John Petrucci: What's the Longest Time I Went Without Playing Guitar

"I think it's healthy to take that time off as well."

Ultimate Guitar
John Petrucci: What's the Longest Time I Went Without Playing Guitar

John Petrucci was asked by Rick Beato whether he's ever gone longed periods of time without playing, to which he replied (transcribed by UG):

"Yeah, it happens. I have a family, you get home and it's a different setting right away.

"There's a part of it where you're not in a situation where your only point of the day is to play this show and everything leads up to that - everything you do, everything people do for you to get you to that point, is towards that one goal.

"As a husband and father, it's not that. That's a small aspect of it, it becomes less of a focus and priority, and other things come to the front.

"So there's part of that, and part of it is like, you almost get this feeling like you need to decompress and not play. And that's something that's fun about that, as well."

Asked to name the exact highest amount of time he went without playing, John replied:

"I've gone longer than a week. I've gone a couple of weeks. It's... you feel weird, because you're so used to playing, you almost get...

"It's a combination of feeling guilty and also like a drug, like that you need it - you have to play.

"I'll feel my calluses and go, 'Hm, I gotta get back to it.'

"So it's always drawing me towards it. But I think it's healthy to take that time off as well. And as we know, there's so much more to life, right?"

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    See, Petrucci is only trying to explain that, when you're God, you kinda need to just let your creations just do their own thing every now and then; it's get a bit draining preventing parallel dimensions and universes from colliding with each other. 
    Dang I have a new family and my guitar chops are suffering. I'm actually in the hospital right now 2nd baby less than 24 hrs old eeee!! I can still shred (I think) - I'm not saying I'm anywhere near Mr Petrucci's level, but this story was very inspiring
    I know that Varg hasn't played guitar since he recorded Umskiptar back in 2011, except to make a few YouTube videos. It seems like he's done with music altogether now, not just guitar music.
    varg is a nutcase. sometimes he gives good advice tho. like getting a real main job and creating music for the glory of it, which is a given advice by many other musicians.
    he was never a half decent guitar player anyway + who cares? it´s a petrucci article what does varg have to do with this
    It's also good to take a day or 2 off once in a while if you've been doing a lot of pattern and speed exercises.  The muscles in the hand and arm benefit from the recovery time.
    I take all winter off to ski. makes me really stoked to get back into it in the spring when I've had 6 months to reset.