#1
I really didn't know where to put this thread so.. I apologize if I missed the section.
Anyways, I'm about to go on holiday, and I'm not sure if I should take the guitar with me. I practice like hour and a half per day (average), sometimes it takes up to 4 hours, but that's only when I'm like super excited for some reason. Let's get back to the topic.
I happened to notice that skipping 1 day or practicing less than 30 minutes per day makes me worse and then it may take up to 3 days to get back to where I was. What do you think about going 7 days without touching the guitar? Is it gonna affect my playing bad and how long is it gonna take to get back to where I was?

Be safe.

#edit
I've been playing for about 8-9 months
Last edited by StefanWylde at Jul 12, 2013,
#2
Nope, I don't see a problem. If you don't play for 7 days, you might a bit sloppier but the musicianship will still be there. So you have nothing to fear.
#3
Quote by GoldenGuitar
Nope, I don't see a problem. If you don't play for 7 days, you might a bit sloppier but the musicianship will still be there. So you have nothing to fear.


There's the problem. I'm just a player. Very far from a musician. So that's where I missed the topic. I rely on technique and speed (as far as 8 month beginner can do). But that's all I've got.... I'm tone deaf
#4
Yeah, I just realised you're 16. Best advice, slow down and play with a metronome. If you want to play fast and maintain it. You want to be creating new synapses in your brain so you can co-ordinate your actions. In the long run your technical ability won't drop too far if by any chance you aren't close to a guitar.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Jul 12, 2013,
#6
A synapse is a physically structure in your nervous system that allows the transfer of electrical and chemical signals to your brain.
#7
Listening to music, and really LISTENING can be (in some instances) just as important as technique. Train your ear, look at music theory, practice your timing by tapping your hands. There's loads to do without actually having your guitar with you.
#8
Don't worry about it. Sometimes taking a break makes you better because after a break you really want to play the guitar again that increases your motivation to learn. Let the holiday be a holiday. You don't need to take the guitar with you.

Also start working on your ear. It's a lot more important than speed. Speed can be learned over time, there's no need to hurry (unless you really enjoy doing speed exercises for an hour a day). Do what you enjoy doing. If you don't feel like playing, don't play. You learn better when you want to learn something. All musicians should have a good ear because music is all about sound, not fingerings.

I don't play every day. I have actually started playing less and less (I have been playing for 4 years). It depends on the mood I'm in. But my guitar skills don't get any worse. Actually every now and then I notice that I can play some parts I couldn't play a week ago, even though I have barely touched my guitar and I haven't even practiced that part once during the week. Sometimes I play better, sometimes worse. It depends on my mood.

Oh and I completely agree with PanamaJack666.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 12, 2013,
#9
Sheesh, it's 7 days.

Go on holiday, enjoy yourself
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#10
7 days is nothing. I've been playing in total for over 20 years, but along the way I've had several breaks of a few months and a couple that last 2 or 3 years. When I picked the guitar up again, I was back up & running within a few hours of starting.

Seriously, don't worry about it.
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#11
I was craving my guitar 10 days into a 12 day holiday, so I started listening to music with headphones, repeating riffs and trying to figure out the intervals and arrangements. There's many aspects to practice!
#12
Sometimes, when i got back from holidays i noticed i was actually better, faster and more precise.
Like, things i was struggling with before going away, i nailed them as soon as i arrived and picked up the guitar... Don't know why that happens, maybe taking a couple days off of the guitar completely to rest is beneficial.
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#13
I can remember when i went on holiday with my mate and he took his guitar with him.Was pretty embarrasing trying to chill on the beach with him ****ing about with a guitar.Was so sick and tired listening him play Ronan Keating over and over and over.Seriously go away have fun take a break from it.Seven days is hardly long.Stopped playing for about 6 years due to lack of intrest but it only took a few weeks to get back in the swing of it.

For the record ive never spoke to him again.
#14
Quote by Linkerman
Sometimes, when i got back from holidays i noticed i was actually better, faster and more precise.
Like, things i was struggling with before going away, i nailed them as soon as i arrived and picked up the guitar... Don't know why that happens, maybe taking a couple days off of the guitar completely to rest is beneficial.


i get this too sometimes. a break can be a way to force yourself to reevaluate whether you're going about things the wrong way or not.
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#15
Seven days wouldn't be the end of the world really. If you purely enjoy playing the guitar, I guess you could consider getting a cheap boat paddle, some sort of budget acoustic for trips away from home. I wouldn't recommend taking your main guitar, whatever you rely on for the majority of your practice, last thing you wanna lose in baggage or abroad.
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#16
It's only a week, no big deal. I've been playing for 5 years and there were a few instances where I was on long holidays (7-10 days) with not much change in my playing. It just took a little bit more work for a day or two to get back up on par.

