14 Easy Tips To Avoid And Overcome Guitar Burnout

Playing guitar is fun but sometimes it gets the best off you. You may feel like you don’t want to play the guitar. You may even feel depressed about your music and where you are as a guitarist. Here are several ways to avoid and overcome guitar burnout.

Stay Positive

You need to remain positive when playing the guitar. It takes a long time to develop skills and to become proficient. You will burnout if you allow your negative feelings to get the best of you. Negative emotions never get you anywhere. You won’t make progress if you feel like you can’t do it. If you’re having trouble playing the guitar, find a good teacher.

You may be playing too much in an attempt to get better and this is leading to negative emotions. Not everyone learns at the same pace. You may feel like you’re not very good but there is no need to think this way. All guitar players started at the same point before they gained skill on the instrument. Be positive and give yourself time to learn and you won’t face burnout since your progress is a positive one.

Master The Basics

Many guitar players try advanced techniques and wonder why they can’t play that way. You must master all the basics before you can progress. You won’t play at a high level unless you have grasped the basics of guitar. By trying to do things you’re not prepared for, you’ll burnout due to frustration.

Take time and learn basic concepts. Most music uses these basic concepts and not the advanced skills. Think of famous songs that you like. Many of them are only three chords and quite basic. Once you have the basics down the advanced concepts are easier. Every great player took the time to master the basics of the instrument. For example, you’ll burn out with frustration if you try to perform sweep picking when you don’t understand the scales and how to apply them to actual music. The old saying walk before you run applies here.

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You can master the basics with your favorite songs in the following list I made 15 Famous Easy Guitar Songs With 3 Chords For Beginners chords or tabs are included

Take A Break From Music

No one can do the same things all the time without some sort of burnout. Think about work as an example. Many people don’t work on the weekends. You need a break from work to recharge so you’re fresh to work again. An athlete doesn’t train every day since they need to allow their muscles to repair. Music is the same way so step away from it every few days and do different activities.

This break needs to be free from music or at least anything to do with the guitar. When you take a break from work on the weekend, you usually don’t think about work. Take this same concept and apply it to guitar playing. This break from music allows your brain to rest. Once you get back to playing you will feel fresh and rejuvenated. This break might even be a few weeks or even a month. Take whatever time you need to get away from music until you feel like playing again.

Go Jam With Like-Minded Musicians

If you play at home by yourself, you may find that boredom or burnout sets in. While you can play at home, you won’t get to experience music to its fullest. By playing in a band situation it will stimulate your creativity and get you excited about music. Jamming is one of the best things you can do to reduce musical ruts. You have to think about more than your technique you need to make music with others. This is harder to do than bedroom practice.

At the same time, you should play with people that think the same way you do and want to play the same type of music that you do. Make sure you don’t join a country band for example, if you have no intention of playing the country. Unless you can enjoy the country to a certain extent playing in a country band would be a huge mistake. You would burnout playing songs you never like.

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For more information about jamming, you can check out my post How To Jam On The Guitar – 12 Easy Tips To Get You Started

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself With Material

One of the best things about modern guitar playing is that we have tons of materials to choose from. We have DVDs, online courses, videos on YouTube, seminars, forums and so on. This information is everywhere. The problem with this is that too much information can leave you sidetracked. Your brain is not capable of processing all this material without confusion. You will end up frustrated and the guitar will seem like a chore.

With all this information you may overwhelm yourself. You may feel that you must learn it all but this isn’t realistic. You end up placing expectations on yourself that you can’t meet. Information overload can lead to overload as a player. Try to digest information in smaller chunks then master the smaller chunks. No one can do everything all at once and the same applies to guitar. Take it slow and realize it’s going to be a long process.

Avoid Boredom With Playing New Things

When learning guitar you want to avoid playing the same things every routine. Boredom creeps in if you don’t try to expand your knowledge on the guitar. You will bring excitement to your playing if you add a new song or concept into your playing routine often. Once your guitar becomes boring burnout will soon follow. 

You might try to look at a song in a different way and add your own unique spin on it. Think of all the bands you like and how they have taken a cover song and made it their own. This adds excitement and variety to your playing. Don’t focus on playing music note for note all the time. Make it a habit to add new songs each week or try a new technique that you’re not familiar with. Not only will this reduce burnout but you’ll advance on the guitar as well.

Don’t Be Afraid To Learn Music You May Not Like

Many guitar players get stuck in a rut. They play the same styles of music and never want to change. This sort of thinking will lead to burnout over time. It’s difficult to grow if you won’t try new guitar styles once and a while. For example, you may always play hard rock and refuse to play anything else but this is the wrong approach. Let’s say you get in a band and you play clubs. The people at clubs are going to want to dance to popular songs that people like to dance to. You may have to play styles of music that you hate to play that club.

You need to have the ability to play different styles. If you stick to one style and never break out to new styles you’ll grow tired over time with the same thing. This doesn’t mean you have to play things you don’t like all the time, but you should be open to new styles. You may find there is a technique in that style that can add more excitement to your own playing.

