'the rut'

(15 posts)

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  1. Matt
    Member

    so, i've hit a rut; where it feels like i'm playing the same ideas on the same chords, and the same things are being expressed in my playing, and i just feel uninspired in my practice (which there is plenty to get together, still).
    what do you guys do when you hit the rut? how do you find fresh inspiration?

  2. Instead of thinking of the rut as bad and not being in a rut as good even I try to just observe the space I'm in and see it as part of a process. That usually helps a little bit at least. I'm in a rut right now myself and the natural tendency is to fight against it but my experience has been that it can actually make things worse so i try to think about all of life and how music is just a part of it and it ebbs and flows a lot and if it didn't it wouldn't be as human anyway.
    Too new-agey? Try Mick Goodrick's book --he has a great section about this..
    Good Luck

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  3. Pascau
    Member

    I agree with above about ruts not necessarily being bad.

    I find that usually picking something on guitar that is unartistic but extremely challenging works. What I mean is trying something that is really difficult for you to do, but not approaching it in the sense of "does this sound good" or "how can this phrase breathe more", rather just approaching it as "can I do it?". I find the challenge satisfying, which puts me in a better mood about music and guitar.

    So for example, I was recently in a rut, so I decided to learn Coltrane's solo on Giant Steps. I approached it without analyzing it at all, and basically just went for hitting the notes and getting it closer to tempo. It was a good exercise for my fingers and for my reading, and it was fun. Since its his solo I wasn't playing anything I'd normally play because I couldn't. So stuff like that. Something specific, written out, concrete, and challenging technically, that doesn't require you to engage the artistic part of your brain. I find that usually gets me inspired and in a good mood again.

  4. This is great, pascau.

  5. Basile865
    Member

    Pascau I completely agree. I did the same for Kurt's "Turns" and I'm working on it for this solo of his:

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Flash Video

  6. mikelorenz
    Member

    @baslie865 i think that video is of "zhivago" and not of "turns" but maybe i'm misunderstanding you're post. i was at that gig and don't remember "turns" being played.

    i have to agree, the "rut" can be a really great place to be in. sometimes the unknown that exists beyond the "rut" is so rewarding that you forget about the frustration it took to get there.

  7. Basile865
    Member

    @mikelorenz I know that vid is zhivago - I was saying I transcribed turns and in addition I'm trying to transcribe this solo (being that zhivago vid) I guess I worded it a little confusing sorry about that.

    Man it must've been something else to catch that gig in person! Theres going to be a lot of hours logged into getting that down! I notice a commonality in kurt's solo's that he'll play arpeggios and change it from minor to major or vice versa. He might come up and back down minor then go back up major and then shift that pattern. Sounds confusing but when its done at speed I think thats what makes his lines so interesting among lots of other stuff of course.

  8. silverwater
    Member

    Transcribe something by Nir Felder.

  9. arewolfe
    Member

    Don't touch your guitar for 2 weeks. Then go back and see what happens.

    I know I have an obsessive tendency to worry about not practicing enough. But when I'm feeling like I'm burned out I find it helpful to just walk away for a while. Sometimes something really special will happen the next time you pick up the instrument. The inspiration to play really builds up during a break. You sort of recharge your battery in terms of how well you're able to focus on practicing when you go back to doing it regularly.

  10. luiscastro
    Member

    Transcribe!

  11. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    Do you often play gigs? Then, if you can afford it, stop playing in public for a while. When you're worried about having a performance, the last thing it comes to your mind is making music (at least when you're not a pro-league player, like Kurt and others).

    If you don't, then you have the time to analise your playing. Is there any mechanism that you haven't mastered yet or that you're less comfortable with? Scales, arpeggios, changes....? Any tempo where you're really not comfortable with?

    My teacher kind of gave us a reprimand few days ago, and he told us "I know when every one of you is playing because after a year I recognize your turns, licks and everything else. You have to dedicate at least some time every day of practice to play something different, something that you do not play".

    Hope it helps!

  12. Sandemose
    Member

    Maybe not being to obsessed with creating new stuff all the time could be a way. If you listen to the greats cats in the past and present its quite easy to identify "licks" and pattern in their playing. And its okay. I do that as well and its not to big of a deal. Playing other cats solos is a great idea. I always comes back to Keith Jarrett when Im stuck. If not transcribing something specific I at least spend alot of time listening.

    best, Sandemose

  13. Matt
    Member

    so the rut is back.
    i feel inspired with chordal stuff, and free improv, which is a departure from what i generally expect.
    but my improvisation over tunes just sucks right now. i feel like i'm hearing amazing phrases away from then guitar, but i sit down and i cant get any of it out.
    anyone have an ideas how to work on this?

  14. jbroad
    Member

    easy- if you're hearing amazing stuff away from the guitar then sing it while recording and then transcribe it

  15. jorgemg1984
    Member

    Or just sing while you play but make sure your fingers follow your singing and not the other way around


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