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A couple months ago I became very unhappy with my guitar solos and later my creative process as a whole.
I was never happy with anything that I did, plus I really felt as if I was loosing my creative edge.
To see what I could do to gain some of this back I posted a message to a couple networking groups that I moderate.
After the overwhelming response I thought it would be a great idea to post a number of them in this section so
it could be helpful to others in this same situation.
If you are having issues with your creative process, this might be helpful as we start with my original post and
the responses that followed.
: Because I am taking actual repsonses I did not spell check anyone, so please no emails from editors
and school teachers, please
From: "Charlie Harrelson
Date: Wed Jan 1, 2003 8:57 am
Subject: The creative process.. My question
As many of you are aware, I have been in a huge creative funk with my
lead solo's on guitar. Seems as if I'm sleep walking and not
discovering new areas of excitement.
I did complete two new songs this month, one with Southern logic and
Autocad, and another one with Fragile Fear and they are both worthy
tunes, but my inner voice says "it could have been better, more
creative, more out of the box"...
If you did not know me musicically you could hear one of my new
solo's and say "wow, that was great" but the inner me says "man have
I fooled you"...I'm soloing on impulse power and neeed a boost!
I don't write much music so I haven't tested the waters on that end
yet. So my question to all those guitar minds out there is this.
What can I do to regain my chops, or to loss this voice in my head
that says "It ain't good enough"....?
I know exactly where you are with this, my friend. Perhaps at some point in
the near future, I can send you a little track that you can experiment
with... and not the usual stuff, either.
Keep well, everyone
Think this has been said before . Paul wanted me to write this:
Charlie, grab an acoustic or a classical work/play it for awhile then go
back to the electric. The opposite always works for me. Also listen to Rick
Washbrook it will either inspire you or demoralize you!
A very Happy New Year from Paul -
Funny to answer you here, but here is where I found this.
I dunno from ruts, myself, but I think maybe a sharp right turn would help. Why
not get yourself an acoustic guitar and play around with another side of your
talent? You know, change the texture of what you play and maybe find another
As for what's perfect, well, that's a dead-end search, my friend. But sometimes
an actor just needs a new theater to wake up the muse. Making sharp left turns
is sometimes the jolt one needs when the straight road gets monotonous.
Your pal, Cotolo
The only time I ever felt really 'lost' as a player/writer ended when I took
an old acoustic and strung it in 'high E' style - took the three lower
strings and 're-strang' then an octave higher (D string for the higher E; G
string for the higher A, etc.), so that it played like a 12-string without
the lower 'voicings'. It was amazing what new textures came out of some old
chord structures, and then what new patterns developed out of just 'hearing'
a new combination of tones. Something similar might be like playing all
chords to an old song on the piano inverted one interval or so.
It sounds to me that your problem stems from too much time in left-
brained activities and not enough time in the right-brained ones.
The right side of the brain is in charge of creativity, emotions,
imagination etc so activites that stimulate these will help you to
get your 'groove' back!
- Spend a day relaxing on a quiet stretch of beach or by a river, or
go for a walk in the forest or the mountains, or have a picnic in a
park away from traffic (the natural environment stimulates
- Do something out of the ordinary such as taking a rollercoaster
ride, going to the circus or Zoo, or hop in the car and drive without
knowing where you want to go. These type of activites stimulate the
imagination as well as the emotions.
- Try taking a course in a different artistic pursuit such as acting,
painting, dancing, handicrafts etc, to stimulate the creative juices.
These are ideas I thought of to get you started but I'm sure you will
come up with plenty of your own. Let me know how you go.
Lisa Butler Imaginotion Songs
I've gone through the creative doldrums lot's of times over the years - both
in musicality and songwriting. I haven't found anything that works every
time. Sometimes, stepping away from it for a time helped. Other times,
meditation helped. I've tried expanding my horizons by listening to genres
that I normally wouldn't spend time with. Then there were times I just had
to wait it out until my muse decided to grace me again.... Wish I could be
of more help.
I dont know much about guitar.except it has things called frets
and its neck is connected to the little neck connecter doohickie and
it has a bridge that you cant drive over. Here is what I know about
drumming though, whatever I play will never be "good Enough" That
rhythm I just figured out on my own that took me 20 hours has already
been done (in some variation or another) and if my goal in life as a
drummer is to play the perfect show I am afraid that I will be in a
state of dissapointment for a plenty long time.point is, the moment I
become satisfied with what I have just played, is probably the time I
will hang it all up. however as I see it this means I will be playing
drums until I physicaly am unable to play.and I just think that is a
I concider myself a lacy person when it comes to picking up the bass and
practicing by myself but I find that jamming with other people is definitely
for me the best way to regain chops. but when i do want to break from the
redundent lines I pick an artists that i like and try to learn one his solos
until the licks start become mine I just recently started to work on my bass
again since I have been so distracted with the band & writing music that I
was just picking it up to play songs and founded very help full to go back
and do some of the exercised I used to concider hard and then when on to do
what I just described before. I feel much better and more confident now.
I think is more about the sych then anything else but it feels good when
those muscles on the hands start to feel stronger.
More anwsers to my question on this page
is the founder of EvO:R
and solo guitarist
He manages a multi-million dollar audio/video business, maintains 7 websites, provides
guitar tracks for many artists that need something extra in their mix, records his own music,
is a father of 2, and maintains a 10 acre back yard that needed to be cut weekly during
the rainy summer and still has time to loaf around!
Catch his latest CD release TWO
today! It is available exclusively from
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Plus, be on the lookout for a couple Tracks Across America CD
compilations featuring the guitar work of TL2
along with a number
of members of the EvO:R organization.