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Leñador

Posts: 5179
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

Loss of motivation, what to do. 

I think I may have burned myself out. I've been really gung-ho for the last almost two years, or at least as gung-ho as my career would allow. Not so much into technique and things but more into accompaniment. I wouldn't say I'm a better guitar player than I was two years ago but I would say I'm a much better flamenco in general. The last month or so though I'm having a hard time staying committed. I sign myself up for these obligations and find the only way I can muster up the passion to practice for them is to drink. Weirdly if I have a few drinks I'm super into my guitar, otherwise the guitar sits. It's turned into a weird unhealthy cycle. This week, zero drinks, but also zero desire to touch my guitar. I still enjoy listening to cante a lot and I'll sing like s*** in my car along to songs but just no desire to play. I think maybe I need some distance or something? Maybe a new guitar genre? Anyone go through this? I'm glad I'm not a professional, I can't even comprehend the existential crisis that would accompany this if it were my livelihood. You pros are amazing, or maybe having this feeling is the reason I could never be a pro. I know it's going to bum some people out if I step back for a while but I feel like I need to...
Rant over.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 1:31:26
 
FredGuitarraOle

Posts: 804
Joined: Dec. 7 2012
From: Lisboa, Portugal

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Go to Jerez.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 2:52:06
 
rombsix

Posts: 6650
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Hombre, I have not touched the guitar for 3 weeks straight now. I have not danced much either outside of an event I attended in Boston. Otherwise, I am just too tired because of all the medical work and the studying for a board exam. I am hoping that once I finish the exam and have more peace of mind, then I can get back into it. I hope that the new Culpepper will get me motivated again. In my case though, it's mostly my health problems (back pain, elbow pain, wrist pain) and my work overload that stop me from playing / dancing.

_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 4:14:52
 
RobF

Posts: 97
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

quote:

I still enjoy listening to cante a lot and I'll sing like s*** in my car along to songs but just no desire to play.


Maybe there’s your answer. No need to step back from anything...just focus on enjoying cante for a while.

If you’re not under any pressure as a player professionally then taking a little break from working on flamenco exclusively and exploring or revisiting other genres could be revitalizing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 5:01:33
 
tele

Posts: 1379
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

You mentioned a new guitar genre... I was really into playing flamenco guitar but then at some point I lost all motivation to play flamenco, even when I enjoy playing it and listening to it. I went back to playing the blues and I'm still enjoying it as much as ever, also the feelings in some of the blues songs are somewhat similar to the sadness in flamenco. I really learned to use the fingers instead of the pick very well due to flamenco.

I find that inspiration and motivation goes in cycles, sometimes it can take a whole month without interest to play the guitar.

I think motivation for flamenco could return, meanwhile you might try reaching for that old dusty electric guitar and play something crazy like "flametal"...

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 14:10:37
 
JasonM

Posts: 664
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Sex, drugs/alcohol , or money motivate many things in life so no shame in that!

I just got booted from dance class for not showing up but once in a blue moon. I can’t blame her for that when she’s got someone already that does show up every week . It’s impossible to stay motivated all the time with anything for that matter. Especially with virtually zero new (good) flamenco guitar material out there now. Also a lot of us don’t have someone pushing us through these periods, like an amazing cantoar that lives next door demanding that you play with him etc.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 16:36:39
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2744
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

quote:

I know it's going to bum some people out if I step back for a while but I feel like I need to...


Given your description of your current lack of motivation, I think the best thing you could do would be to step back and lay off the guitar a bit. In my case, I had bilateral (both knees) knee replacement surgery in February this year and spent three months in physical therapy/rehab. During that time I didn't play guitar at all. Mine was a sort of enforced lay-off, but I had other activities/interests to keep me occupied. We amateur aficionados of flamenco have the good fortune of not having to depend on playing for a livelihood. We can play for the pure enjoyment of it. Likewise, we can lay off it for a while without complicating our lives.

If you have other activities (other than your work) that interest you, this would be a good time to pursue them more intensely. I would not force the guitar-playing though. That is likely to lead to an even greater lack of motivation. Sometimes it's better to just let go of something for awhile and return to it with a renewed sense of purpose. Of course there are those (some on the Foro) who just got burnt out/tired of flamenco and either went on to other genres of music or some other pursuit. The important thing is to not let flamenco, or any other activity, dominate your life to the point where you think you must pursue it at the expense of a sense of well-being and enjoyment of life.

