Have you ever taken a break?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by BluesGuitarMart, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    Have you ever taken an extended break from playing guitar or music in general? I started playing when I was 13, I'm 37 now and have never really stopped, there was a time when I barely touched a guitar as I was playing 5 string banjo but I've never not played an instrument. I'm kind of bored of my own playing at the moment though and very uninspired musically so I'm thinking of taking a few months off.

    Have you ever done this? How did it affect your playing? Did it happen naturally due to life circumstances, or was it a conscious decision?
     
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  2. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I had a break of 6-8 years when the family was young and I was working all hours. From what I can remember I just picked up from where I left off. I had kept all of my gear so I didn't have to source new equipment.
     
  3. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    I never consciously have taken a break although I have gone through periods in the past where my “extra curricular” activities were more important to me and I would go a couple weeks to a month without playing
    I don’t think it hurt my skill level any although it was less practice
     
  4. schmintan

    schmintan Tele-Meister

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    wow, i literally just posted on this same topic. should have read the latest threads first!
    Ive been playing guitar in some form for 20+ years, since i was about 14.

    Regarding your thoughts of taking a break, my own view would be to start putting structure on your practice and playing, so you start seeing improvements.
    Start using a metronome and practicing runs, record teh metronome speed. a few weeks will show it creeping up, showing progress.
    Start learning songs fully. as the number of songs you can play end to end increases you feel real accomplishment.

    My own playing has improved drastically due to this.

    I had little patience for scales & hours of practice on a regular basis so i plateaued and never pushed through but got to a level where i was reasonably comfortable with blues & rock.

    Then around the age of 21 college happened, then a job, then a wife then kids so time for guitar diminished. I still played occasionally, but it was 15 mins here, 20 mins there on an acoustic, and not consistently.

    Ive had enough experience in life by now to know that little and often (consistency) is infinitely better than sporadic bursts, so thanks to help from my wife, ive been able to carve out 60-90 mins 4-6 times a week for practice.

    Ive also put a lot of structure on my practice, so in each session i dedicate time to dexterity and speed, then lead & improvisation improvement and finally learning new songs fully.
    The structure has really paid off and i feel im properly learning again for the first time in ages.
    Im hoping that i can keep it up but im also not putting too much pressure on it as life and family have to come first.

    End goal is to find a group to do a bit of jamming with, even if its just in a garage, make some noise and have fun. if i get to play for a crowd at some point, even better!
     
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  5. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    Yes. Basically, I tried to learn the guitar as a teenager, but I was rubbish and gave up. Tried again in my early thirties, made a little more progress, but basically rubbish and have up again. Trying a third time now, almost the same deal - making progress, but basically rubbish, but not yet given up again :)

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  6. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, I gave up for 11 years between 1997 and 2008. Mainly raising a family and working all the hours I could, got in the way. I also stopped painting too. But it all comes back to you, eventually.
     
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  7. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I started at 10 years old. Played in high school bands, in bars in college and after college decided to see if I could “make it”. After 3 years of knocking around I decided I simply had enough. Sold my band gear and bought a Martin. From ‘76 to ‘86 I played occasionally. Sometimes not for long periods of time. In the late ‘80s I hired a truck driver who played and worked part time at a local guitar shop. He slowly dragged me back. I started collecting. My kids grew up. I found a group of guys to play with. Fast forward to now and I am playing more than ever. Enjoying it more. Some of us need a break from it as reality gets in the way.
     
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  8. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Meister

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    Like others, when my son was young. I'd still pull down an acoustic once a week, if I was lucky, for 30 minutes or so. Now he's playing, too, so we're back at it!
     
  9. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I started learning at age 9, I’m now 69. There has been periods when I’d practice but not really play music. Sometimes you just can’t focus and you need to lay it down.
    Every time I have done this I have come back to it with more enthusiasm and energy. So do what you have to do.
     
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  10. Donny Osmond fan

    Donny Osmond fan Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep my tinnitus done that to me.
     
  11. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, for nearly 4 years.
    A couple approached me to form a band. I hadn’t played out for 2-3 years and I liked the idea. I busted my rump practicing, learning new tunes, arranging parts, and pretty much immersing myself in this project for 6 months. It finally dawned on me that the other two were not as much into it as I was and it really became just a drinking session for them.
    I had had enough and let them have it one night after a last shot at rehearsal. I went home, put my gear away and did not pick up a guitar for almost four years
     
  12. '64 Tele

    '64 Tele Tele-Holic

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    Took a break of 20 years before starting back in 2012.
    Interestingly, my ear seemed to have improved and I now play
    A lot of hybrid picking, switching between pick, pick and fingers,
    And palming the pick and using only fingers.
    I'd been playing for 20+ years before taking a break.
     
  13. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Didn't play much betwen ages 22 and 44. That seems a fairly common theme.
     
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  14. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Afflicted

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    I quit for a few years. Started up again after my son was born. I got a nylon string to play him to sleep. It seemed like it took a couple years to get back to where I was.
     
  15. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Tele-Holic

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    I took a break from owning a guitar when I was in the Navy. I brought my 12 string Epiphone with me to my first duty station and it was promptly stolen from under my bunk the barracks. When I asked the Master At Arms if I had any recourse he said "Son, if they'd wanted you to have a guitar, they'd have issued you one." Big help. I decided to forego guitar for the remainder of my enlistment.

    After I got out of the Navy and got a job, first thing I bought was my '76 Guild D25M, still playing it regularly.
     
  16. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    First couple years of being in service.
    But picked it up again at last duty station.
     
  17. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    I played acoustic guitar from 1976-2012.

    From 2012-2015 I played ukulele exclusively and then from 2015-mid 2018 mandolin exclusively.

    Then in July 2018 I got my Tele and play that 90% of the time and the acoustic instruments several times a month.
     
  18. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm in the middle of one right now. After 40+ years of playing including 20+ years of gigging and teaching for a living I moved and found myself without a band. After a couple failed attempts to join or start one, I decided I just didn't want to work that hard anymore. I'll eventually get back to playing for my own enjoyment. For now I'm having fun pursuing other interests.
     
  19. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

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    I started about age 9, I'm 51 now. I've never really given up but but did slow down during my kids fomatave years. Now, since there is more sand in the bottom of the hourglass than on top, it seems far more urgent than in the past.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  20. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I have had several six months to a year long...career related.
     
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