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Feeling Unmotivated/Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tehsystem, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. tehsystem


    Nov 28, 2010
    Hello, for the past 2 and a half years I've felt very unmotivated at my instrument. I had played a ton before that and spent almost all of my free time playing, but I randomly hit a wall. I'm not so sure that it's that I'm lazy or bored or truly unmotivated, but there is just so much out there to learn that I do not know where to begin. I'm not sure whether to delve into certain genres or to learn theory or whatever. I have a great teacher, but he notices that I do not practice and I haven't had much 1 on 1 time with him as we've been working on a band project lately. Can anyone help give a sort of idea of where to start?
  2. randysmojo


    Jan 14, 2008
    Temple, TX
    I know it's not much help, but I have had the same type of issue for along time now. I am trying to motivate myself now to learn to read notation. from there, I want to work on theory and learning new styles. I think stress from other areas in my life is what ha caused my lack of motivation and will power toward practicing and learning, but if you can notice this is happening, then at least you know there is something going on. I do make a little time hear and there to practice now that I have recognized it. Sometimes I'll tell my wife to watch one of her shows on the DVR because I know I can't sit through Soap Operas! I'll get up and sit in the guest bedroom/practice room, and either work on bettering some of the current songs the project I am with is doing, or work a little on practicing to read. IT's baby steps, but I'm starting to get the motivation back. I hope you can find something in this dribble:) that might help!
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Happens to everyone. What got me motivated again was joining a band that gigged out regularly. It kinda forced me to do the work, and soon enough I began to remember why I thought playing was so much fun! It didn't hurt that we were making some money, too :)
  4. Do something different. Take some time off from lessons, cop some Ramones covers off youtube, hit yer 'A' string and watch it vibrate, etc. Quit stressing about what you 'should' be learning musically and just hit some strings.

    Worrying about what 'should' be may be frustrating you into a stall. Smile when you pick yer bass up. Play. It's awesome to want to learn to read, know more theory, and become more rounded. But, IMO, when you force a hobby/passion, it becomes a chore.

    Meanwhile, write down a small bass goal. 'Learn the blues scale' or 'funk improv @ 140bpm', etc. Put it on a sticky in yer case, practice area, music stand... some place you'll see it - but don't stress on it. Just notice it. You'll get there, and when you do, it'll be because you want to. Good luck!
  5. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    +1 to finding a band or guys to jam with, but sometimes that’s not so easily done.

    Also a big +1 to jamming to some music and see what you come up with.

    Don’t discount the value of being able to just hear music and fall in.

    Best of luck to ya.
  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Give up music altogether, and see if you can get a job working at a factory. Make sure it's the late night shift, and work your afternoon and evenings at fast food. If you're going to school, quit immediately, and see if you can get your girlfriend or wife to pop out a few more kids.

    If none of that works, try picking fights with random strangers, and drinking as often and as much as you can.

    Pretty soon, you'll just forget about this whole "bass guitar" thing.
  7. Jamesemt


    Jan 6, 2006
    Hull, UK
    I think we've all been there- I'm just coming out of it now. What worked for me was getting into a new band which forced me to learn the stuff, and secondly deciding to pick the bass up every day whether I wanted to or not. You soon find that you remember why you like to play bass. Good luck :)
  8. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    How long gave you been playing, what is your experience with playing in bands? Are you on a band now?

    I think playing in a band or new band might help.
  9. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I recall reading an interview with, I think, Will Lee, in Bass Player Magazine years ago (maybe in the early nineties), wherein he said whenever he hit a wall with the instrument he just put it down for a while. It's advice I've kept with me over the years and periodically I do just that. I've been playing pretty consistently for around 25 years but during that time there have been a couple of periods when I had to walk away from music and the bass for a little bit. I always came back from these hiatuses hungry and ready to play, and in each case my playing was better for it (if not on a technical level certainly on the level of musical empathy/feel/intuition). It really doesn't hurt to take a break now and again to recharge your musical batteries.

    I'm actually feeling the need for another hiatus coming on myself. I've been in one of my bands for seven years and the second band, while it's just barely a year old, has been a real roller coaster and I have a lot of things going on outside of music (new marriage, potential career change). I'm feeling pretty sapped.

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