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How do you stay motivated? #3018569 12/05/19 06:42 PM
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surfergirl Offline OP
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We haven't had a gig in almost 2 months and just practicing for seemingly no purpose kinds sucks. Airbnb has placed new rules on short term rentals which hurts, especially in the winter when the surfers are here. We've cut back on practices to 1 or 2 a week. At least when I was playing basketball I knew at the end of a week of practice there there was a game, now it seems like why bother. wall

Last edited by surfergirl; 12/05/19 06:45 PM.

Jenny S.
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Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018575 12/05/19 07:06 PM
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Hey, Surfergirl...

Yes. It certainly sucks to not have gigs on the schedule, but if you believe in the music you are playing, then rehearsals need to happen to keep your chops up and your show rockin' for when you DO get a booking.

Some things I like to do to keep rehearsals flowing and motivation nurtured amongst the band members:

[1] Learn new songs.
[2] Rethink arrangements of songs you already perform and freshen them up.
[3] Vocal refinements. I think EVERY band always needs to work on vocal presentation, as serious vocal-only rehearsals tend to get "under-cooked" when it's more fun to rock out the instrumentals as a full band.
[4] Tighten up bass and drum grooves.
[5] Just hang out and discuss band plans and strategies.

It's really a blessing to play music and make people happy. We owe it to our audiences to always rock with passion, technique, tightness, and fun.

Cheers,
Mike

Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018578 12/05/19 07:08 PM
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Go find a club that needs an open mic night/jam night on a Sun-Weds night and offer to host it.
Free practice place, networking, motivation to do something.

I ended up in the band I am in now because the lead singer hosted Steak Night and had featured acts. My band was a feature, I dug the scene and started showing up to jam with the singer.
Pretty soon he's like, "Ya wanna play some gigs?" Now I am booked over 100 gigs a year, I made some great friends and we had a practice place with a nice stage and sound while we put the band together.

Plus, I've always found that more gets done when you are live and in person. The stupid time wasting conversations about TV shows etc. just don't exist. You PLAY songs, lots of them!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018600 12/05/19 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by surfergirl
How do you stay motivated?

Tenacity is my answer, that is how I stay motivated. If I am not practicing, I am not at my best when and if the time to play comes.


dbm
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Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018601 12/05/19 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by surfergirl
We haven't had a gig in almost 2 months and just practicing for seemingly no purpose kinds sucks. Airbnb has placed new rules on short term rentals which hurts, especially in the winter when the surfers are here. We've cut back on practices to 1 or 2 a week. At least when I was playing basketball I knew at the end of a week of practice there there was a game, now it seems like why bother. wall


Practice allows you to get better at the things you can already do, and work on the things you can't quite do yet.

Sometimes, having regular gigs means not having time to try something new, so you wind up rehearsing and performing the same tunes over and over. OTOH, if playing gigs is your motivation to practice, maybe you need to consider spreading yourselves out a bit more. Open mic nights are one possibility, but are there any community events where you could play, people doing other sorts of productions where they might need a band, or at least a Guitarist? Sure, you'll probably wind up playing somewhere for free, but you'll be out in front of people, instead of in your practice space.

For me, Music is pretty much an end in itself: it's not simply something I do, it's part of who, and what, I am. As much as I enjoy and look forward to performing for an audience, I'd still be playing Music, and buying new gear, and trying new things, even if I had nowhere to perform. If I ever have to sincerely ask myself "Why bother?", I'll know I should be doing something else.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018606 12/05/19 11:18 PM
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surfergirl Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm not quitting, just venting I guess. You've all given me some really good ideas and we will put them to use. I actually do like to practice and we should be working on some new material. thx


Jenny S.
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018619 12/06/19 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by surfergirl
We haven't had a gig in almost 2 months and just practicing for seemingly no purpose kinds sucks. Airbnb has placed new rules on short term rentals which hurts, especially in the winter when the surfers are here. We've cut back on practices to 1 or 2 a week. At least when I was playing basketball I knew at the end of a week of practice there there was a game, now it seems like why bother. wall


When I picked up a guitar 33 years ago, I had no idea where it was leading. I quickly became obsessed with learning everything I could. Within a year, I had the grand visions of tour buses and throngs of adoring fans. About 12 years later, after a failed record deal and one kick in the owie after another, I put music aside and "grew up." What I discovered shortly after was that, the love I had for music that first year was the real thing. The dreams of fame and gigs and all that was just window dressing. I enjoyed it the most when I was playing just for my own entertainment. And so I have spent every moment since enjoying the heck out of it and writing music so I have it to play in my car. I do, of course share that with others and make self released stuff (as well as do the You Tube thing now), but the dynamic is completely different when it's first for yourself and then if people like it, that's fine too.

So all that is a very long (and self absorbed) way of saying that you shouldn't worry about where the journey is taking you with music. It is so much more fun when it is just the sound track for YOUR journey and not for what lies at the end of the road.


Music With Marky - A YouTube Channel For Guitarists Who Want To Make Better Music
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018636 12/06/19 05:23 AM
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I wrote this bit on “guitarist’s block” a few years ago and posted it on another website. That isn’t quite the same as what you’re experiencing, but some of the tips might revitalize your practice time.

