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Just not into playing anymore.

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Darrell H
Jun 20, 2011 4:38 PM GMT

It's been months since I've last played. I got a certian level and then just kind of "hit a wall" and couldn't get to the next level. Then, to make matters worse I had to have a cat that I was going to bring into the house put to sleep because of Feline Leukiemia AND was scared that my other two cats that I've had for quite a while might have caught it from her. They were ok but my heart was broken over putting "Sweety" to sleep and from the scare with my other two cats and that just kind of took the wind out of my sails where playing was concerned.

I don't know what to do to get my "spirit" back for playing or even if I really want to. I've even got my 4 TurboTwenty harps up for sale, harps that I really wanted to get and didn't even get to play that much since it was just shortly after getting them that all the cat business took place.

I don't know if I'll ever play again or if there's even anything I can do to get back into playing. Has anyone else ever gotten into a slump like this and what did you do to get out of it? Thanks.

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Comments (6)

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Jun 20, 2011 8:50 PM GMT
Diggs Replied:

Get into some new material that will be fun. I suggest anything by Charlie McCoy. His teaching

material is great and fun.

Jun 21, 2011 7:27 AM GMT
Mondo Replied:

Dude, You got the blues! Harness that feeling and breathe it out through your harps. Express your sadness and dismay in your music. You have a real opportunity here to harness the pain and suffering that is at the root of the original Blues singers. A heartache that few of us understand and most try feebly to emulate.

Raise you sails and let your soul fill them with the winds of change!

Jun 21, 2011 12:00 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

over all the years i have played- near 4 decades- i have had alotof breaks- and heartbreaks- as well. while i love playing harp and making music, it is not all that defines me. when it's time to leaveit alone for a while i do. but i learned long ago- DON'T SELL STUFF ON IMPULSE. i have regretted selling or giving away a lot of things, like harps, mics, an amp or two, and realized later that i could have made use of those very things later on, and if i wanted one now, i had to buy it or buy it back.

i've lost friends, wives, homes,pets, jobs, all manner of stuff over the years. i never gave up my gig case. some years ago i gave up harp and put my stuff away for a year. during that year ilost my place to live, i went broke, and i sold off my cd collection for gas money. i pawned my favorite amp and mics. i lost them. i learned. once i got back on my feet i acquired new stuff but also a new attitude: from then on, i was committed to making music for as long as i have breath and a mind to do it with.

it's not like that for everyone. and if i had known the struggles i would face to really learn to play, i may have given up a long time ago. but i am very glad i didn't.

if one looks all around a plateau,one finds the path upward. the trick is to take that path when one is ready.

practical things i have done to get out of a slump: listen to different music than i normally would, and try to play harp with it, just don't play for a while. go fishing instead. find other venues or jams or people to play with. or just give it a rest and when i came back to playing, i would discover that i knew some things i didn't realize i'd known, and it improved my playing. the subconcious is a wonderful thing, it keeps sorting even when we're not paying attention. things fall into place and are magically there for us when we do get back to the task at hand.

so take a break,put the harps away and do something else. they will call to you very subtly when it's time to get them back out.

Jun 21, 2011 4:31 PM GMT
Darrell H Replied:

I just sold off my TurboHarps. I'm going to hang onto my Suzuki and Hohner Deuce and a Quarter just in case the urge hits. I guess I just need to start listening to more harmonica based music again to try and spark something. Oh well, thanks for the comments guys. Have a good one.

Jul 09, 2011 7:59 PM GMT
HarpSkunk Replied:

Hey there, 1. Play on the street, first it's scary, then it's ok, then it's fun - or find some really good musicians to jam with. (or) 2. Find someone who is worse off than you - and help them, regularly for a good long while. That always makes things look brighter for me. I have had the same experiences as you with dogs and cats - I did not play for 20years, for the last 8ys I have insisted on enjoying life no matter what and that means playing harp, meeting blues musicians, building mics etc. etc.

Feel good about your cat - Sweety was loved and cared for, by you! Would have been worse for Sweety without you! Hang on in there, your music will find it's way out !!

Jul 12, 2011 11:18 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Honor your cat(s) by writing songs about them perhaps. Even if they are only instrumentals. If you are into playing the blues,well,,,this is the kind of stuff blues is made of. If all the best blues musicians stopped playing because they had a serious case of the blues there would be no blues music. Lemonade from lemons,Darrell!

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