Running out of inspiration as a musician? Guitarist Remi Harris has a quick fix

Remi Harris
(Image credit: Remi Harris / Facebook)

We're big fans of UK guitarist Remi Harris – he's not just a gifted gypsy jazz player, but his new Peter Green tribute show proves he's got an incredible touch as a blues-rock player. We talked about both sides to his playing in a recent interview (look out for that soon) but we wanted to know if he had any tips to pass on for addressing a common issue for musicians; how to stay inspired and keep moving forwards.

Remi's advice is simple – but it's something that's easily overlooked. 

"Whenever I feel like I'm in a little bit of a rut, I learn something new," begins Remi. "And what I generally do is I'll pick something that I hear on a record somewhere, but it can be anything, it can be in a rock thing, a blues thing, jazz thing, or it can be a classical melody, a pop song, whatever. And I'll just say, 'Right, I'm just kind of learn that and learn [a passage of it] of maybe 30 seconds in until 50 seconds in, and I'm just going to learn what's going on there. I'm just going to figure it out.'

"It could be a guitar lick, or it could be like a chord change that you really like in a Beatles song. And immediately, just as soon as you start putting that fresh kind of new information into your head, it immediately sparks that inspiration again, and then you kind of feel refreshed. So listen to music and wait until something just grabs you, and learn that bit."

How you learn it has never been easier too - by ear or otherwise.

"I learned generally by ear but if it's too difficult, there's nothing wrong with trying to find someone playing it on YouTube," says Remi. "But the main thing is to learn something that's new. And perhaps something unrelated to what you're already doing. Then you're learning something fresh."

Remi's book 100 Gypsy Jazz Guitar Licks is on sale now – check it out on Amazon. Keep up to date with his UK live dates at and YouTube lessons

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.