#1
Something gnaws on my mind. The last 3 days I've been playing at least 2 hours a day, and after those 2 hours I'm pretty beat, you know. Then, I read about John Myung and John Petrucci and how they played for 6 hours a day, and I go completely mind**** over that

I got a 40 minutes schedule which I try to follow everyday, but sometimes, it feels like playing music is the last thing I want to do, even if I feel that I should and must in order to become as good as, for example Petrucci and Myung.

Thus, my question and general wonderment is to all you aspiring musicians out there;

Should one push themselves for the sake of playing, even when they don't really feel like it? Is that necesarry to reach higher grades of ones instrument, or are you doomed to "fail" and never get as good as these if you don't have the discipline to practice "all the time"?

Discuss, please.
#2
Quote by Strati

Should one push themselves for the sake of playing, even when they don't really feel like it? Is that necesarry to reach higher grades of ones instrument, or are you doomed to "fail" and never get as good as these if you don't have the discipline to practice "all the time"?

Discuss, please.


I practice 3 hours a day with just a guitar on clean channel and the metronome. It's torture. But I push myself to do it because I want to be a shredder.
#3
Practice as much as you can.. but dont make yourself frustrated with playing..
and if you do start to get frustrated just thing how glad you'll be after you finally get it down.
and use that as your motivation.
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#4
I play when i feel like it. Its for leasure not work.
Unless of course ive got a gig coming up in which case i need 2 know everyhtinh perfectly
Epiphone SG G-400
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Marshall MG100 DFX
Vemon V10
Custom made acoustic
#5
if you push yourself to hard theres two things that could happen:
you could become brilliant
or you could frustrate your self to the point of no return where you hate the instrument
just using beethoven as an example since he was pushed and pushed himself so hard by the time he died he hated the piano and was deaf
good and bad always comes from pushing yourself
you can become grea but something else may give way such as your temper or relationship ability of communicative skills
for one thing gained another gives way
if your ready to sacrifice something in your life keep pushing
if not hold back you can always try again at another time
#6
Quote by conrad523
if you push yourself to hard theres two things that could happen:
you could become brilliant
or you could frustrate your self to the point of no return where you hate the instrument
just using beethoven as an example since he was pushed and pushed himself so hard by the time he died he hated the piano and was deaf
good and bad always comes from pushing yourself
you can become grea but something else may give way such as your temper or relationship ability of communicative skills
for one thing gained another gives way
if your ready to sacrifice something in your life keep pushing
if not hold back you can always try again at another time


+1
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#7
i always played when i wanted to for however long i wanted. luckily for me i guess i wanted to play for 4-6 hours quite often. i wouldn't really push myself to do something i don't want to do. that being said if you don't push yourself to do it when you don't wanna you may not achieve what you want to in a technical capacity. but im the guy who thinks you should just be playing guitar to have fun
#8
I am lucky enough to have more time than most. On average I play about 6-8 hrs a day, spending about 3 hours practice (scales, excersises) and another 3 playing (backing tracks, composing). The first 10 years I played only 1 hour a day and never got much better, the last 6 months I play 7 hrs and have gotten better than in 10 years. It seems to have a snowball effect and your fingers are much faster at getting the muscle memory when you practice relentlessly. I break it up into several 2 hour or so sessions and do something outside in between. I also play reclined on the couch, almost like a standing position but propped with many pillows not wider than my back so my elbows are free at my sides and it is almost identical to standing. The guitar strap goes under my butt to hold the guitar up and keep the guitar from leaning on my left thumb. I can play for 3 hours comfortably, where as sitting or standing I can do less than an hour before I get tired. Its hard to explain the laying down posture but try it yourself, just make sure you arms are free by you side, not touching the couch at all and that your guitar is not resting all its weight on your left hand. Without this posture there is no way I would practice as much. I also have the tv on with subtitles so I can look if I choose.
Last edited by Tempoe at Oct 27, 2008,
#9
In my experience even practising with a metronome is fun. Speeding that bad boy up when you were previously struggling is a bit of a buzz for me. I also practice what i want for how long i want, but it seems like your problem is you're turning it into a chore. Guitar is supposed to be fun.
#11
Quote by ouchies
Practice as much as you want to, not as much as someone else tells you to


The best answer so far.
#12
It's been said before, but it's much more about the quality of time you put in than the
quantity.

Also, the better you get at something, the more you'll tend to like it. I absolutely love to
practice now because I always get new insights out of it and I can see the results of what
I put in, return very quickly. This wasn't always the case. But, it came as direct result
of treating practice as a skill that you can improve as any other skill.

It follows that if you love to do something, you'll want to do it. So, in terms of overpractice
if you're doing it right and enjoy doing it, you can't really over do it (within reason).
#13
Try and find forms of practice that are more enjoyable - I find that if I force myself to pick up the guitar, I usually enjoy it if I practice stuff like transcribing phrases that I sing (or my gf sings, it's good to borrow a friends imagination for this sometimes as they have different internal melodies than you) or I really enjoy just playing a chord, playing a lick based of it's chord tones, finding a new voicing of it, lick in that position.

I've done the whole "I MUST PLAY MY SCALES AT 40BPM FOR AN HOUR A DAY" thing as well though, when I thought it was necessary.

Overall, you have to answer this question yourself.
#14
I'd say practising in a comfortable chilled environment helps too. Well it does for me..if it's noisy and i'm stressed it only hinders my progress, but then i'm quite an angry person.
#15
Quote by Tempoe
I am lucky enough to have more time than most. On average I play about 6-8 hrs a day, spending about 3 hours practice (scales, excersises) and another 3 playing (backing tracks, composing). The first 10 years I played only 1 hour a day and never got much better, the last 6 months I play 7 hrs and have gotten better than in 10 years. It seems to have a snowball effect and your fingers are much faster at getting the muscle memory when you practice relentlessly. I break it up into several 2 hour or so sessions and do something outside in between. I also play reclined on the couch, almost like a standing position but propped with many pillows not wider than my back so my elbows are free at my sides and it is almost identical to standing. The guitar strap goes under my butt to hold the guitar up and keep the guitar from leaning on my left thumb. I can play for 3 hours comfortably, where as sitting or standing I can do less than an hour before I get tired. Its hard to explain the laying down posture but try it yourself, just make sure you arms are free by you side, not touching the couch at all and that your guitar is not resting all its weight on your left hand. Without this posture there is no way I would practice as much. I also have the tv on with subtitles so I can look if I choose.
great stuff... as a total newbie I was going to ask what people do to break up the time. I have only been at it since the summer and find it totally addicting. Yet there are days when I really sound great and days when everything sounds like a twangy wet fart. When you guys are practicing and having a shitty session what do you do to break out of it?
#16
when i suck, i just slow down and do some warmup scales, slow them down until you nail them, then slowly speed up. because really having a bad day on guitar comes from stress, frustration, or just plain laziness. Try listening to some music that really gets you going before you play, for inspiration. and when you do pick up the guitar, expect the worst, you wont be disappointed. Happy trails
#17
^ usually i stop for a little while and do something else to take my mind off it. watch a movie, play some video games, listen to music, clean or just whatever to not think about it. i might go back in 10 minutes, an hour or 2 days later. a favorite of mine though is when actual focused practicing isn't turning out incredibly favorably i'll turn on the radio, pick a random station and jam along with whatevers playing.
#18
Quote by conrad523
just using beethoven as an example since he was pushed and pushed himself so hard by the time he died he hated the piano and was deaf


i've heard beethoven even played the piano after he gotten deaf, so don't really believe in everything you hear. people always love to make stories up about the greats.

and you do have to push yourself. motivation for me, though, came after i started to get better (a year after starting) and after stopping playing games. they take too much time from the day. yeah they are well fun, but i stopped it for the greater good of playing guitar. you need to spend a couple of hours at least playing the instrument, and those couple hour, you've gotta be in a completely different world from this one. you've got to focus 100% on what you're practicing.
and oh, frustration is completely normal. you've gotta learn how to absorb it and just carry on with practice.
#20
Quote by fishmike
great stuff... as a total newbie I was going to ask what people do to break up the time. I have only been at it since the summer and find it totally addicting. Yet there are days when I really sound great and days when everything sounds like a twangy wet fart. When you guys are practicing and having a shitty session what do you do to break out of it?

