Topic: Stuck in a rut

Hiya guys, it’s been a while since my last post but I’ve been popping in occasionally for a read.

I’m after a little advice and as the title suggests I’m stuck in a bit of a rut and don’t know how to get myself out of it.  It’s not all bad, I’ve been playing for coming up to three years, 6 months ago I went for an audition as a lead guitarist in a covers band.  My playing was shocking but I guess they liked my attitude and saw some potential so I got the job.  I practiced my butt off for 4 months learning a set of 20 covers and we started gigging in August.  We now have nearly 30 covers, mainly rock and pop with some old UK punk in there.  We’re slowly building a reputation and gigging most weekends, I’m in charge of bookings and I’m even turning gigs down because we’re booked. We’re also earning quite a bit of extra cash with is most welcome!

The problem is that I’ve never really had a practice routine I’ve always learned songs, I have the 30 songs in my set down pretty well but having watched guitarists in other bands recently I’m aware my playing is a little forced and less fluid than theirs, they seem able to improvise at will where I’m stuck to my script!  I’m sure this is because I’ve sort of taken a short cut and landed a position in a band pretty quickly and basically know nothing about scales or music theory etc.

I’m not really sure what I’m asking because I don’t really know what the problem is?

Any advice?

Epiphone EJ200  -  Epiphone SG400  -  Fender Strat Blacktop.
Blackstar HT 40 Club  -  Vox VT30 - Behringer ACX ultracoustic 1000

Re: Stuck in a rut

Hi crevs glad too hear you are getting better and playing in public,I think you answered alot of your problems when you stated you do not know scales and some therory.You need too use alot of that too be able too jump into other peoples songs.

my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman

Re: Stuck in a rut

Crevs,
Rut no more! I've been "playing" for three years and I still suck. I don't sing and don't play in public. You are a guitar GOD compared to me so keep at it and, who knows, maybe you will inspire some else along - like me!
dj

Re: Stuck in a rut

I'm in the same boat as DJ. I just passed my 3 years and I wouldn't know the first thing about playing in a band. I have never played out anywhere. Other than my students and my family I've never played in front of anyone either. So if your lead in a band at this point I'd say your doing something right. As far as improving when you want, I would set some goals for yourself and knock 'em down 1 by 1. If anyone can do it you can.

Man extra cash would be nice. Maybe I should look into gigging. If I only had the time.

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

5 (edited by beamer 2011-12-02 00:51:31)

Re: Stuck in a rut

YOUR DOING GREAT. I HAVE BEEN PLAYING 20 YEARS AND STILL SUCK!  I have only played infront of ppl at church and that was in a setting where i did not have to be perfect. I dont sing and I cant play lead.

If you need help with theory,, I suggest you check out Marty schwartz on you tube, he sells an incredable package for that. (and he is fun to learn from) or Doug Marks Metal method.  Lots of stuff in both items!

this book is good also.   http://www.amazon.com/Arlen-Roths-Heavy … 0028700104
I xeroxed the whole thing,, but it was an earlier version. (pre-scanners!)
It will get you whre you want to be,,,If not you will get some good fundamentals from it.

"YOU GRAVITATE TO THE GUITARIST YOUR SUPPOSED TO BE" -- Chris Broderick, Megadeath
I guess you guys are going to get Scotty the metalizer,  punk style.

Re: Stuck in a rut

Learning to play guitar is a series of plateaus. You progress to a certain level and then you seem stuck there for a while. It takes an outside stimulus to break you out of your "rut" and propel you forward.
The stimulus could be an inspiring player or piece of music the lights your fire and has you breaking new ground.
Be patient and stay willing to try new things and at some point you will find a way to break out and surge forward.

We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

Re: Stuck in a rut

Guys, I'm far from gifted or even good, I just about manage to hold my own when playingin the band.  I'm proud that it's putting in the hours and shear hard work as made me progress to the situation I'm in now.   I would advise any person whatever their level who aspires to play in a band to join one or find other musicians to jam with, the progress you make by doing this is uncomparible to practicing on your own!  And believe me you will never feel ready to take the plunge.

