#1
Hi. See title for TL;DR.

Any of you guys had a time in your life where you've been unable to, or haven't had the motivation to, play guitar for a notable period of time?

Just asking, because I'm going to spend 6-12 months doing my military service next year and that means I'll probably be able to play on 2 days a week max (though it's likely I can later take a guitar with me to the place and play it a bit once a while)

Currently I'm able to play somewhat well. I can learn (with my ear) and play basic rock and stuff with ease, improvise solos, have a good understanding of some scales and the modes of the major scale. I can play some Dillinger Escape Plan songs or Eddie Van Halen solos cleanly at my best.

And I'd hate to see all that go down the drain after a period of inactivity.

So, experinces? Ideas? Comments?
#2
well since i started working i havent had a whole lot of time to play. i pick it up every now and then and just noodle around.. been doing this for almost 2 years, ive notice a considerable drop in how accurate my playing has been. like im really sloppy but i remember how to do everything, its just messy. and with a short amount of practice i can get it back up to par. kinda like riding a bike or anything really, you just gotta practice a bit more to remember how.

your defiantly not gonna be able to play flawlessly after a 1 year break, but you will retain like the majority of your abilities..
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Originally Posted by Shirate
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Last edited by Rocketface2112 at Nov 4, 2012,
#3
if you can play two days a week, play two days a week. even if you can only play an hour or two a week you will at least stay at the skill level you are at, just practice when ever you can.
#4
An interesting quote from the Hagakure:


Quote by Yamamoto Tsunetomo
There is something to be learned from a rainstorm.
When meeting with a sudden shower you try not to get wet
and run quickly along the road,
by doing such things as passing under the eves of houses,
you still get wet.
When you are resolved from the beginning,
you will not be perplexed,
though you will still get the same soaking.
this understanding extends to all.


This is going to happen whether you want it to or not. There isn't anything you can do to avert this and I assume you'll be playing as much as you can anyway, no matter how much that actually is. I would suggest that you stop worrying about how much your skills are going to degrade because there's nothing you can do about it. You'll come out the other side in the state you end up in and from there all you will be able to do is practice and play to get back to where you are now, although it shouldn't be hard to do so.
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#5
Thanks all of ya

Rocket, the bike analogy is quite encouraging!

tyjamo, will do!

Zaphod, had to read that quote like seven times before I understood it, haha. But yeah I'll do my best to not worry about it, after all, guitar is nothing more than a personal hobby to me. I don't really "need" to keep up a good technique because I don't play in a band or anything.
#6
I would argue that two good practice sessions a week are perhaps enough to come close to maintaining your skill level. However, it isn't enough to enable you to improve.

To the upside, a year off for an experienced player, isn't anywhere near close to being a beginner who's just starting out. You'll have to re-hone your chops, but you certainly won't have to learn them all over again...
#7
Last year I didn't play for about 8 months as I'd gotten quite bored with playing. I've played nearly 20 years and I just couldn't be bothered.

When I finally came back to playing, little techniques that enhanced my playing; Improved rhythms in songs, the speed in which I could alternate pick, my understanding of the scales I had gotten used to had more or less gone.

While I didn't have to completely relearn everything, it took me some time to get as good as I was before, but I could still play pretty much everything I once could, I just wasn't as good at it.
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#8
It was not that bad actually. I usually took my guitar with me to the military if I had to spend over 1 week in there without getting home. I didn't notice anything difference even If I only was able to play on weekends.

PS. 6kk oli tarpeeksi
#9
Quote by miio
It was not that bad actually. I usually took my guitar with me to the military if I had to spend over 1 week in there without getting home. I didn't notice anything difference even If I only was able to play on weekends.

PS. 6kk oli tarpeeksi

Really? Damn that sounds pretty good. Only issue is I don't think I have a bad enough guitar to take with me there :/ But I know the place has a band practice space so maybe I could join a band and be able to jam a couple hours a week if nothing else.

Sivariaki mietin, siel olis ainakin päässy soittamaa, mutta kyllä tuo puol vuotta houkutteli enemmän joo
#10
Quote by Jyrgen
Really? Damn that sounds pretty good. Only issue is I don't think I have a bad enough guitar to take with me there :/ But I know the place has a band practice space so maybe I could join a band and be able to jam a couple hours a week if nothing else.

