Need help getting back into practicing

July 1, 2018, 7:18 AM · I was at fiddle camp for a week where I played mainly Celtic music and didn't have time to practice afterwards, and I'm having trouble getting back into practicing. Before camp, I was practicing for 4-5 hours a day, but now I'm having trouble doing even 1-2. Could I have some suggestions for strategies to get back into the habit of practicing?

Replies (9)

July 1, 2018, 7:21 AM · After a week of something intensive, you can feel a little burned out. Give yourself a week to recover.
July 1, 2018, 7:25 AM · It’s all in the mentality I think. Just increase your motivation by setting up goals then rewards yourself when achieving that. If you get tired easily after just 1-2 hours, then increase your physical by endurance work, massages, sauna :)
Edited: July 1, 2018, 9:35 AM · Call that guy you met at the camp.
July 1, 2018, 11:14 AM · Tell you what. I'll practice an extra half hour for you today. If a few others will also, then at least the violin gods will get their due.
July 1, 2018, 12:10 PM · I have always found that having a goal is a great motivator.
Possible goals:
1. playing regularly with other people.
2. hoping to play a solo some time somewhere.
3. upcoming rehearsal or concert
4. wanting to learn to play a specific piece of music.

Add your own others!

Edited: July 4, 2018, 6:39 AM · To add to Andrew's list:

5. Wanting to come across like something other than a total waste of carbon at my next lesson.

Edited: July 4, 2018, 11:20 AM · I wrote a brief article on this in The Instrumentalist decades ago. Here's what to do:
1. Do a minimum daily practice as your "daily chore." Make it 3 minutes - no more. At the end of the 3 minutes, you've done your daily requirement - you've paid your dues. If you want to do more, that's fine. But more than 3 minutes is only because you WANT to, NOT because you have to
2. The 3 minutes is with 100% full attention and focus.
3. Play something basic - a specific technique, scale, phrase, bow exercise, whatever. And you can do something different each day if you want. And play it super slow and try to get it perfect.
4. You must do this "requirement" every day, without exception. After all, you can do 3 minutes even on your busiest and worst day.
Advantages?
- You play every day.
- You get used to concentrating with full attention.
- You get into the details.
- Since 3 minutes is not enough to complete anything, you will discover that within a few weeks you will be more motivated, more attentive. Less inner motivational battles to worry about.
- 3 minutes may seem like nothing, but if you can't do 3 minutes, how are you going to do an hour or more?
Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Sandy
July 4, 2018, 1:46 PM · Sandy, that's fantastic. I love it.
July 5, 2018, 10:36 AM · Begin again.

I know how you must feel.The difference is you were playing. Why feel bad about that? I threw a heck of a party last night ( July 4th holiday in the US). I'm sore all over from cooking for 20 people. The violin took a back seat for a few days.

I guess we simply start again pretending we never stopped.


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