Best wishes whatever you decide to do.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 18:56:36
 
Piwin

Posts: 2037
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Well, if it helps to put things into perspective, at the moment I'm not just fed up with flamenco, I'm fed up with the entire country of Spain apparently...

So at least for you it's just flamenco.

_____________________________

"When I'm dead, I'm going to forget everything – and I advise you to do the same."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 21:22:56
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2476
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Ever since starting with the guitar almost 60 years ago I have played both classical and flamenco. I have guitars of both types. If I tire of one genre I pick up the other. I don't advocate either classical or flamenco to others. Each is pretty much a niche avocation.

My son started on electric with blues and rock. Recently he and a friend started a Latin band. Many great classical players earn much of their living teaching. My brief experience teaching mathematics showed me that the students will always provide fascinating experiences.

The tributes are pouring in for one of my oldest and best friends who passed away night before last. He combined folk and blues guitar (an award winning movie soundtrack), song writing, kick starting a major folk festival, and mentoring younger musicians. After he retired from his day job years ago, it has been just about full time. I don't think he ever burned out.

As they say, "Variety is the spice of life."

But a layoff for a while might be just the ticket. During a recent month in Spain I never had a guitar in my hands. When I got back home I was eager to play, and I noticed a few things I could be doing better.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 22:14:43
 
Leñador

Posts: 5179
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Ah I feel like posted in the perfect place. Solid wisdom on all sides. Thanks a ton guys, sometimes it's just nice to feel validated. A lot of times if you have even a tiny bit of talent at something people around you seem so disappointed when you want to step back from it. Like you're going through a break up or something, "oh, I'm sorry to hear that." lol "I'm not, I'm doing what makes me happy."

@Ramz - Well at least I'm in good company, life can be so exhausting sometimes.
@Fred - Are you going this year?? I'm seriously considering it, I've already told clients and the people I work with to prepare for me leaving for it.

I think I just need a break from trying and just sit back and enjoy, like I said, I still enjoy listening I just have no desire to learn lol

Thanks Bill, I think it's probably time to take my health seriously again and get some good kayak and cycling time in, I've gotten big again and the blood pressure is near hypertension which is no good for someone of my genetics.

It's great hearing these stories though, even though I now feel "validated" I'd love to hear other peoples experiences. I actually ended up in flamenco because I had lost motivation in playing heavy metal. You never know where life will lead you.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 2:21:54
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2748
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

I know exactly what you mean Lenny. I think I lost motivation to play for the past few years but somehow I manage to keep it going somewhat. I probably even lost motivation to live life man. Sometimes I just wish I never existed because of the majority of two faced scumbags in my circle among other things. I know there are still decent people out there. I guess I'm just close to reaching my boiling point. (Thank God for the bicycle) Ok, enough of my problems. You might just need a little break. You'll come back with a fresh outlook. All the Best.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 4:33:24
 
Leñador

Posts: 5179
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Juan it's actually comforting to hear that someone with such an insane level of talent and gift goes through the same emotions. The world needs people like you though man. You could be successful in any music you choose. F*** the people in your circle, this forum is world wide, way bigger than your circle and you receive nothing but praise here because you're an actual monster with insane talent. That said I don't want to be one of those "oh I'm so sorry" people. You do what makes you happy. You could easily move to another genre and crush it or you could easily move to something outside of music and crush it too. You're ability to play at your level demonstrates a level of intelligence and discipline that can take you anywhere you want. You're gifted hombre, do whatever makes you happy because you absolutely can.

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 4:56:26
 
laughingstock

 

Posts: 35
Joined: Jun. 30 2016
From: Texas

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Man I got super burned out after doing 6 shows with this one group during the summer. We did four shows in four weeks at one point and by the end I couldn't even bring myself to practice. I never liked the programming of the show but there was little I could do about it. I was just a hired gun. She even had me start a few shows with a solo!!!! Anyhow, I had convinced myself I was going to hang it up. Lost all motivation. I had met this guy through a dancer who has a rhumba Flamenca group. They do Gipsy Kings covers and Rock in Espanol. Anything not in Rhumba rhythm gets converted into Rhumba even Malaguena. Now I own thousands of cd's and none of them are Gipsy Kings. Not my bag, but he kept bugging me because he needed a guy that could play lead lines. We had been at this off and on for about a year. Finally, he says look We have a big show in a month and here's the set list. So I started learning some of these songs and practicing soloing. Just getting the guitar back in my hands motivated me to start practicing Flamenco again. We did the concert last night. Up until that point I had never played standing up. We played for a few hundred ppl. I'm used to playing for 30-40. Man I had a blast. I was rocking out and for the fist time in long time I was having fun PERFORMING which had become a bit of an albatross for me. So I guess my point is maybe try something different. Playing in a band is a completely different experience than playing in a cuadro, but there's no shame in taking a step back or even away either. Cheers and good luck.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 5:55:13
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1258
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

