In the last month I made some major breakthroughs to where everything started falling into place with my picking mechanics, coordination, feel and A way better understanding of what was going on with what I was going for. For whatever screwed up reason I’m going backwards again with just things feeling sloppy, uncoordinated and confusing? i’ve been trying to retrace my steps to figure out what it was I was doing that was connecting well and the problem is I really don’t know what I was doing as you could read from my last post. It just worked. Anybody ever go through stuff like this? it’s very disheartening because you feel like you’re going from elite to dog doo overnight. Maybe I’m just suffering mental and physical fatigue or burn out.
I’m currently experiencing something whereby things I thought I knew well are falling apart under heightened scrutiny i.e. slowing my recordings down to 50% or 25% and finding notes missing and other flaws that aren’t so obvious at speed. Not sure if that applies to your situation but I think ability to perform well in these tasks is subject to mood. But I understand the feeling of thinking you have something in the bag when you really don’t. It’s challenging, for sure, this fancy guitar stuff.
I’m feeling really run down lately from overexercising (trying to lose this COVID gut) and I’m hoping I’m just mentally and physically burnt out. It’s crazy but one of the big issues I’ve had for years is just holding a pick in my hand. most of the time it just feels awkward and unstable and it seem like that I finally got a hold on it,no pun intended to where I just felt comfortable and I could forget about it. Now I’ve gone back to the Strangeness of having to keep re-positioning it in my hand. That’s just one of the things that have taken a turn for the worse. I hate having to put the guitar down and not play for a day or two but maybe I just need to a reboot
Man, sorry to hear about covid. I hope it wasn’t too brutal for you. I try to get myself to take days off from guitar but I rarely do. I rely too much on it for day to day happiness.
I don’t actually have the virus. Just gained a lot of weight from not being able to do much from the lockdown the last 6 months. Thank you though.
OH! Sorry for the misunderstanding. In that case, I, too, have one of those, lol!
Regression has become a part of the process for me . It’s seems right before I get the next breakthrough my skills seem to tank for 2-3 days. I chalk it to needing recovery. I wonder if you’ll find the same. Take a break from picking g for a few days…there are always other musicianship related skill to hone.
I think so yeah! Since my playing has been improving it’s made me want to play the guitar more which is great, but because of that I’m playing so much that my hands are starting to get fatigued and worn out. I need to set the guitar down for a day or two but as we all know that’s haaaaard.
I’ve had a hell of a week. I feel like I was at the top of a mountain and I skipped happily one too many times. Finding myself plunging into the rocks below— ego, needless obsession, negative self talk, despair, suffering.
I started keeping a daily inventory and in it I include a brief check in on my guitar sessions (ranging from horrible to best of all time) I seem to hit a lull once a month.
It makes me respect the process more, breathe, refresh my practice and pause to reflect on how lucky I am that my guitar playing being below my norm is one of my biggest frustrations in life.
Well all be back on top that precarious mountain in no time haha.
But yes, I had a heavy week of demolition at work and for the first time in probably two-three years I actually feel like I’ve had a stroke with how foreign the guitar feels, how heavy the strings resist and how difficult picking seems to feel.
I’m off to eat some food, meditate and listen to some inspiration.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Am I the only one who happily calls a session at an hour or two on the best days but will slog away for 8 hours on the bad days? Is that a hidden benefit, or a fools proverbial “head, meet wall”?
I also found a series of progressions and regressions normal. It takes time for stuff to sink in and become second nature. This happens easier for some people than others, keep working at it. Remember to stay relaxed and don’t push too hard for extended periods, vary what you practice. You can also practice by visualization, which I found extremely helpful to memorize things, and let my muscle memory do the technique.
Taking time off to let things sink in I think is also good advice, and to let your body rest. Rest is often overlooked and very important.
Sometimes I find that if I hit a roadblock on a technique I need to take a break from it and come back to it in a few days. When I do this it usually feels fresh and stronger than it did before I took a break.
The older I get, the less inclined I am to bash my head against something when it’s just not working. So to answer, if it’s going well, I can play happily for hours. If it’s a baaaad day, like seriously bad, where I’m flubbing even simple lines, I’ll usually just quietly put my guitar away and do something else.