I tend to start doing improv over something I've transcribed and am familiar with. Eventually I try to play something I can't quite pull off yet, which is my cue to work on that technique for a while. I dunno, I find improv really liberating but I also know I need to practice, so it works well for me. I only practice an hour or two a day though, I've got too many other commitments.
#21
Quote by RCalisto
i've heard beethoven even played the piano after he gotten deaf, so don't really believe in everything you hear. people always love to make stories up about the greats.


It's a known fact he was deaf.....and his vision had started to fade too.
#22
I practice about 2 hrs on weeknights and about 5 hrs/day on the weekends. That's when I'm in a "really into it" phase. The rest of the time it's more like 1 hr/2.5-3 hrs.

One thing that I've found really motivates me is setting goals. At the beginning of each week, I'll pick an area or two of weaknesses, and make it my goal for the week to make some improvement in those areas. The focus for the week can be anything from "learn bars 1-40 of song X" to "work at improving bars 33-40 and bars 71-74" to taking some underlying technical weakness and working to improve it.

I break my practice time into (usually) 15-30 minute sections of one thing. Then I take a 5-10 min break to have a coffee or tea. I find the breaks really help me focus during the time I'm playing, and are good for making sure I'm giving my hands a rest.

I very rarely feel like I'm forcing it. But when this happens, I'll try to figure out if it's just a temporary thing - like feeling frustrated because the last 15-30 min segment wasn't showing much improvement. If that's the case, I'll work through it. If it's a deeper overall feeling of really feeling flat and not being into it, I'll shorten that days practice, or take the next day off if I've been going at it every day for a bunch of days in a row.

The other thing I do is keep a practice log. For each of those 15-30 min segments, I'll write down what it is, the tempos I played it at, and a short comment afterwards like "felt really good" or "watch the tension" or "pinky keeps hitting fretwire instead of fret when going fast" or some such sh!t. It's really good to look back over the practice log, and great to get perspective of how far you've come with something. Sometimes I'll be frustrated that something still isn't quite right, and I'll look back over the practice log and notice that only a week ago I was totally struggling with it, and the frustration will totally go away with this reminder of how much progress I've made.

The only other thing I do religiously, is before every practice I give it a good 10 mins of stretching. Not just the muscles involved directly in playing either. I'll do neck, shoulders, sides, even legs. I find that those stretches just get me in an overall good bodily state where I'm relaxed and feeling good, and mentally the 10 mins gives me a kind of buffer zone when I start transitioning out of work mode and into guitar mode. In addition to helping prevent injuries, I find that this really influences my entire practice in a positive way.

Hope all of this helps some!
#23
Dude you need to find the difference between playing and practicing becouse there is a difference and its huge... Divide your time into practice and play time, when you get frustrated by practicing take a break, chill, and when you feel you can get back at it do it. Everyone knows playing scales and chromatics isnt fun but if you do it try to do it as effective as it can be, just so you dont waste your time getting frustrated for nothing. Only real comforting thing I can say is that you are not alone, all guitarists suffer the same fate.
#24
TBH, until you get really good, excessive practising will probably benifit you less than the same amount of time spent practising short amounts maybe twice a day.

Think about it, if you can only practise well for two hours before you get tired and sloppy then why try and practise for six? That's four hours of bad playing which is just a waste of time as far as progressing is concerned.

Then if you practise for two hours a day your playing and stamina (mental and physical) will improve and eventually you'll be able to practise well for three hours.

However, to me even two hours seems like quite a lot. I can understand that you want to get really good quickly but you have to be realistic and realise that it will take a long, long time to get as good as your heros.

To answer your question, yes you should push yourself to the limit while practising but you should not push yourself over the limit.
#25
Practicing exercises routinely is incredibly helpful to improving on whatever instrument you play. But remember, you don´t have to sit yourself through 3 hours of straight torture: Practice one set of exercises for 15 minutes or so, then just mess around with whatever you want to do on your instrument or even put it down and surf the web/watch tv/read or whatever for a bit, then go back to the exercises for another 15 minutes. Repeat. Dividing up your practice time will not only prevent you from feeling bogged down by all of it but probably prevent strain in your hands.
#27
Imo, past a certain point in technical skills (one that doesn't take 6+ hours a day for 5 years) creativity in composition means far more than your technical ability, even in shred.