1. I agree with all your tips and thanks for sharing, I usually listen to classical music and it gives me a lot of inspiration, also hear some radio programs with music from all around the world it make me see how diferent people from very diferent places connect with music and share feelings very similar with all of us.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts John. It’s such a pleasure to read this blog. This is pretty off topic, but I just got a ipad2 and this blog looks so good and is just the thing to go with my early morning cup of coffee.
    Thanks again

    1. Thanks alot! I’m glad the site looks good on the iPad. Just got an iPad 1 myself and it’s a really cool device.

  3. 2 and 5 are the two that i use the most….not playing guitar for a week would just end up driving me crazy.

  4. These are truly inspiring tips for playing the guitar! These ideas are indeed helpful in performing better. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I’ve found learning vocal melodies on guitar to be very helpful. It’s also been helpful to learn other instruments because it gets me thinking outside of just the guitar box. I’ll definitely have to try some of these others. Thanks.

  6. Back when I was a working man, I would sometimes hit the road…on an out-of-townj job…I usually would drag my Tele and noodle in the motel room of an evening. Sometimes, I wouldn’t take a guitar. Those breaks in playing always made for a very pleasurable reunion…
    I also enjoyed the new clubs and roadhouse experiences…a chance to here guitar players I wouldn’t have normally heard. But all of your tips are great…And I have been exposed to nearly all of them to some degree. Thanks for bringing them to our attention…and a great trip down memory lane!

  7. Hey John! Thanks again for all you do. Learned a ton from you! Any tips on lifting vocal licks from your favorite singers? Do you do it by ear?

    1. Sorry hit send too quick. Are there other methods you employ to quickly learn them?

    2. Hi Sean. Yes I do it all by ear. One thing is that you have to be able to sing the vocal yourself before you can learn it on guitar. Hope that helps. Thanks

  8. John, I just want to thank you for the effort you put into this. I am learning everyday, and look forward to soaking up some blues. As I was reading #6, I was reminded that I played trumpet in school since the 4th grade. It brings back a lot of memories about how scales were manipulated in solos and the rythm sections. I am excited to see what I can learn here.

    Thansk again

  9. I have been in a guitar rut for a long time, so much so that my playing has actually suffered. I regret this and know that if I ever stop playing guitar my life will not be the same. I love music but being able to create amazing music on the guitar is something I have been working towards since I was very young. I have recently found an amazing song that I would like to cover and I have been practicing the riffs everyday but some of the parts are very difficult and I know I could have played it a year ago.

    This article helped to remind me what used to inspire me and I feel inspired again. Back to practice :)

  10. Excellent article, John. I’ve been stuck in a rut quite a few times and used many of these techniques.

    Another technique that I love to use is a looper pedal. It’s something that gets my creative juices flowing and gets me excited about playing again. You can never create the same thing twice!

  11. Nice list, I particularly like to listen to different types of music as inspiration. Here’s one more – teach someone what you know. I’ve found that teaching people really forces you to fully understand what you know and kicks you on a bit.

  12. I never would have thought to try different instruments to help get out of a guitar rut. Great advice because it definitely helps give a bit of a different musical perspective. Definitely going to try this!

  13. This is something that happens to a lot of guitarists. I agree with you about seeing a live show, it really can inspire you to pick up your guitar again. It’s fun too!

    Great site by the way.

  14. I definitely agree about switching instrument for a while. If I get bored of guitar I switch to piano for a week or so just as a refresh.

  15. You make some very actionable suggestions for those of us that get in ruts when it comes to playing guitar. I especially agree with your first point, “1. Start Listening to Different Styles of Music”.

    I think we all know how it feels to get a bit out of shape with our guitar habits. I myself put the guitar down for a five year stretch after my band project took a dive. The important thing though is that I did pick it back up. I’m now a better player than I used to be.

    One thing that improved my playing style and guitar tone was switching genres, just like you mention in your first point. I made a drastic change in the genre I played, and my guitar tone is so much better now.

    Before this, my only concern was plenty of distortion. Pop punk, Thrash Metal, and Classic Rock required very little consideration for digital delays or modulation effects. I had no clue about the benefits of guitar FX pedals. I was clueless.

    I started playing Praise and Worship genre music when I picked the guitar back up. Boy was it a learning curve in terms of guitar tone.

    Now, I’m all about clean sparkly tone with multiple delays, modulation, and big reverb. And my ability to play cleanly and clearly has gone way up. I have grown as a player, and again look forward to practicing. Thanks for the great article, keep up the good work!

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