Creativity (How to stay inspired?)

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by superjam144, May 26, 2020.

  1. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Holic

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    How do you keep your imagination/creativity going when playing guitar? What do you do when you are in a slump/rut?

    Players often get stagnant, playing the same riffs/chords over and over again. How do you keep things interesting? How do you keep learning and creating?
     
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  2. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I switch instruments. Guitar to bass.
    Vice versa.
     
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  3. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Don't be that guy....the one who still listens exclusively to his teenaged record collection. (Some of my High School buddies are like that- 45 years later.) Talk about a creative block!

    You gotta be open to different stuff- and the adjustments that this demands, to your attitude and technique.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Great question!

    Many answers, hard to detail them.
    One thing is when I feel something I go try to play that feeling.
    Another thing is I look at what I do and find weaknesses to work on, or limitations.

    None of these exactly apply to creativity but they challenge me one way or another, and challenges inspire creativity.
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Damn ain’t that the truth!

    I listen to alt rock radio in the car and get tuned in to new stuff here now and then. I half hope to play music that I want to hear and sometimes pull it off, but I get bored easily which is not an asset.
    Funny, my wife surprised me by buying the time life box set of all the Midnight Special TV shows, all live 70s Soul bands.
    Might get some inspiration there!
     
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  6. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    because I am not all too gifted a musician, EVERYTHING is beautiful and mysterious and awesome, when I string some chords together and it sounds like music. every little thing I find is just freaking awesome to me. I recently learned that you can play a c major scale over a a minor chord and it becomes an a minor scale! that is just incredible to me!

    the universe is an incredible place, man.
     
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  7. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have three guitars and almost never play them (seriously). I'm just not that into it. I like reading about them but I'm not necessarily into playing the instrument. That said, if a chord progression pops into my head that I like, I'll record it to my DAW and develop a song out of it. But there's nothing I do for inspiration. If I'm not inspired, I won't pick the guitar up.
     
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  8. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If I find a line or a riff I want to expand on, I'll make a point of not listening to other music, especially in the car where I do most of my listening.
     
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  9. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I do 3 or 4 different things and not necessarily in this order ,
    1) I will reorganize my gear so I'm not playing the same routines and equipment in the same order forcing me to learn some thing new.
    2) I may listen to music from different cultures to see how they approach their music,
    3) I try to use equipment in new ways to get a different feel eg. I once took a 3 way crossover ran my guitar through it set the crossover points so that I had reverb on the bottom end, chorus /flange on the mids, and full out delay on the top end, it worked but it took alot of tweaking to get it right , so to recap as I played the bottom srtings I got reverb as I moved through the mid I got chorus and flange as I moved to the high end I got major delay.
    4) I avoid sounding like everyone else I try to find my own niche I look for progressions beyond the norm, I'm not fond of jazz but it hasnt stopped me from using jazz voicings insted of major or minors , we arent talking finger pretzels here
    5) failing all of the above I will put it down for a while and pick up a different instrument to get motivated.

    this may not be for everyone but it works for me, LOL:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  10. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I have a couple of suggestions that worked for me.
    • Get out of your box. The blues box had me closed in. Learning country got me past three chords and pentatonic scales.
    • Get out of your mode. I decided to try playing blues in the Dorian mode. What a disaster. But noodling on the scale to learn to heat the mode I came up with a jazz number. I built solos with landing notes in place of resolved chords and learned the mode up and down the neck.
    • Look back at what you were playing years ago. I revisited Jimmy Reed’s Caress Me Baby and figured out how to play it using the Dorian mode. Not only was it not a disaster, I don’t sound like a white guy playing a black guy’s blues.
    • Find a new groove. I was never much for alt or indie styles. I found a few artists and bands I enjoy listening to and started learning new material in a new (to me) style.
    Your rut’s only as deep as you dig it. Climb out before you can’t see over the top.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  11. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Holic

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    Seems like there are a few good ideas here...

    -Try a different instrument
    -Listen to some new/different music
    -Learn something new
    -Find and work on weaknesses as a player
    -Enjoy music, and let the universe itself inspire you
    -Tweak equipment around to get new sounds
    -Or just play when you feel like it!

    I tend to think that I need to get more proactive and learn some new stuff... I've learned so many chords, but sometimes it seems like it's the way you put the chords together that matters, kind of like not what you play, but how you play it type deal.

    Thanks for the great ideas so far.
     
  12. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Afflicted

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    Learn to play in an open tuning.
     
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  13. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    Switching instruments works for me too. It makes me think differently and pulls me out of the rut. I have a mandolin, a square neck reso, and a banjo and they all get a turn. In fact, I've spent quite a bit of time on the banjo during this health situation and am actually making progress on my rolls which will also only serve to improve my acoustic guitar finger picking technique.
    Variety is the spice of life! :)
     
  14. Splodgeness

    Splodgeness Tele-Meister

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    Try a different time signature......... I just wrote something in 7/4 and it really made me think about how to play over it, it felt unnatural but was a challenge that I'm still getting to grips with
     
  15. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Here's how I understand it for myself. Curiosity is the impetus. Curiosity begets desire, which propels me toward technique.

    At any given moment in your day, what are/were you most curious about?
     
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  16. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    These are the kinds of things I do to expand my creativity:

    Explore around adding different, untried notes surrounding chords you already know - to discover new and different chords/harmonies/interesting new scales to build compositions with.

    Experiment with a wide variety of chord shapes, working to include open strings - amazing how many cool, interesting tone combinations you can come up with, that can become the basis for a composition.

    Let new and different rhythms come out of your strums, including single notes mixed in with full chords - blend using both single notes and full chords intermixed together.

    Arpeggiate chords that you usually strum - pick out the arpeggio notes in different combinations. New melodies and progressions can sprout from this.

    Find ways to arpeggiate the different chords of a progression, all while staying in the same position on the neck - this will quickly identify common notes and differing notes.

    Work to learn new voicings of chords that you usually play down at the nut. And unusual voicings of chords that are new to you. The same ho-hum G-D-A chords (and others) that sound so boring in "cowboy" voicings at the nut take on wonderfully beautiful tones when played in different voicings higher up on the neck, especially with an open string or two, to add harmonic pizzaz.

    Play around with partial chords, rather than full chords.

    Play chords with alternate bass notes, like the 3rd, 5th, or 9th note in the bass rather than root in the bass. This can dramatically change the sound of a chord in wonderful ways.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Always play with a specific goal in mind,
    e.g., learn a scale, learn a mode, learn
    five new locations to play a Maj7 chord,
    learn a new song, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Jam with others
     
  19. bontay50

    bontay50 TDPRI Member

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    Play songs with your favorite pickers on YouTube..work on a new skill...get with other musicians who are feeling the same way... Social distance of course
     
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  20. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I try and make a new song it dont come that easy to me so it takes some time getting things right, i am maybe better if someone makes a song up and then i can add a solo to to fit it.

    Also sometimes just change original solos around for a different version so i even go way offline with some of them, but it keeps me playing and not getting bored with it.
     
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