Seriously thinking of quiting for good - Need advice please :(

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by eightsixboy, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Zender

    Zender Tinkering, please hold.

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    Might I suggest an interesting book to read: Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo.

    It deals a lot with the "internal struggles" guitarists have, and why we do what we do. It really helped me in finding my way with guitars. (Although I mist confess, I was already into Zen. I might be a bit biased.)
    It's a thin book, and can probably be found cheap. It takes about two-three hours to read cover to cover, and a few days to think about. You loose a few hours, and might gain some benefits from it. Just seeing it on my shelf sometimes helps me when practicing.
     
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  2. Ancestor

    Ancestor Contributor

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    Everyone has good days and bad days. There's nothing wrong with giving it up if you just don't want to play anymore. But if your goal is to become "technical" you will have to play at least a couple hours every day. And real practice is not the same as playing. It's not fun. Nothing like that comes easily.
     
  3. EverDream

    EverDream SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to agree with Zender's suggestion.

    I haven't read about Zen, but I have discovered some things just from being observant in my own practices. Learning how to let go of your thoughts, and instead focus on feeling is probably exactly what would help you the most.

    If you imagine that there is an energy force that will assist you (kinda like star wars, lol)... but how much it assists you depends on how much you let go of your thoughts and just focus only on feeling. Do an exercise where you don't have to think, and just focus on feeling. Focus on your breathing too.

    So... the more you focus on feeling, the more this energy force will assist you. So once you do notice it coming easier, here's the key... don't think of it in a way where it's like: "I did better on my own", instead think of it in the way where it's like: "the energy assisted me because I allowed it to". Keep in mind this isn't Zen teachings I'm basing this off of, just telling you what I've noticed that helps me, although I think Zen has something to do with energy as well, so I might not be too far off.

    So yeah I would agree you should read that book that Zender suggested, it will probably be just what you needed! Another thing you might want to research is Transcendental Meditation.

    But like someone else said earlier in this thread, you should be comfortable when playing the guitar, if there is any discomfort, it WILL prevent (or at least hinder) you from playing well, even if you do the things I suggested. So make sure you are playing on a guitar that is as comfortable as possible, and try to solve any pain or discomfort in your body as well.

    Think less, and feel more, and then... the force will be with you. lol ;)
     
  4. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    I think we all feel like this somedays, I bet even Petrucci would echo the same sentiment. What works for me when I start getting frustrated with some technique or song, I switch things up completely. I was working really hard on some technique exercise, and ultimately couldn't get the tempo up. It was making me furious. I put that guitar down, grabbed my acoustic, and started working on John Mayer stuff. After a few days of working through some of his tunes, I went back to my other guitar and things started to click. I think it's important not to get hung up on one thing, and let our brain go and try something else that is still challenging, yet different.

    I was the same as you, I gauged my skill on being the next Petrucci, and it's just never going to happen. And that's ok. I have limitations and I've learned to accept that. I enjoy playing more now because of that. I still challenge myself because even at 32, I want to be better, but I've come to respect the fact that I won't be the next Guthrie Govan or Julian Lage.
     
  5. Jeesan

    Jeesan Regular

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    I quit playing last year...much happier as a person now.

    While i was playing, i had that competitive mindset where i was dedicating an hour or 2 a day to practice to get proficient. But that improvement was super slow. Hated that feeling especially cause your identity as a guitarist shatters when a kid comes along and blows you away with their capabilities.

    Now, i let that go. Dont play the guitar anymore. live with a little less stress. commute to work is a bitch enough.
     
  6. extendedsolo

    extendedsolo SS.org Regular

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    Right, but guitar and music isn't a sport. I can't tell you how many kids I see on the internet that are probably better than me. There are so many guys younger than me that surpass me on every level. I don't really care. Music is about expression and joy, not about who can sweep 1000 miles or an hour or who knows the most complex riff. Another thing about many young guitar players is that it's impressive yes that they are 12, but imagine them as a 35-year-old. Is it all of a sudden impressive? Unlikely. I would never say anything bad about them and it is impressive they have achieved a proficiency at a young age, but unless they are doing something new, that's where it ends for me. If the only thing they have going for them is their age and not their music it's just kinda like "yeah I've seen a million child prodigies".
    I've also been trying to hear music from a nonmusicians perspective and it's so freeing, really brought out the fact that no one cares about sweep picking or how fast you can play a metal song.
     
