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Self imposed moratorium on playing and listening.


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I recently lost house gig and been having some great practice sessions. Maybe the cold weather or my new sofa or that I feel there's a new hump I've been unable to attain. Anyway, I've recently put a moratorium on myself.

 

Has anyone ever done this for other reasons besides medical?

AvantGrand N2 | ES520 | Gallien-Krueger MK & MP | https://soundcloud.com/pete36251

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I do this for a week every summer. I take a vacation from music.

I still listen to music when it's around, but I don't play, I don't practice, I don't scheme, I don't analyze, I don't think about gigs... nothing.

 

 

I ride my motorcycle.

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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Nope.

 

At the beginning of one summer I cut my finger with electric hedge clippers (ouch). That was after my Freshman college year; when I packed to head back to school for the rest of the summer I left my guitar at home and went without playing until the end of the term.

 

First day back home my finger was healed enough and so I was playing guitar for the first time in months. My best friend (also a player) dropped by and remarked how I'd gotten a lot better over the summer.

 

I was pissed! But he was right. As it turns out, while not playing I'd been thinking rather than letting my fingers do their usual things, and it did take me to a new level.

 

However, I don't plan to do this again, regardless. Well, not for more than a week or two vacation. Even then, if I happened by a music store, I'd wander in. If I didn't, my wife would wonder what's up!

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I don't scheme

But secretly scheming (along with plotting and conniving) is the fun part of playing in bands. :evil:

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Numa Compact 2x, Yamaha MX88, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)

 

 

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I NEVER take a break from practicing. I'll throw my keyboard in the car if we're taking a road trip to Pacific Grove, Napa or anywhere up North. When we go to St. Lou, my sister in law has a beat upright that I can play. I wait till everyone goes shopping then get in my time.

 

I'll do an hour of trasnposing lines and Bill Dobbins/Clare Fisher drills on chord strucures in all keys. I don't practice any classical music beacuse it's stupid on a toy keyboard. I also do a half hour of my vocal scales in the car.

 

The only time I haven't practiced in 35 years is when we went to Maui for week and Europe for 17 days. I was climbing the walls like an addict... :laugh: After the 17 days, it felt like it took me a month to get *back* to snuff.

 

I generally don't listen to music at home, occasionally in the car.

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I'll be one to admit that I practice rarely. I noddle a bit, but for me practice tends to be limited to gig-specific lines/songs/phrases I need to get (though I'm trying to teach myself some new good practice habits).

 

But, that said, I play every day. A lot. This winter I'm spending about 30-35hr/wk in rehearsals for two musicals and two bands, and I'm booked with shows non-stop until the fall.

 

During those times that I'm not actively working on a project, though, I will typically not play much or at all. Sometimes that's when the guitar comes out.

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Several years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I wasn't gaining anything from playing music every day. So, I sold off my studio. Of course, I had to have a KB so I bought a Motif ES8. ;)

 

I left my Motif in its Gator case (thanks Tonysounds :wave:) for almost a year. I'd take the ES8 out for air and to insure that it still worked. Except for whenever I stopped in a music store, I barely played.

 

But, I never stopped listening to music. Between XM radio and my CD collection, I listened a LOT. Eventually, it was time to pull my Motif from the case and set it up again.

 

Upon getting back to playing, I thought that I would be more rusty. Instead, new stuff was underneath my fingers that I attribute to the time I spent listening and doing other things.

 

Nowadays, I still don't play every day. Only when the mood strikes. Whether I'm just practicing or learning a new tune or working out a musical idea, I feel a lot more productive.

 

If I sit down to play and nothing is happening, instead of forcing the issue, I'll get up and go do something else unrelated to music. Dealing with other priorities sparks musical creativity too.

 

Now, if only I could come up with the equivalent of that "Happy" song by Pharrell, I'd be sitting in tall cotton. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I recently lost house gig and been having some great practice sessions. Maybe the cold weather or my new sofa or that I feel there's a new hump I've been unable to attain. Anyway, I've recently put a moratorium on myself.

 

Has anyone ever done this for other reasons besides medical?

 

I never do it consciously; it just seems to happen. There's a lot of things in the creative world that scream out for my attention, so if I'm not playing keyboards, I'm playing guitar or recording or doing photography. And it doesn't matter much which it is as long as I'm creating and moving forward. But I'm never away from any one thing for too long for the most part.

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Since music is my hobby, it's the thing I do to get away from all the other parts of my life. I try to practice and play a little something every day. I've had things going on where I wasn't able to play for two or three days, but that's about it.

 

I play Sirius Real Jazz in my home office nearly every day as background, so it's on but I'm not necessarily listening to it. I will also run the jazz playlist from my house media server. I listen to jazz, classic rock or classical music in the car.

 

I spent a few too many years without music around me. I need to make up for that.

.

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To the OP: I wouldn't worry about it. You have to find a balance that's right for you, whatever develops your enthusiasm for what you do.

 

Subjectively speaking... just playing, or the need to make music every day, is my practice. A small percentage of that is actually practicing something, and then some of it is writing, recording, etc.

 

Everyone's different, but getting away from the instrument is not necessarily a moratorium. Being on vacation has been some of my most intense "practicing" and writing because it's still going on in your head.

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There are times when I don't have any energy left for practicing, or even for listening to music. When I'm sick, for example, which has happened a few times recently... that aside, I usually struggle to find some time to spend at the piano, so more often than not I'm eager to play as soon and as long as I can.
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I took five years off in the mid 80's. I had been playing pretty much full time from 1970 until then. I didn't play a lick during that time. I was building up a business, moved, had no music connections unless I called our old agent and announce myself available but that would be for national touring, not local stuff and I wasn't into that any more.

 

I realized either I was never going to play again or I needed to buy a new keyboard and get back into it so I bought a Kurzweil K1000, messed with it off and on for a few months and saw an ad in the Beach Reporter from a band looking for a keyboard player. At that time I was still basically a B3 guy and I ran the Kurz through my old rig, a leslie horn sitting on top of a big bass cabinet powered by my old Fender Dual Showman. I just learned in the Burn thread, that's called the Memphis sound. Never heard of it, all I know is I did that all through the 70's. Next thing I knew I was booked in the Lighthouse 2-3 times a month for a year and a half with a pretty hot 8 piece R&B horn band, people saw me, I had some local connections and I was back.

 

I'm very glad I did that because I need live music in my life. In spite of all the problems we love to talk about it's good for the soul.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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