Everyone else is right about working on your ear. For the first 4 years or so of playing, I rarely, if ever worked on my ear training. Over the past year, I do my best to work on my ear training and I can get a pretty good idea of how to play a song, but I still need quite a bit of work. We're all "tone deaf" in the beginning. And you're not tone deaf, you just have a bad ear. As long as you can tell if two notes sound different, you're fine.
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#17
Think of it like this, if you finished a semester in school, but can't remember what it is you learned, then you didn't really learn. Probably should have studied more. Same thing with guitar playing, it should improve if you practiced well.

Practice with a metronome, no fast playing until you're ready, and repetition is important to remember how to play. By remember I mean "muscle memory". Your brain can tell your fingers and hands how to move properly if you "strengthen" the connections that are "correct". The reason I emphasize correct playing, is because while you may know what good playing sounds like, your brain is capable of learning the mistakes.
#18
Quote by Kortez3000
Think of it like this, if you finished a semester in school, but can't remember what it is you learned, then you didn't really learn. Probably should have studied more. Same thing with guitar playing, it should improve if you practiced well.

Practice with a metronome, no fast playing until you're ready, and repetition is important to remember how to play. By remember I mean "muscle memory". Your brain can tell your fingers and hands how to move properly if you "strengthen" the connections that are "correct". The reason I emphasize correct playing, is because while you may know what good playing sounds like, your brain is capable of learning the mistakes.


I can't practice with a metronome. It distracts me. I usually jam along with the song I've been learning. Or record myself and then hear it to see where I'm wrong.
#19
Seven days is not a lot of time at all on the actual scale of musicianship. Do not worry about catching up to where you were because you will get back without much effort.
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all.
#20
Quote by Snotfish
Seven days is not a lot of time at all on the actual scale of musicianship. Do not worry about catching up to where you were because you will get back without much effort.


I put a lot of effort every single day. I go 1 day without enough practice, it takes me time to get where I was...
#21
Come on, you have only been playing for less than a year. You'll learn lots of things over time. There's no need to hurry. Do what you enjoy doing. You don't have to practice that much. Because to me your practicing feels pretty forced. You fear that you aren't as good as you were two days ago and the fear keeps you practicing - it doesn't seem like you really enjoy it, you just practice for the sake of practicing. Remember that you don't need to be the best guitarist on earth. And it takes time to become good. Nobody becomes good in a year, it really takes time.

Think about your goals. What do you want to learn to play (songs, techniques, playing by ear)? Don't just practice random exercises. Playing songs is always good because it's fun and I think it's the purpose of playing an instrument - to play music. Do you play any songs or just practice technique?

As many have said, when you are on holiday, listen to some music, relax, work on your ear. That's a lot more important than being able to play fast. And you'll enjoy playing a lot more when you are able to play what you want to play (it doesn't usually require extreme speed, but if you have a cool melody in your head, you want to be able to play it). You can also learn theory.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 12, 2013,
#22
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Come on, you have only been playing for less than a year. You'll learn lots of things over time. There's no need to hurry. Do what you enjoy doing. You don't have to practice that much. Because to me your practicing feels pretty forced. You fear that you aren't as good as you were two days ago and the fear keeps you practicing - it doesn't seem like you really enjoy it, you just practice for the sake of practicing. Remember that you don't need to be the best guitarist on earth. And it takes time to become good. Nobody becomes good in a year, it really takes time.

Think about your goals. What do you want to learn to play (songs, techniques, playing by ear)? Don't just practice random exercises. Playing songs is always good because it's fun and I think it's the purpose of playing an instrument - to play music. Do you play any songs or just practice technique?

As many have said, when you are on holiday, listen to some music, relax, work on your ear. That's a lot more important than being able to play fast. And you'll enjoy playing a lot more when you are able to play what you want to play (it doesn't usually require extreme speed, but if you have a cool melody in your head, you want to be able to play it). You can also learn theory.



I play solos... And riffs that amuse me (Crazy Train, Bark at the Moon) Or at least try to play. I may have expressed myself wrong. And i'm not as fast as my words made me...
Stairway to Heaven (with horrible bends, I know, it's fixed)

Crazy Train solo cover
This is me 2 months ago... Not nearly as fast as you probably thought

And my goal is to become worldwide known guitarist. And I wanna play on stage. Right now I'm just a "bedroom boy"
#23
Just so you know, you will become famous if you have emotion in your music that you are playing, whether it is riffs, solos, or simply strumming and singing. If you just keep this required practice regimen of yours and dream of being a worldwide player, chances are you will stay a "bedroom boy".

Let your life run free and gather up feeling for your playing. It is boring as hell hearing someone who thinks they are technically proficient playing with simply a solid line on their face.
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all.
#24
I find when I'm trying to master a specific technique, time away makes me super rusty, but once I have it I have it. Kinda like riding a bike. Every one is different.

Sometimes a week off is just what I need. I come back clearheaded and just playing naturally awesome. Like I'm on auto pilot. I find this to be the case especially with drums.

I was getting sloppy and inconsistent with pinch harmonics and tremolo pick so I got frustrated and didn't play for a little over a week. When I came back I was nailing everything pretty consistently.

