Burned out


Campfire Attention Holder
  • Sep 27, 2020
    Michigan City, IN
    Does anyone have any advice for getting burned out? I practice for about 3 to 4 hours a day and I've reached a point where I feel drained. I try motivating myself to do practice harder and train harder but lately the more I try the more I find myself getting discouraged. Please help. I don't want my guitar to end up as a house decoration.

    Radu-Cristian Perde

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Does anyone have any advice for getting burned out? I practice for about 3 to 4 hours a day and I've reached a point where I feel drained. I try motivating myself to do practice harder and train harder but lately the more I try the more I find myself getting discouraged. Please help. I don't want my guitar to end up as a house decoration.
    Well if you ask me my perspective from what I see from your text, practice less. You don't have to practice that much in a day. 3 to 4 hours is a lot. Sure the more you practice, the better you get. But unless that practice regimen is maintainable long term, you might have to reconsider.

    I mean, you say it yourself, you are burned out because you practice too much. Everything in excess can and will become bad.

    In theory if you practice more, the better you will become, yes, however, if your practice regimen drains you and makes you feel the way it does, which I assume is that you dont have much pleasure anymore, you wont truly become better as you lose passion in what you do.

    Yes you have to be hard working but also you have to work smart and understand yourself as a guitar player and your limits. Everyone has limits. And while you can push them, its something that is done overtime, not in one shot.

    Now if i'd be in your shoes, which I was for a long time, the solution for me is a fixed schedule where i practice what I need to practice. It's the minimum I have to do each day. And I made this thinking that it's something that I can do on my worst day where I dont feel motivated. So something that is big enough to help me elevate myself but small enough that it doesnt overwhelm me. And the content of this is really unique to each one individually, the level they are at and most importantly, their goals.

    So yeah, give the energy you can give to guitar.

    You will grow much more as a guitar player if you practice consistently in a quality environment and mood that if you force yourself

    Muz Malek

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Nov 11, 2019
    Does anyone have any advice for getting burned out? I practice for about 3 to 4 hours a day and I've reached a point where I feel drained. I try motivating myself to do practice harder and train harder but lately the more I try the more I find myself getting discouraged. Please help. I don't want my guitar to end up as a house decoration.

    Rest is also part of the practice routine! It applies to everything, not just guitar :) Once in a while, we need a break! Take it as if you have a "rest" bar in the scoresheet hahah.

    That's why schools have lunch breaks, that's why work have off days, that's why we humans need to sleep!

    No one's rushing you to master the guitar! Rest as and when you need to! Stay motivated, bro!

    Jesse Salmons

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Nov 11, 2019
    What the other guys said man, just slow your roll a bit. Now idk shit about how you practice, but something to consider doing if youre losing the passion for it, is just jam man. Forget “perfect technique”, forget “intervals and chords and keys and scales and theory” and just play. You started playing bc you love music i assume, so just play music. Forget all the “hard work” for a little while and enjoy yourself. Thats part of why Jak started Synner Saturdays, yeah all the hard work is important too, but its important to keep the flame alive. Jam to your favorite songs, be a rockstar for a little bit. Imagine youre performing in front of thousands of people. Just have fun with it man. Thats all i have to say about that. Stay motivated, friend!

    Donovan Etue

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Washington State
    Hey man, we've all been there. 3-4 hours a day is a lot of time spent practicing. I've spent a weeks at a time where I'd practice the same and once I hit about 3 weeks it got to the point I was looking at guitar more like a chore instead of the fun instrument/hobby that it is.

    Take a break. It doesn't have to be long. I took a 3 day break and forced my self to pick it up again and to play a few of my favorite riffs that inspire me and I was back on track. I didn't go back to 3-4 hour practice sessions but I ended up seeing better results compared to the last few days of the 3-4 hour sessions. I was playing faster, cleaner, and I was having more fun with it.

    That feeling of it becoming a chore is generally speaking a sign that you need a break. Whether that's mentally or that you physically need a break is dependent on you. Trying to learn/improve on guitar while you're running on empty just leads to you feeling stranded where you're at. It fucking sucks at times. Like Radu said, dedicate what energy you can reasonably give to guitar. If you're like me you may want to only spend 25-30 minutes practicing for the day. That's totally fine. You may also want to spend all afternoon and late into the evening playing. Leaving you feeling fulfilled and with sore fingers. That's fine too!

    Having a well put together schedule works better for some people. It helps them work on stuff more precisely without letting them get over encumbered.

