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Thread: Figured out why I quit playing

  1. #1
    Junior Member WalterJ's Avatar
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    Default Figured out why I quit playing

    Ever since I picked the classical guitar back up I have been trying to figure out why I put it down in the first place. I was listing to the radio on the way into work, a non-classical station, and I heard a song I have not heard in a long time that I use to play once every now and then and it hit me it stopped being fun and I had taken it all too seriously. I was practicing so hard at the Classical I forgot why I wanted to play it in the first place and I forgot why I was plying guitar. That and of course a divorce at around the same time didn't help but the resault was I just stopped enjoying it.

    I recently was having a problem with practice and I was again taking it all to seriously and I was focused way to much on the future and playing much better and getting frustrated that I was not only not as good as I wanted to be but not as good as I was back when I was at best mediocre.

    Now, after hearing that song (Ohio by CSN) I realized I need to calm down, enjoy playing and focus on now and not years down the road.

    Has anyone else run into something similar?

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    Member Bgroovy2's Avatar
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    Well said! Enjoyment of art by those that produce it is as importantas the enjoyment by those that observe or listen!

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    I've been playing the guitar for almost 20 years. There were times when I was completely disgusted with it and times I thought I was a hopeless case. I, at one point, practiced guitar for almost 7 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words all the time. This was a pretty idiotic thing for me to do I think, because it didn't make one bit of difference in my playing. The reason it didn't is because I was taking it all way too seriously and not having fun anymore. When you stop having fun, it's over in my opinion. You have to come up with some things that are fun to play while also returning to the more serious music and playing it too.

    I don't practice hardly ever now. I don't really need to, because I've learned that once you learn the basics of theory and learn how to execute ideas on the fly, it all becomes mind over matter. Not only that, but your playing starts to sound "rehearsed" for lack of a better word and in the world of improvisation this is one of the worst things to sound like.

    One person was so impressed with my playing one time in a guitar store that he said "I bet you practice all the time don't you?" I looked at him, smiled, and said "I hardly even touch the guitar anymore." He was impressed with the fact that I don't practice and didn't need to.

    Bear in mind, that some people have to practice and keep getting better. For me, it's more important to compose and focus on the music now, then it is to run scales all day.

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    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    To be honest, it's seldom I've experienced what could be described as 'fun' playing any instrument. Rather than fun it's either immense satisfaction at getting something right, or frustration.
    Most the time it's neither of these: I'm concentrating quite a bit so I'm not feeling any particular emotion.

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    Senior Member Edmond-Dantes's Avatar
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    I've felt the same befor. As for Herzeleide, I'm a bit supprised that you haven't had fun playing. For me, nothing is more fun than playing. Honestly, improvement comes second for me..[/I]
    "Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!" ~ Das Lied von der Erde - Der Abschied (Li Tai-Po/G.Mahler) <---Click to Listen

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    I don't really experience fun either. After all, I'm trying to do something good and it takes hours and hours of tedious, boring and relentless practice. Statisfaction is more the word I'm looking for indeed.

    I do enjoy conducting though. Maybe because once on stage it doesn't really matter what you do anyways.

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    Senior Member Edmond-Dantes's Avatar
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    Huh... Maybe I'm just a bit odd. LOL I've already been told that by many, and I suppose my love of listening and playing music crossed the line past obsession years ago. ^^;;;
    "Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!" ~ Das Lied von der Erde - Der Abschied (Li Tai-Po/G.Mahler) <---Click to Listen

  8. #8
    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond-Dantes View Post
    Huh... Maybe I'm just a bit odd. LOL I've already been told that by many, and I suppose my love of listening and playing music crossed the line past obsession years ago. ^^;;;
    Yeah, I love it too. It's extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

    This is probably a terminological issue.

    What I class as 'fun' is taking a chair out one's front room whilst one is rather high at three in the morning, and with friends rolling down a steep hill on the chair in hysterics.

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    Senior Member Edmond-Dantes's Avatar
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    Er.. no. ^^;; It's not a terminological issue. I'm just a tad different as in, I enjoy every moment of practice, hard time or easy. Not just for the reward of playing well. Though, I suppose it's an odd outlook on things.
    "Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!" ~ Das Lied von der Erde - Der Abschied (Li Tai-Po/G.Mahler) <---Click to Listen

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    It's a tricky one, especially when you're learning the instrument because you do have to concentrate to remember everything you're meant to do! My advice would be practice things that make you play well, and then when you've done enough of that, just enjoy the instrument. I tell my pupils to sit in front of the tv and try and play along to their favorite theme tune!

  11. #11
    Member tenor02's Avatar
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    my room mate is a classical guitarist and he has to set aside time where he is not playing...just to keep his sanity. but there have been times when he has practiced up to 9-12 hours a day as well.

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