Oct. 1, 2021

045 - 7 Ways To Break Out Of A Guitar Rut

In this week's episode, I'm going to show you some techniques I use when I feel like I've hit a guitar rut, and how when I apply them to my own playing, it always seems to break me out of my rut and gives me inspiration for new ideas.

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The first thing I want to do is normalise this whole subject. It's ok to feel like you don't want to practice some days. You are going to have ups and downs.

When you look around at YouTube videos or different blogs, it looks like when you learn guitar, you should have this feeling of I want to pick it up every day and practice. When in reality, that is not always the case.

There is a great quote by Jimi Hendrix:

"Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded."

It is quite comforting that Jimi Hendrix, arguably the best guitar player of all time, had the same feelings as you or me.

The amount of time that is required to master certain techniques practically guarantees that you will find yourself in a rut at some point or, worse still, even find yourself getting burned out and losing motivation.

The reasons you might find yourself in a rut are:

  • lack of progress
  • too little variety in what you are playing/learning
  • forcing yourself to practice things that are too difficult for too long
  • lack of enjoyment in what you are playing/practising

Here are seven tips to help you break out of your rut:

  1. Listen to some new music
  2. See a live band
  3. Follow a structured method with a clear path
  4. Play something new 
  5. Play something old
  6. Set yourself a goal
  7. Make music 

Something I am starting to do this month is to focus on a particular artist or style. 

I use the search on https://www.halleonard.com/ to search for a random Guitar Play-Along Volume. Just choose a number. I decided 160, which resulted in T-Bone Walker. So this month, I will be going deep learning T-Bone Walker's style and classic songs. 


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