In the guitar doldrums ...

burntfrijoles

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
10,445
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
It happens to most everyone. Your guitars are no longer whispering your name. There are no songs calling you and pleading for you to learn or play them. You see a beautiful guitar but it registers a 1 on a scale of 10 in terms of eliciting an interest. It's akin to seeing a beautiful model and muttering "meh".
That's where I am for the last 3 or 4 weeks. I was hoping to try and pull myself out of the funk this week but I had a mild case of that whose name is unspeakable.
There is no easy fix for the guitar doldrums. You just have to wait it out. I've been here before. In fact, I did pick up my guitar today to see if a could get a "Rat" distortion sound out of my pedals going into an Iridium. A few simple power chords brought some glimmer of hope. Even though it's not a style of music I play, a sustaining power chord can be a beautiful thing.
I am hoping that tomorrow I will resume working on a recording I was beginning about a month ago.
If not, I'll just watch some college football until I've eaten every Oreo, Cheeto, etc that I have on hand.
 

Killing Floor

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Posts
11,462
Location
Austin, TX
Nothing wrong with watching football. Nothing wrong with Oreos either.

When I feel burned out or my motivation is slipping that’s time for a day off or more.

My trick is to play records or stream music I’d never play, different genre, etc. Or find a music blog stream and let a robot choose. Become a listener. Listen like a fan.

YMMV but too often we listen to our favorite tunes and think about the exercise of learning or playing them. That’s not what music is for. That’s not what people think about when you’re playing a show. Step away a day or so and be a fan.
 

Tim S

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Posts
2,047
Location
Upstate NY
Sometimes buying a new amp helps — especially if it offers some tones your current stable can’t do.
 

BB

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 17, 2003
Posts
6,628
Location
Great Pacific NW
The very best to you in 'getting it back'...and sooner rather than later.

Someday, I hope to have a moment of clarity where I can share my tale regarding this. Hang in there bro!
 

micpoc

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Posts
4,603
Location
Louisiana
Best thing to do when that happens is play some scales... or arpeggios... or just work on your alternate/cross/sweep/economy picking, whichever floats your boat. But keep the hands moving, even if it means turning the mind off.
 

thunderbyrd

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Posts
9,248
Age
64
Location
central ky
this happens to me. i even get tired of hearing music, sometimes. every time i've had this, it passes eventually. i say the thing to beware of is don't get rid of any gear when you're in this mindset.

think how bad this could be if you were one of the people who are famous and popular and your whole living comes from music and playing live. that would be pretty miserable.

uh, that is assuming you aren't one of those people...
 

Gimble

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Posts
474
Location
Florida
Take a break! The itch will come back on its own.

I recently hurt my fretting hand, not sure if playing related, yard work related or just slept wrong on it, but I decided to not play for a week to let it heal.

I can’t wait to get back to it.

You never miss nothing more than when you can’t do it.
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
35,452
Age
63
Location
Maine
Yeah, while I relate music to sex, I do not relate guitars to people I am physically attracted to.
(trying not to objectify the gender I think is hot)

The music is the attraction, maybe indulging in overly attractive guitars has thrown you off the true scent?
Put all the nice guitars in storage and maybe spend a month with just a Squier Esquire.
Better still remove the tone control and switch, make it harder, add challenge and risk of bad outcomes!

When I get that missing drive I just obey my rule to play every day no matter what.
Dropped that ball today though, lack of sleep, not feeling well, took a test, failed, went to work.
So yeah at times ball gets dropped.
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
16,175
Location
Beast of Bourbon
When that hits me, I generally dive into listening to music I normally pay no attention to. It may be a band I've never heard, or foreign-language folk music, or a genre I've never really listened to.
After a while of this, I am inspired to pick the guitar back up because I'm hearing chord sequences, note choices and melodies that are new to my ears.
 

JeffroJones

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 2, 2022
Posts
340
Location
Melbourne
Your guitars are no longer whispering your name.
First off, this is very good. Clearly your instinct for poetic lyrical minimalism is still intact.
Which begs the question, is SOMETHING whispering your name?
Hiking the Appalachian Trail?
Learning to play Contract Bridge?
Mowing the lawn?
Playing that FPS at "Max Carnage" instead of "Rookie"?
Just saying :lol:

:::
 

burntfrijoles

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
10,445
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Which begs the question, is SOMETHING whispering your name?
Perhaps if they legalized a certain "commodity" I would hear such whispers.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail?
Hah! I don't hike...anywhere...anytime.. I have two knee replacements so that's not possible. However, a certain former Governor used that term with an entirely different meaning. I would not be opposed to that sort of hiking.
Mowing the lawn?
I stopped mowing the lawn. I would blame it on my knee replacements but the truth is that I'm just lazy and take the term "retired" very seriously.
 

stxrus

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 25, 2007
Posts
11,187
Age
70
Location
St. Croix, USVI
I’ve been going through this for the last 2 years or so. I actually picked up the LP and noodled around for a couple of hours…on and off. It felt pretty good. I’ve got a fairly busy day tomorrow so it may not happen then.
My goal is to get motivated enough to get the amp & pedal board set up.
I really miss playing
 

paulblackford

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Posts
1,356
Location
Cincinnati
I'm currently burned out, too. I've just been doing a bunch of much needed home repairs, and cleaning. I'm also dedicating my funds to other, non-musical things...like pants. I think everyone I know would be in favor of me getting some pants.
 

Call Me Al

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Posts
639
Age
42
Location
Ithaca, NY
As a multi-instrumentalist, that’s usually a signal to switch it up (for me anyway.) When that which cannot be named hit, and knocked out all the bass gigs, that’s what steered me towards (electric) guitar and I’ve been playing mainly that. I’ll play bass here and there for a project, but mainly a guitar player these days.

So maybe buy a bass or a uke. Take some piano lessons!
 

Sparky2

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Posts
5,242
Age
63
Location
Harvest, Alabama
Tell me about it.

I just sold off three guitars this week, including my only remaining Gibson Les Paul.

All in order to pay off some veterinary bills.

I need to go in my music room and play the guitars I have left, but I need another beer first.

☹️
 

mystichands

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Posts
199
Location
NW Colorado
I’ve been in the guitar doldrums a number of times over the years. Now it was so long ago that I can’t remember what year it was, but, I quit playing for almost a year, it was in the seventies. Even at that point in my guitar playing career, I recall just getting fed up with all the stuff I was into, musically speaking. I had just started listening to jazz, and I went to the record store with my brother(jazz guitarist) and picked out a bunch of bebop and modern, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, etc. I tried to figure out chords and theory with help from my brother. It didn’t help. I bought books on theory, but couldn’t understand anything. I was disappointed with my inability to even read single lines of notes. Long story short is that finally I got into the blues(again) when my good friend asked me to join his new band. There were a couple sax players from our old high school jazz band who wanted to join also. It turned out to be pretty good, and we had a summer of outdoor gigs. I see I’ve rambled too long here, but I still get in the doldrums every once in a while. I’m just getting out of one right now in fact. Going back to my roots, old blues a la John mayall, Peter Green, Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, etc.
 




Top