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  7. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Sometimes you reach your pique speed, happens.
    Happened to me about 20 years ago after I had been playing for 20 years before that.
    What's more important isn't the speed, but the quality of your speed as far as speed is concerned. If you're playing cleanly, efficiently & using good technique to avoid latency, i.e.; keeping your fingers close to the fingerboard, so they barely lift off of the string before fretting the next note, things like that can improve the quality of your playing, and avoid injury.
    The other thing that is more important is that you notice growth in your songwriting quality.
    I'm 52 years old, have been playing for 45 of those years, and I am a far better player today than I was 20 years ago when I piqued at my top speed.
    Heck, look at Glenn Tipton. He hasn't gotten any faster, but he has definitely maintained his speed over the years, and I would credit good efficient technique as a large contributor to that.
    Frank Gambale's first video, Speed Picking changed my technique when I was in my early/mid 20's. I used poor technique for years, then I got his VHS back then. I relearned my whole physicality of playing. I started out slower, using good picking technique, and good fretting hand technique. It took me about a year, but I noticed that my fingers didn't hardly lift off of the fingerboard anymore, just enough to get out of the way of the string vibrating, to get to the next note. I noticed that my hands didn't get fatigued anymore because I wasn't over exerting my forearms to play faster runs. I play far more relaxed now as I have for 20+ years now, and that translates especially to my fast playing.
     
  8. Jeesan

    Jeesan Regular

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    That's cause you don't care much for technical mastery. Good for you. I get it. C D G and some strums are good enough for music too.
     
  9. 7 Strings of Hate

    7 Strings of Hate Mid-Level Asshole Contributor

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    Quitters gonna quit.
     
  10. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Also, this isn't a trade that is built around technical prowess. It's a trade that is built around songs. You can be technically great, but lacking in songwriting. You have to write bad songs in order to grow into writing good songs. It's all part of the journey. Practice and write. Lather, rinse, repeat. Technique will ultimately translate into efficiency, which will aid the health of your hands, resulting in the longevity of playing. Longevity will express itself in growth, and the value of that journey expresses itself in a continued increase in quality.

    Don't miss the point of music just for the sake of being an impressive shredder.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  11. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    As with every creative field, it is not a bad idea to take space from what you're involved in. This whole swearing off guitar sounds melodramatic. Just put it down for awhile, try another mode of creative expression, and if you come back to guitar, it happens, if you don't, it's totally fine.

    If you want to quit because you aren't as good as someone else, you don't love the craft. If you want to quit because you can't produce the same kind of genius as the virtuosos of the past three decades, you need a new perspective.

    So, re-evaluate and relax.
     
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  12. HUGH JAYNUS

    HUGH JAYNUS I’m a grown ass man

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    First off, don’t stress it so much. Remember this is supposed to be fun lol. And taking a break isn’t so bad. I just came off a year-ish break. And also dont over practice. That was a huge issue for me back when i was in my band. I didn’t need as much practice as the rest of the guys. I actually did worse when I practiced too often.

    Sounds like you just need to shake things up. Learn some new material or techniques just for funsies. It really helps keep shiz from getting stale.

    And sometimes the thing is gonna kick your ass. It just happens
     
  13. Buffnuggler

    Buffnuggler SS.org Regular

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    It sounds to me like you need to refine your technique. You shouldn't be getting sore/cramps/pain really. That points to bad technique. It's important to build technique from the ground up with a metronome and train the small muscles in your hands to work up to speeds. That way you eliminate tension from your playing. The inconsistency in tackling difficult songs, some days better than others, that points to me to unrefined technique. And then the fact that this frustrates you and you seem to want a quick fix also points to bad technique.

    You don't want to "fake it" where you just pick as fast as you can or practice one song until you can get it close with a bunch of gain. You want to take hard passages and build up very slowly to playing them with zero tension in your hands and no mistakes. Then you up the metronome. It sucks and its boring and it takes about 2 years to get there but it's how every top tier shredder has done it and then once you get there you have to maintain it daily. Anything else will trash your hands in the long run.

    My advice would be to go back to the woodshed or focus on other aspects of your playing and use "fake" speed sparingly. Tons incredible players do this, it's only the Petrucci level shred stuff where you really have to woodshed. Also be sure to stretch and warm up etc.

    Hope this is some help!!!
     
  14. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Did he quit or stick it out yet?
     
  15. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    I don't play nearly as much as I used to, but since going to music school I've turned away from "i have to be the next Paul Gilbert" mindset and really just focused on more simple, tasty melodic lines, and I find that to be just as satisfying, if not more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  16. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    Still going, sorry should have replied to the thread. Thanks for everyone's comments.

    I am now experimenting playing without a pick or when I use a pick, picking Steve Morse style as if forces me to not try and not play super fast.

    I've noticed when playing without a pick my playing and phrasing has changed heaps, I feel like a better player overall now. I think most players, like myself, when they get in that shreddy mindset only play a certain way and focus to much on technique. I'm trying to learn to play slower and be a bit more different.
     

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