Think I'm done with guitar

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by mikespe, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. mikespe

    mikespe Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,317
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    Western New York
    No this isn't one of those whining posts looking for attention. I am seriously thinking about quitting guitar. I just realized today how terrible I am at guitar. Five years and I can't play any songs...just a riff or two. Yea I can do 12 bar blues but I learned that 4 years ago and I am not any better...hell I could do more my first year than I can now. I just tried the 1234 drill and made 20 mistakes on it! TWENTY! Yea I took a few days off like everyone suggests and I am worse. All I wanted to be able to do is play songs from my favorite artists.

    Since i teach, I have my summers off. I spent several hours a day practicing and I am still not better. I practice at least 1 hour (usually more) every night after work now...

    Yea I have tried 3 teachers and still can't play. I know the pentotonic major and minor scales blindfolded yet can't use them outside the patterns or solo AT ALL! All the "technical" stuff like hammer ons/pulloffs, slides...I practice but still no music out of these hands.

    Like they say, you can buy better equipment and it won't help you play better...I just bought a Blues Jr over the summer, a Fender tele 2 years ago, built a new pedalboard and upgraded some of my pedals...I am sitting here in my practice area looking at all my gear and thinking "what a waste of money". I feel sorry for my poor neighbors downstairs listening to all the noise I make.

    I'll be 42 years old Sunday and just think playing guitar was just another mistake in my life. I really want to play guitar but without advancement and progress at least occasionally it's hard to motivate myself. I honestly don't know what else to do...And I know someone will say..."well you're a teacher and would you let one of your students quit!?" and the answer is no...but I don't know where else to turn. I don't know ANYONE around here that plays any instruments...few people at work but they have family's (yes I have asked several times) and don't have time.

    If someone can give me a reason not to quit then I am all ears. But PLEASE no smart ass comments here...I really want to solve this.

    Thank You
     
  2. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

    Posts:
    12,437
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    This ain't a competition. If it makes you happy... Keep going. If it doesn't well... You know...
     
  3. frankthomson

    frankthomson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,851
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Location:
    Camelot
    you've hit a plateau

    sometimes plateaus stretch on for years.

    who says you have to learn OTHER PEOPLES songs?

    just leave it next to you and tinker.

    TRUST ME ON THIS.
     
  4. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    36,977
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    Quit.

    put all your stuff in a closet out of sight. All of it. No visiting guitar websites. Cold turkey... no contact, no stopping at guitar shops no thinking about guitar for 2 weeks. Channel your current guitar energy into something else: books, running, chasing skirts whatever... after two weeks sit down and evaluate... which way made you happiest?

    If your new habits etc make you happier then sell your gear and don't look back. But, if you realize that making the various guitar like noises you've been making has been fun.... and if it relaxes you and makes you happy then go back to it never to threaten to leave again...

    You'll never know what you get from guitar until it is gone... so, leave it for a spell and see if the joy of it had little to do with facility or even progress...
     
  5. furrfurrfurr

    furrfurrfurr Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,168
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    switching to acoustic-only gave me more love for the guitar than anything else. I put electric down for almost 10 years. Strumming acoustic on the couch is when I'm the happiest and learn the most.
     
  6. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,350
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Location:
    Morro Bay, Ca
    Thank god! There were too many of us guitarists anyway.
    Seriously...if it's fun then keep doing it. If it's not then don't. I wouldn't sell any gear for a while though, in case the urge to play comes back.
    Either way, I would take Getbent's advice and channel your energy into chasing skirts.
     
  7. Jojabeau

    Jojabeau TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern TN
    Do you actually work on tunes or just licks? Its easy to get hung up and forget to learn the chords! If you are really that bummed I suggest trying bass. You will learn the song structure (the roots at least) which may help you get the guitar back in shape.
    Best of luck
     
  8. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,713
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I agree with G-bent. And consider a different musical direction should you no quit after a sabbatical. Maybes some jazz stuff, way cool. Don't worry if you never become a solo virtuoso.

    Hope it settles for you.

    Ciao, Robt
     
  9. CaptainJangle

    CaptainJangle TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    try this place

    http://www.wholenote.com/

    this place helped me out alot when i really wanted to get serious without going to a teacher.

    oh and just like someone else already stated, just messing around with an acoustic really makes a difference sometimes. when i had no effects pedals, no amps, and no fancy electric guitar all i had was an acoustic and it honestly made me a better player.
     
  10. teleman65

    teleman65 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    936
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    I kind of agree with getbent but...
    What is it you want to do with the guitar? You say you can't play any songs but does that include basic strumming around the campfire acoustic songs? Sometimes we get caught up with expectations of what we should have achieved instead of just enjoying the moment when we play.
    Forget about measuring your progress and just enjoy the moment while you play.
     
