View Full Version : Rate of decline
01-30-2002, 11:42 AM
I always worry that whatever I happen to be focusing on currently (right now it's improving my technique, alternate picking, sweeping, etc.) will be forgotten if I stop playing for a few weeks for one reason or another.
Would you say improving technique is like riding a bike and you never really lose it once you work at it, or is it like an athlete who gets out of shape for a while and has to work hard to get back to it? I mean obviously you're not going to be 100% after a couple weeks off, but I guess what I'm asking is what do you think the rate of decline is for you guys, if you have one at all.
01-30-2002, 05:57 PM
If I stop more than a week I loose a lot of speed for lead guitar.
I've found out that I don't really loose much technique as chords are concerned. It takes me about 2-3 weeks to get rusted with chords.
But I loose very fast my lead guitar if I don't play once in a while. I try to play a least 15 mintutes of improvised solo each day. I don't improve much with this but at least I don't loose what I have.
01-30-2002, 07:11 PM
I think it's all in your head Jame. However, from a natutal standpoint, I can't go longer than a week without picking up my guitar, and lately it's no longer than a few days. I think as the years go by, we feel that slowly our knowledge tends to escape us as we learn new stuff and become more lazy with lifes everyday rituals. Sometimes playing the guitar is no longer a carefree habit, sometimes we focus too much on theory and too much on whatever everyone else is doing that we simply forget what's most important to us. What's important is how we naturally feel.
As musicians, our creativity stems from our ability and our will to sound original, unlike anyone ese. To be honest, my life has been one whirl wind over the past few months, however I still find the time to practice and play guitar (which are obviously two different things.) But I never lose touch of what I truly want to accomplish with this instrument, and how I intend to communicate with others.
So, there really is guaranteed rate decline, basically we just have to try and hold omnto the same fire that we possessed the first day we picked up this instrument. And the rest should come naturally. :D
01-31-2002, 11:40 AM
Sometimes having a rest is actually very beinfical to technique. It gives our fingers, hands, arms, etc. time to recover and recouperate. It is important to build up strength and speed and stamina through every day trainning, but we can only improve so far without rest. Like an athelete, taking time off means we will be able to pass of previous peak. Yes, it may mean a few days of playing a little slower than we used to, but in the long run it means we'll only get better!
I've forgotten the name of this method, but it works, for atheletes and, more importantly, guitarist!
I realise now, having type this, it wasn't actually what your question was about, but hopefully someone'll find it useful! Comments anyone?...
01-31-2002, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Willdridge
Sometimes having a rest is actually very beinfical to technique.
Absolutely! I remember when i first started playing...I stayed up all night trying to learn this solo...but for some reason my timing was off. I finally fell asleep with the guitar across my lap. I woke up the next morning and got it on my first try! Rest is good. Too much rest is bad. I read in an interview with Steve Vai that if he doesn't practice everyday for a few hours at a time that he loses his chops. Don't I wish I had hours each day to play.
I still find it funny that Vai claims to practice....like he needs it heh.
02-02-2002, 10:35 PM
There are lots of situations where it's best to take a break and leave things be for a while. It's different for everybody, and you want to be careful not to do it too much.
I can think of many times where I've started working on an idea or part of a song and got nowhere, only to try it again days or weeks later and discover that it was much easier.
Of course I was playing in the meantime, I was just focusing on other things.
02-12-2002, 03:32 AM
Would you say improving technique is like riding a bike and you never really lose it once you work at it, or is it like an athlete who gets out of shape for a while and has to work hard to get back to it?
Well.. depends on the guitarist. Some seem to need no practice at all and others have to practive 24/7 to stay fit. Jeff Beck for example seems not to need any training at all for he´s known to leave YEARS between his productions wihtout practicing in between or going on tour.
But when he grabs his guitar again it is still amazing! he might not have the greatest technique, but he realy makes the guitar sing!
Myself for example is in between i used to play 3 hours a day in the beginning and now i play about 1 hour per day because i have learned to reduce it to the max. and i dont lose anything when i put the guit down for a few days (which i sometimes must do because i have a chronical tendinitis - not a real bad one - but every half year i have to take a short break).
02-12-2002, 10:33 AM
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame is another one of those whose can do amazing things without having to practice much, or often.
In my case, I find 2-3 hours during the week, and another 3-4 over the weekend, is enough to maintain my current unexceptional level. When I try on something new, though, my left hand does this 'spastic spider' routine :D until I get things smoothed out.
02-15-2002, 09:01 PM
sometimes i find that when i have a break even if for only a couple of days when i pick up the guitar i find that i can do things i couldnt do before its a spinout.........
02-24-2002, 03:59 PM
Personally, although I find it hard not to play for long periods of time (I tend to suffer from withdrawl :) ) When I do eventually get to return to it, i find I'm more comfortable with it, no, that's not right, I find it sounds better. Whether this is because I'm less critical of myself, or because I'm glad to get back to it, or because I have had ideas or thoughts bubbling up inside me while I've been away and unable to release them, or just because I've taken a break, and are more rested.
However, I'm not talking from a long term standpoint here, I've never been away from the guitar for more than three weeks, I can imagine, after a few weeks I'd lose some of my technique...I know that currently I do lose something in speed and accuracy, but that's trivial to what I regain in the natural fire for the music.
02-26-2002, 09:14 PM
why would you ever stop playing for a few days?
02-26-2002, 10:09 PM
Since no-one was wiling to pay my rent for the priveledge of hearing my music, I was obliged to find other ways to earn my living. Along the way, I discovered many other facets of my creativity that also need to be expressed and nourished. Guitar playing is only one of many things I enjoy doing; only one of many things that I must do to feel whole.
02-27-2002, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by El Sanchez
Whether this is because I'm less critical of myself, or because I'm glad to get back to it, or because I have had ideas or thoughts bubbling up inside me while I've been away and unable to release them, or just because I've taken a break, and are more rested.
A very common feeling amongst friends. We all sometimes lack direction, or we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves when it dcomes to creating music. I think as the years progress, we realize that there are important things then playing the guitar, and that it's not the only outlet for creativity. However, in such a confusing world, and with the many conversations that we're forced to endure everyday, the guitar for me is as natural as breathing. In other words, we can only go with oxygen for so long.
Although we tend to appreciate it more after weeks without use, the more I play, the more I experiement, it feeds my hunger. It gives me such a strong impetus to top myself like never before. And nothing can replace that feeling!
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