Always Have Fun

If you’re not having fun playing guitar, you’ll suffer from burnout. Far too often we practice and practice and get so sick of guitar till the point we don’t want to play anymore. You will suck the fun out of playing if you don’t learn to relax when you play and have fun. 

Don’t allow your frustrations to get the best of you if you can’t play something right away. It takes a great deal of time to master the guitar. It’s not a race to the finish line it’s a slow crawling turtle. Have fun when you play and don’t get so serious about everything. This doesn’t mean you can’t practice at an intense level. Try your best avoid to avoid negative emotions when you have trouble with a guitar concept. 

Listen To Music

If you feel uninspired or suffer from burnout on the guitar, listen to more music. The love of favorite artists is the main reason we play guitar. Take a break from playing and start listening to more music. Try to listen to something new in the genre you love or a new genre. This will break you out of your music rut and boredom.

Analyze the music and write down what you like about it. This will stimulate your creative side and get you excited about playing again. Listen to recorded music but also see it live. Any time you watch a band live it’s a huge motivational boost to your own playing. Listen to music and playing music should go hand in hand. This is the greatest source of your creativity and why we play in the first place.

Teach Others

Teaching guitar is very inspiring and motivating. Showing others what you know can give you inspiration for your own musical journey. Think of how exciting it was when someone showed you your first chords. This same sort of excitement is what you get when you do the same and teach others how to play. You get to take your love of music and give this gift to another person.

If you feel that you are burnt out playing guitar, start teaching. Think of all the teachers on sites such as YouTube. They have communities of other guitar players. They are sharing their music with a wide audience. when you teach you will look at music in a new way. Begin your teaching journey by making YouTube videos or apply at your local music store.

Set Reasonable Goals 

Guitar playing today puts a lot of unreasonable expectations on people that want to learn. You can go on YouTube or other video sites and see people that play at a high level. The point is to keep in mind is that it takes a long time until you can play at a high level on guitar.

While it is fine to push yourself to do better you may find frustration setting in. By trying to do too much too fast you could end up with burnout. You need to set reasonable goals for yourself and work towards those goals. Don’t expect to be able to do everything right away. This is not a realistic way to look at playing the guitar. You can practice hard but make sure you have a realistic goal in mind. Break these goals up into manageable chunks. Work on these small chunks to improve your performance on the instrument.

Break Up Practice Times

Another cause of guitar burnout is practicing too much. Playing for hours and hours a day is not beneficial. You should approach your practice in a different way. Try to break up your practice times. This will allow you to approach the instrument when your mind is fresh. It is easier for you to digest information when you’re doing it in a smaller time frame.

Your brain will be able to process what you have learned as there is a smaller amount of information coming in. You don’t want information overload when practicing. A good target is around 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. This might be more if you are practicing for a performance or live event. If you need to master something for those purposes then more practice will be fine.

Try New Gear

If you want to keep your guitar playing fresh, try buying some new gear. When you buy something new it can stimulate your creativity and get you out of a musical rut.  A new guitar, pedal, amplifier, or another piece of musical equipment can help you be more creative

One of the best ways to do this is to buy a guitar that you’ve never tried before. If you play a 6-string electric guitar try to change things up by buying another instrument. This might include a 12-string, 7-string electric guitar, mandolin, and so on. This helps you approach the guitar in a fresh manner. You have more incentive to play with the new equipment. You can do the same with the new amplifier or effects pedal. You will have new sounds to explore and this can help you reduce guitar burnout.  Create excitement to play again with new equipment.


Many guitar players stick to the same things. They never go out of their comfort zone. One of the best ways to reduce guitar burnout is to pick up your guitar and play it without thinking about what you’re doing. Forget everything you know and make music. Allow your creativity to shine through.

This means you don’t want to play any songs you are familiar with. Put on a jam track and just play. This gets your fingers thinking and you will lose yourself in the music. You are not following a song you know yeah chord progression. This is a simple way to reduce guitar burnout. Try jamming along to music you have never played before. You will find many tracks online fun sites such as YouTube that you can use for jamming purposes.


These tips should help you reduce guitar burnout. If you lack incentive or motivation to play guitar approach it in a different way. Make changes to the way you play to keep things fresh and exciting. All musicians go through burnout at some point. learning guitar is a lifelong process. Along this journey, you could find yourself less motivated than you would like. Be sure to take breaks away from music from time to time and then come back to it with a fresh perspective. Guitar playing needs to be fun and not a chore. keep your musical journey fun. Be serious about the instrument but also allow yourself to do other things.

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I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

4 thoughts on “14 Easy Tips To Avoid And Overcome Guitar Burnout

  1. Excellent article-as a guitar player I am experiencing some of these symptoms. My cure is to listen to who inspires me as a guitarist(Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen Mick Mars, Stevie Ray Vaughan). Listen a lot. After all music is about sound. Relax and you will get there.

  2. I’m in a heavy burnout stage right now. I’ve played for 52 years, this is the worst I’ve ever been. Had a gif last week and didn’t even feel like playing.

    I’m laying it drown for awhile.

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