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Thread: Social Life Vs. Guitar Practice?!?

  1. #1
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    Social Life Vs. Guitar Practice?!?

    Its a trade off, I suppose.

    Having a bitchin' fretwork requires time, commitment, energy, dedication, patience, metronome, sincerity, etc.

    I'm 18 years old, and my friends invite me to party: where I can get high/drunk and have a social life. But I no longer feel like going to ANY of it anymore. I wake up at 5:00AM and go to sleep at 10:00PM. Very strict about it.

    I practice a minimum of 10hrs/day, and ANY freetime I get afterwards, I tend to invest on more practice. And the improvement is drastic. I LOVE doing it. Its a passion of mine. I'm just wondering how people feel about this issue, since it most likely affects a lot of you.


  2. #2
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    Once you become a musician, there is no more drunk/high/railed/whatever anymore, just stuff that pulls you away from the guitar (aka makes you a worse player). And you can have a "social" life and still put alot of time into the guitar, but getting intoxicated isn't a social life considering the fact that one night of partying sticks with you/effect your next two maybe three days.

    Whenever you are watching television, or that point right before bed where you are surfing the internet randomly just because you are bored, you could be playing guitar. Twenty to thirty minutes a day is more than enough to keep you at the level you are playing, and if you push yourself then you can actually have a more efficient practice in twenty minutes then twenty hours

  3. #3
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    It depends on the person. I love to go party with friends (I'm 19 and in college) and I spend 2-3 hours everyday practicing. My attention span is not good for much more than that so 10 hour days for me are not possible! There is nothing wrong with that as long as you are being productive(which you should be because you practice all the time!) Just include some song/noodle time and i'd say you are pretty well set IMO

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by newamerikangosp
    push yourself then you can actually have a more efficient practice in twenty minutes then twenty hours
    I dont understand what you mean by that. I practice using the metronome on my alternate picking, sweeps, legato, economy picking, stretching exercises, major/minor scales, melodic scales, 3notes per string scales, vibrato, string skipping, quasi-chromatic scales.

    But not all at once, I'm currently spending pretty much all my time on quasi-chromatic scales and alternate picking for now. If I feel that I have a good enough technique down, I'll move on to the next.

    But I dont see how I can push myself... I certainly want to play them accurately. Speed is the byproduct of accuracy; or so I hear. This is what I do for a good portion of my practice.

  5. #5
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    i find practicing comes in phases. Sometimes 10hours is very benefitial and necessary. Other times it's just not physically or mentally possible. Sometimes I need 10hours to see improvement. Sometimes I need to go see live music 5 nights in a row to see improvement. Sometimes you need to cut out things in your life in order to concentrate and other times you need those extra social things in your life in order to stay motivated, or get your motivation back. Time away from your instrument or music in general is not always a bad thing. You could take a week off and be back where you are now within a few days. It's amazing how little you actually loose.

    The thing I think is most benefitial about being very regimental about your practice time is that when an opportunity comes up to see an incredible show or visit friends you haven't seen in months, you can drop what you are doing and not feel like you aren't getting anything done. In a way, the more exact you are with your time, the more freedom it offers.

    Long practice scheduals come and go. I just recently fell off of one. I was physically and mentally exhausted with everything that I was doing, so I switched it up and started seeing a lot more live music, seeing friends, exercising etc etc and now am starting to build my way back up. I have only practiced an hour or so a day for the last week and I picked up my guitar today and found that nothing had left and I feel refreshed and ready to go again.

    Just don't get frustrated when a few weeks or months go by when you can't practice that much for whatever reason. It isn't necessary to do it all the time.

  6. #6
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    I personally find you have to balance the two, if I haven't done much other than play guitar for a few days I find I start to get bored of it and my playing gets a bit stale. On the flip side if I haven't had much time to play guitar lately and get the chance I always enjoy it that much more and come out with much better stuff.

    Also talking about practicing 10 hours a day Alpha Keuhard, would I be right in saying you've been mostly practicing lead? I used to do a similar thing (of course no way near that many hours!) but it came to a point where I just couldn't maintain it anymore. Started playing a lot more ryhthm stuff around that point in time and the practice time went right down as well. Bizzarely though my playing has improved much since then than when I was putting all those hours in. Theres also a Gary Moore saying of "guitar players spend 90% of they're time practicing what they'll only play 10% of the time". Though will lead is always fun to play.

