I get the most (significantly so) out of marathon practice days

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by SuperSilverHaze, Nov 12, 2017.


  1. SuperSilverHaze

    SuperSilverHaze Member

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    Is this true for anyone else?

    I feel like if i spend a good 10-12 hours practing in a single day I can get more out of my practice than 5 days straight of practicing 3-4 hours a day. There is something about that last 2-4 hours of playing where everything is just better retained and your fingers get so "loose and broken in?" that you can play runs and with an accuracy that is generally above your limitations and by staying in this state for a few hours you retain muscle memory in this "particular zone" and are able to more readily and easily play at that caliber on normal days.

    Forgive me if my wording sounds silly but it is just something i have noticed. I feel like having 1 marathon practice day a week (or even 2 if possible) is really a big key in making very fast progression on your instrument. Of course this applies to me and maybe not others. As always YMMV

    Thoughts
     
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  2. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Enjoy checking things like that out while you can.
    Earlier in my "career" it's been sex'n'drugs'n'rocknroll being more important, now it's 2 little boys.
    In other words: I simply couldn't tell.
     
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  3. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    Nowadays a marathon session is 5 hours. Anything more than that a day isn't helping anymore for me.

    Perfect is about 3 1/2 a day, everyday.
     
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  4. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree with the op, but at my age, 58, arthritis would never let that happen. I was hard on my body with sports when I was younger and it has taken its toll. I use to love practicing for 12 to 14 hours for the exact reasons.
     
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  5. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Honestly, the right 15 minutes can transform my thinking and playing.

    Having said that, I did play for about 5 hours today. :)
     
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  6. SuperSilverHaze

    SuperSilverHaze Member

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    I totally get that which is why I made this thread. Most people have learned to pracrice smarter and not longer. There are even scientific studies backing these claims of getting more out of 10-15 min intervals with breaks in between. And I did take 5 - 7ish 10-15 min breaks yesterday but at times would play for an hour straight. Never to the point of discomfort with hand stretching in between.

    That said for me personally these marathon sessions are just way more productive. I'd rather have a 12 hour weekend day of smart practicing over 18 hours throughout the weekdays of equally smart practicing. Something happens towards the end and i can't really explain it.
     
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  7. vintagelove

    vintagelove Member

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    Eh...


    I go by the old, don't practice a day, lose 2.
     
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  8. Mooselake

    Mooselake Member

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    I'm a mid-lifer trying to pick up with a guitar where I left off many, many years ago. My physical endurance is such that I top out at slightly over 20hr per week, and at about 4hr in a given single day. Out of necessity I wind up practicing 2-3 hours most every day. Wish I could go 10-12 at a pop!
     
  9. thebowl

    thebowl Member

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    I don't think I would even want to go 10 hours (even with breaks); I'm getting older, so I don't think I could, and I also firmly believe that (for me) a short session can be extremely productive. Heck, backing away completely for a day or two can yield results, particularly when I feel frustrated, unfocused or particularly challenged.

    I need to have goals to work toward at all times, and I like to play often. A couple of hours most weekdays, and maybe 4 hours or so on the weekends.
     
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  10. Bb7

    Bb7 Supporting Member

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    What gauge strings are you using?
     
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  11. SuperSilverHaze

    SuperSilverHaze Member

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    11
     
  12. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I had nearly 2 months off from work due to 2 surgeries. Fortunately, my condition allowed me to play guitar - and only guitar. So I played guitar every day for about 10 hrs. I did take breaks to have my 3 meals and indulged in some video watching to close out the night. I began practice sessions on my acoustic guitar, standard light gauge (acoustic) - so .013 gauge - then switched to electric when my hands got tired.

    I focused on chord melody tunes and only a little bit of melodic stuff - reading Bach cello suites, a few licks. I can't report a dramatic improvement by the time I went back to work, since I wasn't focused on "chops". I think I pick up new chord melody stuff a bit faster than before but that's about it. Ok, I did learn 4 chord-melody arrangements of songs in during that sick leave time - it would have taken me a lot longer than that if I didn't have all day, every day, to get the hang of chord melody playing and those tunes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  13. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    For most mortals slow and steady win the race.
     
  14. musicman10_1

    musicman10_1 Supporting Member

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    When I was getting my chops up to the level of being in my first gigging band those 7, 8, 10 hour days were the key to some significant breakthroughs. Close to 30 years later I can occasionally knock out a 3 or 4 hour session and get into some new territory. I can also mess up my hands, wrists, and fingers if I'm not careful and so I have to be cognizant of that.
     
  15. lordhidetora

    lordhidetora Member

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    What do you guys define as practicing? Not to derail the thread...of course with that statement I am derailing it :rolleyes:

    For me, practicing consists of sitting with a metronome and practicing licks/solos/scale patterns/chord changes or reading a chart and looking at it theoretically with my guitar. I couldn't imagine doing this for 10 hours, my brain would be fried.

    Other then that, I'm usually just playing/jamming/trying to write stuff, which isn't really practice (as I define it) but rather just playing guitar.

    Sadly I feel that I play guitar a lot more than actual proper practicing...
     
  16. Mooselake

    Mooselake Member

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    I see it pretty much the same way. I use the term "practice" for following a written-out/timed plan (w/metronome or play-along track). In other words, it is somewhat formal.

    Not saying that is right or wrong, just the way I think of it. All the other guitar time is valuable too. I'm only good for 1-2 hours of strict practice per day tops. I typically double that time by adding various other guitar-in-hand activities that don't require I max out my concentration the entire time.
     
  17. jblake

    jblake Member

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    The days that I see the most progress are those in which I practice 2-3 hours in the morning and then 2-3 hours at the end of the day. Unfortunately, that's only realistic on the weekends, and still difficult to accomplish even then. A compromise is one hour in the morning, 30 minutes before dinner, and one hour before bed.
     
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  18. thebowl

    thebowl Member

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    That is a good question. I never use a metronome, and my use of backing tracks (a Korg Pocket Band) is limited to the least structured part of my playing, when I go to the basement on a weekend evening to get "inspired", turn it up and just jam on some blues tracks. For me, practice involves having some material to study and attempt to master. It could be a True Fire lesson, a tune, a lesson from a magazine or website, or sometimes just a single riff. I now try to make sure I understand it theoretically, and not just memorize notes, and I try to make sure I not only learn it, but I incorporate it into what I already know, alter it, etc. I tend for focus on country stuff for a week then jump back to blues, switching guitars as I switch genres.
     
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  19. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I’m not that restrictive in defining practice. Practicing my tunes, exploring new sounds, and improvising on my own are all things that I consider to be practicing.

    Would I encourage someone to explore new sounds while lacking the fundamentals? Probably not. But if you approach it with purpose, then it can be more than just noodling.
     
  20. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    With all these impressive practice time numbers, you folks must be playing quite great. Can I listen to some music?
     

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