#1
I have been going at the guitar pretty hard.. Having actual practice/play time for about 4-5 hours a day without really having a day off. Sometimes my hand feels sore and I'm wondering if I could overkill it somehow...I've read that my favourite players would play for upwards of 12 hours a day. I haven't had any big problems yet, just a little soreness.
#2
Well if your muscles are not used to it yet and you are just starting out, I would avoid playing that long just so you can get your muscles strengthened up some.

If you have good form and technique, I really do not see how playing that long could hurt. Just change up what you practice over the time interval and take small breaks.

Those guitarists you hear about practicing that long were most likely practicing very effectively which is what motivated them to keep at it. If you are just going to noodle mindlessly for hours...you really should rethink what you are doing and reanalyze your musical goals to become more effective at achieving them.
Last edited by Unreal T at Aug 26, 2014,
#3
I have been playing for about 4 years...with the last year being very serious. I split my time up between things like technique drills, ear training (playing solo's/chords/lines in songs), improvising with backing tracks.. It seems to be fine now, it just kinda hurt because I was doing continuous hammer/pull-off exercises as fast as I could for a couple hours straight.
#5
Depending on the cause of the pain would determine if you need to take a break.
I developed an RSI after practicing for too long, I ignored the pain in my wrist until it got so bad I was unable to play for at least a week.

Pain is normal but you ought to give your muscles time to recover and also as Mapofyourhead said, examine your playing to make sure you're technique is correct.
On playing the Paul Gilbert signature at the guitar store extensively, my missus sighed:
"Put it down now, It's like you love that guitar more than me!"
In Which I replied.
"Well it has got two F-Holes!"
#7
In my opinion it can be good to take a day off, not only to let your fingers relax but more importantly to let your mind relax. I try to take one day off music once a week, since it is my profession and i do it on my free time aswell. It is refreshing, and can sometimes lead to you getting over that plateau.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
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Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#8
Quote by tyle12
I have been going at the guitar pretty hard.. Having actual practice/play time for about 4-5 hours a day without really having a day off. Sometimes my hand feels sore and I'm wondering if I could overkill it somehow...I've read that my favourite players would play for upwards of 12 hours a day. I haven't had any big problems yet, just a little soreness.


You can overplay - I did and screwed up my hand - take breaks and give your hand a rest often. Also, it helps to make sure you are using proper posture if you're going to be playing long periods of time.

That being said, 4-5 hours a day is a great routine and you will be a great player if you keep that up.
#9
Quote by tyle12
I have been going at the guitar pretty hard.. Having actual practice/play time for about 4-5 hours a day without really having a day off. Sometimes my hand feels sore and I'm wondering if I could overkill it somehow...I've read that my favourite players would play for upwards of 12 hours a day. I haven't had any big problems yet, just a little soreness.



I mean there's a huge difference between playing, and practicing learn to differentiate them. By the way the hours you put in don't mean a thing unless they're quality there's a saying that goes "quality over quantity" this applies to guitar playing a lot. Just make sure your practicing is focused, and efficient that's all you need to worry about.


Taking breaks are very important it's good to push past your limits, but you also need to know when enough is enough especially when it's physical. If your forearms are feeling very sore then go ahead, and take a break it's not that big of deal sometimes taking breaks can lead to more development in your playing. Indeed breaks are important, and breaks give your brain time to process everything you've learned and practiced so go on ahead and take a break if you feel like you need it.

Last edited by Black_devils at Aug 26, 2014,
#10
Taking a day off probably isn't enough if you're practicing that much especially if it causes pain. You should consider taking a week off if it becomes a problem. Then ease back into it.
#11
Quote by tyle12
I have been going at the guitar pretty hard.. Having actual practice/play time for about 4-5 hours a day without really having a day off. Sometimes my hand feels sore and I'm wondering if I could overkill it somehow...I've read that my favourite players would play for upwards of 12 hours a day. I haven't had any big problems yet, just a little soreness.



I double posted on accident lol.

Last edited by Black_devils at Aug 26, 2014,
#12
Quote by Black_devils
"quality over quantity" this applies to guitar playing a lot. Just make sure your practicing is focused, and efficient that's all you need to worry about.


Definitely this.
Work Hard - Self-Explanatory. Holding your guitar and eating donuts doesn't qualify.
Work Smart - Using a metronome, focusing on goals and challenges
Work Consistent - It's better to do practice 1 hour a day than 8 hours on the trot.
On playing the Paul Gilbert signature at the guitar store extensively, my missus sighed:
"Put it down now, It's like you love that guitar more than me!"
In Which I replied.
"Well it has got two F-Holes!"
Last edited by Nameless742 at Aug 26, 2014,
#14
Honestly, if he's really putting in 4-5 hours per day consistently and he's even mildly naturally talented, he'll be a great player in a few years, maybe less. People love to subscribe to the idea that there is some sort of secret that allows you to get great results without having to put in the time - it's simply not true. It's not true in sports and it's not true in music either. You want to be great at the guitar? Then roll up your sleeves and get to work. The most amazing players put in incredible amounts of time. Paco Delucia practiced up to twelve hours a day starting when he was like 5 years old - he wouldn't have attained the level he did by putting a few really solid hours here and there. the same goes for all the greats, they played a lot.
#15
Lol Sean I admit you have some good things to say, and you are probably a good player, but god dammit every post I see of you has something negative about it. I have made so much progress in the last year I have amazed myself. I'm a better musician than my friends who have been playing for 10 plus years now. But I want to be great, I'm always actively using my time wisely. The only passive exercise I do is when I watch tv but I'm still consciously doing technique drills slowly and as precise as I can when I do that.

Please tell me what you think I am doing wrong.
#16
Quote by tyle12
I have been playing for about 4 years...


I would probably take a break


sorry

yeah you can play too much. if it's hurting that means either your technique is dodgy or you're playing too much. or both.

Quote by reverb66
People love to subscribe to the idea that there is some sort of secret that allows you to get great results without having to put in the time - it's simply not true. It's not true in sports


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrissie_Wellington

Also I believe it says on Usain Bolt's Wiki page that his coach used to get annoyed at him because he thought he wasn't trying hard enough/taking it seriously enough.

Obviously those are extreme examples, and I agree with you that going in expecting to get somewhere by doing zero work (or at least much less than everyone else) is probably a bit silly- but it's not true that it never happens, either.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 26, 2014,
#17
Quote by tyle12
I'm a better musician than my friends who have been playing for 10 plus years now.

You know boasting about being a better musician than others is like flashing a sign that you aren't a good musician. Do you even know what musicianship is?

Edit: And no you can't play too much, unless you are playing with wrong technique or in incorrect positions (which will damage your wrists). But if you practice efficiently, I don't see the need to do more than a couple of hours.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Aug 26, 2014,
#18
I was simply making a point that when he said I hadn't been making any progress when in fact if I reflect on where I was last year I was much less knowledgeable and skillful compared to today. Granted my friends are guys who are happy playing in garage bands the past decade or so, I used to think they were so amazing, and all I'm saying is that what they do is easily understandable to me now...
#19
Quote by tyle12
Lol Sean I admit you have some good things to say, and you are probably a good player, but god dammit every post I see of you has something negative about it. I have made so much progress in the last year I have amazed myself. I'm a better musician than my friends who have been playing for 10 plus years now. But I want to be great, I'm always actively using my time wisely. The only passive exercise I do is when I watch tv but I'm still consciously doing technique drills slowly and as precise as I can when I do that.

Please tell me what you think I am doing wrong.


Do you want the world to just soothe you with telling you what you want to hear, or can you stomach some honesty? Are you able to handle someone being straight up with you, or do you seek to filter all the "bad" messages away from your ears?

You don't seem to grasp understand how the brain learns. It learns at it's own natural pace based upon HOW you teach it, not how long in a single setting. You practice as if the number of hours you use at one setting matters somehow in the rapid onset of results.

A tree will grow at its own pace. It matters little if I water it normally or flood it with 20 times it's requirement on a daily basis. Do you understand? In one scenerio, all I'm doing is wasting water.

Best,

Sean
#20
I'm curious. I'm also impatient and have high expectations for myself. So far I am quite happy with how my skills and knowledge have progressed. I know a few people who have been externally disciplined as children to be great musicians against their will when they would've rather been playing with their friends, but are happy now they learned what they did. I don't necessarily believe the whole 'go at your own pace motto'.

To continue with your tree analogy, the biggest most powerful fruit is the durian...Where does that grow? In Thailand, where the sun and rain both pour down on the tree with exceptional force to produce the most calorie/nutritionally dense (and tasty) fruit in the world.
Last edited by tyle12 at Aug 27, 2014,
#21
Quote by tyle12
To continue with your tree analogy, the biggest most powerful fruit is the durian...Where does that grow? In Thailand, where the sun and rain both pour down on the tree with exceptional force to produce the most calorie/nutritionally dense (and tasty) fruit in the world.

I'm not sure you understood the tree analogy...
#22
I understand, I just don't necessarily agree absolutely with it. Nothing is absolute. You can find contradictions to any truth you hold in the world.

I'm honestly very driven to be able to put into reality what I hear in my head, because I really enjoy the sounds I hear, and I am starting to be able to produce those in real life. I have quite a bit of spare time right now and I practice guitar, singing, drums (which I already learned before) and a little bass.

I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just putting my opinion out there and I encourage others to do so as well. Nothing is taken personally and I hope nothing I say will either (even though it might).
#23
Quote by tyle12
I'm curious. I'm also impatient and have high expectations for myself. So far I am quite happy with how my skills and knowledge have progressed. I know a few people who have been externally disciplined as children to be great musicians against their will when they would've rather been playing with their friends, but are happy now they learned what they did. I don't necessarily believe the whole 'go at your own pace motto'.

To continue with your tree analogy, the biggest most powerful fruit is the durian...Where does that grow? In Thailand, where the sun and rain both pour down on the tree with exceptional force to produce the most calorie/nutritionally dense (and tasty) fruit in the world.

I'd say just practice as much as you possibly can. And not just the things you are comfortable with, but also the things you find difficult and absolutely hate doing. Those have been the ones that have advanced my playing and knowledge the most. Forcing yourself to go through obstacles. When you start feeling uncomfortable, that's when you're practicing the right things and actually learning something. I'm not saying practicing the stuff you already know is useless, either. Of course you need repetition too.

I go at my own pace, but that pace isn't too relaxing at all. I've done boring counterpoint exercises (modal and tonal) every day for the past year, but I now understand the concept of consonance/dissonance and voice independence. I've also learned to sing/hear every possible interval and all scales + chord inversions on the piano. I've learned the basics of atonality, etc. It has sucked for the most part, but soon I will have all the tools to actually make some quality music that matters to ME.

Next, I just have to study a lot about orchestration/instrumentation and different music styles. Then compose A LOT of music.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Aug 27, 2014,
#24
Quote by tyle12
I understand, I just don't necessarily agree absolutely with it. Nothing is absolute. You can find contradictions to any truth you hold in the world.

I'm honestly very driven to be able to put into reality what I hear in my head, because I really enjoy the sounds I hear, and I am starting to be able to produce those in real life. I have quite a bit of spare time right now and I practice guitar, singing, drums (which I already learned before) and a little bass.

I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just putting my opinion out there and I encourage others to do so as well. Nothing is taken personally and I hope nothing I say will either (even though it might).


No not at all. In fact I have a great deal of respect for you, as many people talk the talk, but you seem driven to walk the walk. I'd just like to see you make the most progress that you can, and I'm not trying to take anything away from you, that you've already accomplished.

Best,

Sean
#25
Is there anything you can say that would perhaps, in your opinion, take my practice time to new heights?
#26
Quote by Sean0913

A tree will grow at its own pace. It matters little if I water it normally or flood it with 20 times it's requirement on a daily basis. Do you understand? In one scenerio, all I'm doing is wasting water.

Best,

Sean


Actually depending on how you look after said tree (its location, sunlight, protection from strong winds and frost etc.), how often you feed it (and what type of food you feed it), what type of soil/compost you grow it in, how much space it has to spread etc., you can very much affect how quickly it grows.

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I'm not sure you understood the tree analogy...


I'm not sure he did either.

Anyone can make up pseudo-analogies that sound good, it doesn't mean they're analogous. If you think stuff will just grow at its own pace you've never done any gardening.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
I know I've been guilty of playing too much. Not only can it get boring, but you can also do physical damage to yourself.
I do get the hint. I just choose to ignore it.
#29
I do 3 sessions, each between 45 mins and 1.5 hours, morning, late aft and night, this way I average 3 or 4 hrs a day and never overdo anything


Some days if I have time I may do 4 two hr sessions, and even at 8 hrs, I don't wear my hands out at all with a few hrs rest between sessions, maybe if I do a lot of bending string sliding stuff my fingers get a bit tender, but with relaxed hands both picking and fretting hand should be fine.
Last edited by Tempoe at Aug 28, 2014,
#30
Quote by tyle12
Is there anything you can say that would perhaps, in your opinion, take my practice time to new heights?


I don't know what you are practicing, or if you have short term goals that connect to long term goals, etc. If you want to specify what you're doing, how long/much and why, I can better make those suggestions.

