What inspires or motivates you to play your guitar or write music?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 4pickupguy, Sep 9, 2020.

What inspires or motivates you to play your guitar or write music most?

  1. Life events / circumstances?

    58 vote(s)
    58.6%
  2. New artist/album discovery?

    28 vote(s)
    28.3%
  3. A new guitar, amp or pedal (new sound)?

    30 vote(s)
    30.3%
  4. New musical advancement in technique or theory?

    35 vote(s)
    35.4%
  5. An upcoming gig or new band tune?

    24 vote(s)
    24.2%
  6. A concert or club performance by somebody?

    12 vote(s)
    12.1%
  7. Something you read on a guitar forum?

    6 vote(s)
    6.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You have three choices. Just curious what gets most people chasing their muse. Please elaborate for us.
     
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  2. KATT

    KATT TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    That was tough to answer as I consider song writing and guitar playing as two different activities. Something that inspires me to write a song (like life events) won't necessarily inspire me to play guitar.
     
  3. Splodgeness

    Splodgeness Tele-Meister

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    Agree that the two are different - I very rarely start to write a song with a guitar in my hand, its usually some words or a musical phrase that comes into my head and I build from there.
     
  4. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    Same to me. Life brings a reaction..go down to bandroom bang the drums... then the structure happens as i merge a story or idea..theme ect with the emotion of the music
     
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  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    A line or a lyric, a lick or melody that I dream up or stumble upon, or a new sound will inspire me to write a new song.

    Sometimes, trying (and failing) to play somebody else’s song or riff will veer off into a new song as well.
     
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  6. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    As far as playing guitar, I do it almost every day, if for no other reason to relax. With my looper I capture riffs or melodies or short chord progressions as they float by. Sometimes those advance to the next round and sometimes they don't.

    Writing songs is much more elusive and I'm either in the mood and they happen, or not. This last year was fairly productive in that regard... I've written 4 new songs with words and a couple without (after years of writing almost nothing). Finished recording only one song and two tunes so far. I wish I could record things faster.
     
  7. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very simple
    My LOVE for an acoustic and electric guitar- it doesn't really matter which, as long as something is in my lap

    My LOVE for all kinds of ( older) music, and the constant desire or quest to learn how to play it ALL ( attempt, ha!) on guitar.

    This could be the Classic Rock & Roll of the '50's, the '60's-'70's Classic Rock, or the real Blues, and Bluegrass I have come to learn and love now as an adult. A real variety of old stuff.

    Love of the guitar, love of music!
     
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  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Nothing.

    as empty as a used brown paper bag .

    Used to be the monthly MOJO/Uncut magazine perusal and getting reminded of an older artist’s work or a new artist’s record but I have 3 of the latest ones in the Other room and haven’t even cracked them
     
  9. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Timely! Was just writing up exam questions for my literature class about what prompts authors to do their stuff. The students often ask about that because 1) it's a legit, interesting question, and 2) they want me to say "Those damn authors have no right to give you headaches, and are just writing silly puzzlegames anyway. Everyone gets an A for blinking, so now go back to your phones!"

    I've found in researching this question that most authors report that they’ve absorbed lots of narratives by the time they sit down to write their own. They've heard stories since earliest childhood, in many forms. Hence, when they tell their own stories, they're relaying their synergizings of these narrative devices.

    Most thus report that they're just winging it. A phrase, an image, an impression of a character's face or voice or posture, a glimpse of or detail from a setting occurs in their imaginations, and with it a mood, a faint sense of an unfolding plot line, and they go with that.

    Very often they report that in writing their lit, they were "just trying to be true to" that character or part of a scene or image or phrase.

    Many claim that they rarely think of their audience in a pre-planning way, and instead use fiction-writing as a kind of self-exploration or self-liberation.

    They often say that they were only dimly aware of using various devices along the way, with revision being a matter of adjusting this or that device or combination of devices.

    Plus, they're sure that we're hardwired to narrate. And that narrative devices--situating events in time and place, laying out contexts and describing setting as an often active participant in events, highlighting revealing details, using word-sounds and implication to create tone and mood and set patterns of foreshadowing and punning, etc.--are just inherent in language.