Overcoming Guitarist's Block
You've been caught up in a lot of stuff but when you find the time to play you find yourself playing the same songs over and over? Your growth from beginner to intermediate-beginner was exponential, but now it feels like you’re going nowhere and learning nothing?

While it is always a good idea in structured practice sessions to do certain exercises like arpeggios and picking pattern variations, you don't need to do ALL of them EVERY session or in the same order every time. Pick and choose. Throw yourself curveballs by randomizing them: put your exercises on a sheet and roll dice; put them on flash cards and draw them out of a bag.

But then go about trying new stuff. ANYTHING new will be a challenge to your mind and skills, even if only briefly.

Try new musical genres. I don't particularly dig country, but I did learn a couple of tunes by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash...and grew to like playing them.

Try new tunings. I currently play in Standard and NST, but I'm considering DADGAD, and will probably try Open G if I try to learn slide. This also works if you try to relearn songs you already know in those other tunings.

Try learning a song back to front...or even turn your sheet music upside down. Pianist/comedian extraordinaire Victor Borge used to do the upside down thing in his act. He'd play for a while, then - "realizing his error" - would apologize, flip the music to the correct orientation, and start playing correctly.

Try playing songs in different time signatures. By that, I mean try playing a song you know in an unfamiliar beat. I know a jazz pianist who can play the song "Take Five" in its original 5/4, but also in 3/4, 4/4, 6/4 and 7/4. Each variant completely changes the feel of the tune.

Try mimicking song parts written for other instruments or even for singers. One of Prince's touring guitarists was struggling with learning to play a piece in a way that made his boss happy. Prince told him to learn to play the part as if it were being sung by Billie Holiday.

Take a break. Advice usually given to writers, painters, and other creative types, this works for guitarists, too. Sometimes, you just need to recharge your batteries. When you come back to the process, you may find you have a different perspective, a fresh view, and you'll make progress again. So, go for a walk, see a movie, read a book, go camping. Just forget the guitar for a bit, and come back to it.


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018685 12/06/19 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by surfergirl
We haven't had a gig in almost 2 months and just practicing for seemingly no purpose kinds sucks. Airbnb has placed new rules on short term rentals which hurts, especially in the winter when the surfers are here. We've cut back on practices to 1 or 2 a week. At least when I was playing basketball I knew at the end of a week of practice there there was a game, now it seems like why bother. wall


The key word for me is FUN...if it's not fun, I'm not interested. If practicing more than once a week is not fun, then practice every other week. If practicing every night is fun then practice every night. Throw yourselves a party now and then and have some fun. Keeping up a positive attitude is very important along with improving your chops and broadening your horizons. You can do this in your solo practice as well. It's a long ride, so enjoy the journey. If gigs are the ultimate goal then get everyone in the band involved. They can do a little recon and strike up a conversation in the clubs. Then bring in the guy or gal that can promote and close the deal and they can be a future contact. Getting to know the owners and getting call backs and referrals can lead to more gigs. Got to get out there, get involved and report back...

My motivation is going the other way. I'm more involved in getting out of gigs and trying to spend my time learning to write my own solo material. I still have fun playing with my old buds and just played with a brand new and very knowledgeable guy yesterday. Playing with others, sharing and learning new stuff is fun too. When work is fun, it's no longer work... cool

ps. +1 on being a host band for open mics. I know a band that's been doing it for many years and they are also a working gigging band in high demand. Singer song writers come in and do their own thing or they can have the band back them up (many aspiring singers never get the chance to sing with a live band)...just have a list of your songs they can choose from. It's a fun time and the club does a very good business in food and drinks. The host band gets paid but the rest of the singers do not. They will usually get a free drink though...and they line up to play every Wednesday night. cool

Last edited by Larryz; 12/06/19 07:54 PM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018704 12/06/19 11:44 PM
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What a great thread! A great topic-starter, surfergirl, and great replies throughout.


Play so that YOU can hear the music and sounds that you want to, that you won't get to otherwise. This keeps it enjoyable, fun, and rewarding, and also dovetails into developing your own style and sound.

It's good to shake things up a bit now and then, try a different approach, technique, style, sound, branch out, give yourself new challenges, new ways to enjoy playing.

My 'main-squeeze' is a Les Paul with relatively hot pickups, a very slim neck, and medium/heavy gauge strings (11's) set-up for Rock and Blues Rock with growl on-tap, relative ease of string-bending, and with loads of pedals for all manner of sounds; but I recently started playing a hollow-body, arched-top Jazzbox with rather low-output pickups and heavy-gauge (13's) flat-wound strings. It does NOT work well with almost ALL of my pedals, and practically dictates playing clean-toned fingerstyle Jazz and R&B styles. The change in course is refreshing, challenging, and downright FUN.

One doesn't need to spend money on another guitar for things like that, though.

Do you usually play through the bridge pickup, or other pickups or combinations? Try playing through pickup selections that you don't use as often, playing different styles.

Do you usually play with a pick? Go fingerstyle, or pick-and-fingers.

