#1
I often listen to podcasts while practicing. I wonder if this is a deterrent to my progress. For what it's worth, I'm mainly running scales, licks, etc, with a metronome, while I listen to podcasts. Of course, if I'm practicing a song or playing along with my looper, I don't have any other distractions.

What do you guys do while you're practicing in this way? Do you think it's detrimental to your progress to have anything else playing while you're practicing?
#2
If you're actually practising then anything that takes your focus away from what you're doing is detrimental. If I'm going to have an actual practice session, that is almost anything that involves active effort towards improvement and/or anything with a metronome involved, I will make sure I have no distractions at all: silence apart from what I'm doing, nothing eye-catching on my PC screen, anything like that. Anything unrelated to guitar is eliminated.
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#3
I watch movies while I do stuff like picking practice, scales..anything really. I have the amp on super low vol. Mostly I play to backing tracks improv stuff and concentrate though, both work
#4
It is a hindrance to have distractions while you practice. I used to do the same and I could tell I had some improvements if I did that for a long time, like if I watched two movies while doing scale exercises, but I have since started practicing without dividing my attention and it's easy to tell that it has made a huge difference. Much better results in much less time.
#5
I always practice while watching tv or something since I play all day anyways. Doesn't affect me at all, but if you have a limited amount of time to practice then it would probably be best to have no distractions.
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#6
It's probably better to have do 30mins of focussed-as-a-laser practice, where you're striving to improve something specific, than it is to do an hour of semi-distracted playing/practice.
#7
Hi RyanMW2010 ,

I agree with the no distraction law, and that's how I do it. But this got me wondering, we learn things in diferent ways, something require muscle memory, others creativity, other just have to be understood logically, etc...

Is there any kind of practice that you can do while watching tv for example or that are not affected by distraction? My answer is no, but i wanted to know what you guys think.

Thanks
#8
Quote by Yannick Vez
Hi RyanMW2010 ,

I agree with the no distraction law, and that's how I do it. But this got me wondering, we learn things in diferent ways, something require muscle memory, others creativity, other just have to be understood logically, etc...

Is there any kind of practice that you can do while watching tv for example or that are not affected by distraction? My answer is no, but i wanted to know what you guys think.

Thanks

You can do ear-based practice, like playing along with TV themes and such to come up with new musical ideas and you can do things like try and transcribe the theme tunes and such. I wouldn't say physical practice or learning anything else though.
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Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
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#9
When I practice, I'm always fosucing on the guitar except for chromatic scales where I can watch some TV a bit, just mechanic moves after all !
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#10
I think sometimes distractions can help. Especially if you "learned" the scale, lick etc. Sometimes it helps to not over think what you're doing. If your going to play gigs, get prepared for distractions.
#11
i think there is a line between "noodling" and "practice" to me practice is something you are focusing on and it probably needs your full attention. noodling is just dicking around and i do plenty of that. i like to noodle while watching tv etc, keeps the fingers in shape and occasionally i come up with something worth persuing. i think the kinda free mind you have may allow you do just do things rather than overthink them.
#12
Quote by monwobobbo
i think there is a line between "noodling" and "practice" to me practice is something you are focusing on and it probably needs your full attention. noodling is just dicking around and i do plenty of that. i like to noodle while watching tv etc, keeps the fingers in shape and occasionally i come up with something worth persuing. i think the kinda free mind you have may allow you do just do things rather than overthink them.


I agree with this too. When I noodle around I'm usually listening to music to jam to, or have something playing in the background that i'll peek at every now and then. Full on practice tends to have my full attention. I'll practice something until I get what I'm playing. Once I learn it I focus on getting it faster if it needs as part of some follow up sessions.
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#13
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
You can do ear-based practice, like playing along with TV themes and such to come up with new musical ideas and you can do things like try and transcribe the theme tunes and such. I wouldn't say physical practice or learning anything else though.


I'll learn easy songs while watching TV and looking at the score or tab, it seems to work.

But yeah any proper practice should be done without anything else on, although you should be taking short minute breaks or so every few minutes of practicing something; you can browse UG or Facebook or whatever in these breaks to keep yourself from going crazy when practicing for a couple of hours.
#14
The only distracted practice I'll do is hammer-on and pull-off strength exercises, or slow runs up and down the neck for strength. If I make a mistake, I can feel it in my fingers. For everything else, I think I need to concentrate.
#15
I allow no distractions if I'm practicing. Just doodling, I'm not to picky, I can mostly tune out whatever is going on but if I"m seriously practicing, the only thing I watch or listen to is a copy of the song I'm learning. I don't even want other people in the room, just me and a guitar.

I also highly advise practicing in the dark. Total dark, can't see your hand a foot away dark. I Had been playing for over 10 years when I started doing that, I really sucked at first, but after a week or so I started to get the hang of it. After 2 years practicing in the dark I could play almost anything I wanted to, including some tough finger picking songs I actually learned from scratch in the dark.

The result was two things mostly. I was finally able to take my eyes off the guitar neck and watch the audience now and then onstage, and I was a much more accurate player by far since my fingers knew where they needed to be without looking. I still practice in the dark now and then but not often, but I can still play almost all my rhythm parts without looking and a lot of leads.
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#17
Even if it's during a video lesson, I always pause the video and practice what I just watched, I also sometimes play along if their doing it slow enough, and then pause and rewind it multiple times. I also do quite a bit of playing by ear where I listen to a song then find the notes on the fretboard. Beyond that, I don't do anything BUT practice.
#18
Why would you even want to watch TV while practicing? TV sucks and the off chance something really interesting was to come on, I'd rather put the guitar down and focus on TV. Practice shouldn't be boring, or at least it never is for me. If I'm not feeling it I just put it down and come back later. 90% of the time though I'm literally daydreaming about the next chance Im gonna have to practice.
#19
Quote by jlowe22
Why would you even want to watch TV while practicing? TV sucks and the off chance something really interesting was to come on, I'd rather put the guitar down and focus on TV. Practice shouldn't be boring, or at least it never is for me. If I'm not feeling it I just put it down and come back later. 90% of the time though I'm literally daydreaming about the next chance Im gonna have to practice.


noodling while watching tv isn't practice in the sense you mean. if something i actually want to wtch is on then i watch it. if i'm just killing time and maybe the mrs is sleeping etc then i'll noodle while watching tv. after 35+ years of playing i don't really sit down and "practice" anymore. i sit down and play. sure sometimes i need to work on something new but most of the time i just play. i work a lot and don't have the time to sit home for 6-7 hrs a day practicing like i did when i was 18. knowing this i have to do what i can when i can. if it just keeps the fingers limber then fine better than nothing.
#20
Maybe I'm just different. I only have TV so I can watch football, and it stays off otherwise. I live alone away from Neighbors so I don't care about waking anybody up. I'm either at work, at the gym or playing guitar, there is no in-between.
#21
I just learn stuff i wanna learn or play stuff i wanna play or improv stuff i wanna improv.No distractions,Just me and the guitar.I don't generally just sit and mindlessly run scales or exercises.I usually have some purpose in what i'm doing and just want to hear the music i'm creating.
#22
I think anyone who is saying "anything that takes away your focus while practicing is detrimental" are just regurgitating what they read in some ad-infested online column.

I watch tv shows or listen to radio shows. Since I've started practicing about 8 hours a day I noticed huge strides in improvement (I never really practiced and focus that long until recently).

As long as you are focused on your playing I see no problem with some background noise so you don't bore yourself to death.

If you find yourself constantly stopping to direct your attention away, then yes that is no good. But if you are just continually practicing and focusing the whole time, well you aren't really distracted now are you?
#23
When I'm actually "practicing" and not "jamming," I put all of my focus into playing. The only things that I listen to are either a) a metronome/click track/drum track or b) the song that I'm playing along with.
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#25
I like distractions when I play or practise. Anything that stops me from thinking about the music and just playing works for me. Staring at patterns on the carpet, looking out the window, at people in the audience, thinking about what to get at the supermarket etc The first time I realised this was when I was watching my hand moving around the fretboard and I thought I dunno what the hell its doing but it sounds good and fits in with the music.
Last edited by punga44 at May 5, 2015,