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Do you obsess with your guitar playing and how much ?

Discussion in 'The Cellar' started by Rusty Strings, May 17, 2021.

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  1. Rusty Strings

    Rusty Strings Well-Known Member

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    !! greetings guitar heads !!

    I hope you are all well and have time to play and practice or study...

    I certainly obsess with my stuff, let it be a perfect execution or computing a shred pattern or a new scale. I chewed through my shredding patterns for 7,6 and 5 note scales and developed my own systems. From OCD point of view, I am done with them > no more brain in overdrive when trying to sleep... Now I only wreck my brain when practising fast palm muted downstrokes, this cannot be done without a guitar, so my brain is able to switch off and finally I can sleep a bit better...

    I was never diagnosed with OCD, but I tend to get stuck in the zone iykwim

    Repetition makes things flow easier, but do you think, you too might be bordering on having OCD ?

    What triggers your guitar playing obsession and how do you (not) control it ?

    cheers
     
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  2. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    'Sup! I think most musicians/artists are OCD to varying degrees. Why else would we spend so much time trying to perfect the minute details with endless repetition?
     
  3. Ramo

    Ramo Well-Known Member

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    IM full OCD when it comes to guitar, I analyze every detail. At the moment as I type this my wrist is hurting from overplaying on my left arm and my right arm elbow from picking.

    been writing new songs each week and to get parts right takes hours.


    I record something g thinking is good, then I delete everything and start over because I didn't like it the way it was.

    All I want is to play but my hands and body don't. :shrug:
     
  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I used to obsess about all kind of stuff like intonation, speed, etc. In 1980, I had been playing with several dance bands and blues bands for about 14 years and I was playing a private club with a guy billed as "The Rock and Roll Accordion King."I had been warned by his singer and wife that he never followed set lists and often played in different keys than indicated on the chart. I loved it. I knew all of the Hit Parade suff he was playing and I just played like I had done 'em all before without a thought. The fretboard was imprinted on my brain and fingers. Now I just play, unless I don't like something, then I listen to myself, if it is a technique issue, old hands do that, I figure out what I need to correct, if its a setup/electronic issue, i deal with that and go on.
     
  5. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Along about 08 when I was getting back into playing, I obsessed on the things that I should have already known, and with the internet, I was able to grasp knowledge that I had missed out on earlier, I am by no means a good guitarist, but I think I have a better handle on it ..
    Cheers
     
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  6. Headache

    Headache Well-Known Member

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    I do not obsess much if at all.
    I'm probably not good enough to worry about not messing up.

    I love to jam and create and perform and learn all I can as I go. I just enjoy the ride. I don't enjoy messing up, but when I do... I'm over it right then. That's rock an roll - kind of attitude. Could be seen as a cop out, I'm sure, but it really how I roll...

    Try to get better as I go.
     
  7. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not. My practice habits are non-existent. That explains my lack of guitar playing skill.

    OK, that's not really entirely true. Mechanically I'm a competent player. I just don't have much of a repertoire. What I need is to have someone to jam with. That has always done more for my playing skills than just sitting there practicing alone.

    I say that a good jam session for 10 minutes makes as much improvement for your playing as an hour spent just practicing scales, riffs, and other exercises.

    The old adage goes, "Train as you will fight, for you will certainly fight as you have trained." The guitar version is, "Practice as you will play, for you will certainly play as you have practiced.". So learn to jam and you'll know how to play with others in a band situation. Or just practice scales if you want to learn to shred scales.
     
  8. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I like this!
     
  9. Sapient

    Sapient   Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I used to obsess with the amount of stuff I had to ...stuff into my head. Like reading music, more complex scales, jazz stuff, off key stuff, finger picking, speed, etc. I always felt I had to know more and more and more and always be on a new challenge, and If I felt slowed down in these things then I wasn't ..."getting better", to me.

    I must say it did pay off, but it's long over. I obsess 0 now and could care less. I used to carry "guitar" as being part of my very identity and make-up and my self-worth was only in how good I was or was not.

    I reluctantly say, that "guitar" is no longer significant in my life at all. If someone asked me to be in a good touring band I'd completely opt out right off the bat. Paying in a band, say for a living, would completely suck to me because is just not where I'm at in life any more.

    I love to lay back on the couch and just solo away like a singer might just enjoy singing-out in a car or something though. I find it an only it extremely therapeutic and relaxing. 8 times out of 10 I fall asleep.
     
  10. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    Grab a Digitech Trio Plus. I've been playing a very long time. My schedule these last few years is too busy to commit to any set schedule getting together with others but that box is the next best thing. I use it all the time.
     
  11. tubes

    tubes Well-Known Member

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    I do appreciate your relaxed attitude.

    But that's a mixture of sentiments, Mr Sapient.
    When you say: "I reluctantly say, that "guitar" is no longer significant in my life..."

    Why do you say 'reluctantly'?
     
