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Getting rusty?

18 Apr 2013 15:06 | Quote
Joined: 15 Apr 2011
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I havent been on here in months, but I have a question. Ive been getting really good lately, and I was wondering if it is bad if I go without playing guitar for longer periods sometimes. Like the most time I ever go without playing is 4 days or something. Does that effect my skill severely?
18 Apr 2013 17:21 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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I would actually recommend taking short three to seven day long breaks in your guitar playing for a few reasons:

The muscles and tendons in your wrists and fingers need to relax and be stretched out just like any other muscle in your body.

Taking small breaks can peak your creativity.

Don't let your guitar become your life, unless you truly believe you can make a career out of it, so ease yourself out of relying upon your instrument for a constant source of entertainment.

The effect a longer break, i.e. 3 or more months has on your technical skills varies by player, but you can generally expect to see some levels of technical degradation after several months of not practicing. The plus side is, your mental skills like understanding what to play and where to play it, as well as your grasp of theory really won't diminish with extended breaks.
18 Apr 2013 17:40 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
United States
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When I first started playing guitar I took a 6 month long break because I was getting really board with my playing. After that 6 months was up though I felt like I sounded better. I think it effects people differently.
18 Apr 2013 18:11 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
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Karma: 38
True that.

It's also important to note that maturity (I'm not making any assumptions) will play a large role in your playing skill and sound.
18 Apr 2013 18:51 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I find that after I've played everyday for an hour or so for weeks at at a time that my right arm tends to get stiff. I play really well and accurately attack the strings more but it's not good for my arm. I'm one of those people who use their forearm more than they should.

When I take a week and up to a couple months off, I'm more creative but less accurate with speed in the beginning but after a week or so I'm back to where I was.

I've been playing since age 13 and I'll be 50 this year. A year ago, I thought I would never get back to how good I was in my 20's and 30's. After practicing and playing almost everyday in the last six months or so I am better than I ever was!
6 Oct 2014 15:28 | Quote
Joined: 06 Oct 2014
United States
I agree with the whole "break" idea. I have practiced really hard for a while and then taken some time off. I always come back better.
15 Oct 2014 14:15 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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I take breaks as well-I usually jump on bass or drums and jam out there for a while instead. Try to sit down across from your guitar, visualize something emotionally engaging, and then try to picture what kind of melody or mood you want to impose over the visualization. Good exercise for the mind when you need to put the guitar down for a couple days. I would not recommend taking more than 3 days though-
"If I don't practice for one day, I notice. If I don't practice for two days, other musicians notice. If I don't practice for three days, the audience notices."
16 Oct 2014 19:29 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
Never thought of that..... Breaks are good... Right...
25 Oct 2016 05:07 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Karma: 1
All you need for that is a good 'ol grease gun! Whoopsie!

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