. I set goals and when I acheive them, I push the bar higher and I'm still not happy. I have to play better in some way, than I did yesterday, It's always a cycle like that.
  14. cugel

    cugel Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    eugene oregon
    i mean i go from day to day
    or morning to afternoon
    one thing is maybe keep track of what you ate drank sleep exercised etc the day/time/gig you smoked/blew.
    i tend to to best when i am sweaty/hot but not after exercising since muscel coordination is way off in the hands sometimes. also a cup of coffeee helps, but a big greasy meal doesnt
    collectively these things affects my my mood though, if i am pissed off/cranky (which is often, i am seeking help...) i dont play well at all. being in a good mood helps me keep trying and staying positive to take risks etc. if i suck after 10 min i get frustrated and stop playing which isnt helpful at all.
    ymmv and IMHO etc
  15. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

    Jul 29, 2005
    K7C 4K8
    I just went through the same think. Sat in on a jam session and stunk the place up, then a week later had a gig where everything fell into place and I was going places musically and chops wise that I hadn't been before.
    I guess you just do the best with whatever you have at any given time.

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