Forcing self to take a break?

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I've been on a real practice kick lately, like 4-6 hours a day kind of stuff. I've made some incredible progress but am just wiped today.

For those long-time serious players, do you purposely include days off in an intense routine?

I'll assume the answer is yes, but do you have a method to your madness? is it just when you're wiped out or is it more planned, (like a weight lifting routine with rest days)?

Does anyone have any articles or research that looks into scheduled time off from an intense music practice regimen?

Thanks!
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Jeff, I'd like to think that I'm a model of 'taking a break from practice'. So far? About six years. My advice is to talk to your local pizza delivery company on a regular basis using the telephone and with a means of remote transaction, e.g. a credit card. Do that repeatedly instead. That way you will find true happiness in obesity.

Hope you're well mate, I just couldn't help it.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I used to subscribe to the “scheduled practice” routine, but found that I didn’t get much done if I didn’t want to do anything. So I tend to practice when I want to. I can’t work on stuff if I’m not happy to do it.
I feel that as well. I'm thinking I'm fine if I just take a break when I feel like it. It's not as if I live my life practicing so much. There have been years where I didn't pick up the sticks between gigs.

I'm just on a good roll right now. My focal dystonia therapy has gone amazingly well and I am enjoying having my hands back. 7 YEARS of not being able to play even double strokes with left hand matched grip is finally over.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Would love to have that kind of time!

After 4-6 hours per day, you should be completely exhausted, mentally and physically, after 6 days! Take a day, and maybe work on more "mindless" things like warm-ups, speed, favorite licks, etc., if you really need to be playing.

And you should ask yourself: how much progress are you really making after 3 hours? What is so difficult that 4-6 hours is necessary, for an already accomplished player such as yourself? Maybe see if you can streamline your process, if possible.
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
I'm coming off a year holiday (physical reasons). Taking time off can be refreshing. I tend to get burned out and numb playing with the same groups and music over time.
I'm just glad to be back on the kit enjoying this life passion.
 

Channing

Member
I rarely take a day off from practicing, but I also don't practice for 6 hours a day. It's usually one or two hours, with the occasional 3-5 hour day. The only times I'll take a day off is if I have to because I'm on vacation, or if I played a show the night before and just feel like I need a break. Even then I like to practice every day if possible. I think it's the OCD. I'm subconsciously afraid that if I take one day off, I may never play again.
I do think taking a day off can be beneficial though. At times when I've had to take a day or a couple days off because of a vacation or something, I find that when I come back, I feel way more creative somehow.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
my work schedule gives me the perfect amount of break time, and also variety. I am a band director/percussion instructor, so I get reps on all different kinds of percussion all week. Weekends are when I do my marathon chopping out, which I actually look forward to since it is purely about what I want to work on. And Sunday's are my personal band practice day. My surf punk band (drums) from 10-noon, my swing/cowpunk band (drums) from 1-3, and my thrash metal band (bass) from 4-7, so there is variety there too, and lots oof listening and driving time time in between

Also, many weekends, I won't play at all, and do some of my other hobbies. It is funny that I can "feel" when it is not going to be a good thing to get a marathon session in. In the fall, I rarely play my set other than the Sunday bands, cause of the marching band schedule being super hectic...
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I rarely take a day off from practicing, but I also don't practice for 6 hours a day. It's usually one or two hours, with the occasional 3-5 hour day. The only times I'll take a day off is if I have to because I'm on vacation, or if I played a show the night before and just feel like I need a break. Even then I like to practice every day if possible. I think it's the OCD. I'm subconsciously afraid that if I take one day off, I may never play again.
I do think taking a day off can be beneficial though. At times when I've had to take a day or a couple days off because of a vacation or something, I find that when I come back, I feel way more creative somehow.
yeah..the constant playing definitely satiates my OCD and Type A personality issues. I always have a pair of sticks in my hand, and if nothing else, am doing 8's, or other drum corps type warm ups n my knees or practice pad. Played while watching the whole College Football Champ game last night...
 
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