Like a lot of us here, I’m obsessed with playing my guitar … a lot. The whole “practice at least 15 minutes a day” isn’t really a thought.
Weekdays I would usually play at least an hour. Sometimes two. Weekends it’s more.
It’s stretching my wife’s tolerance pretty thin. “Why do you have to play 2 or 3 hours a day? Can’t it be less… I like that you’re playing guitar but it’s all the time. I want to have some peace time. And you play the same songs over, and over, and over…”. She has a point. I’m usually playing my acoustic these days and it’s basically whenever I can. The kids have started burst into song randomly with “in the summertime…” and “have you ever seen the rain…”.
Pretty sure I know where they learnt those songs.
I’m curious what setups (or strategies) you guys have put into place to keep your partner happy while still keeping the guitar obsession going?
I am playing a guitar constantly. There will be one in a stand or laying on a couch in whatever room I happen to be in. I neither get support nor encouragement to be honest. To be fair, I move through music quickly, never really playing the same thing for more than a week. Discover->stylize->play->record->move on.
Playing the same songs for hours, over and over, day in day out would destroy my will to live. Listening to that sort of routine is even worse. I can’t advise, happy wife = happy life.
We have quite a large house, I used to go in the dining room and she turned up the TV, I bought an acoustic that she likes and does encourage me. Fairly recently she commented on me being louder, so I moved to my office which is further away and a bit cramped. I know she can still hear me, because sometimes I walk in and she says that was really good. Last night I downloaded Justins app, and couldn’t do much more than one strum per bar, (I am not sure it is the best way for me to learn), when I walked in she said that was monotonous, she had no idea what I was doing.
Recently she has been on a kick of moving to a ranch style house (bungalow) in case we ever become infirm and can’t get up stairs. We went to look at one, and when asked my opinion I said it was dreadful and like she was putting me in a box to die. Basically there wasn’t enough separation possible, and I was the one who would lose workout space music space and place to store bikes. She wouldn’t be happy with me making noise and I wouldn’t be happy not making it.
This all sounds negative but she is very supportive of my guitar and I am trying to keep it that way.
+1 for happy wife =happy life or my usual response “yes dear”
My wife is amazingly tolerant of my music hobby (and the occasional expensive purchases that come with it). I don’t do anything special except try to keep her happy, in general. Make sure to spend time with her (have a regular “date night”), be supportive of her hobbies and interests, et cetera.
Im in the same boat as you JK. My wife hates it. Same with my kids but i have a fairly big house so i can play somewhere else. But im begining to stretch her patience pretty thin
So i dont play guitar much after they come home from work and school. I am lucky enough that i have an on/off job so i have a lot of time for myself On daytime. I do most of my playing from the morning until lunch.
If were too play as much as i do when they are home i would probably be divorced 12 months ago
Thought I should say that I have a pretty good relationship with my wife which is why I thought I’d check what others do… she’s mostly pretty supportive of my habits (guitar, computers & motorsport) but she does have her limits and I want to keep her happy.
We do have a large house but the living areas are mostly open plan which contributes to the problem. My first thought is using my electric more (unamped with headphones) and acoustic less. @aussieretiree good idea with playing with the interface and headset. Oh, but the acoustic sounds so sweet.
@Socio & @tRONd Seems like a common enough problem then, although not one everyone has. Limiting the practice schedule somehow.
@CT While I play a lot of stuff over and over, it’s not like I’m not learning new things. I’m constantly adding to my repertoire with new songs. I’m just kind of obsessive in my practice. e.g. learning a new fingerpicking pattern on a Pearl Jam song I’ll practice over and over until I get it right and then up to tempo, or I’ll play a song with a complex strumming pattern every day until I can do it on autopilot and sing at the same time.
Of course! Most of her comments are probably in good fun – although many a truth is spoken in jest.
My wife has no idea what the heck I’ve been working on all week, and we’ve been in the same room for the most part! She can tune it all out and focus on her stuff. This is with my acoustic of course, and my thumby strumming and super weak, croaky voice. LOL
How I handle things is I try to find time around my Mrs and our time together. So whenever I can I just grab a guitar while she is doing something else, and we do lots of stuff together so I am probably mostly spending up to an hour a day with rare occasions of stretching it to 2 hrs.
I tend to play a few songs over and over again until I feel my technique improved. I would hate to jump from one song to another too often without self approving myself and being okay with how I played it and I am quite demanding towards myself, always have been. My usual cut off is when I record a song and am happy with it, that means I manage to play it pretty well and it’s time to move on accomplished in my guts.
As to Mrs, as long as I play a song she doesn’t hate it’s all fine so I do need to listen to her sometimes and am not learning songs she isn’t especially fond of
That’s a bummer mate. I’m lucky I suppose in that my wife and adult kids quite enjoy me playing mostly, and are very supportive, so its pretty cruisy here. I am mindful of practice times on the acoustic though, and schedule them accordingly.
On the electric, I usually practice with headphones, and have just recently bought a NUX AmpPlug, which is going to be real handy for adhoc sessions.
One important point though. Get your household jobs done, and be mindful of whats going on around the house. Like many, I know what its like to disappear into the guitar universe, and all of sudden, 3hrs have passed.
I also check in with family regularly re my guitar playing and household dynamics. . Happy wife, happy guitar life.
Well, how I approach it…I’m the man in the house, the boss, the one who determines everything…
And when I’m awake, everything goes really smoothly here… .
Luckily she loves that I play guitar, although I don`t practice something that doesn’t sound a little good (for example licks or other repetitive things) on the weekends and early evening when she is sitting in the room,I regularly ask if she’s not tired of playing,never she says yes… sometimes she throws in a request… but if I would practice some typical(?) jazz then I think I’ll be outside driving in no time