A little break could be beneficial. Even if it sets you back a little, it's not the end of the world. Don't make playing your instrument seem like a chore (unless it's your only income).
#25
It's funny but I've noticed the exact same thing. It was more pronounced in my first year, but still you are right. Skipping a day or two causes a set-back. Sometimes it's a necessity, like a "mental health break", when you are getting really sick of working on the same song or something... but 7 days ? Wow, that's a rather long time.

If I were you I would take the guitar, and at least get in one or two days of practice during the holiday. Who knows, you may meet someone who also plays and be able to exchange some tips... or maybe just play for a few friends who are relaxing there with you.

So yeah, if it's not too much trouble to take it, I definitely would.
#26
TS, you are only 16. There's no need to hurry. You don't need incredible speed to be a good guitarist. I listened to your Crazy Train and Stairway to Heaven recordings and they sounded good - you sounded like you could have been playing for many years. But don't just focus on speed. To be a good guitarist, you need to be good at music, not good at speed. Speed can be learned over time. Speed isn't everything.

There are lots of guitar shredders that can play super fast. Playing fast isn't how you will stand out in the future. There are so many fast players: Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngvie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Guthrie Govan... I would focus on making music because that's what the best guitarists also do. They play fast but they also make good music. If they played complete crap music that only relies on speed, they wouldn't be famous. So what I would do is join a band. Start writing music, learn some musical skills, not just speed. Your speed is good enough and it will improve over time.

And so what if you play a bit worse than you played a week ago? It's only a week! As I said, there's no need to hurry. Playing an instrument isn't a competition. And if you become worse at guitar, you haven't really learned the skill. darksatan666lol made a good point. It's like riding a bike. Once you learn it, you'll never forget how to do it. It just needs enough repeats. That's why first playing at lower speed is good. It makes your muscle memory a lot better and you won't forget how to play it when you play it at higher speeds.

Join a band, it also makes playing the guitar so much more fun and kind of gives it a meaning.

It's also good to have some other life than just practicing speed on your guitar. Let your holiday be a holiday! Do something different. Let your brain and fingers rest.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#27
If you are practicing the right way, you shouldn't ever go backwards. Rely less on muscle memory and more on the ear. You want your technique to be connected to your ear. If you practice this way, you should always find yourself moving forward.
#28
Quote by StefanWylde
I put a lot of effort every single day. I go 1 day without enough practice, it takes me time to get where I was...

i found the better i made my technique, the less this happens. if your technique is very loose and natural, you wont have as much problem getting back into it after time off. i have tendinitis and have been taking a week off. i played a bit yesterday and was surprised how well i could still play. i was a bit slower yes, but nothing a couple days of good practice can't solve. also, i think you think you are getting worse because the thing that seems to go first is speed. there is far more to music and guitar playing than speed though. just know that it's natural to lose some speed and accuracy but it's really nothing in the big picture. also like other said, breaks can be good. it helps you get the drive back i find. you'll probably come back loving guitar even more.

take it slow when you come back to it. focus on rebuild accuracy first before trying to jump into what you were doing before. warm up with some scales, go through the songs you know, riffs, then start getting into more complex things as you go. usually if i take a break i come back and play some blues and just really work on making sure my tone, bends, and vibrato are still up to par. and as i warm up and get back into the swing of things a move into more complex licks and songs and genres.

also, it seems to get easier when you've been playing longer. the music never really leaves your head. bodybuilders will take a month off every now and then. what happens is yes they lose muscle, but there is a "sling shot" effect where your muscle memory will not only quickly get you back to where you used to be, but it will actually make you improve more than if you worked out for that month too. now, i don't know if this is true for guitar too, but personally i find this to be the case. if i take some time off, and then totally devote myself to guitar, within a few days i'm way better than i was before i took the break.

hope that helps. remember, almost anything you do is in your head. if you think you suck at guitar or can't do something, you probably wont be able to do it. if you believe 100% you can and just go for it, most of the time you will do it. and if you make a mistake, laugh it off and continue. just take it slow and controlled and have confidence in your ability and you'll be back to where you were in no time. few days tops.

getting a callus builder i find is useful because then i don't have to worry about building them up again AND getting back into the swing of things. hope that helps a bit.
#30
You shouldn't be getting noticeably worse just by not practicing more than 30 minutes per day. Skipping days here and there shouldn't do any harm either. I don't understand why you think you can notice yourself losing and regaining progress. It doesn't really work that way, especially for beginners.

If you don't practice for a week, you'll be fine when you get back to it.

What are you working on that you practice up to 4 hours a day?
#31
If I practice less than 3 hours a day I stagnate. Less than 2 and I regress. It's really not unusual for professional players to spend 30+ hours a week doing something with the guitar.

One week or a day here and there won't make a difference in the long run, but getting lazy and going a day or two every week without practice will definitely slow your progress.
#32
When I was younger I use to worry about getting rusty.
If your out for 7 days, don't bring the guitar, just relax and have lots of fun.
I would probably sacrifice 3 weeks of not practicing, before I start to worry. But even if I don't practice for 2 months, I'm sure with hard practice I could get back into shape in 2 weeks after.