    A lot of this applies to creating music. We process what we absorb, add to what we're echoing. The ears spilleth over.

    What prompts this in the most immediate sense--for me, anyway--is usually a coalescence of a few things. A coiling tension that organizes expression.

    Life events combine with sounds that are both go-to's and new fascinations, new explorations. A trauma, or just a tone of dusk on a particular tree, or someone's suddenly remembered voice, brings me back to the spooky Am(add9). I lean on a root. But that ripping Tele tone I heard on this or that new-to-me guy's song--that really fits the mixture of hauntedness and menace, or longing and resolution, that I'm feeling right now. So let's try Am(add9) on the Gretsch, with a little vibrato and reverb, and sharply spook it up further with a Bigsby smack just before the chord begins its fade, and that last strum should be an upstroke that hits the open B string hardest, and....

    Cool new sounds stir up cozy old sounds because something has stirred me toward this. Then that, in turn, stirs up memories, the reach for other tell-the-story devices, and it's 3 a.m. and I still have graded those damn exams and don't mind that a bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Most of your choices will apply at different times.....but the ultimate reason is simply an internal compulsion I've had to play music ALL MY LIFE. It just happens that the guitar has become my primary outlet of expression. Since I'm not able to get together with other players right now, my inspirations lately have been learning new (to me) songs. Some songs I will come across on youtube or recommendation here, and some are songs I've heard all my life and just never sat down to learn properly. I try to work on music that may not fall into my familiar habits, but which force me to do patterns (and create muscle memory) that are challenging.
    But I'm interested in hearing what others here say.....;)
     
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  11. TwangBrain

    TwangBrain TDPRI Member

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    I feel like i can mark all those off as motivation and reasons I write. I've worked on at least a dozen new ideas the past handful of months, fleshed out 2, and all while locked up with my wife, kid, and assorted fauna!
     
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  12. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted

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    Having some time alone is all is all I need. I'm a guitar junkie
     
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  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I put:
    New artist/ album discovery
    A breakthrough in ability,
    A new amp, guitar or pedal.
    That last one seems pretty unpopular but I’ll say it, I can be as inspired by a new sound as a new breakthrough in theory or technique. It’s all “vocabulary”.
     
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  14. Buell

    Buell TDPRI Member

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    I see it a part of my life. Kind of like breathing. I can't control it, I just do it. All of the choices above may influence me, but none of them are THE reason I play or write.
     
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  15. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    One way I work on composing is to find a chord progression that sparks melodic improvisation.

    I wrote a song over the Charlie Parker composition Blues for Alice.

    Now I’m working on some melodic ideas over the Blue Bossa changes. Using iRealPro, I can change the groove to a waltz, for example, and experiment with tempo.

    My feelings about life events seem to be channeled into ideas for melodies and lyrics, or so I hope, as I improvise over the rhythm track.
     
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  16. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    I’m retired military. I was often in places where bringing a guitar along was out of the question.

    Now that I’m retired, I’m making up for lost time.
     
  17. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Same as when I was 13, girls.:twisted:
     
  18. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    Certainly acquiring a (special) new piece of gear or getting turned on to unprecedented, landmark music/albums/artists that influence me can do it but my overall “muse” isn’t so much about outside elements. It tends to be more about removing all the conscious, forefront noise and distracting myself just enough to allow something to emerge and pass through me. Which,...also isn’t necessarily about your typical meditative/stirring experience like sitting on a dock overlooking a body of water as the sun sets. My most creative moments tend to come from the combo of drinking coffee, watching TV, and sitting in the couch with a guitar in my hand ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
    The coffee gets my fingers itchy to run and the TV(that I’m really only halfway paying attention to) loosens me up, like a background, droning kind of thing.
     
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  19. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    The closest I get to writing is improvising. What motivates me to play, even more than new equipment, is hearing a song I like so much I want to learn it on guitar. Unfortunately, those songs are fewer these days than ever.
     
  20. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead Tele-Holic

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    Maybe I'm weird, but I hate writing music now. I enjoyed it in college, and was very prolific. Now, I prefer to work on my guitar playing ability and improvisation skills. I gigged regularly before Covid, I really enjoy playing out, just can't stand writing songs anymore.
     
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