  11. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    31,486
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bakersfield Ca.
    Try bass guitar you just have to think of 1 note at a time you might find it easier.
     
  12. RickG501

    RickG501 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,342
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I find I'm most interested in playing when I'm working on a new song I want to learn or polishing up an old one.

    Everyones advice on this thread is spot on so far! You're just frustrated at this point. You said you don't know any "song". Well, then make that a project. Learn one song from start to finish. Intro, middle and ending. Do not let up until you've done it. Then see where you are. Success breeds success.

    Learning how to use a torque wrench doesn't equal the satisfaction of successfully completing the task of replacing the heads on your cars motor, so to speak. So, scales etc. do nothing but give you technical info, learn a song and put that stuff to use.

    JMHO
     
  13. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,993
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Port Moody, BC
    If you want to get better at playing songs, find some fellow musicians of your own calibre and form a band. My biggest advancements came through playing with other guys. If you're all at the same level, you can show each other stuff, laugh at the same problems, and just have a blast playing 3-chord rock songs. While you're at it, your playing will simply improve.
     
  14. Southern Ill

    Southern Ill Banned

    Posts:
    985
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    What song are you wanting to learn?

    And remember it won't and doesn't have to be note for note.......I think that you have just played by yourself so much that your over thinking things.......Check out Mojocasters 3 chord guitar on youtube.....He doesn't play everything note for note exactly the way John Lee Hookers does Boom-Boom-Boom.....He gets the feel going and sticks with it.......If you have no one to jam with.....Spend the $100 on a Line 6 Toneport and download Reaper software.....You get a 60 day free trial......This will let you lay down several tracks if ya need too.....then once you have a basic simple rhythm track going you can practice over it and record it over and over.You could just record yourself and see where ya need tightening up......I never really new how bad or good I sounded until I started recording myself.

    I tell ya....I stink at so many of the basics but I am there every Sun. at my local church.....We have myself and another guitar player-Bass player-Drums and piano......I know several songs and the ones I don't know or have not rehersed I simply follow the other guitar player until I got it....It works out most of the time where he can do his lead thing and I can keep the rhythm going........Yep-I get lost sometimes on songs I have never played....but I would be completely lost if I was setting in the pew and not up there learning......Have fun and there are no rules as far as I'm concerned.
     
  15. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,552
    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    It's admirable that you've done something for five years that you don't enjoy doing. I would have quit after a week.

    You may have missed the point of music if you only wanted to play guitar to "get good". My suggestion is to re-evaluate your initial motivation to first pick up a guitar. If your answer is: "To get good", then I'd say, quit.

    Music made by someone who doesn't enjoy making it isn't easy on anyone's ears.

    If your answer is: "Because I like listening to the sounds I make", then by all means, KEEP PLAYING but STOP PRACTICING. It's killing your vibe, man.

    ...and have a look at factors external to your guitaring that may be affecting your ability to see the guitar as a fun hobby, not a serious pursuit.

    :)
     
  16. mikespe

    mikespe Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,317
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    Western New York
    Gentbent, that is a great idea and I wish I could do that. But I live in a small apartment and don't have anyplace to "hide" my gear. I have way too much stuff for my apartment. And making the noises are NOT fun. I want to make music. I used to take my guitar to work at least once a week 2 years ago. But then people would ask if I could play this song or that song and I'd say no. Many of the songs were simple songs too.

    Jojabeau, I try both the licks AND chords...I will be honest that my favorite songs are probably way over my head but then I usually switch to chords but even then...many of the songs have little licks or fills in between the chords. I get frustrated when I can't even make it sound close to the original. Even powerchords are giving me a hard time. I get so much noise when switching from 5th string to 6th string roots...I don't remember that happening before.

    morroben, its fun when I am learning...I love learning new things. My problem is I stopped learning and don't know why? When I am not learning or making progress I hate the guitar. Just a few minutes ago I was so tempted to toss my tele out my 2nd floor window...and that is no exaggeration!

    I just don't know what to do. I have been in a rut before and got through it. But this one scares me. I really don't want to quit. I have wanted to play the guitar my whole life. My problem is that I can't PLAY...
     
  17. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    36,977
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    get a tarp.
     
  18. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    19,376
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Mike, the one thing that made a HUGE difference for me was playing with other folks. Acoustic guitar, just strumming the chords, then adding a few licks. Playing songs with folks really helps one LEARN how to play songs...

    Cheers, Tim
     
  19. furrfurrfurr

    furrfurrfurr Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,168
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  20. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,553
    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Find a good teacher and learn something.

    If you want to quit after that, sell all your stuff and quit.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.