I think everyone goes through periods of lack of motivation. As a 63-year-old, I've gone through a few. Interestingly, my teacher, Diego del Gastor, seemed to need a copa de vino to get really motivated to perform, though not to practice, apparently.

I think we evolved to be more like cats than our fast-paced society would have us believe. (They chill and nap a lot.)

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 6:51:27
 
Brendan

Posts: 150
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Here’s what I do when motivation sags (aside from returning to things I’ve shelved like some classical pieces and wouldn’t it be nice to be able to play Gypsy jazz):

Stop trying to enjoy it. Stop trying to play music. Just do your technical drills every day as a routine like cleaning your teeth. If you’re not trying to feed the tender part of your soul with the gift of music, if all you’re trying to do is make a p-a-m tremolo a bit smoother, then suddenly your success-criteria are very low. Fairly soon, you’ll get a little psych reward because you’ll enjoy a smidgin of improvement on some tiny technical thing. As game designers know, it’s frequent but random little moments of mild reward that keep us hooked.

Play no music! Just drills! For however long. Eventually, you’ll want to play tunes again, and when you do, your chops will not have rotted during your layoff.

Well that’s what works for me, ‘cos of how i’m configured. I ain’t seen your wiring diagram, so this may be terrible advice.

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 10:42:08

payaso

 

Posts: 72
Joined: Dec. 7 2014
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Playing flamenco guitar can be a very lonely affair, and the loneliness can be aggravated by the fact that one is not part of the Spanish milieu – and those star performers are such virtuosos, so far ahead in ability compared with one’s own efforts. Not surprising, then, that it can be hard to maintain momentum and commitment.

It can help enormously to have some form of regular contact with simpatico others who share one’s afición – a teacher , a friend of roughly similar ability with whom to play duets, or opportunities for travel to Spain and even very brief immersion in the flamenco culture. Opportunities to work with a singer or dancer will be rare indeed for most players but finding another player for duets and shared listening may be much easier.

To play and enjoy music with other like-minded people is one of life’s greatest and most consistent and lasting pleasures.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 10:55:26
 
Arash

Posts: 4346
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

I feel you. I haven't touched guitar for over 6 months.
Sadly, when I drink, I can't play at all, so thats not an option

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 11:37:37
 
JasonM

Posts: 664
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Brendan

Brendan, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this summer! It’s been liberating to not have so much on the plate. I either do a teqnique Drill, rhythm drill, or some theory stuff but I keep it simple and it doesn’t stress me out.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 16:12:49
 
Mark2

Posts: 1426
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

It might be helpful to focus and what it is you'd like to accomplish in flamenco and also what it was that first attracted you to it. For me, the thing that is most lacking in non Spanish players is technique. That is the elephant in the room. It may be impossible for many of us to reach the technical level of an average native player, and I think that is a wall many people have had to face. How you deal with it can make all the difference.

Regarding different styles, many of us came to flamenco from other styles, which we may have more experience with, and having started at an earlier age, have a higher level than we do in flamenco. This is also something one has to come to grips with. Do you want to play with better musicians playing a style you are better at, or would you prefer to play with less skilled people in the style you enjoy more? That is a tough one I've grappled with. Recently I've been playing with some great musicians but playing music I find less satisfying than flamenco. There is something cool about being around life long players who never gave it up despite the ups and downs of their music careers. I can tell myself I belong in this company of pros, but the reality is my flamenco skills don't measure up to the same level of flamenco players.