    For me, if I'm losing interest in guitar and picking it up less I'll go through my music playlists and find a song that's out of my wheelhouse genre wise and learn my favorite lick/riff/part from it and go from there. The feeling of something fresh and new seems to do wonders for me. A week ago or so I found I was just repeating a few of my favorite riffs and wasn't learning anything new or working on technique. So I decided to attempt to learn the intro/main lick from Snow (Hey Oh) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's a lot different compared to Hourglass - Lamb of God, Beast and The Harlot, or Backbone - Gojira. Sometimes just having those days where you play the riffs that got you to pick up the guitar are what's needed too.

    So, final thoughts/comments before I ramble on further. Take a break for a day or 3. It sounds like your body and brain need it. Once you come back to it cut back on the hours for a little while until you feel you're ready for it. In the meantime, maybe pick out a song that wouldn't be in your wheelhouse of playing tunes and pick out a part to learn. Something fresh can really help clear up the brain fog in my head when I get in a slump maybe it'll help you too. Also maybe take a day and play some of your favorite riffs that you've learned and those that got you to pick up the instrument initially. Hopefully this helps man. Wishing you the best!

    Alicia Willis

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Augusta, GA
    Such solid advice already ! And I’ll reiterate everything these guys have said. I’ve been there before. I felt the need to become a ducking shredder overnight. That’s not possible. If you don’t want to even pick it up that to me is a bad sign. Take a break. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Keep it fun ! When it begins to feel like a chore you’ll grow to hate it.
    We all are such unique individuals. We all don’t learn or improve at the same pace and that’s okay. If you love the instrument then keep loving in. Even if you pick it up and strum a few chords and then put it down...THAT is practice. I feel a lot of us feel the need to put so much pressure on ourselves to become amazing players overnight. Just enjoy the journey. I’ve said before....it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. 🙂
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Everyone else has given amazing advice already! but here's my two cents:

    This is your mind and body's way of telling you that something isn't working for you, and you've really got to listen to it - practice in general should be a focused but largely relaxed thing. Burnout usually happens when your body tries to tell you it's beyond it's limits and you push it further, out of frustration or determination - I've been there myself a few years ago, I would try to push myself to play things that were far too difficult for me, in the hope that it would make me better. Long story short, my Guitar got threw across my room, my forearm was burning & I added 3 years onto my search for the technique I've got now - I'm still searching every day.

    The minute I stopped putting so much pressure & expectations on myself and started to view the process as a fun journey, rather than 'Right, I need to grind and push & I need to be able to do this next month because this person can, or I'm a useless guitar player etc' - I started to progress a lot quicker, and there was no negativity. Thankfully Guitar is an art-form and not an Olympic sport :ROFLMAO:

    You've got to be extremely patient with yourself to get to where you want & you are 100% capable of getting it! The fact that you're committing the 4 hours a day in general shows your amazing passion for your instrument and why it will never be a house decoration. It's this great instrument that you get to learn on every day. It's worth noting too, that you can sometimes progress more in a well calculated 30 min practice than a grueling 4 hour one - it's just a matter of what you're practicing and if that thing is actually helping you or just tiring you out.

    In a nutshell, this is 1 of the 1,000,000 frustration points you'll encounter in your Guitar journey - it doesn't give it's self up easily at all! That's why you've got to be really kind to yourself and just know that every time you sit down with the instrument in a positive & relaxed manner you really are getting one step closer to the way you want to play - and one step more bad-ass than the person who gave the instrument up that day 👌The chase is where the fun is and there will always be something you're chasing.

    Take a break, relax, & then get back on the horse - you've got this!:rock-hand:
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    William Byerley

    Hot Topic Tourer
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Nether World
    I think everyone said good stuff, it's probably best to detach yourself for a bit slightly. Just do minimal exercises like a little rhythm , finger stretching and chromatic licks to sync your hands, oh and hammer-on pull-offs. Just like 3 things for like 15-20 minutes total or less to keep up and at the same time that your resting your mind, listen to music or watch T.V. or something to help you take your mind off of training. Listening is also practice, I think SG/PG said it as well. It's solid, if someone axed me did you practice today, I'd say "yes, I listened to 12 hours of music today." lolz
    I burn myself out all the time

    Mariler Ferrer

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Nov 11, 2019
    Zaragoza, Spain
    A lot of wise words have been already said here.
    I would just add that feeling stuck at some point is a normal part of any learning process and guitar is a life long learning.
    Take the advice of slowing down and let your positive emotions get connected to your playing, play something you love and enjoy, is fun or makes you feel good. Reconnect with yourself when playing. Guitar is a lot of work to learn but it’s about passion too. Find that magic again :lightning-guitar-pick: