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> Better To Practice Day After Day, Or Take A Day Off To Rest Each Week?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 31 2009, 12:35 AM
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Sure it does apply to the guitar, but except with the gym where you focus on the physical aspect (since it is really no-brainer work to actually use the gym machines), with guitar the aquired skill has to settle in the memory. In this sense I believe the rest is important part of actually progressing. No matter how frequently you practice, you will always play better after couple of days off.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Aug 31 2009, 12:35 AM

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post Aug 31 2009, 01:17 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Aug 31 2009, 01:35 AM) *
Sure it does apply to the guitar, but except with the gym where you focus on the physical aspect (since it is really no-brainer work to actually use the gym machines), with guitar the aquired skill has to settle in the memory. In this sense I believe the rest is important part of actually progressing. No matter how frequently you practice, you will always play better after couple of days off.

Hm ... up to now i thought we give our brain a rest when we sleep. Didn't know we need to consciously do something else to help our brain to process things. As i said at the beginning ... i like the idea of "i will play better after a couple of days off", but i just can not believe it's working like this.

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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post Aug 31 2009, 02:09 AM
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I think 1 day of pure resting is the best solution. What happens to me is that maybe a have something that I can't go through or just play it bad. Then, I just rest for a while and then, I can play it. Rest is so much needed as practice

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post Aug 31 2009, 08:41 PM
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Yeah, when I started playing guitar I soon got the feeling that the weeks I didnt play guitar for one or two days because I was very busy, when I played again guitar, I did it a bit better than the last day! Specially in speed and control terms.

I talked about it with my friends and they didnt belive me at all, so Im practicing everyday lately.
But I have to do some research about this. Yesterday I played some speedpicking exercsises with metronome and today I want to play so badly! but I will not do it...

I think each one have to test this himself to see what applys better to his case. Probably it works different for each person and playing style.

QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Aug 30 2009, 11:32 PM) *
edit: I can already see a new GMC comic based on this thread smile.gif LOL

Yeah, its possible laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Mario87: Aug 31 2009, 08:45 PM
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post Sep 3 2009, 11:39 AM
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The thing is, yeah you can play a lick 10 times before you go to sleep, sleep, take a day off, try to play it again and you'll play it better than you did before because the brain process it when you sleep. But what if you took 30 minutes the next day and practised this lick 100 times. How do you think you would've played it the day after?

This post has been edited by Oxac: Sep 3 2009, 11:40 AM

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post Sep 3 2009, 11:48 AM
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QUOTE (wrk @ Aug 30 2009, 06:30 PM) *
I like the idea of learning by taking a rest ... but somehow i'm afraid that all these highly skilled people we look up to, did not develope their skills by taking rests .. smile.gif

On the flip side, do you think guys like Vai and Gilbert sit playing guitar seven days a week with no other life? smile.gif

I personally belive they also have plenty of time out smile.gif These "guitar heros" have familys, go on regular holidays/vacation etc.

I remembered when I first picked up guitar, and I was so overly concerned with "how many hours a day" people were practicing and the such. I belive ive personally progressed along way just through realising although you need to work hard and be dedicated, you need breaks and other passions in life as well wink.gif

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post Sep 3 2009, 11:55 AM
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i don't have this problem biggrin.gif I automatically get rest when I can't play tongue.gif

More seriously, I think one of the most important things is to keep yourself motivated. And playing every day can have a counter productive effect on that: it can become overwhelming and boring to play guitar...
So, I'd say play as much as you can but take as many days off as needed. If it is 1, 2 or 3 days off it doesn't matter. It should just fit your personal goals and lifestyle wink.gif

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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 3 2009, 12:22 PM
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I don't mean to discourage any of you but taking day or more brakes is not the way things work out.
If you are in the starting phase, still learning about scale modes, improvisation, theory and harmony, practicing technique and moving tempos, then you definitely need to spend endless hours every day with strong practice routine.
What is 6 hours a day of organized practice? Nothing guys, you can all do, plus you get a chance to rest within the same day (remember day has 24 hours not 10). Speaking of guys like Vai or Gilbert, I am sure you will find out that they had 18 or 20 hour practice sessions and this is no joke. So the real question is how long can you keep doing this? My answer is you should set your goals and try to reach them. If you don't have any goals and just want to noodle for 10 hours a day or more/less, then its pretty useless to play that way as you will hit a block eventually. If you on the other say lay out your goals, divide your practice routine in categories, find or develop exercises for each category, stick to your plan and are persistent then you can definitely achieve things.
Why would you need a day or two brake in the week?
Ask all my friends at Berklee if we had a day of practicing or playing brake ? Or if you don't believe me ask Emir and guys at Guitar institute if we had a day off ...
The point is, in order to get something you have to give something.
You are giving your precious time every day and dedicating it toward guitar and music to reach some goal you have in mind. Without any goal that is just hobby type of approach and I don't recommend anybody who wants to learn songs or minor pentatonic to solo over everything to practice 5,6,8, 10 hours a day. The reason why this is not necessary is because you will very soon reach a block in your improvement and will feel burned out to practice further. This is why if you work on multiple things and have your goals set in various aspects of improving as overall musician not just guitar player, you can easily fill in 6,8,10 or more hour practice regime.

Andy (wrk) is right when he says that these guys didn't improve by taking day or two brakes.
I can tell you for myself that I had at least 4 years period where I was practicing daily anywhere from 4 to 10 or more hours. With years you will see that it will be harder to put that sort of time daily since you have other obligations in life (family friends girlfriend/fiancee/wife) so I am very happy if I get 8 hour session but try to do at least 3 hours of organized practice with private students and GMC work.

I hope this post was useful read for you smile.gif


P.S. Forgot to add that your practice routine should always include rests in between sessions. So you never play 5,6 or more hours straight. You rather play 45-50 minutes then take 10 to 15 minute brake and start another session. That is more than enough time for your brain and muscles to relax and move onto new practice session. It also more fun as you feel you are improving in blocks of practice sessions vs noodling for just sake of playing guitar smile.gif

This post has been edited by Pedja Simovic: Sep 3 2009, 12:27 PM

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post Sep 3 2009, 12:29 PM
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I take rest some day but i do not have a specific day when i dont play.....

If i one day dont feel like playing i dont play......

I have noticed that the paying sometimes gets better after a day of rest but i cant force myself to not play

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post Sep 3 2009, 02:10 PM
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I suppose it is very individual how you learn things. I totally disagree with Pedja that says you *have* to do things in a certain way.

I believe its all up to what you want to achieve. If your goal is technical (speed, accuracy) then I suppose a "sports" approach with training constantly is a good way. If your goal is more musical then I believe that listening a lot to music without the guitar for example is very helpful.

Personally I believe that in the beginning you have to spend a lot of hours with your instrument. Same when you want to develop new techniques. To get stuff in your muscle memory. I am 100% sure (whatever some of you guys say about HAVING to do stuff in a certain way) that taking a day or two off now and then helps *ME* develop.

Since so much of music is in the mind and not the body I truly believe that you can't teach your mind anything by just hammering in it hour after hour, day after day without taking time to analyze what it is your learning and letting it settle.

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post Sep 3 2009, 07:36 PM
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All I know that is if I take a break for one or two day from practicing something that I have been trying to learn for the previous 3 or 4 days, I tend to show improvement as if I had practiced them during that break (and more often better than expected improvement). Certain aspects of my playing are better after a break than others - for instance, my sound tends to improve more than my technical playing because I think I tend to be more aggressive and attack the lesson with more enthusiasm. But sometimes it is the muscle memory kicking in which for me I find a break helps it get set after doing a lot of repetitions. However, I do think that each individual will eventually learn when resting may be to their advantage and when resting is not needed.
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David Wallimann
post Sep 3 2009, 10:12 PM
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I'm all for a good rest after a few days of intense practice...
Maybe a day a week...
After all, that's what God did after creating the universe, he rested for a day!
We should take that as an example.. It works well for me and keeps me from getting burned out. :-)

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