i wonder if any of you guys might be able to help me get over a particularly difficult period of not being able to face another practice session.  as i have a day gig, on average, i've been doing 2-3 hours a day for longer than i care to remember, and a year ago i made the not insignificant financial commitment to get myself a decent piano.  

now that i've reached the age where women are just bags of noise and the kids have long since left home, i've made jazz piano study the centre around which my life revolves.  i even got rid of my tv!
i have no pretensions of becoming a pro - i just want to be able to express myself (whatever that means) and know what i'm doing and why i'm doing it.

as much as i love it, for some reason which i can't fathom, and believe me, i've tried, for the past month i just don't seem to be able to get my ass on the stool.  and when i talk myself into practising, i find myself just noodling around, which pisses me off more than not getting into it...

so, what do you guys think? burnout? is this a common problem?  is it temporary?  have any of you guys gone through this?  (please say yes!!)  will it pass?

this is a serious problem for me, and i'd appreciate some serious answers.

There are 10 comments, leave a comment.
i'm no shrink, but i am a burnout :)  

i think you're putting too much pressure on yourself.  if it becomes laborious instead of enjoyable, why would you look forward to doing it?

me?  i quit playing gigs (i did it for a living for over 30 years)  i now vacillate between practicing and just noodling around - depending on how i feel.  i am truly enjoying this approach and i'm actually getting better.  i wonder if that would work for you too?  after all music is a gift and we should enjoy it - and if you don't - so what?  why not try knitting or fencing? :)

i would recommend you try something new.  if you have never worked on classical much, work on some classical.  or maybe spend more time listening to music, and a wider variety of music than you normally choose.  learn how to play some pop songs really well.  learn a new instrument (accordion!).  my guess is that if you try something new for a month or two, when you go back to your jazz playing you will find that you haven't lost a thing, and in fact have maybe gained something.
some of my best practice was done while watching tv at the same time as i played , a good movie , the news or a talk show could baby sit me for hours on end of lonely practice. i face my piano towards the tv and half watch while i play. it's a little like playing casuals. it helps me relax too and be more subconscious in my playing. being too mental all the time  can become a bad habit. tv is a distraction that can make hours fly by when i am playing. i also recommend aebersold and cds , those can be fun. also playing duo with guitarists, and for me the personality of person i am playing with always makes a big difference. if they have an attitude i don't really like playing with them, of course they have to be good players or it won't happen twice.
...by "knitting and fencing" i meant to do something else for a while until your desire to play/practice comes back - i know it will :)
"i've made jazz piano study the center around which my life revolves.  "
"i just don't seem to be able to get my ass on the stool."

you sound conflicted. let me ask 3 questions to get a little more insight
1) what tunes are you playing?
2) do you like the way you play them?
3) are you aiming towards playing solo piano gigs for money? (best goal oriented motivator i know of)
playing tunes is practicing and if you don't even want to do that then i think you maybe should seek other hobbies for a while.
this is a very interesting post.  

i used to get bored doing certain things, practicing a certain way etc, but i can honestly say that i haven't been bored or burnout in years, well not about playing music anyway. i can play all day everyday and burnout doesn't enter the picture in my mind at all. i remember one month i spent about 12+ hours a day and i loved it :)

i would have to agree with jazz+ on this one..
take a break and come back to it in a month, don't touch the keyboard. sometimes your mind needs a rest and the subconscious gets a chance to work out some of that stuff you've been practicing.

another thing is to get some new music to listen to so that you're inspired to play.  alternately, find some good live music that inspires you.

a couple of ideas there, at least.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
how about learning a new instrument

what an incredibly stupid thing to say!

that's your problem right there, you've got no life in the outside world.

you intend to spend your days hunkered down inside your private little fantasy bubble devoid of human contact.

you could have just as easily said "
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