Losing the fire


Lots of good advice here so not a lot more to add from me. But over the many years I’ve lost count of the plateaus I’ve hit and the number of times I tumbled back down the mountain. That did not stop when I arrived here but having folk to reach out to made a heck of a difference.

Apart from completely giving up many times over a17 year period only to start again, the way I have dealt with plateaus over the last decade with Justin, is to take a week or so off of not playing but pick up again and just play songs. No goals, no new techniques, no development. I put that all on hold and just play, anything and everything I have learnt, just a handful of songs each day. When I have done that, it reminds me how far I have come and confirms that I have and can make progress, even with the bumps in the road I’ve encountered. That normally inspires me to start “learning” again but I’ll take it slow and focus on one thing at a time and gradually build to maybe 4 or 5 things to work on and practice.

Not saying this will work for you, only that it has helped me when I have been where you are at. I hope you keep going but no shame in saying its no longer enjoyable. But playing a shed load of songs is a good way to lift the spirit and a bunch of fun while you are doing it.




What the sane man Toby says above resonates with me. When I am burned out, not just from guitar, I just play what is fun to me at the time and not worry about it.

I have looked at playing the guitar as one of the things I can do to relax and get away from work stresses and other stresses, so when I am thrashed, the guitar is what I want to go to.

I am pretty mentally tired quite a bit from my job and so I may not be progressing in lessons that fast, but I am only here for the fun of it. So I pick it up and have fun.


These are two different issues.
The important one is fun/enjoyment. If you can still get some of that, keep on going. If not, probably best to give it a break at least.
Progress/ improvement is overrated. Everyone who takes up guitar will improve, eventually stagnate and then get worse (usually with ups and downs along the way). There will always be better and worse players than you. Of course progress adds to pleasure, but if someone told me I’d never get any better, that it was only downhill from here, I’d still be strumming away :smiley:

Have you thought about what you would replace it with?
And what about the ‘community’? Playing guitar is a good excuse to hang around a bunch of weirdos from all over the world who are generally supportive and interesting :wink:
(There’s a good chance I’ll have changed my mind when I’m 73!)



I’m the same…I find a recurring problem with basic technique, that doesn’t yield to different approaches…and no matter how hard you work on it…is especially demotivating. (I also struggle with Bm changes, BTW)

Reading your post has motivated me to video a long term problem I’m having with my pinky locking up while playing. I will post it soon, and ask for feedback from the community.

Maybe doing something similar could also help you with the two issues you listed?


I am confused as non engligh. What’s a DAW ?

Digital Audio Workstation. Software for recoding, mixing and mastering tracks. Like Reaper, Cubase, Audacity etc. Hope that helps.


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Don’t worry. I speak English and I had no idea what a DAW was either. Had to look it up. I just want to play a little guitar, not have a home recording studio. :grin:


Update: I completely ignored the guitars for a solid week. Didn’t even look at them. Today I got back to playing. I felt much better. I’m still not good but at least it didn’t feel like drudgery.


Do you ever play with other musicians? There’s few things that will motivate like that, in my experience.

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I’ve thought about that. I’m old and retired, and have no way of finding people to play with. I only know a few people who play, and they’re in bands already. And they’re all much younger than I am.

My 2 cents: F I N D someone(s) to play with. There is likely to be some old timey group or church group or something around there where you can play with others. In my local sometimes there’s an ad on Craigslist looking for a jam partner.
I know for me, I wouldn’t have advanced as far as I have, if it wasn’t for playing with others. Good luck, mark.


It’s amazing what taking a week off, and putting a fresh set of strings on, will do for one’s outlook. I was almost decent this afternoon.

I always forget how good the guitar sounds with new strings. The deterioration is so gradual that I don’t really notice until I hear the fresh ones.


Great thing about strings. They feed the GAS a little and don’t cost much. Love ‘em!

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Glad to hear your feeling better about playing. There are always ups and downs and plateaus and such. I’d encourage you to find some other musicians to play with. Don’t let excuses become self-imposed obstacles. Most musicians like to play and welcome the opportunity to play with someone new. Put yourself out there; you might be surprised at how well it works out. :slight_smile:

Sometimes just a little change will get the mojo flowing again. Looks like 6 works a treat!

I’m catching up on some topics i’ve missed and as I was scrolling the first bunch of posts felt genuinely sad reading your experiences Mark and the questions you were asking. Needless to say the bottom of the thread is conversely uplifting!!

It’s very true that a break form time to time really can help you reset and rejuvenate in all things, including guitar!

Well done on breaking through to the other side (I’m sure somebody sang that somewhere… :wink: )