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Getting over the plateau

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by xtelesquirex, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

    Sep 2, 2020
    International Man Of Mystery
    What's your method?

    When I hit a plateau and can't improve I usually take a break. A few days, weeks, months. When I come back I make improvements again until I get frustrated at the next plateau. Rinse - Repeat.
  2. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green Tele-Meister

    May 4, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    When I reach the near summit of a new plateau and I begin to grow frustrated, I drop all the trying stuff and just learn some new songs that I have always loved. Or I go back to one I always tried to learn as a kid - only this time do it perfectly. Or I start writing more and more. Writing usually removes me from the whole 'trying to improve treadmill' thing. It's just such a different part of the cranium and the result can be just so much fun.
    kbold, Toast, SRHmusic and 1 other person like this.
  3. Reivaj

    Reivaj TDPRI Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Madrid Spain
    Start using a tunning that’s not too difficult but different enough to spark something inside you.
    Like, being able to play properly those Stones’ songs or Tom Morello Riffs, Zeppeling, Sound Garden ... there are golden compositions by all of them, and you may need to develop a proper sound to match.

    A particular challenge for me was and still is the riffing oh Keef in Can you hear me knocking’
    What a master class in rocking and rolling. Wow.

    That said, I need to switch to bass and to keys to keep my overall musical interest alive, Spanish style guitar is also a quite different approach, makes you think differently and really use your right hand fingers.
    Programming rhythms in a drum machine is something that helps as well. You really take oxygen and at the same time develope a feeling for constructing rhythms that will help with the guitar and with finding the proper space of it in different scenarios (in a full band, a duo, just you, you and a looper etc).
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    Toast likes this.
  4. Call Me Al

    Call Me Al Tele-Meister

    Dec 10, 2020
    Ithaca, NY
    I play bass, guitar and keyboard so I’ll often switch instruments if I’m getting frustrated.

    I’ll also switch up genres if I’m stuck. I’ve been on a Jazz kick for a while, but very recently getting back into heavier rock stuff
    Toast likes this.
  5. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 25, 2019
    West By God Virginia
    I just take a deep breath, dig in and keep going. It’s usually a sign of a breakthrough about to happen.
  6. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 12, 2019
    Scootchin' Over
    When I need a change of pace, I always start to learn a new song. It's like a reward, but sometimes it turns into a lot of work I didn't expect it to be. Nevertheless, new songs do wonders for my playing technique.
    thebowl, Jeremy_Green and Call Me Al like this.
  7. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    May 1, 2018
    Tewa Land NM
    Absolutely this. When I plateau, it's usually because I haven't been practicing enough. I usually buckle down with more exercises, scales, dexterity stuff, and don't allow myself to "play" for a week or so. When I do... everything's easier and my hands seem to know what they're doing with zero input from my brain.

    Had a massive breakthrough just like this yesterday after four weeks of dedicated/spreadsheet-driven practice.
    teletail likes this.
  8. b2187101

    b2187101 Tele-Meister

    Mar 24, 2008
    Taking lessons from a decent guitar teacher pushed me over the plateau. Was "self taught" for 7 years. I knew all of the chords, but wish I would have taken lessons years ago. I think I'm 4 years into lessons now and better for it.
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