  7. #7
    Ibreathe Follower Kinoble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbane
    Also talking about practicing 10 hours a day Alpha Keuhard, would I be right in saying you've been mostly practicing lead? I used to do a similar thing (of course no way near that many hours!) but it came to a point where I just couldn't maintain it anymore. Started playing a lot more ryhthm stuff around that point in time and the practice time went right down as well. Bizzarely though my playing has improved much since then than when I was putting all those hours in. Theres also a Gary Moore saying of "guitar players spend 90% of they're time practicing what they'll only play 10% of the time". Though will lead is always fun to play.
    Well put Mcbane.

    To be a good lead player, you need to be a good rhythm player. The two are not separate entity's. Since i have concentrated heavily on my rythm playing, i have seen a significant improvement in my lead technique for phrasing, 'visualizing' notes, aiming for chord tones etc.

    Ben

  8. #8
    I am not very nice DemonSorcerer's Avatar
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    After all the years that have passed, i kinda regret sticking with JUST THE GUITAR that period...i think it's best not to be obssesive with the instrument and music and anything...some thing are important as well, like having friends, going out and having a good, different time....Music, as every serious activity such as sports (when you want to be an achieved athlete/sportsman) is very time-consuming...but you can still be good if you drop practicins...let's say, for a day and take that day just to have fun...

    I've come to a point (and i know that i'm not the only one) where i think that i've reached my technique plateau...that is, i can't really go forward on my technique...i really don't mind, because i'm happy with the things i can do...i'm not interested in lighting-fast, 100-different-notes-per-second picking or stupid things like that...i know i can do my thing...even better...i can throw my guitars under my bed for say, 6 months...and if i ever pick 'em up again, i'll just have to play for three hours to return to my senses...

    Final word is: one should have a balance and look for it with all the thing in daily life...don't make too much emphasis on a specific thing, some other things are as important, even if you don't really care about that...you're still young, and you have a lot of time on your hands...but use it well...don't end up WASTING it, or you may regret in the future.

    David

  9. #9
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    I think balance is key here. Like Silent Storm said, practice comes in waves. I find that getting out there and watching some shows, partying, getting your heart broken a few times, climbing a mountain, taking hikes, staring at the sky (you get the point), does wonders for your creative side. You can't express feelings you don't have, so living is definitely a must. I know a guy who has all the schooling and he is very smart, but his songs sound dry and academical. Why? He still lives with momma, he hasn't done anything remotely adventurous and is terrified of social exchange. Now those are feelings in themselves but if you are scared to share even those (rather negative) feelings through your music, then what you are going to get is just an intellectual exercise.

    Now if all you do is party and live life big and never practice... well, perhaps you should consider a creative output other than guitar.

    Practice as much as you can and live as much as you can. Let your own common sense (not some guy at an internet forum such as myself) tell you how much of it you need to do to be happy.

    Good luck.
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  10. #10
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    I wish I had the time to practice 10 hours a day, then again, I probably wouldn't anyway as I don't NEED to practice that long anyhoo, I've already got 'natural' ability in the sense that I've got a good ear and good chops. I can't wait to get a computer so I can record all the **** in my head.

  11. #11
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    Practice

    I practice better when I get high but I dont smoke anymore so I have to practice straight. No time to practice 10 hours a day but I try to get in at least an hour.

  12. #12
    YTSE Jammer paTz0r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha Keuhard
    Its a trade off, I suppose.

    Having a bitchin' fretwork requires time, commitment, energy, dedication, patience, metronome, sincerity, etc.

    I'm 18 years old, and my friends invite me to party: where I can get high/drunk and have a social life. But I no longer feel like going to ANY of it anymore. I wake up at 5:00AM and go to sleep at 10:00PM. Very strict about it.

    I practice a minimum of 10hrs/day, and ANY freetime I get afterwards, I tend to invest on more practice. And the improvement is drastic. I LOVE doing it. Its a passion of mine. I'm just wondering how people feel about this issue, since it most likely affects a lot of you.

