The guitar is just sitting there in the corner collecting dust - truly a sad image to behold.
A friend recently told me that they couldn't find the motivation to play guitar. This can happen with anything you're passionate about, and thankfully there are a few ways to get out of a funk - you just have to be a little creative. Don't worry, because this affects many players and this advice can be used in a lot of areas of your life.
I've been in the same type of predicament, where mentally it's seemed easier to let the guitar sit in its case, while doing something less fulfilling, even if it was fun in the moment. Here's a few ways you can outsmart your urge to not want to play.
Stand by your guitar
If you want to run every day, it's a good idea to put your running shoes by your front door. If you want to play guitar every day, have one out on a guitar stand, or hang a guitar on your wall.
Even the littlest bit of resistance, like having your whole guitar collection in cases can make the difference in wanting or not wanting to play. If you want to play more often, make it as easy as possible for yourself. Another tip is to make your practice space a place that welcomes guitar playing, so you have a fun "space" to jam. Hang posters of your heroes, have a small practice amp and cable ready to go. Beat the resistance!
Do something guitar related
If you're not feeling the urge to pick up your instrument, something that'll turn that feeling around is doing something in the world of guitar
Read a guitar magazine or blog (hi!), listen to your favorite players, learn more theory, watch one of your guitar heroes on YouTube. There's been many times in my life where simply watching the awesomeness of someone like Stevie Ray Vaughan has inspired me to be better rather than feel defeated.
You'd be surprised to know that simply immersing yourself in the world of guitar is making you more prepared for the next time you pick up your axe.
Make the most of your practice time
One thing that can derail the want to play guitar is the feeling that you're not progressing. I recently wrote a post on how to make the most of your practice time.
It feels great to make improvements and reach new heights in our guitar playing. Whether that be learning that difficult riff you've been working on, or learning a new technique, wins just lead to more wins. Know what you're going to practice when you sit down, and you'll see progress.
Don't get discouraged / compare yourself
A lot of folks take themselves out of the guitar game early by comparing themselves to other guitar players. Everyone has their special something to bring to the guitar.
You might not be ripping it up like Yngwie just yet, but you could be honing in on your own unique sound. Don't get discouraged when playing or practicing. Getting good takes time, but we all get there eventually if we put the work in. Work on your strengths, and in no time people will be looking to you for inspiration.
Play your favorite song
One thing that can get you out of a rut, is playing your favorite "rock stance" song. You know the one. Whether that be Back in Black or Whiplash, bust out your favorite tune to get you going.
Jam with others
Know what's better than playing your favorite tune alone? Jamming on that song with a full band.
Heading to a rehearsal space always sparks new ideas for me. You get into a whole different zone when playing with others, and it takes you to a whole different place than just rocking out in your bedroom.
You might even come up with a new song. I always like to bring a stereo recorder to jams. Then I'll take the file and upload it to my computer. I'll skip around and see if there's anything that can be fleshed out into a full song.
Go jam with friends and it's bound to lead to something good.
Try something new
When you're tired of the same 'ol stuff, get into something new. Maybe it's a brand new pedal that can give you inspiration to try new tones and write new riffs.
It could be learning a riff or song from a genre you don't normally play. Getting into other styles can help make you sound different when it comes to playing your favorite genre. It opens up your guitar 'vocabulary', so you have more places to pull from.
Another thing you can try is picking up an entirely different instrument. Pick up a bass, sit down at a piano or drum kit, and it may spark ideas for when you get back to the guitar.
Give yourself a break
With all this talk about playing guitar, if I'm being honest, sometimes the best thing to inspire you to pick up the guitar again is to let it sit for a little while.
Whenever I've focused on other things, I've always gotten the itch to play again. Many times it's lead to some of the biggest leaps and bounds in my playing. Don't wait too long though! Getting in some good playing or practicing every day really does make you a better player in the long run.
What do you do when you don't want to play?
I hope these tips helped you if you're experiencing one of those not wanting to play guitar moments. We all get them, and it's important to talk to each other and figure out how we get past these ruts. What do you do when you don't want to play guitar?