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  12. Sapient

    Sapient   Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Lol. I see, in a certain context you're right. I mean I don't want to say it or for it to be this way. (I don't really wanna say and confirm it.) "Reluctant" pertains to my feelings on the matter, not a weight on the guitar being insignificant or not.
     
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  13. tubes

    tubes Well-Known Member

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    You are right Matthews.
    It is better to jam than to do some other thing all alone.

    Also, it's better to gig than to jam: just a couple of gigs will tighten up your band's thing quite quickly.

    Meanwhile:
    "> What I need is to have someone to jam with."

    What's the story? Do you not have any friends to play music with?

    I wish we could get together on a weekend. Unfortunately I am probably a gazillion miles away from your location.

    The internets make it possible for all of us to jam together.
    But it still requires somebody to set it up and organise the project.
     
  14. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Florida is a long way from New Zealand!
    I have friends but none of them play. Not since the last playing friend died a few weeks ago.

    What I am hoping will happen is that as I launch my amp servicing business over the next couple of weeks or months, it'll create a natural opportunity to meet up with customers who become friends and if I get the shop space I'm after, I'll have plenty of room to make it a place to jam after hours.

    Since my friend and local amp guru died recently, I've sort of inherited his customer base and have talked to many of them, some of them to make arrangements to return their property to him on my friend's behalf.

    Several of the customers have asked when I'm going to be ready to start servicing their amps. So I've got a ready made market for me to step into. The answer is when I have a workable shop space to work in. Which is in progress.
     
  15. Rusty Strings

    Rusty Strings Well-Known Member

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    nothing wrong with not enjoying messing up. there many roads leading to the same place I found out when I'm messing up with theory and "my systems" and taking different routes and arrive to same or very similar musical outcomes. I wish I could give an example. I remember by "logic", I dont remember by "feel". i learnt to enjoy my practices, I learnt to learn but I have to learn certain way.
    performing is a scary prospect for me.
    I'd like to learn to enjoy performing
     
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  16. Rusty Strings

    Rusty Strings Well-Known Member

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    I aim to exercise humility and respect with everybody and i rarely speak about or show my guitar stuff to anybody (besides obviously here and to guitar related stuff on yt and fb). however, I am careful not to imagine my life without wanting or not being able to play guitar any more, my life would be so empty and boring and I'd be no good for the very few friends I have. When I obsessed about my scale shredding systems and to understand making modal music, my brain would compute all night with almost no sleep. Downpicking is something I cannot perfect just in my head, so I can sleep better now. On my own I enjoy practising drills the most, making my drills into more musical sounding pieces. I wish I had the desire to perform live
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
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  17. Brek

    Brek Active Member

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    I have a similar tendency, not sure if OCD would be the correct diagnosis. You sound like you are committed and talented. I might be committed but the talent is slightly lacking. I could compute those scales all night like you did, but would make no difference to my ability to play them. Also, What I mean by correct diagnosis, is OCD is something that has a negative effect on ones quality of life. If this playing of the guitar constantly, stops you doing things you should be doing for example. Or you are not doing the social stuff we all need to stay sane, the small group of friends like you mention is all you need, you almost make it sound like a negative, lots of ‘friends’ is not anything that is any real measure of life success, when the chips are down, you’ll soon realise the benefits of quality over quantity.
     
  18. Rusty Strings

    Rusty Strings Well-Known Member

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    I love it ! the adage reminds me of the saying " practice makes perfect " but that one misses the point which is : " only perfect practice makes perfect "
    it took me ages to construct worthy practice routines which improve my playing and are also enjoyable for me. However, if my pleasure from playing I experience more often than frustration, i feel like i am not practising hard enough. My rough estimate frustration 90% , pleasure 10% is the right mix for me at this time
     
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  19. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    For me it's phases. At some points I'll feel challenged and will obsess on the guitar and spend hours practicing and working on technique (I've had phases where I spent every waking hour on guitar). Then for a while I'll be focusing more about tone, or other aspects.
    With the lockdown and having left my old band and working on new projects, and again feeling challenged to do new things technically, I'm back to playing quite a lot, at least 4 hours a day (unless I'm at work doing live sound for 12 hours straight). Even when watching TV I'm going through my scales routines. All the while exploring new horizons tonally (got into fuzzes as a byproduct of getting back into Gilmour and Pink Floyd). And when not playing music or gigging or doing audio/live sound work, I'm building FX pedals. Or listening to music. While reading music gear boards and/or researching gear or some aspect of sound reinforcement or something along these lines.

    So maybe not OCD (though my wife would probably say so, as i can obsess about things when it comes to music and sound), but definitely driven. And again, it's all about setting myself goals: I focus on improving one aspect of my playing, and then obsess over it for a few months until I'm happy with where I'm at.
     
  20. Rusty Strings

    Rusty Strings Well-Known Member

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    thank you for your kind words of encouragement brother.
    May your commitment reward you in very near future.
     
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