Usually use overdrive and distortion? Go squeaky-clean, or in-between cleanish where a softer touch is pretty clean, while digging-in harder elicits more growl, bark, and bite. Work that volume-knob and your "touch"!

Usually play clean or clean-ish? Crank it up, play with gonzo distortion and fuzz!

Imagine that you're playing for a cartoon and play appropriately. Or inappropriately. What WOULD Ren and Stimpy Do... ?!

Find ways to play heavy riff styles without sounding like everyone else, without sounding clichéd, putting YOUR stamp on it- for example, instead of the standard and hackneyed 'Root-5fth-Root/8va' three-note "power chords", add or substitute a different chord-interval, pare it down to two notes, invert the low-to-high order, add actual harmony movement among the grips, intersperse single-notes connecting said power-chords. Play out-and-out Jazz grips with overdrive, distortion, and/or fuzz. Find a way to make it work. Find a way to wreck things.

Take a song you know and love, and play it VERY differently- much faster, much more slowly, in a different style- for example, take a classic R&B song and play it as a Dub-Reggae piece; take a Reggae song and make it a pensive ballad. Take a Metal classic and make it a Blues song. Play a Folk song with Jazz chord fingerings complete with 7ths and 9ths and... all that Jazz.

Find ways to mimic a pedal-steel guitar, or Hawaiian guitar wink , or trumpet or sax, or horn sections- two or three note chord movements that sound like parts written for several horns to play in harmony. Mimic keyboard playing and sounds.

LISTEN to music you usually DON'T listen to. Listen closely, and try to figure out what you usually do and don't like about it.

Take a completely odd turn now and then, and see where it leads you.


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #3018711 12/07/19 01:13 AM
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surfergirl Offline OP
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Usually I get mad at myself when I get frustrated, but this time it worked out. I'm put this all together and having a band meeting, something we don't have often enough
A few things I want to change and some new music I want to try.
1: I'm going get an acoustic/electric Ukulele. I haven't played the Ukulele in several years but I want find someplace for it in some songs. A new toy always makes me feel upbeat.
2: I never wanted to be THE vocalist and I'm finally going to broach that subject. I just want them to take few songs so I can do what I love, just play.
3: I want to do something totally different, 60's girl groups. Be My Baby, Iko Iko, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, etc.
Thank you everyone again this has been eye opening.


Jenny S.
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018714 12/07/19 02:05 AM
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You band hasn't had a gig. Ok. Pickup you acoustic and go play at an open mic. Take your electric/acoustic and a loop pedal and tiny amp and go play out somewhere for the sake of playing out. Me? I listen to music and because I've always loved lead guitarists since the late 60's I can sit around and noodle for hours. I put on tunes or back tracks, where are cheap on iTunes, and play lead for hours improvising. Practice picking up the keys of songs by ear so I can just say hit it and then play lead all over it. It's fun and it helps develop your ear. Just have fun and don't make it a job. Best wishes.

Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018715 12/07/19 02:08 AM
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It looks like you live near a military installation. Call up the club on base and see if they would like a lounge act to play for tips or do they book live entertainment.

Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018735 12/07/19 05:18 AM
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If you're a Christian, and attend a church with a worship band, ask to try out for it. If brought onto the team, you'll then be gainfully "employed" on a weekly basis. If your church doesn't have a worship band...

- Ask to perform an acoustic/electric solo.

or

- There may be a church in your area in need of musicians... without the requirement of joining that particular church.

Peace smile


"Treat your wife with honor, respect, and understanding as you live together so that you can pray effectively as husband and wife." 1 Peter 3:7
Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018739 12/07/19 06:53 AM
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Indeed.

Our church has a mix of (very talented) parishioners and hired musicians for each of our multiple services. The main pianist is one of the hired guns, as a matter of fact, and is present at more masses than any one of our priests!

The same could probably be said of local youth groups,

And our local PBS station has been showing a clip about some local musicians who do performances at children’s wards. Wouldn’t be surprised to find some doing likewise at veterans hospitals or old folks homes or other community-oriented events.

Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; 12/07/19 06:59 AM.

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Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018742 12/07/19 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by surfergirl
3: I want to do something totally different, 60's girl groups. Be My Baby, Iko Iko, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, etc.


May I humbly suggest a favorite of Elizabeth's and mine- and a cover, to boot, performed by a '60s all-girl band, of a song... by the Bee Gees:

Dig this fuzz, and also the tape-echo on the vocals...

Dara Puspita (Wikipedia)

And for a little inspiration:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The band faced pressure from the Sukarno regime, which saw rock music as an unwanted Western influence, going so far as to imprison the popular band Koes Bersaudara, and the band sought a safer place to play, performing live in Bangkok, and picking up some Thai influences in their music...




Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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Re: How do you stay motivated? [Re: surfergirl] #3018744 12/07/19 10:47 AM
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Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Nice!

Reminds me of the American/Cambodian band Dengue Fever. They’re a modern band that takes a lot of inspiration from the southeastern Asian bands of that era.



Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; 12/07/19 10:59 AM.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

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http://murphysmusictx.com/

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