How do you break a block

How do you break a block

Postby quah » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:33 am

I have been playing bass and drums for over twenty years. I can swing without having to think about it on either of those instruments. I have only been playing guitar for a couple of years now but I feel like I am stuck.I am fairly fluid with my movement through scales, modes, and chord relationships but I feel like I am just replaying the same licks over and over. How do you guys break through your learning blocks or how do you decide what you need to work on next to become a better player. Thanks...........
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Postby CaptainTrips » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:53 am

My two cents . . .

Ive come to see playing guitar as a series of plateaus. You can experience great "revelations" in a short period of time where things really click and you climb a little higher on that hill. Then there are the lulls where it seems like your playing is going nowhere and you can easily get frustrated. The hardest part of improvement is trudging through those flat line periods.

Some things I do to get through those harder times . . .
1. broaden your influences -- listen to different music. if you are mostly a "rock" guy, throw in some jazz or funk. find something you can dig there and dissect it.
2. work on your mechanics -- I often find when I feel like my playing in general is in a rut, Ill start to "play" less and start to drill more. Work with a metronome on different scale patterns, learn more chords/inversions/substitutions/alterations/voicings; alternate picking, chicken pickin, string skipping . . . ect, ect.
3. brush up on theory -- you can never learn too much theory. when you are in a rut, spend some of your time usually allocated towards playing to sit down with a pencil and a notebook and work out some theory. Writing out the modes, learning their numerical and note differnces, harmonizing the different modes. There is a wealth of information out there, dont be afraid to tap into it.
4. most important -- keep on keepin on. :smile:
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Re: How do you break a block

Postby waldo041 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:29 am

quah wrote:I have been playing bass and drums for over twenty years. I can swing without having to think about it on either of those instruments. I have only been playing guitar for a couple of years now but I feel like I am stuck.I am fairly fluid with my movement through scales, modes, and chord relationships but I feel like I am just replaying the same licks over and over. How do you guys break through your learning blocks or how do you decide what you need to work on next to become a better player. Thanks...........



i find it best sometimes to just put the guitar down for a day or more and study. either listening to some good tunes and getting more licks stored in your head, or just going over theory. then after the little break, pick the axe back up. usually gets me out of a rut.

hope it helps.

peace,
waldo
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Postby Crazy 9.5 Fingers » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:20 am

This is something I have done a bunch of times and have always managed to pull some new stuff out of thin air when I do it.

Take the A, G and high E strings off the guitar. Now you have only three strings. Play some of your normal licks and see what happens, then try to play them in a linear fashion, that is to say, moving up or down a string not across them like you normally do. This will get you out of the habit of sticking in your comfort positions.

Then do the opposite. Stay in one position and just play. You will begin to take bigger steps between your intervals. I managed to get a lot jazzier in my playing by playing bigger steps between notes. Listen to Miles and 'Trane, they take huge steps between notes.

Then do the same thing for another time but keep the A, G and high E and remove the others instead.

If that doesn't work. Drink a lot of beer, smoke a lot of weed, and yell at the instrument instead of playing it.
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Postby BlobWeird » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:43 pm

Crazy 9.5 Fingers wrote:This is something I have done a bunch of times and have always managed to pull some new stuff out of thin air when I do it.

Take the A, G and high E strings off the guitar. Now you have only three strings. Play some of your normal licks and see what happens, then try to play them in a linear fashion, that is to say, moving up or down a string not across them like you normally do. This will get you out of the habit of sticking in your comfort positions.

Then do the opposite. Stay in one position and just play. You will begin to take bigger steps between your intervals. I managed to get a lot jazzier in my playing by playing bigger steps between notes. Listen to Miles and 'Trane, they take huge steps between notes.

Then do the same thing for another time but keep the A, G and high E and remove the others instead.

If that doesn't work. Drink a lot of beer, smoke a lot of weed, and yell at the instrument instead of playing it.


Hell that sounds like a pretty cool idea. It will definitely force you to come up with new licks. And I like your alternative answer. Thats usually the way I go about it.
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Postby I'm on the Bozo Bus » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:47 pm

If that doesn't work. Drink a lot of beer, smoke a lot of weed, and yell at the instrument instead of playing it.


Everytime I try that, I am pretty certain I sound much better... The drag of it is... I usually have forgotten to turn on the amp....
PEACE,
Phil
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Postby quah » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:34 pm

Hey now, thanks for the ideas, some good stuff there. I am going to go yell at my guitar right now!
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