No sense getting bummed out on something that you’ve proven to yourself you’re capable of doing already.
Hey @Regotheamigo sorry to hear about the returning slump. I’m really curious, for educational purposes, if you think you’ll be able to capture this on video when you’re “on” and when you’re “off”. I’d think the community would really benefit from this. Is it a mechanical/technique thing? Is it a focus thing? Are you burnt out? We can hypothesize about this all day. If it turns out you’re actually making different movements when it’s done correctly and we can get the experts to identify this, you’re troubles might be over for good
Thanks for all the reply’s. It’s great advice all around. I’m finding out in my slump it’s my fretting hand that’s seems to have gone down hill more than anything. if my picking hand starts to go off the beaten path it seems like I’m able to stop for a second and at least correct what I’m doing which is usually wiggling my thumb and index finger around too much and picking side to side instead of up and down on the strings, twitching around etc. Unfortunately I seem to have that issue with my fingers on the fretboard as well my fingers start getting all twitchy and almost jumping around, it’s difficult to explain, but it makes for a very sloppy playing. It feels like my hands are just fatigued and rundown so I’m hoping that that’s what it is. I know I need to set the guitar down for a day or two but it’s so difficult during this coronavirus lockdown BS because I’m already bored enough as it is.
Well my decline has officially just fallen off a cliff. It is incredible how far backwards I’m going! Two or three weeks ago when I posted that I thought I finally had it down, today every single thing that I felt confident in has completely gone to hell in a handbasket! My technique is based around the pentatonic EJ fives sweeping thing mainly because I feel that, that will be the most beneficial to the type of music I play which is country and rock. It was amazing because the cascading falling down the stairs and landing on your feet triplet quality that Eric has was finally under my fingertips and I was able to do it at great speeds. Also the finger position shifts were smooth to where before they just always were a conundrum of sloppiness and confusing to my ears. Out of nowhere things started creeping back into bad habits. The first one I noticed was my position shifts started becoming sloppy again and confusing, BUT I was able to do the EJ fives in box positions cleanly smoothly and as fast as he does it. Now I can’t even play stuff in box positions anymore. I’m tripping all over the place it doesn’t sound right rhythmically to me anymore, and my fretting hand is playing like I’m on a guitar with the action 5 miles off the fretboard. The final decline and this has been my biggest Achilles’ heel on the guitar was being able to hold the pick securely in my hand. I had about a week or two of that finally going away and just playing and forgetting about it. Now it’s back to constantly feeling like my thumb and index finger are twitching around, the bottom part of my thumb aches, and I’m playing side to side on the strings instead of up and down. I’m just getting completely physically and mentally lost with what I’m supposed to be doing. several of you have suggested that I take a break and set the guitar down for a day or two, but I haven’t done that. Do you honestly think that’s going to fix my problems? I do feel that I’m just getting burned out and fatigued so I’ll try anything at this point. each passing day I’m getting worse and worse. Help!
I don’t know how many times it can be said but post a video. Pick some short snippet that’s annoying you and offer it up.
I don’t want to post videos on YouTube on my music channel of me falling all over the place on the guitar. that’s why I don’t do it. If there would be a way that I could just upload a video from my phone on to this forum I’d be all over it! The only thing I might be able to do is post a video on YouTube but leave it on for a very short amount of time I guess, but a limited number of people will ever see it. I also don’t do it because I’m gonna get 157 different opinions from 157 different guitar players that probably are struggling just as much as I am on what to do. Unless Troy comments I have to take everything with a major grain of salt and he doesn’t seem to comment too much anymore on players techniques.
You can always mark it unlisted, no one on your channel will see it without the link. Or, make a new youtube channel just for guitar critique. Like, short of actually doing something to try and resolve this, just complaining via text isn’t going to do much, you know?
It doesn’t hurt to try! Since nothing you’re currently doing is making it better, why not? In your own words:
Then try taking a break and don’t play for a few days!
I didn’t realize you could do that. I also didn’t realize that the only way to be helped was to show a video on here. Forget it