#1
I seem to have this problem, where I'll practice for a few hours one day, and by the end of the practice session I'll be feeling extremely loose, relaxed and fast.

Then the next day I'll pick up the guitar and I'll suck again. Then, after warming up and practicing I'll get to a warm relaxed state where I can once again play really well.

So, two things...

1. Why can I not play very well when I first pick up the guitar, but after 45 minutes of warming up I can sound SO MUCH BETTER? I sound like a different guitarist depending on whether or not I've spent time warming up.

2. I don't seem to retain much of what I gain each day from practicing. When you guys pick up practicing the same riff/lick the next day, do you start at the same tempo you left off or do you have to start low again? For me it's the latter, and I don't seem to get that much further each day if at all.

I think I'm not practicing very efficiently. Any suggestions?
#2
i have this 'problem' also
i beleive everyone does to some degree, you have to do some amount of warm up, your using muscles when you play guitar, they must be stretched a bit. you cant expect an athlete to just get up in the morning and sprint their fastest first time
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#3
The problem could be from the amount time you practice. Try to practice for like 30 minutes at a time, 4 times a day. That might give you better results...
#4
you have to warm up, it takes about 10 minutes for me then im back in shape (thats if i play everyday)

Its different for different people. Keep practising, it will come.

Yeh maybe a few short practises, i play when im on the computer as well. I'm not now though, homework....grr
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#5
to question 1: thats why great atheletes spend almost an hour warming up before a game!! your body (hands) need to get loose by retaining that muscular memory in practice. it happens to all of us
#6
i tend to find that when i first pick up the guitar is when i'm most relaxed and end up doing stuff that i couldn't do the day before faster and cleaner.
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#7
Well, the whole point of warming up is to get to that relaxed state. That's a fairly obvious answer, I would have thought.
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#8
I once had a guitar teacher who said to me, "Getting better happens like this." He then proceeded to make a wavy motion with his hand that looked like this.

(Edit: wavy motion got messed up when it posted. Just imagine it in your head)

He was basically trying to get me to understand that improvement comes in a "two steps forward, one step back" manner. So, it is totally normal to feel like you haven't gotten better or that you have even gotten a bit worse.

One day you will be playing an realize, "Whoa, I am a better player now." Seriously, I have had this feeling several times.

Another thing that really helps is to keep a practice journal. You may think that you have a good memory, but you would probably be surprised at what you learn about your progress. Keep it for at least two weeks without reading it. Just jot your daily stuff down and then review it after two weeks.

Let me know how it goes. Hope this helps...
#9
Quote by fixationdarknes
I seem to have this problem, where I'll practice for a few hours one day, and by the end of the practice session I'll be feeling extremely loose, relaxed and fast.

Then the next day I'll pick up the guitar and I'll suck again. Then, after warming up and practicing I'll get to a warm relaxed state where I can once again play really well.

So, two things...

1. Why can I not play very well when I first pick up the guitar, but after 45 minutes of warming up I can sound SO MUCH BETTER? I sound like a different guitarist depending on whether or not I've spent time warming up.

2. I don't seem to retain much of what I gain each day from practicing. When you guys pick up practicing the same riff/lick the next day, do you start at the same tempo you left off or do you have to start low again? For me it's the latter, and I don't seem to get that much further each day if at all.

I think I'm not practicing very efficiently. Any suggestions?


what kinds of things are you working on?

describe your practice routine.


What I do (generally):


I warm up by playing. I just get right into something I like, and im usually warmed up in a few minutes. I generally avoid "warm up" exercises. I have spent time on them in the past, and found that I get much better results out of just playing. (ofcourse you have to have a decent repertoire to be able to do that).

Also I try to have a variety of things to work on. I dont necessarily do each one everyday. Ill work on something until I have it sounding good..... then Ill enjoy playing it for a while, and then move onto something else. Im always making my choices based on inspiration/motivation

I usually take a few practice sessions to just play through and enjoy the things I've been working on and have down. basically I build up a repertoire.... then on some days I do nothing but play through it and enjoy it.


so to issue # 1: obviously its a warm up issue. Personally I would rather warm up by playing some music that I like and am already good at. This gets me inspired, and I find myself being warmed up within minutes... and to be honest I dont even think about .... Im just playing and enjoying it. It really shouldn't take 45 minutes to get warmed up.... are you doing all exercises and no music?

to issue # 2: Play a variety of songs. Sometimes its good to do something else, rather than playing the same thing over and over. The redundancy factor can sometimes be an issue in motivation.

As far as tempo: If you can play it at tempo start there. If not slow it down again and work on it.

some things may take weeks to get down, others days.... or even 1 practice session.

Also beware of picking overly difficult things to work on. Challenge is good, but keep it realistic. Work towards attainable goals.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 17, 2008,
#10
Thanks everyone.

So, more in specific: Let's say I practice a difficult solo starting at 60 bpm and slowly bump it up 1 bpm at a time until I reach 100 and I end my practice session.

The next day when I resume practice, should I start back up at 100 following my warmup? Or maybe start around 80 or so? Or just go with what I feel? Hmm...this is one of my main questions.
#11
Quote by fixationdarknes
Thanks everyone.

So, more in specific: Let's say I practice a difficult solo starting at 60 bpm and slowly bump it up 1 bpm at a time until I reach 100 and I end my practice session.

The next day when I resume practice, should I start back up at 100 following my warmup? Or maybe start around 80 or so? Or just go with what I feel? Hmm...this is one of my main questions.



what I do is play through it at tempo. If I find there is a lick thats giving me trouble. Then Ill work on it slower. I dont necessarily use the metronome to gauge my speed. I use it to work on timing.... so I set it where I can play it comfortably. When I feel I have the lick down well.... I dont work my way up 1 setting at a time...... I just go back to see if I can do it at tempo again.


So what kind of things are you working on?
Like what solos are you trying.... what solos can you already play real well?
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 17, 2008,
#12
Quote by fixationdarknes
Thanks everyone.

So, more in specific: Let's say I practice a difficult solo starting at 60 bpm and slowly bump it up 1 bpm at a time until I reach 100 and I end my practice session.

The next day when I resume practice, should I start back up at 100 following my warmup? Or maybe start around 80 or so? Or just go with what I feel? Hmm...this is one of my main questions.


no no no no no

You will want to start around 80 but I wouldn't use my practice material as my warm up. As said before, I would play a few songs I learned recently or I am very good at, THEN I would start to practice whatever needs praticing.
#14
Personally, I'd reconsider those warm up practices dude. Use some chromatic picking exercises across strings with all four fingers and change the tempo and rhythm after about a minute or so. As you get comfortble, throw in some patterns to get the muscle memory to put those in. I do this and after about 10-20 minutes my fingers, and wrists are nice and loose. Once everything is loose, practice more complex things such as songs or arpeggios or scales. Just make sure that you start slow with the metronome and only speed up the metronome in intervals of 5 when your hands get used to whatever you do. Do the same thing EVERY time you practice until it ridiculously bores your hands. It might not seem like your muscles are retaining everything but they are. It takes a while so patience is the best bet in the long run.
#15
Quote by blind3d
Personally, I'd reconsider those warm up practices dude. Use some chromatic picking exercises across strings with all four fingers and change the tempo and rhythm after about a minute or so. As you get comfortble, throw in some patterns to get the muscle memory to put those in. I do this and after about 10-20 minutes my fingers, and wrists are nice and loose. Once everything is loose, practice more complex things such as songs or arpeggios or scales. Just make sure that you start slow with the metronome and only speed up the metronome in intervals of 5 when your hands get used to whatever you do. Do the same thing EVERY time you practice until it ridiculously bores your hands. It might not seem like your muscles are retaining everything but they are. It takes a while so patience is the best bet in the long run.



I wouldn't reconsider.... considering I've done the chromatic thing before. I've never found much use for them to be honest with you. I generally work on chromatics for the sake of having the sound available, but for a warm up, just playing..... anything pretty much will do the trick.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 17, 2008,
#16
I think the issue is more than simply "warming up" the muscles. My suggestion
is spend a few minutes "getting back in touch" with your guitar. When you set
it down for a while you tend to lose the connection. This can simple mean just
hitting a string and being quiet and *feel* the vibration, or some long soulful
bends. The idea is to boil down "feeling" your guitar in some very basic ways
without dealing with anything complicated. Feel what it feels like to play a note
and how you feel when playing it.

I think wind players call this playing "long notes" which they use in a similar kind of
way when they pick up their instrument at first.
#17
you should try speeding up faster. 1 bpm takes too long. try 5 - 10
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#18
Quote by GuitarMunky
I wouldn't reconsider.... considering I've done the chromatic thing before. I've never found much use for them to be honest with you. I generally work on chromatics for the sake of having the sound available, but for a warm up, just playing..... anything pretty much will do the trick.


I agree on this one. I've never liked the whole chromatic thing anyways
#19
I actually recommend charomatics especially for speed practicing, Paul Gilbert mentioned that it's good to practice simple things because you're more likely to play it well and hopefully play it fast as well, a 1234 pattern is simple and is a great exercise as well, also push your speed, reach a speed you can play but your hands tire quickly in, that's I believe the area you need to dwell in most, but of course you begin slow and all to reduce slop.
#20
1. Why can I not play very well when I first pick up the guitar, but after 45 minutes of warming up I can sound SO MUCH BETTER? I sound like a different guitarist depending on whether or not I've spent time warming up.


This is natural. Your muscles loose their 'fluidity' when you stop using them as you have been - playing guitar. However, the motions you teach them are still ingrained in them. So, nothing is lost. You retain the previous days work - you only have to refresh your muscle fibres, and remind them what to do.

EDIT:

The next day when I resume practice, should I start back up at 100 following my warmup? Or maybe start around 80 or so? Or just go with what I feel? Hmm...this is one of my main questions.


Start slow again, and then work your way up to the tempo you reached the day before.
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Last edited by sTx at Apr 20, 2008,
#21
Well it just seems that I'll take a 15-minute break and come back and will have to warm up for 5-10 minutes again to get back into my hot zone. It makes me wonder how live bands will take breaks inbetween songs and still be playing so well? Are they still keeping their hands/fingers warm by doing exercises during the breaks or something?
#22
usually if i practice something for a fer hours its sticks
but the next day i am a bit slower with it at first
but every one has to warm up

you know
its natural

but if you practice something before you go to sleep you will remember it faster cause what you do before you sleep is replayed and practiced in your head in your sleep

thank you science channel
#23
Quote by Skrying
usually if i practice something for a fer hours its sticks
but the next day i am a bit slower with it at first
but every one has to warm up

you know
its natural

but if you practice something before you go to sleep you will remember it faster cause what you do before you sleep is replayed and practiced in your head in your sleep

thank you science channel


#24
Quote by fixationdarknes
Well it just seems that I'll take a 15-minute break and come back and will have to warm up for 5-10 minutes again to get back into my hot zone. It makes me wonder how live bands will take breaks inbetween songs and still be playing so well? Are they still keeping their hands/fingers warm by doing exercises during the breaks or something?


They practice effectively & efficiently. Really, it's all in how you choose to use your muscles. go to Shredaholic. Read the articles by Mike Phillapov (sp) about how to practice efficiently. Jamie Andreas writes amazing stuff, as well.
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