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Practice Fatigue and Why You Don't Suck

J

Jak Angelescu

Guest
Hello there kittens :)

My life has been great lately. Exercising, working on my book, getting a new (and far better) job, lessening stress, getting healthier, finishing songs, etc. But I started to struggle for the last few weeks with my practice. I felt like every time I tried to play something remotely fast, my mind would blank out and it almost felt like a physical chore to make my hands move. Even now as I type this I'm thinking, "fuck this I just wanna lay down." But I really REALLY want to make this post. I hope you all find it helpful.

For the last two weeks, I've been doing all of my stuff in the beginning of the day and then practicing in the evening. On my new health journey, I've learned so much about mental fatigue, burnout, stressors, and physical exhaustion, and what it can actually do to your body. More than likely, at least 80% of us on here don't have a choice to choose our practice times. We have families, jobs, school, homework, and other factors.

I read an interesting article just a few days ago about why walking is making me so damn tired. I won't go into the medical descriptions of it, but like your mind, your body can only handle so much movement at once before energy LITERALLY STOPS GOING TO YOUR MUSCLES. Your mind and brain can only handle about 2 hours worth of a task before it starts to lose its function. It's true for your body as well. Plainly put, after 8 hours of exercising and working and cleaning and running errands, my body was too fucking taxed to play guitar. I literally had no energy left, and it was making it impossible for me to play well.

I tried for a few days changing my schedule around. I played the MOMENT I finished breakfast for about 30 minutes. The difference is insane. My head is clearer, my body is awake and ready, and so much more. I was playing ten times better than at the end of the day. Maybe you like unwinding with guitar after a long day. And that's great! But if you ever feel like you struggle, there actually could be a physiological underlying reason as to why. And it's not your fault.

So in short, if you feel like you struggle because you feel like you just can't get better, or it always feels difficult, try maybe changing your practice time around some other things. I know it's difficult for practically everyone. But I moved my workout time to the evenings and my daily cleaning as well.

You may not suck. You may just fucking be tired. I was talking with @Anthony Peña today about how much everyone has piled on their plate. It's mentally draining.

So be kind to yourself. I hope you got something from this post :)
 

Jesse Salmons

Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
Nov 11, 2019
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That makes perfect sense, ever been trying to perfect a tricky phrase for hours on guitar, even with a metronome, and all of a sudden no matter how slow you play it you just. Cant. Play. It. Anymore. Then you try the next day and you’ve made leaps and bounds. Great post, Jak💪
 
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Wally

Campfire Attention Holder
  • Sep 27, 2020
    151
    404
    Michigan City, IN
    7
    Hello there kittens :)

    My life has been great lately. Exercising, working on my book, getting a new (and far better) job, lessening stress, getting healthier, finishing songs, etc. But I started to struggle for the last few weeks with my practice. I felt like every time I tried to play something remotely fast, my mind would blank out and it almost felt like a physical chore to make my hands move. Even now as I type this I'm thinking, "fuck this I just wanna lay down." But I really REALLY want to make this post. I hope you all find it helpful.

    For the last two weeks, I've been doing all of my stuff in the beginning of the day and then practicing in the evening. On my new health journey, I've learned so much about mental fatigue, burnout, stressors, and physical exhaustion, and what it can actually do to your body. More than likely, at least 80% of us on here don't have a choice to choose our practice times. We have families, jobs, school, homework, and other factors.

    I read an interesting article just a few days ago about why walking is making me so damn tired. I won't go into the medical descriptions of it, but like your mind, your body can only handle so much movement at once before energy LITERALLY STOPS GOING TO YOUR MUSCLES. Your mind and brain can only handle about 2 hours worth of a task before it starts to lose its function. It's true for your body as well. Plainly put, after 8 hours of exercising and working and cleaning and running errands, my body was too fucking taxed to play guitar. I literally had no energy left, and it was making it impossible for me to play well.

    I tried for a few days changing my schedule around. I played the MOMENT I finished breakfast for about 30 minutes. The difference is insane. My head is clearer, my body is awake and ready, and so much more. I was playing ten times better than at the end of the day. Maybe you like unwinding with guitar after a long day. And that's great! But if you ever feel like you struggle, there actually could be a physiological underlying reason as to why. And it's not your fault.

    So in short, if you feel like you struggle because you feel like you just can't get better, or it always feels difficult, try maybe changing your practice time around some other things. I know it's difficult for practically everyone. But I moved my workout time to the evenings and my daily cleaning as well.

    You may not suck. You may just fucking be tired. I was talking with @Anthony Peña today about how much everyone has piled on their plate. It's mentally draining.

    So be kind to yourself. I hope you got something from this post :)
    9/10 this is exactly how I feel on weekdays because I'm up by 5am and leaving the house by 6 to get to work by 7. This is some pretty solid advice and something I might start doing myself. If I can get myself to get out of bed just a little earlier to practice maybe it will have a positive effect on my playing. Thanks for sharing the advice! Keep rocking! 😁
     

    Alicia Willis

    Moderator
    Staff member
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    This makes absolute perfect sense ! I tend to practice later in the evening after I’ve been up since the ass crack of dawn, done schooling with Ryan, cleaned house, laundry, errands, cooked, walked the dog, etc. etc. and half the time I feel like shit, but occasionally I’ll wake up and play a little and the difference really is night and day, also I don’t feel as tense playing first thing in the morning.
     
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    ari.mac

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  • Jul 16, 2020
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    Hello there kittens :)

    My life has been great lately. Exercising, working on my book, getting a new (and far better) job, lessening stress, getting healthier, finishing songs, etc. But I started to struggle for the last few weeks with my practice. I felt like every time I tried to play something remotely fast, my mind would blank out and it almost felt like a physical chore to make my hands move. Even now as I type this I'm thinking, "fuck this I just wanna lay down." But I really REALLY want to make this post. I hope you all find it helpful.

    For the last two weeks, I've been doing all of my stuff in the beginning of the day and then practicing in the evening. On my new health journey, I've learned so much about mental fatigue, burnout, stressors, and physical exhaustion, and what it can actually do to your body. More than likely, at least 80% of us on here don't have a choice to choose our practice times. We have families, jobs, school, homework, and other factors.

    I read an interesting article just a few days ago about why walking is making me so damn tired. I won't go into the medical descriptions of it, but like your mind, your body can only handle so much movement at once before energy LITERALLY STOPS GOING TO YOUR MUSCLES. Your mind and brain can only handle about 2 hours worth of a task before it starts to lose its function. It's true for your body as well. Plainly put, after 8 hours of exercising and working and cleaning and running errands, my body was too fucking taxed to play guitar. I literally had no energy left, and it was making it impossible for me to play well.

    I tried for a few days changing my schedule around. I played the MOMENT I finished breakfast for about 30 minutes. The difference is insane. My head is clearer, my body is awake and ready, and so much more. I was playing ten times better than at the end of the day. Maybe you like unwinding with guitar after a long day. And that's great! But if you ever feel like you struggle, there actually could be a physiological underlying reason as to why. And it's not your fault.

    So in short, if you feel like you struggle because you feel like you just can't get better, or it always feels difficult, try maybe changing your practice time around some other things. I know it's difficult for practically everyone. But I moved my workout time to the evenings and my daily cleaning as well.

    You may not suck. You may just fucking be tired. I was talking with @Anthony Peña today about how much everyone has piled on their plate. It's mentally draining.

    So be kind to yourself. I hope you got something from this post :)
    Really interesting! Due to work and other errands, I usually have only the evening to practice guitar, but as soon as I have some time I'll try to practice earlier and see what happens!