#1
I find when I haven't played for a long time I play extremely well a lot better than when I get in a groove of consistently playing on a day to day basis. Like most people I'll get busy for long periods of time and not a have a lot of time for guitar and when I come back I seem to have extremely good sessions where play the best I have in a long time. Does this happen to anyone else? It makes no sense to me.
#2
Maybe the breaks are giving time for some knowledge to seep into your subconsious?

But not for me. I found the exact opposite (deterioration in mechanical technique, and also forgetting some (jazz) theory ideas). I imagine a lot of this will be determined by what type of music is involved.

If it's working for you, that's great!!

cheers, Jerry
#3
Hi I usually play and practice every day, but once in a while when i get sick and can't play, the same happens to me. I play a lot better, my arms get the rest they need i guess. I have really good tone and vibrato and everything else just seems to fall into place.
I have a friend who's professional Iron Man competitor and he once said to me, that pausing and taking rest is one of the most important part of the progress. I guess we can explain this better playing with taking rests and giving a muscles time to recover.
#4
Maybe you are just so happy to hear the sweet guitar sound again that it inspires you to play cool stuff. When I'm in a good mood, I do definitely play better. If you have had a long break, you may miss playing the guitar so much that you feel really inspired. Also, sometimes you play too much with your fingers instead of using your ears. What I mean is every solo you play sounds the same. I think a break may help in this kind of situation.

Yesterday I plugged my guitar into the amp for the first time in a long time. I felt really inspired. Same happened today. I thought I sounded really good.
#5
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Maybe the breaks are giving time for some knowledge to seep into your subconsious?

But not for me. I found the exact opposite (deterioration in mechanical technique, and also forgetting some (jazz) theory ideas). I imagine a lot of this will be determined by what type of music is involved.

If it's working for you, that's great!!

cheers, Jerry



I agree with your post. I have a feeling that coming back from short breaks, and getting better only happens to beginners. It used to happen with me when I just started learning the guitar. If I was frustrated and didn't understand something I'd just leave the guitar for a day or two. Then I'd come back better. The thing is once you get to a more advanced level this tends to stop. If I took a break I wouldn't say that I'd lose my chops or anything. Usually when I go on a break, and get back to practicing I tend to forget a lot of things I've learned. For instance some licks I've been practicing over, and over again for a couple of months trying to get them up to speed. I'll forget about them then I have to come back, and re learn them.


I don't think it's a big problem because once you learn something it always sticks with you, but it's irritating to come back and have to refresh your memory on the material. I remember once I took a good 2 weeks break because I was sick of practicing. When I came back I couldn't play at the speed I usually could. I was less dexterous than before. It didn't really have that big of an impact on my playing, but it can be frustrating when you're trying to make progress with your playing. If I can recall properly it took me two days of grinding with my practice to get my chops back. Again I agree with your post it really does matter on your skill level of playing or whatever music you're trying to play that requires skill.

Also I tend to notice when i'm having a bad playing day that's usually the days when you're required to take a break. For some reason I guess that's how our brains operate. My timing will be off on a bad day, and my musical ability will just plummet down the drain. When those days happen I think your brains trying to process the information from the last practice session.


This is something that I noticed that tends to really have a strong impact in your progress. You come back the next day, and you wonder why you couldn't
play a lick you were having trouble with all along or chord. Then you come back, and it's like you never even had trouble with it at all..

Last edited by Black_devils at Nov 16, 2014,
#6
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Maybe you are just so happy to hear the sweet guitar sound again that it inspires you to play cool stuff. When I'm in a good mood, I do definitely play better. If you have had a long break, you may miss playing the guitar so much that you feel really inspired. Also, sometimes you play too much with your fingers instead of using your ears. What I mean is every solo you play sounds the same. I think a break may help in this kind of situation.

Yesterday I plugged my guitar into the amp for the first time in a long time. I felt really inspired. Same happened today. I thought I sounded really good.


I think you hit the nail on the head. It always feels so great to be playing again and hearing the sweet sound of my guitar. I do tend to feel a little more inspired than usual and I think that leads to playing with more feeling which I think most guitarists agree is the most important part of guitar playing.
#7
Quote by Black_devils
I agree with your post. I have a feeling that coming back from short breaks, and getting better only happens to beginners. It used to happen with me when I just started learning the guitar. If I was frustrated and didn't understand something I'd just leave the guitar for a day or two. Then I'd come back better. The thing is once you get to a more advanced level this tends to stop. If I took a break I wouldn't say that I'd lose my chops or anything. Usually when I go on a break, and get back to practicing I tend to forget a lot of things I've learned. For instance some licks I've been practicing over, and over again for a couple of months trying to get them up to speed. I'll forget about them then I have to come back, and re learn them.


I don't think it's a big problem because once you learn something it always sticks with you, but it's irritating to come back and have to refresh your memory on the material. I remember once I took a good 2 weeks break because I was sick of practicing. When I came back I couldn't play at the speed I usually could. I was less dexterous than before. It didn't really have that big of an impact on my playing, but it can be frustrating when you're trying to make progress with your playing. If I can recall properly it took me two days of grinding with my practice to get my chops back. Again I agree with your post it really does matter on your skill level of playing or whatever music you're trying to play that requires skill.

Also I tend to notice when i'm having a bad playing day that's usually the days when you're required to take a break. For some reason I guess that's how our brains operate. My timing will be off on a bad day, and my musical ability will just plummet down the drain. When those days happen I think your brains trying to process the information from the last practice session.


This is something that I noticed that tends to really have a strong impact in your progress. You come back the next day, and you wonder why you couldn't
play a lick you were having trouble with all along or chord. Then you come back, and it's like you never even had trouble with it at all..



Yeah I'm pretty much in the intermediate category but I play some pretty technical stuff too and I find I'm actually better with my speed, timing, and accuracy when I come back from breaks.
#8
Quote by Black_devils

Also I tend to notice when i'm having a bad playing day that's usually the days when you're required to take a break. For some reason I guess that's how our brains operate. My timing will be off on a bad day, and my musical ability will just plummet down the drain. When those days happen I think your brains trying to process the information from the last practice session.


This is something that I noticed that tends to really have a strong impact in your progress. You come back the next day, and you wonder why you couldn't
play a lick you were having trouble with all along or chord. Then you come back, and it's like you never even had trouble with it at all..



Absolutely! Sadly I'm on an enforced break for about a year now, due to injuring both hands. I had a false recovery in January and managed to write and record one song, and then relapsed. But I'm nearly recovered now, and have just started playing a bit again.
cheers, Jerry
#9
Once or twice a year I take a week long trip and I usually play better when I get back. I think that some people’s minds and fingers need a break now and then.
#10
Depends how long a break it is. If Ive been playing heaps, a 3-4 days break is fine. Any longer and my technique and control start getting worse. Once I took a 4 month break (overseas trip). I reckon it took me 6-8 months to get back to where I was before the break.

PS fluctuations in your technique are a lot easier to identify if you are gigging regularly.
#11
I've also noticed the effect described by the OP after gaps of several weeks without playing. Maybe its down to motivation building up again. And I'm not a shredder so I don't have the level of technique that would show deterioration in this amount of time.
#12
I've noticed that musically, I open up and become a lot more creative after taking a break. But on the other hand, my technique, particularly my picking technique is much worse.