Super frustrating, but it hasn't stopped me from trying to improve my flamenco technique. And I really don't care if I ever perform in a flamenco company again. Too much downtime, too much dancer BS, too little money. I guess I burned out on the local scene years ago, but I still play guitar almost daily, mostly flamenco, and the goal is only to enjoy myself and improve. Going to see Vicente this week, and this time I'm leaving the wife at home. I just want to sit there and let the music flow into my body, feel the compas, hear the humanity in the cante, marvel at the artistry, and be inspired. I think it's going to work.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 19:46:53
 
rombsix

Posts: 6650
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Mark2

quote:

and this time I'm leaving the wife at home.




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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 20:04:12
 
Mark2

Posts: 1426
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to rombsix

Get back to me Ramzi when you've been married for more than 30 years........:-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 20:19:54
 
rombsix

Posts: 6650
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Mark2

quote:

Get back to me Ramzi when you've been married for more than 30 years........:-)




_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 20:30:50
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2609
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Take a break. I barely touch the guitar anymore but somehow I play better than I ever did when I was practicing every day Actually not joking though.
I always assumed that if I stopped practicing my playing would go to **** but I think your subconscious actually needs time to process everything and get some perspective on it by stepping away. When I play now I just have fun and try to compose something, and I'm usually very creative when I do pick up the guitar.

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, guitar maker
Website: http://www.andyculpepper.com
YT channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/deteresaFlamenco
More photos of my work: https://luthier86.imgur.com/all/#1/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 20:58:29
 
Ricardo

Posts: 10788
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Common problem, finding inspiration. That’s why they invented cocaine

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 8 2018 2:57:58
 
rombsix

Posts: 6650
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

I barely touch the guitar anymore but somehow I play better than I ever did when I was practicing every day Actually not joking though.
I always assumed that if I stopped practicing my playing would go to **** but I think your subconscious actually needs time to process everything and get some perspective on it by stepping away.


Fully agree on all counts.

_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 8 2018 4:59:26
 
joselito_fletan

 

Posts: 100
Joined: Jan. 24 2017
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

I like keeping my inspiration close by



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 9 2018 3:04:30
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3517
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Mark2

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark2

It might be helpful to focus and what it is you'd like to accomplish in flamenco and also what it was that first attracted you to it. For me, the thing that is most lacking in non Spanish players is technique. That is the elephant in the room. It may be impossible for many of us to reach the technical level of an average native player, and I think that is a wall many people have had to face. How you deal with it can make all the difference.


I can really identify with this. What attracted me to flamenco, besides the exotic sound, was the fabulous technique, and I when I struggled to develop the virtuoso skills I loved so much, found myself getting frustrated. I guess that's one problem if your "gateway drug" is solo guitarra CDs. And you may be talking more about the ability to internalize compas, and I didn't do so great at that either. :) I didn't find any teachers here who could help me, either--maybe that would have helped. There are only a couple people in town (Phoenix) who have the chops, and the rest of us kind of hack away at it and do the best we can. For me, I ended up dabbling with and learning other styles as I wished, though I maybe none with as much intensity as flamenco.

_____________________________

Connect with me on Facebook, all the cool kids are doing it.
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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 11 2018 8:26:32
 
gondorbell

Posts: 46
Joined: Mar. 10 2018
From: Finland

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Ricardo :)

It doesnt matter if you are beginner or pro of some thing...in this case flamenco...we get (kyllästyä in finnish) saturated? In beginner level i get saturated sometimes...i have to get brake of practising... in you who are pro level more or less could be same thing? its human mind after all :)
Like my wife is a poet (sorry my english) she stucks...same things all over again...
Sometimes is important to get loosen up, take a distant of yourself,your own character, your egoism etc be little eccentric

My case its not powder, its beer.but im from lapland,finland. :)

_____________________________

“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” -Tom Waits-
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 12 2018 20:39:39
 
sartorius

Posts: 159
Joined: Mar. 7 2017
 

RE: Loss of motivation, what to do. (in reply to Leñador

Hey, remember that interview of Paco where he says there was a moment in his life he hadn't touched a guitar for two years? I think that was the time around the De Falla album.

When I was 18 years old, playing from the age of 4-6 (don't remember) I told my father to sell my classical guitar to one of his students just after taking the final grade at the music school. He made me feel disgusted of the whole guitar world... Then at 40 my family asked me what was my wish as a birthday present and I answered: "A Vicente Carrillo Negra". Then, 22 years later I started playing again and took flamenco guitar classes.

That was 16 years ago and now I've been playing more than in my youth, have a better level and eventually been enjoying flamenco guitar (not just listening to CDs).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 13 2018 11:53:35
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