Cheers tubatooter1940, your exactly right, I'm not doubting my progress I'm I'm far from dissatisfied.  I'm just at that fork in the road and I don't know where I want to go let alone which direction to take.  You have made me think tho and I've always been drawn to good old blues, I like old stuff by Hendrix and Clapton and newer bands like The Black Keys and The White Stripes.  I've always been facinated by slower players who can make one note sound like ten.  I guess that's an obvious road to take and I guess it's mastering scales is the starting point.

Cheers I owe you all a beer!

Epiphone EJ200  -  Epiphone SG400  -  Fender Strat Blacktop.
Blackstar HT 40 Club  -  Vox VT30 - Behringer ACX ultracoustic 1000

Re: Stuck in a rut

Scales, arpeggios, inversions, and turnarounds. 

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Stuck in a rut

You'll astound yourself Crevs once you work on how relevant chords, scales, key signatures are to 'getting it' and then
improvise soloing. You already have great finger dexterity because you are now playing lead, you just need more tools
to be expressive without learning lead parts in a canned sense. Practicing finger patterns up and down the neck that
belong to a certain chord will help a lot. Learn the scales for each open chord. These open chord scales will go far while
soloing. Hope I haven't confused you. There are a lot of ways to learn theory out there. Dive in head first!!     Mike

Our intuitions serve us well

Re: Stuck in a rut

Just throwing this out there, info you probly already have:

www.justinguitar.com

He has amazing lessons!!!!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Stuck in a rut

crevs.1972, you got me thinking. I have been told my several players that when they knew not where to go, they went back to the blues.
Thinking back, I have found myself back into the blues for various reasons on several occasions. Don't know why. Just wound up back there. Always took me to a good and better place in my music.
toots

We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

Re: Stuck in a rut

Hi Ryan,

I think that Toots is talking a lot of sense here. Playing something of a different style, blues, country, folk or whatever is a great way to get out of a rut.

Roger

Re: Stuck in a rut

+1 on the Plateaus and the blues.  Maybe warm up the band before starting the practice of your "songs" with a blues progression anyone can comfortably play.  Then take a few turns on some made up solo improvisation.  No need to sing or complete the song, it's just a warm up.  What I think you'll find is your mates will come up with some catchy lyrics just to goof off.  Another idea is see if you all like a song that's out of the genre of most that you play.  It may come out as a fresh sound.  Good luck as it sounds like you're doing all the right things.

Re: Stuck in a rut

So good to hear from you crevs. I'm so pleased you're doing so well. I'll probably never be in your situation but get some scales down and look into theory with regard to chords and turnarounds.
www.justinguitar.com  has a load of stuff available. I recently clicked a little bit with the so called CAGED system. Have a look at it, it opens up so much of the neck to you.

Best of luck

Al V

Is anything really made up of zeros and ones??

Re: Stuck in a rut

Zurf wrote:

Scales, arpeggios, inversions, and turnarounds. 

- Zurf

Just because it bears repeating....

Then, take all that, stop playing songs, and start writing them.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Stuck in a rut

Thanks Guys, I've started gathering info and practicing scales (major and minor pentatonic seems a good place to start). Already I've had a few eureka moments and I can't wait to get really stuck in.
 
I've always used Justin Guitar and donated and it is a brilliant place to go to but I do find there is so much info on there it can be difficult to find a progression?

Cheers Jerome,  I have written a few but I'm sure they could be enhanced with a little knowledge of scales.

Epiphone EJ200  -  Epiphone SG400  -  Fender Strat Blacktop.
Blackstar HT 40 Club  -  Vox VT30 - Behringer ACX ultracoustic 1000

Re: Stuck in a rut

I agree with Zurf.  Learn some scales, like pentatonic, Am, stuff like that.  The internet can add some spice check out youtube, Marty Schwartz, he is enthusiastic.  Music theory will really get you out of the doldrums.
Been playing 30 years and music theory is what opens your eyes and peels back the mystique.

18 (edited by seriousfun 2011-12-15 00:35:01)

Re: Stuck in a rut

If you have a local blues club that hosts jam nights, many do, get yourself involved. Blues is a great vehicle to improve improvisation with as the chord progrssions are more often than not standard progressions so you cant get lost and your pentatonic scale will be imensely valuable here.  G Luck to ya, you are doing great.

As always I hope you enjoy my musical journey as much as I do.