Sivariaki mietin, siel olis ainakin päässy soittamaa, mutta kyllä tuo puol vuotta houkutteli enemmän joo


It was pretty easy to grab a guitar from home with a case and store it in your closet during the days and grab it during the evenings. And we also used to go to the band room around 1-2 times a week and jam together, there was like 3 guitars and all pretty decent, basses and a set of drums. So yeah you can easily take your own guitar with you (well atleast after the first 2 months) or go to the band room with your friends. Good times.
#11
happened to me (7 months without touching a guitar) a couple of years ago. in 3 or 4 weeks i caught up pretty much with everything. during those 3 weeks i played like 3-4 hours a day. i'd say my level was intermediate then...
#13
Over the 20+ years I've been playing, there have been several times when I've stopped playing for a few months at a time. One time I didn't play for a couple of years. It took about half an hour to get back up to speed when I started again.

Seriously, don't worry about taking a break from practising every day - and even if you only get half the time for practice you're expecting, practising once every couple of weeks would be enough to not lose any technique at all.

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#14
Here's something I learned

Once you learn the proper way to do things, and your body adjusts to it and you do it everyday for months, you can stop for however long you want, but whenever you go back to it, your body will still remember the way it did it before, but the performance will be sloppy, you'll need a day or two to warm back up to the way it was before, I'm talking 12 hours total, do all the basics over and you'll remember how to do it all again pretty cool huh this is from experince from other things not a guitar though but I believe this is how it works with it
#15
It varies from person to person. If I go 2-3 days without adequate practice, It feels like I've never played guitar before.
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#16
In that way you can only play the guitar for yourself (sing songs, play covers and simple melodies). If you want to become more than average person with the guitar then practice is done 7 times a week, every day.
#17
Quote by SaviArt
In that way you can only play the guitar for yourself (sing songs, play covers and simple melodies). If you want to become more than average person with the guitar then practice is done 7 times a week, every day.

I know this but I don't have a choice, unfortunately it's written in law that all people with penises in this country shall go roleplaying for a period of at least 6 months. At least the government will pay my rent for that time.
#18
Only six months? That's not too bad.

If I had my way everyone with a penis or not would do two years minimum as soon as they graduated from high school. Two years in the military or four in a Peace Corp kinda deal. That is if they were physically and mentally able. After that then you could vote but not until and contiune your education and you'd be better prepard for it too.

I'm sure that will win me a lot of friends but it is what it is and I think people need to do some growing up, maturing and seeing what the rest of the world looks like before they go shooting their mouths off. Then they will have earned the right.

I used to play while I was in the military and even found more friends to jam with. If anything, they had more going musically as far as talent and skill than the people I jammed with before the military.

Quote by Jyrgen
I know this but I don't have a choice, unfortunately it's written in law that all people with penises in this country shall go roleplaying for a period of at least 6 months. At least the government will pay my rent for that time.
#19
You'll probably lose some of your technique over that period of time.

It depends though, if you got your fingers caught in a surface planer, rendering your middle and ring finger on your fretting hand absolutely useless for 6 months (followed by a further 4 months of mild pain), then it basically feels like relearning how to play, as there is little to no feeling in the tips of those fingers.

The vibes will definitely come back though, slowly but surely.
#20
Ouch!! Bet that smarted.

Quote by beau05
You'll probably lose some of your technique over that period of time.

It depends though, if you got your fingers caught in a surface planer, rendering your middle and ring finger on your fretting hand absolutely useless for 6 months (followed by a further 4 months of mild pain), then it basically feels like relearning how to play, as there is little to no feeling in the tips of those fingers.

The vibes will definitely come back though, slowly but surely.
#21
With some days of practice, you will retrieve your skills I think, slowly but surely.
I think you can't really loose your skills, like the thing about the bike.

Just a little story, without importance but just to illustrate my thoughts : my aunt learned how to play some easy chords (open chords) 30 years ago (just to sing some popular songs with her friends I guess). A few months ago, she came to my house and just for fun she tried to play these chords (on my guitar) she learned 30 years ago ... and with a few minutes of practice, she was able to play these chords.

I know it's very different compared to you, but who knows ...
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche