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Getting past a rut?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Kgoodrich, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. I've got some serious issue now as I've now hit a wall with my playing. I want to learn application of theory and get some good scales/chords/lines training in but I cannot find a teacher in my area so my options are very limited as to how I can progress.

    In the mean time I'm noodling around on a second hand guitar I picked up from a friend. And now I'm having fun messing around with my guitar but I've gone almost a week without even picking up my bass and It really irks me as I've started with bass and now I feel completely unmotivated.

    What does everyone do to get past this? :help:
  2. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    I play in a band. Actually, I play in 3 bands. My motivation to continue learning and improving comes from the fact that I immediately apply what I've learned.

    Why do you play?

    Seriously, ask yourself that question. I play because I want to perform in front of other people as often as possible. If I were only playing for some personal goal, I don't think I would stay motivated.
  3. magickbass

    magickbass Guest

    May 24, 2008
  4. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's all about playing take what every scale and chords you know and just sit and try to make music. Play\record the chord and then just sit and screw with it. Try each note against the chord what do you like and don't like. Take the notes you don't like and see if they work if you change the rhythm. Play the scale in intervals, 3th, 4th, 6ths etc. Make up some lines using an interval that sounded good. Try playing with just the color tones. Arpeggios. Sequences of 3, 4, or more notes. All the while listen to how it works with the chord. Then make a little progression two or three chords so you can practice getting into that scale and out into the next scale. What are the juicy notes. I can and do stuff like this for days on end and have a blast doing it. Find a chord I what to work on, or a scale to explore.

    Also check out some new music or player and then something about that music or player. Like they like to use the Augminished scale over a C demented chord. Then transcribe a few bits and start do the stuff above to create your own sound.

    Last my fave in the cool of the night sit in the dark and play. Where you are focusing totally on sound. Hit on something great flip on a light and figure out what it was. Practice in the dark is also good for developing a feel the neck and moving the around by feel. Can I jump up a maj 3rd by feel.

    Do stuff like above is what playing is all about for me, finding new paths thru even familiar material like a major scale.
  5. That sounds like fun, I will have to try that.
  6. mward69


    Jan 20, 2007
    Conyers, GA
    I think it's different for everyone, I have a lot of experience, so I don't practice as much as I use to, however...
    When I am struggling on a song I have to learn {cover band} I'll put it down and walk away from it..take a mind break, go out side and take a breather, then go back at it a few hours, or even a day later.
  7. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Find a good teacher.
  8. That's the real problem, I cannot find any teachers in my area.
  9. Probably not the best answer, but I found that when I hit a rut, playing a new to me instrument, opens up a whole new world of playing and sounds that rips me right out of the rut... GAS!
  10. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Get lessons on-line or in person.
  11. ilovethesechord


    Jun 27, 2008
    ..you just have to flow with it. everyone has "writing blocks."

    Play your guitar. Or play nothing at all. Think about work. Or your family. Or nothing.

    ...whatever you do, don't force yourself onto anything. Because if you do that, you're defeating the purpose.
  12. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Join a band asap. On the job experience trumps all other learning IMHO.

    I firmly believe, based on my experience, that there is absolutely NOTHING that will improve your playing faster and more usefully than playing with others, esp if you can get into a group of more advanced musicians. Having a gig will give you plenty of motivation.

    Don't worry about weather or not you're "ready for a band" There are ALWAYS worse players out there playing gigs.
  13. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I've been in a rut for years.
  14. Years ago when I wasn't in a band and still practicing, I started to just put on CDs and figure them out and play with them from start to finish. Now days I try to read through as much music as I can. And try to find a band.
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo

    Remember, you perform as you practice. How about setting a goal of learning 100 songs that you like? Create a notebook with charts,tabs, notation. Whatever you're comfortable with that allows you to recreate the the whole song whenever you like.

    If you don't read music, learn to and chart the same 100 songs.

    +1000. Even if its just you, a guitar player and a drum machine. Or you and a drum machine. Maybe record some songs on guitar and play bass to your own tracks.

    There a TB free backing track thread available for bass.

    You have to create you're own path/plan and follow it. What are your goals?

    It all comes from within.

    Maybe you need a vacation. Then get back to it and go from there.
  16. I appreciate the ideas.

    I'm in a band right now so I've got plenty of "on the job" experience.

    I like the idea of running through entire cd's though, maybe that's a great idea.
  17. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    I've definitely hit a wall myself. I've been playing for about eight years now, and I know my way around the neck, but as far as scales or building chords, forget it. I, too, feel like I need to learn music theory to take my playing to the next level, but it's a bit daunting reading about how complex music theory can be and how much mechanics are behind making music. Then, on the other hand, I feel like music is suppsoed to be a form of art, a medium for expressing how you feel, and that emotion can't be explained by mechanics and mathematics. To learn theory, or not to learn theory? Arggh....

  18. Andy419


    Aug 13, 2007
    I have self taught myself almost every bit of theory I know. I learned some theory in my jazz class last year but I played tenor sax in there. But I took what I learned in there and applied it to bass. I also spent a lot of time online researching different chords, progressions, how to resolve chords, and how to apply scales to chords.

    But like with scales, man on bass it's just memorizing the pattern of intervals between each scale note for each scale. Like knowing that if you go up one string and to the left 2 frets, it's a minor 3rd. Theory seriously isn't that bad. I can honestly say I have a working knowledge of theory and later this year I'm taking a formal theory class to fil in blank spots.

    Just get online and search for theory lessons or you can be more specific and research scales, chords, progressions, resolution, etc.

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