Tipsy Tuesday: Uninspired? Refine your environment

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“This is important: Use your environment to PULL you into playing guitar, instead of PUSHING yourself to practice. It’s not only more effective, it’s also 100 times easier. Pushing requires work. Being pulled, being seduced, and being drawn into picking up the guitar. That’s effortless.

If your goal is to play like Jimmy Page, immerse yourself in his music. Listen to it every day. Take one song, and try to master it. Put that song on repeat and don’t move on until you’ve nailed it. Break it down, dissect it, analyze it, study it, and absorb everything you can on it. Hang out with other people who like the same music, play the same stuff, and do the same things you want to do. Watch videos of him performing. Read some books on him. Read his interviews in guitar mags. Perform his songs for other people. Put yourself in his world for a few weeks. And don’t head off for greener pastures until you literally BECOME the music you’re trying to play. Make sure you do this. The results will absolutely blow you away.”

The above is an excerpt from Ultimate-Guitar.com. It’s a great place to snag tabs of your favorite songs and new to my knowledge, articles. Now, there is a lot of junk out there and the article is a bit pessimistic for my taste but after sifting through it, I found helpful advice that actually ties into my earlier post about everyone being carbon copies of what they’re passionate about.

When I wrote that post back in March, I did not identify any musicians who inspired me and wow, how quickly that has changed!  Now that I finally have musicians I look up to, listen to, and stalk on social media, I already notice the influence they have on my playing and ear for melodies.

Habits are a product of our environment. Instead of adapting to your environment, modify…refine… mold it into what inspires and pulls you towards your guitar.  When you surround yourself with what you want to become, you will become just that. This isn’t rocket science, I know, but sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder when events in your life distract you from your personal goals.

Image courtesy of ImageryMajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 thoughts on “Tipsy Tuesday: Uninspired? Refine your environment

  1. I find something even simpler helps me play (maybe not to such a level though) – keeping a guitar close at hand. Having a guitar an arm’s width away when you’re in front of the TV makes it much more likely I’ll pick up my guitar on a day to day basis than if I have to get it out of it’s case, setup my pedal board, amp etc…

    It may not produce the results you’re talking about but it’s modifying your environment in a simple way that encourages practice.

    • That’s a good idea as well.

      I did the same thing as a beginner and was trying to get into the routine of remembering to practice. Definitely makes a big difference when you see your guitar often and it’s not cumbersome to take out to play. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Heh Kristen, I’m pretty much in the same boat as Harry Bellamy. I like to keep my guitars, computers and everything I need for my music at arms length. Fortunately my girlfriend doesn’t seem to mind me doing all my “music work” in the lounge room area, but the important part for me is, it makes me comfortable and relaxed and I’ve been doing it that way for most of my adult life, especially when I was single. It is very important to have that comfortable place to play your music, especially if you intend to spend a lot of time there.

    Also, I want to add something about submersing yourself into a favorite musician/guitarist. I used to years ago listen to a lot of Prince music and watch his video’s of him playing guitar. I also later on, got into Pink floyd and various other guitar bands and watching loads of live bands. I don’t think I will ever be able to measure the importance those times have had on me with my own music journey. I don’t listen to much music these days as I find it takes to much of my time away from what I want to do, but the education is there and I am constantly drawing on those times, of when I used to dream of being a musician.

    The important thing for me today is to make sure I am putting my best efforts into what I am trying to achieve whether it be as a guitarist, singer, writer, etc…

    The other important point I would like to make is having goals, small and big. Big goals can be hard to figure out in reality terms. I could say I am going to release 10 albums in 10 years. I am 99.9% sure that won’t happen, so you need to have your big goal mentally visual and achievable. Your smaller goals come off of that one big goal into small day to day goals, which you can break it down again into hourly goals.

    My big goal at the moment is to release my first E.p. It has been a long and extraordinary journey for me to say the lease [that is another story]. Since I decided I wanted to release an Ep. My smaller goals are to finish off each track, “there will be 6 in total. Most of them are already done from my earlier years of recording, just need cleaning up”.

    My day to day goals may include working a new vocal for a chorus, I tend not to put any pressure to achieve my finished result for that day, I will go into that session with the intent of just throwing some ideas around and see if I like anything. If something is working for me, and I have a couple of hours to work on it, then that will be my focus during that time.

    I then break my goals down again to see if I need to work on anything I just recorded for my new chorus.

    Music is very internal and can be difficult to go deep within yourself sometimes, but that is the place where you will find your best results, if of course that’s what you want.

    Thanks for the read
    Darryl

    • Thanks for the valuable insight, Darryl.

      When do you think you’ll finish your EP? Please, let me know when it’s available online. I’d love to check it out.

      • Hi Kristen, thanks for your reply and interest in my upcoming E.p. I am hoping to have it finished about July/august. You can listen to the first 3 tracks on bandcamp if you wish http://darrylsteele.bandcamp.com/track/vintage-69-lo-fi

        There will be 6 tracks for this E.P. 4 of the tracks were originally recorded on a 4 track some 15+ years ago. I never gave up on them and thanks to computer technology, I can have people listen to them. I’ll keep you informed when it is completed.

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