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Old 01-16-2018, 10:26 PM   #11
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On and off all day. Today a singer and I rehearsed for a gig. Now it's evening and I am about to rehearse for tomorrows gig, but I'm playing bass in that band. Sometimes I practice lead guitar solos early in the morning when everyone else is asleep.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
My only free time is in the evening, or weekends. It's not when I practice, it's how I practice that matters.

When I sit down with the intent of focused practice, I learn way better.

Most of the time, I'm just noodling. That's not practice (aside from keeping my dexterity up, which is something, I guess); that's noodling.

There's been times when I've sat down, and said, "ok, no screwing around, I'm gonna focus on this." A half hour of that, is worth more than 3 hours of noodling. I set a goal.
I'm getting seriously tired of agreeing with you

I think you hit the nail on the head. It easy for me to get into that focused zone in the morning. By evening the distractions mount and I'm no longer alone and quiet. I need to find ways to get into that zone in the evenings.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:47 AM   #13
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I'm getting seriously tired of agreeing with you

I think you hit the nail on the head. It easy for me to get into that focused zone in the morning. By evening the distractions mount and I'm no longer alone and quiet. I need to find ways to get into that zone in the evenings.
Ha, because I speak the truth!

You're a runner, right? In any case, high performance athletes know what "the zone" is about.

I'm a long time martial arts practitioner. My first art was really geared towards, "hit 'em hard, kill them faster." As a change of pace, I started studying Aikido, while learning to protect yourself, hurting your opponent wasn't the goal, finding "balance" was.

So I got into reading Zen- not for any religious aspects. THAT's where I learned focus: "the state of no-mindedness"- mushin no shin. You're just there, "in the moment." We westerners are so invested in yesterday, tomorrow, but not here.

I've mentioned this book before, and I encourage everyone to read it. It's not magical, or mystical, and it's not about religion. It's about changing how you think- it can change your life: Amazon sample- https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Guitar-Ph...rds=zen+guitar it's become a classic to players, and non-players alike. Sudo played guitar. He died a very painful death of cancer. But he went happily...
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:30 AM   #14
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I have a Hobby Room and when I'm not watching todays garbage TV, I'm usually in the Hobby Room with my Computer, Ham Radio, Rock and Mineral collection, Arrowhead collection, or my Musical Instruments. During the course of a day, I probably play the guitar 3 or 4 times for maybe 30 to 45 minutes each time. Some days I just practice once, for about an hour. I'd say it averages out to about 2 hours a day. Lets just say that my fingers don't get sore but I make sure that I don't lose my chops.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
Ha, because I speak the truth!

You're a runner, right? In any case, high performance athletes know what "the zone" is about.

I'm a long time martial arts practitioner. My first art was really geared towards, "hit 'em hard, kill them faster." As a change of pace, I started studying Aikido, while learning to protect yourself, hurting your opponent wasn't the goal, finding "balance" was.

So I got into reading Zen- not for any religious aspects. THAT's where I learned focus: "the state of no-mindedness"- mushin no shin. You're just there, "in the moment." We westerners are so invested in yesterday, tomorrow, but not here.

I've mentioned this book before, and I encourage everyone to read it. It's not magical, or mystical, and it's not about religion. It's about changing how you think- it can change your life: Amazon sample- https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Guitar-Ph...rds=zen+guitar it's become a classic to players, and non-players alike. Sudo played guitar. He died a very painful death of cancer. But he went happily...
I read the sample of that book when you mentioned it earlier. I was mildly curious but not enough to spend $12. As a teen, I latched on to a bit of soundbyte zen that has helped me. Be Here Now. I never read the book. I simply heard the phrase and it made sense.

I focus well when I am alone and quiet. Alone and quiet is not a thing in the evening at my house Perhaps I need to find a quiet space to practice.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:29 PM   #16
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I usually practice in the afternoon after work and dog duties are done or evenings and weekends when life doesn't get in the way. If I am jamming with a band on the regular I find it a lot easier to stay motivated to play but when the mood strikes me even if it's not for a week or more sometimes..
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:50 PM   #17
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I focus well when I am alone and quiet. Alone and quiet is not a thing in the evening at my house Perhaps I need to find a quiet space to practice.
I'm not going to preach, or judge; I'm just going to throw things out there. I may ask some questions, but they're rhetorical. In the end, make of it, what you will.

