Taking a break

Greetings!

Taking a break for some days can’t affect my playing? And how much time should i take a break, days, a week… months? :sweat_smile:

Am saying these because i am a little bit exhausted with the lessons. I think i need a break!

I am at the last module of grade 2.

I suppose everyone is different, but I’ve taken a week to ten days off (because of travel) at times and if anything I thought I played better, because I was refreshed and enthusiastic to get back at it.

Even when not traveling, I make myself take a day off every week, or else I start to find playing to be drudgery. Six days a week works best for me.

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Ah you’ll be fine for a few days or a couple of weeks

Just be p[repaired to play catchup a little when you restart both on knowledge and hand dexterity/finger tips

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I’m in the first module of Grade 3 and I’m feeling like taking a break. I don’t know if it’s the holidays or what but I’m just not motivated.

I did just consolidate Grade 2 for a couple of months at least, which I think was also a bit of a break from lessons, but it’s not the same as the break I’m wanting to take now. I’m kinda wanting to not pick the the guitar until after the holidays.

I’m off work for the next two weeks so that might give me enough boredom that I go practice a few times.

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Thanks @artax_2 I think i need that break and you gave me a good idea. To not touch the guitar till the holidays will end. As break from the “school”. :sweat_smile: I think after that i will be more motivated.

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Listen to your head and if it tells you that you need a break, then take one. After about a year and a half of learning guitar I started to feel the same way and decided to take a break around the end of 2021 with intentions of getting back into it after the new year/holidays. But I kept making excuses and did not start up again until like 5 months later… pretty much because that’s when I discovered this community, which kind of motivated me to get back into it.
So if you do decide to take a break maybe try to come back earlier than I did, because otherwise you might notice that your callus-less fingertips might have to go through the rough initiation process again :slight_smile:

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Life makes me take short breaks fairly often. Longer ones rarely or never. Maybe a week at most.

When I am burned out in lessons, which I admit is often, I still play songs and fart around on the guitar (can’t really say I noodle, yet). Sometimes the lessons get in the way of the fun stuff, so spending some time having fun with your guitar is, well…fun.

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You can of course take a break if that helps you. But I find that when I am getting bored or stale with my standard practice routine, I will drop it for a while and start watching YouTube videos for some different inspirations. My standard go-to person is Paul Davids and I have just been trying some of his suggestions on this video. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with the guitar without all that pressure of lessons and progress.

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@Dro_1 @Jamolay @oztelemann

Thanks a lot! :pray:

I definitely need that break! Your suggestions were very helpful.

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I get mentally fatigued with work. Makes learning guitar stuff sound like work instead of fun. I think I have missed picking up a guitar maybe 5 days in the last 32-ish months, but I do take mental breaks even with that. I still get some kind of time in with the guitar, and time that doesn’t feel like I am ignoring it.

  • Some days I just plunk around. Often with an audiobook playing. I am just moving fingers, doing stretches, some physical thing that doesn’t need mental activity beyond listening to my book.
  • Some days I do more exploration of my effects processor than playing a real song. This usually means I play a set of riffs or chord sequences over and over as I fiddle with settings, still getting some time that is a little like practice.
  • I have had days where I am super busy, but get many 3-5 minute chances to pick up a guitar and play a short burst of something I need to work on, then set it down and get back to the priority stuff.
  • When I get feeling a lot like not playing, I will change strings to something unusual. this helps generate some interest in fiddling and usually get over the apathy before the interest in the new strings goes away.
  • When I am just barely feeling like avoiding practice, I will listen to the music I hope to play. That generally gives me the urge to pick up the guitar.

Mental breaks are usually pretty useful. I come out of them noticing I play better in some way. Could be remembering a song, or it could be fingering a chord sequence correctly now works cleanly. Take your break, but do something that feels interesting and related to playing that doesn’t feel like drudgery.

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I’m on Module 10 in Grade 2 and barely played in the last 2 weeks due to bad cough (hard to strum while hacking your lungs out!) and got back to it yesterday and today and I swear I’m playing better than 2 weeks ago! SO maybe it can be a good thing. At least for me it seems to be.

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For me it takes a while to come back from a break so I try to avoid it.

I often feel pressure from lessons. I want to achieve that next milestone. When it gets too much I just switch to something else. For example I recently spent an entire week doing nothing but learning new songs, I hadn’t ever really focused on learning songs. It was refreshing. I’ve also spent a break learning fingerstyle.

For me I need to pickup the guitar for at least 10 minutes everyday.

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Hey Koutsos

There’s not much I can add here to suggestions already given in the thread except to say that breaks are important. They can make you appreciate the time you have playing guitar.

Also, this WHOLE journey is meant to be FUN. If it isn’t fun then a break is callled for. . .

I am travelling for four days here in a bit and will miss picking up the guitar but the break will help me to come back at it with renewed energy. . .

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Take a break from lessons, not from guitar. Pick up your guitar every day. Even if just for 5 minutes.

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Hah. You have just summarised all the above advice in eight words! :+1:

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These apply for me too and my approach is not much different from Joshua’s or Michael’s.
The way I see learning to play the guitar is a bit more relaxed. I’m doing it for fun and because it helps my mind relax.
I don’t need to add an extra burden that “I have to learn the guitar therefore I need to practice 8 hours a day as if I’m preparing for exams”.
In fact I don’t give a sh*t about practising like I need to learn a lesson by heart.
I see the modules as a means to an end. I want to learn to play songs and the modules provide the building materials. So, I don’t see the lessons as lessons but as a path. Then, I have the flexibility to explore that path whichever way I want, practising a technique or a chord change because it’s used in a song I want to learn!
Of course there are days that I don’t feel like it but…

That…
I will just grab the guitar and explore some ideas (or playing the amp…) that sound like crap most of the time but once in a blue moon, I come up with a riff or a melody which I then want to explore further.

Often, a few days off are beneficial as the brain has time to process the new information.

Cavafy’s poem “Ithaca” applies here.
I’m sure you know it. Perhaps revise it during your break :wink:

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This.
I took a break from lessons years ago :open_mouth:
One of these days I’ll get back on the horse :rofl:

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I had a break from playing for most of the summer, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I have a bunch of other hobbies that are best done in summer and guitar slides down my list of priorities. Winter is here and I’m playing again. I was a bit rusty for a week or so, and my fingers have softened up but overall it’s not been bad and I’m enjoying playing which is my sole aim.
I find this sort of approach keeps things fresh for me. I don’t ride my motorbike in winter so it feels like it’s new all over again each spring and I can see this helping with my long-term enthusiasm for guitar. Sure I’d progress faster if I played 12 months of the year but I might also burn out

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