99 Ways to Play Better – A great post over at the Guitar Player website, which includes quotes from famous guitarists about ways they keep their playing fresh, inspired. Some of my favorite quotes form the list:
“Moving into uncharted territory is a key ingredient to making your practice sessions a success. Playing the same stuff over and over will only take you so far.” – Joe Satriani
“If you’re in a rut with your electric playing, pick up an acoustic. There’s something about playing the acoustic guitar that makes you think about songs.” – Buck Dharma
“Learn everything you know in all keys.” – Joe Pass
“In the long run, it’s more important to look at paintings than to listen to the way somebody plays bebop lines.” – Jim Hall
“Over-indulgence in anything is wrong—whether it’s practicing 50 hours a day, or eating too much food. There’s a balance with me, as there should be with everything and everybody.” – Jeff Beck
“Keep your guitar out of the case and handy. Practice short periods—anywhere from five to 45 minutes—many times throughout the day, rather than for one prolonged period. Often times, five minutes is enough time to work on a technique or musical passage. The whole idea of practice is to get your reflexes working like a gunfighter’s, so you can pull out that gun and be instantly hot.” – Barney Kessel
“Play a new thing every day.” – Ry Cooder
I would add that it’s also important to seek out quotes like these, to read guitar magazines, to take part in message boards full of guitar players… you need to find resourcs like these that can keep feeding your desire to learn more, to practice more, and to stay interested.
Boredom and familiarity are the enemy, and you need to actively beat them away.