Guitar Zen: Finding Inspiration and Motivation to Play!

It’s easy to get yourself amped up and rockin’ when you are learning your craft as a guitarist.  When you strap on your favorite axe, plug in to your amp, hit that first note and feel the vibration surge through the air, it’s electrifying! At that point the adrenaline kicks in and you are on fire! But there often comes a time when you have reached a peak and the creative juices seem to lie stagnate or even dry up. So I pose the age old question (one I hear many aspiring actors say here in Hollyweird), what’s your inspiration?

Find Your Inspiration

There are no limits to what can be a source of inspiration and it matters not if you are a songwriter or just a hobbyist, inspiration and motivation are key components to perfecting your craft. You have to have a desire to play or practice and that desire is usually sparked by something that inspires you to want to pick up your guitar and be expressive.

One form of inspiration is listening. Just simply listening to music and dissecting the instruments, their tones, and the overall vibe of the song can do wonders to expand your musical horizons and make you want to emulate the things you hear that strike a chord with you.  I can remember spending hours with my former co-guitarist just playing songs for each other and pointing out the different textures of sounds, rhythms, progressions, and how they all came together to make the song interesting. This is also a great way to discover new things that you yourself may have never given a chance (I even liked Insane Clown Posse when my buddy pointed out certain nuances in their production value).

Check Out the Local Music Scene!

Another GREAT way to get inspired is to go see your favorite bands or live shows in general. Nothing gets you pumped to play like seeing your idol on stage tearing it up! Seeing Joe Satriani for the first time for example, I went home and immediately plugged in and played guitar till about 3am… or until my mom told me to turn down the racket, I don’t remember!

One of the things that helped me to push myself and motivated me was seeing other guitar players in the local scene as well.  When you’re striving to be the best and there is a kid down the block who is creating quite a buzz, it pushes you to keep up and stay ahead of the pack. Having a competitive spirit can inspire you to better yourself but don’t be competitive to be cocky (see my last post), but to push yourself beyond any limitations you may find that you have but others don’t. Just knowing that someone else can do it should inspire you to be able to do the same.

Don’t Give Up!

There is no limit to what may inspire you. Whether it is music, nature, art, movies, beauty,  just be excited to have an outlet to express yourself artistically. Take all of that inspiration now and put it to good use as it is just a precursor to the REAL effort that follows. The great inventor Thomas Edison said it best:

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”.

So get inspired, then GET TO WORK!!

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  • I find that the excitement factor is key to keeping me energized and willing to dedicate my time to practicing/progressing. You hit the nail on the head SVH as you spelled out several things to do to keep aspiring guitarists pumped up and eager to pluck them strings! Stay excited, keep at it and remember that good things come to those who persist!

  • Very cool blog! You got it goin’ on here!

  • Checking out the local music scene has always been inspiring. Seeing someone do what you ultimately want to do will connect you with your goals as a guitarist.

    • @Todd, exactly right. It just gives you a spark or kick in the butt to push yourself and visualize where you want to be. Motivation rocks!

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