Knowing when to stop practicing/overpracticing

Talismanis

Senior Member
Hiya guys,
Do you ever find that sometimes you'll practice something to the extent that you simply can't play it right when you should be able to?
If so, how do you deal with it? I find it incredibly hard to know when to stop practicing. I'll go "just one more time, nope, just one more time, damnit I did that bit wrong, just one more time" over and over again. I wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing for my playing. I'd almost say it's more obsessive than it is a genuine desire to practice at times.

Just as I write this, I played an exercise correctly that I've been struggling with and I've found it really hard to stop when I really want to keep playing, but I need to go get a haircut!

Discuss.
 

Nickropolis

Senior Member
It happens, it's your mind telling you that it needs a break to process the new information you just learned. You'll get to recognize how this feels and eventually be able to teach yourself to let it go and let your body do it's thing.

Let the desire you have now build and come back at it even stronger when you return.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I don't think there is anything wrong with what you are doing

it is slightly OCD....but keep it in a positive light and you will only benefit from it

I do the same thing .....all the time

I notice that when I step away for a few minutes....check my email...or grab a drink of water....or step outside on a nice day...then go back...I still do the same thing with my mind telling me to do it again but it feels a bit more smooth because my brain was allowed time to process what it was fed
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
It's cool that you work away at it but maybe you're bored because you'd rather create/do things your own way and the tedium is working against you.

When I practice/jam the main thing is to keep the ball rolling, so I won't dwell on something in such a way that it disrupts the flow or frustrates me.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
It's cool that you work away at it but maybe you're bored because you'd rather create/do things your own way and the tedium is working against you.

When I practice/jam the main thing is to keep the ball rolling, so I won't dwell on something in such a way that it disrupts the flow or frustrates me.

I think practice should be frustrating at times

if it is not then you are not working on things that are difficult for you and in turn are not really improving

if we are not working on strengthening our weaknesses then what are we doing ?

to me there is a huge difference between playing drums and practicing drums

eventhough you are technically practicing ever time you play .....just sitting and playing it not like a concentrated practice session where you are hashing out something that is difficult for you over and over and over and over for hours

both are necessary and I think the OP is discussing the latter
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Don't be afraid to walk away and do something else. Frustration aside, what you are doing is supposed to be fun. When it gets to that point your mind is on the mistakes and not the bit you are practicing. One really bad thing is to practice incorrectly
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
It sounds like what you're doing is not over-practicing, but over-practicing wrong— practicing mistakes— which is really exhausting, and not satisfying. I'd be looking for ways of getting things right other than just playing them again and again; especially slowing them down to whatever absurdly slow speed you're able to do them perfectly, and/or reducing the number of repetitions. Get it perfect one time, slow, and build on that. I think then you'll move through your materials a little faster, and it will be easier find your way out of a practice session.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I think practice should be frustrating at times

if it is not then you are not working on things that are difficult for you and in turn are not really improving

if we are not working on strengthening our weaknesses then what are we doing ?

to me there is a huge difference between playing drums and practicing drums

eventhough you are technically practicing ever time you play .....just sitting and playing it not like a concentrated practice session where you are hashing out something that is difficult for you over and over and over and over for hours

both are necessary and I think the OP is discussing the latter
I put myself in awkward positions but I never work in such a way that things aren't fluent. For me personally I think there's a fine line between what I'm doing and failure. If I tried much harder than I already do, I feel that things would just be messy and crap, and I don't really like to compromise on timing/finesse at any time. It's the same when I go to the gym, I lift lighter weights than I'm able to but I focus on technique and targetting the muscle. I may not be reaching for the stars but I am improving and I'm having fun and comfortable in the process.

That said, I saw Virgil Donati the other week, and then the week after that it was Dave Weckl, and I realized I should probably start exerting myself a little more, take some more risks.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
That problem of "being unable to play something that I used to be able to play" or "it degenerates from where I started an hour ago" happens for me when I am starting to listen to it differently.

Thats where real growth starts...for me...

Once I get the way the 2 work together(how heard it and how I am hearing it) things get interesting.

I'm not so sure there is such a thing as over practicing...there is practicing until you are so fed up that you refuse to practice...that might be "over practicing"...
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's necessary to give our heads and bodies a rest sometimes. The window of peak performance is much shorter than a 8 hour practice day. Being rested will improve quality most times.

However, as long as you enjoy it there's nothing wrong with pushing both your body and psyche a little bit. That's the only way to improve, and if it's inspiring and a good outlet, why would you deny yourself that.

Practicing while inspired will result in the best music, but practicing more or less every day regardless will lift you to new heights over time.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Do you ever find that sometimes you'll practice something to the extent that you simply can't play it right when you should be able to?
Hell yes, more often than I wish for, it's more about consistency in playing what you should now, somehow saying that the given pattern or exercise hasn't been practiced enough to become second nature, I use this as a barometer, if it's not there and I thought it would be, it means that I've overlooked certain aspect of what I want to do at that particular moment.

Just as I write this, I played an exercise correctly that I've been struggling with and I've found it really hard to stop when I really want to keep playing, but I need to go get a haircut!
Just get you haircut done... and go back to the kit, the head nodding will be more aerodynamic and your playing will improve :)

I think practice should be frustrating at times

if it is not then you are not working on things that are difficult for you and in turn are not really improving
Frustration is a good thing, it gives the incentive to get over it and the key to any progress at the kit.
 

Wackamole

Member
I thrash my left leg soo hard it won't actually respond correctly for a few days afterwards... it gets super tired after like ten seconds and basically can't think for itself, so I get depressed, wonder if I'll ever get better, and hello, a few days later I'm 'magically' amazing compared to what I used to be. Drumming is an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions. Whoop whoop.
 
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