Improving by not playing

If you are going to go down this track , another option rather than stopping playing completely, is to have three weeks of structured practice where the aim is to develop and improve and on the off week just play for pure fun of it with no expectations.


This happens to me as well but if I take say a MONTH off then I start to go downhill.

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I try to practice every day, and I mean every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Sometimes, if I get stuck or frustrated, I allow myself to take a day or two off and I feel refreshed after that, things that didn’t work often work better after a little break. If I don’t play for a week or longer during holidays, I feel that it doesn’t benefit me and I need one or two practice sessions to keep up (not to talk about my callouses, which tend to soften up very quickly).
What I’m doing, especially during my current consolidation is to rotate practice items steadily will say I conciously pause between practice items or songs. I then feel things sinking in better than they would, if I practice the same thing on and on and on. I agree, that our brain seems to need those pauses to sort things out.

It’s about change, something we underestimate!
At times we get stuck in the same routine and start to stagnate; this is the time to have a few days off and come back more analytical about what we were doing and what we need to do. So yes sometimes it leads to improvement if we take a few days off🤙🏻

Ugh, the painters come this week to paint the whole house. My one guitar here is now cased up in the basement.

Another limited week of practice….

I am counting on getting better by not practicing at this point! Wish me luck!

I would think the biggest concern in longer breaks, especially for the “not yet completely committed” beginner, would be that a little time off leads to more time off and next thing you know, you are no longer playing guitar for 20 years.

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I’ll make an analogy to my playing racquetball. With age I am taking more time off to recover from injuries. When I get back on the court after an absence I find my game hasn’t declined but in some cases improves (my gage is beating my competition).

I find after an absence I’m much more focused and play smarter instead of just going through the motions. Could be the same after a guitar break.

Finger dexterity and callouses are another issue:).

More than once I’ve had to take a week off due to travel, and didn’t see any difference in my fingertip calluses.

For me, it’s a bit of a mixed result.

Any speed-building exercises usually suffer from a week off, but new skill-building drills often improve a bit.

I notice a slight reduction in my callouses after a week, but nothing to cause pain or prevent me from practicing for my normal time.

Yeah, it’s how habits break. Make it a daily habit and getting better is automatic.

Does anyone take a week off brushing their teeth, I wonder?

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I have totally experienced this. Not really with guitar but painting. I took about 3 years off a while back and when I went back to it I seemed to have consolidated all my previous learning and had a fluidity I had never experienced before. I think time off helps the brain to process

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