Best,

Sean
#31
It's usually different everyday slightly. Short term goals I have are to train my ear to replicate whatever it is I hear either in a song or in my head, and build up speed because some of the stuff I want to play is quite fast and having that ability to go as fast as I like at any given moment is something I would like to be able to do.

Long term goals are to be free to write whatever I feel like. I usually get my best ideas when I have been listening to something that means a lot to me. So if I choose to make songs in a sort of beatles/velvet underground influence or whatever I have envisioned to create, I would be able to do that. I've been holding off on writing anything because I feel as if my time would (for now) be better used developing my skills as much as I can in hopes of having some sort of project by next summer.

I usually go through a bunch of songs I like and just replicate what I hear...chords, lines, solos. And once I figure it out, I move onto the next one, because my goal here is not to have the song fully perfectly engrained, but to be able to quickly pick up on what I hear, being able to play it note for note a few times is enough before I move to the next one (If I want to fully engrain something that I won't forget how to play in a few days time, I usually need to spend more time on doing it repeatedly).

And with the other bit of time I play along with solos I want to do that are out of my technique/speed ability at the moment and work my way up with them until I can play them and understand what is happening so I can in turn use what I liked about said solo in other contexts. I also improvise over youtube backing tracks every other day or so as a measuring stick to see where I'm at.
#32
When I'm not feeling consciously very active I practice little things like single note arpeggiated playing on chords or different chord shapes I'm not fully able to do on the fly.
#33
So you have 2 short term goals as I see it.

Learn things by ear. So you are on your way to doing that by figuring out things you like by ear. That fits that goal.

Build up speed. Do you practice to a metronome?

I don't see how that connects to a long term goal that you've set. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

I can see how you'll be able to work things out and be a functioning guitarist,that does things by ear if that were your goal.

Best,

Sean
#34
I do use a metronome and/or play the part in real time with the actual song.

I guess my thinking is that I get technical things out of the way as fast as possible so creativity can come through later without having to worry about how to play a certain part I feel at the moment.

Perhaps taking a break from skill/ear training and writing for a few weeks would be a good idea?
#36
theories alright. diatonics with major and minor scales. circle of fifths, decent theoretical understanding of fretboard...chord functions...decent harmony understanding, first species counter point is pretty good. Um not sure what else I could write at the moment but I'm comfortable with theory
#37
Quote by tyle12
Perhaps taking a break from skill/ear training and writing for a few weeks would be a good idea?
Don't take a break from ear training.
Si
#38
Quote by tyle12
theories alright. diatonics with major and minor scales. circle of fifths, decent theoretical understanding of fretboard...chord functions...decent harmony understanding, first species counter point is pretty good. Um not sure what else I could write at the moment but I'm comfortable with theory


Sounds good. Based upon your goals and the skillsets you've said that you have, you're probably doing just fine. I think for me, a knowledge of theory is the difference between flying blind and "seeing" everything I need to see.

Thus with songs you can learn them as one big abstract thing, or you can learn it as something that you "get" ... you see how the pieces fit and why, and I think that lends itself to playing and understanding what you feel and hear, so much more. So it's not an and/or proposition, but a foundation in knowledge of music and theory to me, is very helpful in making those kinds of goals!

Keep on keeping on!

Best,

Sean
#39
I think that songwriting will help you in your quest to learn how to put the ideas in your head through your guitar, so putting off the creative aspect while you work on skills, I don't think is necessarily the best thing.

There is such a thing as practicing too much. You can hurt yourself. More practice is also better, as long as you don't hurt yourself, and the kind of practice you do is important also.

I find that pushing your boundaries of dexterity gets the best results, if you let it rest for a while, and let your muscles come back stronger. So, I find it is a good technique to do things in chunks. Maybe practice dexterity a lot for a while, and then take a break and write a song. When that's done, come back to dexterity stuff.

Or also, practice different techniques for a while, maybe some finger tapping rather than scale runs for a little while. I prefer to push one aspect consistently, and then another, rather than mix a bunch together at once, but it depends what. I might practice speed of scales, while I learn arpeggio patterns, or something like that. Only one new thing my brain learns, and just dexterity run in both, they kind of go hand in hand. Stuff like that.

12 hours a day is a lot. I'm sure I've done that before, but an average of 12 hours a day is ridiculous I find. 4-8 hours a day I find is a lot, and that's good. But it is also in how you practice.

And that depends on you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what your aim is and also just knowledge about humans and how muscles work etcetera.