    Be careful not to burn yourself out. I have been playing for over 10 years now, and if I had been more consistant in practicing, and done less of those 10 hour a day practices followed by weeks of no playing, I think I would be a much better player today. Don't take it too seriously, you will just ruin it for yourself, even if you want to make it your career. Spend the time you need to spend in order to progress, but dont force it on yourself. It needs to be fun if you want to still like it down the road.
    This is where a link to my bands website would go.. if we still payed to have it hosted..Hidden Content

  13. #13
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    well IMHO, there are certain strategies that will contribute to your advancing knowledge and profiency on an instrument, and will greatly positively contribute to a balanced life in general,

    I stress this comment because my experience is that many musicians struggle with having a balanced healthy stable positive life.

    the Key strategy is to have a Balance of Guitar, social activities, etc. and to have Moderation whenever you are becoming UnBalanced.

    but one thing I do think it's important to do is play guitar everyday, even if it's just for 5 minutes,

    I explained this strategy in a seperate answer to a post someone had a question about, so I will just repost my answer:


    "Congratulations you've decided to learn a wonderful instrument!!

    generally you have 2 objectives when playing and becoming an accomplished musician:
    1. the Physical
    2. The Mental

    I will just concentrate on the physical challenges for now, since that is what you are currently concerned about, but I will also offer you some advice on musicianship and guitar &/or bass I feel is important

    The physical challenges include building and training muscles to do various physical requirements, for example-doing barre chords, bending strings, vibrato, etc.

    some suggestions:
    when your fretboard hand gets tired, focus your practice on the strumming hand,
    so without doing anything but muting with your fretboard hand(which requires little effort), concentrate on strumming rhythmically with your strumming hand.

    if your strumming hand gets tired practice the many articulations you can do with your fretboard hand.
    ie. hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, legato, etc.

    practice at a slow tempo and very gradually increase speed and your development, being conscious of each note being cleanly executed, articulated, palm muted, etc.

    play every day, preferably at the same time everyday(so that is a time you actually feel will be productive and that you have scheduled yourself for to contribute to your practicing)
    the most emotionally healthy people I know are the ones who have serious passionate hobbies like learning a musical instrument.
    any fretboard instrument will require you to build up and have agility with many different types of muscles, playing once every week will generally not be enough "exercise"
    even if you only practice for 5 minutes EVERYDAY, you will notice greater benefits with that strategy than playing one day a week, one month, etc. where you play for approximately one hour or two hours for that single day.

    Play with others.

    get the basics down as well as possible
    (when I watch and learn from musicians such as Eric Johnson among the many things that stand out is that he has really concentrated on basic guitar "fundamentals" and applied these theories and then mastered them.)

    Try to be conscious of everything you play so that when you play it(to you)it is musical
    (rather your referring to exercises, etudes, patterns, scales, etc.)

    also apply EVERYTHING your learning in a practical way,
    ie. what I mean is, after you learn for instance that a triad(chord) contains 3 notes, the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of a scale then apply this new knowledge as THOROUGHLY as possible to your guitar &/or bass fretboard.

    Practice with a metronome, it is the perfect drummer.

    Practice being a great Rhythm guitarist, being a great rhythm guitarist will in most cases help you to be a great Lead guitarist.

    Practice with an amp on both a Clean tone, and a Distorted tone so that you are able to manage either.

    If possible play on both Acoustic Guitar and Electric guitar, as both present unique challenges to manage, and frequently will require different techniques.

    Anyway that's enough food for thought right now, just remember to practice everyday, it will benefit you greatly!!!"
    I reposted this reply because all of this learning of a musical instrument can be applied in a positive way to your life as well!

    anyway I hope that you try to have balance and moderation in your life I think you will be much happier

    I hope you all at the IBreatheMusic Community have a Great Day!!!
    "Success is arriving at a Personal Satisfaction within yourself"

    Dedicated To Guitar!!!

  14. #14
    Registered User Mike7771's Avatar
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    Try and find friends who like to party AND jam. This way you can do your social thing while you do your practice thing.

  15. #15
    Ibreathe Follower Kinoble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7771
    Try and find friends who like to party AND jam. This way you can do your social thing while you do your practice thing.
    Yep, OR just play at weddings

    Then you can play AND party!

    Ben
    Last edited by Kinoble; 10-10-2006 at 12:03 PM.

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