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Frustrated when I don't have time to practice

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Gotta make this quick as I have places to go... :spit:

    I'm just getting pretty fed up. I have set about two hours worth of practice that I'd like to do every day but things just keep getting in the way from preventing me to accomplish this on a daily basis.

    I've tried everything. I haven't seen most of my friends in a year, and have ignored a good chunk of my family for the most part... I shouldn't be on TB for as long as I am some days though... I work mon-fri 9-5. I go to the gym every other day for an hour or two, and the only thing I try to do other than playing, jamming, or practicing is seeing my fiance. It just seems like one day it's this person's birthday, and the next this person's in town, and the next I have to help this person with this... It's just driving me crazy.

    I actually feel like I need some mental therapy, because if I don't have a chance to practice for just one day, and I know it, that entire day, I'm grumpy to everyone, frustrated as hell, filled with road rage when I drive, and I even get depressed.

    Is this normal?
  2. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    It's simple - if you want to practice, you make it a priority. I see that you have plenty of time to post on Talkbass. :D
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Unless you're a complete beginner or a full time pro, you don't need 2 hours of playing every day to improve or maintain a level.
    Maybe you should set your objective at 15 minutes a day, then push it further if it works. It's easily doable since your job doesn't seem to take that much time.
  4. mrjim123


    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    I can relate. Full time job, hour plus commute both ways every day, family life, and I also work out.

    I feel I need to at least practice long enough to maintain the strength in my plucking fingers. One thing that helps is that I have a Squier strung with heavier gauge strings than those that I gig with - I use it to practice on nights when I can't put in more than an hour.

    I'm 61 - can't wait to retire and practice 2-3 hours a day.
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    i practice one hour everyday, from 5 am to 6 am...I have a wife, three kids , 8 to 5 job, I also play golf twice a week and I go to the drive range everyday , I also have a lot of another activities: going fishing, take kids to the movies, taking wife to dinner, watching TV, drinking beer, making love, etc... playing bass is just another part of my life, it is not my life.
  6. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Same here. Due to my work schedual I only get to practice on the weekends. Drives me nuts because I know how much I want to improve upon my weak areas but don't have the time to do it. I'm not in a band due to working nights (fact is, I'm at work right now...a rare Saturday) and the only gig I have is once every three weeks at church. But still, music is the only thing that brings me any joy anymore so yeah.....it frustrates me as well. While I'm truly thankful that I am working I've missed out on a lot of things and a lot of "living" working 12 hours a night.

    I'm 59 and would LOVE to retire but doubt that's ever going to happen. I've been looking elsewhere but the pickings aren't looking very good.
  7. DblG


    Apr 27, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Wait till you have kids.
  8. LOL! I certainly spend a lot more time on here than I should. Most of the time it is while I'm at work, late at night, or when I'm at my girlfriend's place, but yes, there are certainly days when I come home from work and sit down and start reading TB.

    To be honest, I friggin' hate my job. I'm thankful I have it, but it carries a lot of stress, and I, for some ridiculous reason, take it very personally and it takes a lot out of me. A lot of nights I come home and am just wiped, and don't have the motivation to do anything but sit around, watch TV or TB, and eat snacks.

    I would love to shorten my sessions, but I have certain goals in mind. I want to be proficient at the fretless and I want to be good at jazz and improvising in general. this requires that I do:

    10 mins - ear training
    20 mins - intonation work (for fretless)
    20 mins - improvising to backing tracks
    10 mins - jazz based etudes for bass

    That is an hour, and then after I do that everyday then I work for atleast half hour to an hour on specialized things and switch it up everyday. These tasks vary from transcribing, working through a walking bassline book by Ed Fuqua, rhythm training, working through a fretless method book, arpeggio and scale exercises, technique exercises and then some sight reading. My goals may be a little high, but bass is one of the few things that makes me happy. I think about it when I wake up, when i go to sleep, as I work, and when I'm with my girl.

    It just irritates me with how pissed I get though when I feel like I get robbed of my practice time. i don't think the way I handle it is healthy at all, but I can't seem to calm myself down when I get like that.
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    How often do you play out with a band?
    Working on decyphering and understanding actual music is usually more time efficient than sole practice. It would likely help.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    There are only so many hours in a day. I would be really surprised if someone could get a consistent 2 hours a day while working a full time job, eating and sleeping. Music is a wonderful thing but don't sacrifice family and friends for the sake of a two hour practice. That's all very well if you're a music major in school or making a living on music but not for the rest of us.
  11. Truth. I have a newborn and I'm having trouble getting anything done.
  12. DblG


    Apr 27, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Yep. Mine are 10 & 12, so between activities and homework & working 50+ hours every week I'm lucky to practice 2x a month. So it gets worse! The very little practice gets depressing, but missing kids grow up would be more so.
  13. Regarding a band. I jam with other musicians, by reading chord charts, every couple of weeks, but I'm putting something together with a guitarist and a drummer, where we jam weekly to jazz tunes through chord charts with an emphasis on improvisation, walking, and soloing.

    I do think I put more time into than maybe I should, but honestly, when I'm with friends or (some) family, I feel like I'm wasting time. I'm actually pretyt aggravated because I am away from the bass.

    I have decided that I will go to sleep an hour earlier on days before work, and then wake up an hour earlier to focus on things I'd like to do nearly everyday. If I don't have free time that night, then at least I worked on something, and if I do, then great, I have many things I'd like to work on. Thanks Pedroims for that, and everyone else of course.
  14. Le Sigh........... :atoz:
  15. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    I know that feeling - when it's not "bass time" it's "wasted time" or at least it can seem that way after the fact.

    Don't let it spoil your other commitments. AFAIK we only get time. You can rebrand it but it's no different. Enjoy your music but don't let it belittle other interests. Certainly don't let your work get to you more than you can avoid. Relax - bass can help here, try having a 'free' session. A full 30 min - an hour of free stuff. with or without a backing track. Express yourself :).

    Morning sessions are an awesome Idea. I'll have to try that one myself!

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