When you run, what're you thinking? Are you rolling stuff in your head- "man, what a hell-day at work; after this, I gotta walk the dog; what did my wife ask me to do? Crap, did I pay that bill? sdkjfhkjfsdjhseureradsndnshsraerewr84823owjwjaksdj s." You were running, but, were you "there?" Your body was moving, you made your distance/time, but maybe your head was a million miles away.

Contrast that to a run where your mind is: "--------------" Your body already knows how to run; you've done it many times before, you don't have to think about running, you just do it. In this example, your mind isn't a flatline per se, but it's not cluttered with thoughts; you may have noticed a bird, or tree you never noticed before. You're just absorbing the environment as it is, and you're a part of it. You're in the zone.

Have you ever sat there, and literally thought of nothing? NOTHING is going through your head? Now, try this: DON'T THINK OF A BLACK BEAR FOR THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

You may never have the quiet in the evening you find in the morning. Everyone's awake, a tv may be on, the telephone may ring. Much of this is out of your control. What can be controlled, is how you respond to that stimuli. The choices are few: change your environment, or adapt to that environment, or let that environment be a distraction to you. Edit: Or, be aware you are IN the environment; you're not separate from it. YOU are the environment you're in. The more you fight to distance yourself from it, the more distracted you become.

We don't always need a guitar in our hands to practice. While at work, even while I'm working, I'm visualizing the fretboard, seeing shapes, imagining how one shape connects to another....

I choose to turn the tv on to "watch a little news after work. OH! Modern Family is on! I haven't seen that in awhile; that's just another half hour! Before I know it, hours have passed. For me, I know what the "problem" is: me. We often don't know how to get out of our own way.

Being OCD can be help, AND a hindrance. I'm often all-in, or all-out. Who says things have to be an either/or proposition all the time? Without compromising anything, we can find balance.

How's that black bear doing?
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:19 PM   #18
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Sometimes it's pretty simple but old habits can be hard to break. I may be working on a song with a fair amount of picking in it and there may be one or two parts that give me trouble or just need more work. I used to just do the song from the beginning and then when I get to the trouble spot just play through it with all the issues. I finally realized it was much better to just do the trouble spot over and over again, even if it's only two or three notes. It's amazing how quickly muscle memory can kick in.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:58 PM   #19
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I'll second the recommendation on Zen Guitar. I'm about due for a re-read. For me, the book was more about attitude than anything mystical...it's a mindset. I can recall a few specific times, some at gigs and others recording guitar jams in my basement, where I felt as though I was removed from myself as I played. No chemical influences involved . Some of my best and most inventive playing came from those moments...and it felt as though it just flowed from me. When I think of stopping, recalling things like this keep me going. Endurance sport is a great analogy also. I can remember specific rides on my bike where I zoned out to the sound of the wind and the thrum of my tires on the pavement.

Another interesting book I started reading was "The Inner Game of Music". It's ideas that the author developed in a book called "The Inner Game of Tennis". The ideas in the tennis book were so good, people started applying it to everything. He decided to write a book specifically for music....and skiing and other things. Here, it's the idea of keeping yourself from getting in your own way trying to perform. One idea that stuck with me was "giving yourself permission to fail"...remove the pressure, and inevitably you will succeed, like you never have before.

For me, I have learned that the key for practice is doing it regularly. Better to practice 1/2 hour each night for 4 nights than practice for 2 hours a single night. Blocking out distractions and getting focus REALLY makes a session productive. I make it so I can get up and running practicing in 5 minutes with minimal effort.

A lot of times I avoid practicing because I think it's going to be hard or I'm afraid I won't make much progress, etc. I have to play mind games with myself to remove those expectations and "just do it".

I am most productive in the afternoon, but that gets wasted at work LOL. I have to settle for practice time in the evening after the kids go to bed. With a wife and 3 kids, my focus and energy gets spread pretty thin sometimes. Sometimes I need to allow myself to take a break and just be lazy and watch a movie, read a book, or play some Forza Motorsport on Xbox .
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:53 PM   #20
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I usually practice in the evening. There's usually something to be done at home after work, so I wait till my wife is watching one of her shows after dinner, then I get my time for guitar playing.
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