As a guitarist, how do I keep my motivation up?
I have not written many posts as of late. Life as caught up with me and I have had a lot on my plate and found that my motivation had somewhat slipped. My guitar practice has been limited to practicing with my students (great teaching tip there for you). My drumming practice has been scaled down to short bursts. My piano playing practice is non existent. I have not done any recording lately either. All this is down to my focus being elsewhere and that is alright. I know I will bring back that motivation as I am not a quitter. In saying that how do I get myself back on track with motivation.
The simple answer is inspiration.
As of the time I’m writing this I have been listening to the new Start teaching guitar podcast, which if you haven’t checked out, you should. The latest podcast is about a similar topic. It got me thinking about just what gets me motivated and back on track. I am addicted to learning new things. I sway between learning things on the guitar, drums, piano, recording to learning about computer coding such as CSS, HTML, Java, Php etc. I never force myself to stick on just one thing because I know that I will only get bored that way. I like to know a little about a lot of things. Occasionally I will wear myself out and loose my motivation and the way to get it back is to become inspired again.
So here is how I go about it.
I will often become inspired by listening to music. I really love 90s and 00s rock music. I grew up playing a lot of it and it brings me back to a time when guitar wasn’t so serious and just fun for me. I will often pick up my guitar and play along which really helps.
Watching a band. This has a weird effect on my motivation. Its not always good but it always works. Anytime I go to see a band play, whether it be at a bar or at a concert, I always just want to get up on stage and play along. Sometimes it can have a negative effect in which I will start to critique my own playing and compare it to the other guitarist. But no matter what, when I get home I always grab my guitar and practice with a crazy amount of focus.
Online video tutorials. I love watching videos to learn something new. There is always some small technique or riff I can pick up and practice. However, finding the good tutorials isn’t always that easy. That’s why I now pay for tutorials. I use Guitar Tricks. There are plenty more out there though and I’d be keen to check out some others. I have learned a lot from the guys at guitar tricks and have been happily paying for two years.
Jamming. The best way by far to get motivated is to have a jam with some friends. It is like exercising, doing it on your own is hard going but when you have your friends there it is a lot more fun. I always get a lot of motivation from jamming and also figure out just what I need to work on to get better. The better the people you jam with, the more motivated you become. However, keep in mind that this may also shake your confidence a little.
I hope this has given you some motivation to keep going with music and getting inspired.