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How much do you practice?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lo-end, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    How much do you practice every day?

    I practice about 3-4 hours every day, usually just playing some scales to warm up, then figuring out songs off of CDs, then just playing whatever I can remember just for fun.

    I used to practice for hours every saturday with my band but my drummer is at the beach all summer (stoner beach boy) so we don't practice as much now.
  2. The answer that should be given by every single person on this board is, "NOT ENOUGH."
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    That's true, but then there's also real life to contend with. Back in school, I was able to practice between 3 and 4 hours a day (piano) 7 days a week, but at this point life gets in the way. These days I try to PLAY THE BASS 20 hours a week, which usually includes 10-12 hours of gigs with the rest made up of practice. When the **** really starts to hit the fan schedule-wise, I'll settle for 15 hours total.

    I learned back in school that the "never enough" mentality tended to make me "never happy", so now I try never to slip back into it. (I'm not trying to start an argument and I know what you mean, but I'm just relating my own experiences :) ) YMMV.

  4. Oh, I know there are real-world concerns--some weeks at school, I'm lucky to get a half hour in a day.

    Sometimes, though, I really get angry at myself for putzing around so much and not playing 5 hours a day when I get back from work. I should be a lot better than I am.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Preach it, man. I find myself in the same boat. Even when I get paid to practice, I still waste far more time than I should....
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I hear you guys...I just prefer to say that I'd LIKE to be a lot better than I am. That "should" thing is dangerous for an old ex-Catholic like myself. (Not trying to offend anyone with that last remark!)
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    A wise woman once told me that the only product of the word "should" is guilt.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't practice nearly enough. In fact, I haven't practiced in 3 days. I'll make up for it, but I'll still probably only average a usual 10 hours a week.

    Weak. Very very very weak.
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week. (This isn't learning cover songs, unless I'm practicing my sight reading, or learning a solo piece)

    Like everyone here, I know I could be playing a lot better than I am. I found myself playing the same stuff over and over again, the same runs, the same scales, the same riffs. Since the gigging aspect of my playing is on hiatus right now, I thought I might as well use the extra time to go back into the shed. (But I'm not coming out once I start gigging again) I feel as though my playing is starting to get back on track and it's starting to sound fresh to me again. I haven't really been in any musical situations yet, they would allow me to use my new chops (I was involved in a recording project, but the style of music was very limiting to me as a bassist so I didn't get to stretch out) so I can't wait to get back into one that does allow me.
  10. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I shoot for an hour a day. Usually I make it, but sometimes I can only do 1/2 hour. The important thing to me is that I try to practice EVERY day, not skip practice for 3 days, then practice for 4 hours on the fourth.

    I wish I had the free time that you guys had, because I would love to play for 3 hours a day on a regular basis. Once school starts up again, I won't be able to practice at all on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Tuesday will be tricky (probably have classwork from Mon due on Wed) unless I give up sleep. :)
  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yes, give up sleep. Your bass abilities will last a life time, but if you go to sleep, you're just going to wind up feeling drowsy again 16 hours later anyways. ;) :D ;)
  12. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    not enough!!!
  13. Probably anywhere from 1 to 5 hours a day, and I still suck. :( :D
  14. Nancy-Boy


    Sep 16, 2001
    Well i dont practise as in scales and stuff, i know i shud but i like workin on songs and makin up my own riffs.and if i hear a new song out come sparkle and i put my lil thing to it.wen i come across sometihng i cant do..i sits down and learn it.leanrt how to do Artificial Harmonics on Birdland so0 they almost sound on the record..just need a fretless now..lol..but today i play for about 6hours solid..i get so0o emursed in the music i go into my own world..on average i dunno..lots..my parents say to0o much..but ya know been playin 2years just past grade 8 rock school with distinction :D so0o must be doin something right hehe..
  15. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Not much (maybe 2-3 hours a day when I do practice), but I don't deteriorate in my skills or ability for like 2 to 3 weeks. After that, I need to be playing to maintain muscle strength in my hands and arms.

    4 hour practice sessions with this band I play at on every other Sunday is decent practice for me, anyways. And I might start doing a 2 a week thing with another 2 guitarists and a drummer.
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I disagree! (someone had too!!) :)

    I usually play about an hour or two a day to myself (so about 15 hours a week), but I have at least one 3 hour band rehersal per week and more often than not there'll be at least one day in the week where I'll end up playing for a good 4 or 5 hours thoughout the day.

    I'd say on average I play around 20 hours per week. Some weeks more, some less.

    That said I feel as though I should practice more. I defintely don't feel guilty, I just really want to improve, but never seem to find enough time!

    The thing I work full-time, I have a girlfriend and friends who come round frequently, my parents also live near by, so I have a lot of other stuff that eats up my time other than music.

    I do think 'one' has to maintain a healthy balance. Sometimes I'll have three different band rehersals in a row, each after a full days work and I'll not want to play for a day or two. Sometimes the weather is real nice and I'll just spend the day out with the Mrs and/or friends (us UK dwellers have to strike when the irons hot on that one!).

    I think if you pressure yourself into playing too much you can crush the enjoyment out of it.

    I also think you only have so much music in you before you crumble and I think over playing can be a bad idea.
    An athelete wouldnt train all day every day, he/she would rest to regain strength adn get back on form etc. I think it's the same with music.

    You also have to live and enjoy your life to be inspired. I play best when I'm happy and music isn't the only source of my happiness.
  17. To me it's not as much an issue of how much time I spend practicing but what I do with that time. If I take the time and go over songs I already know, play riffs that I've played a hundred times before... rehash what's been rehashed before, than I don't get a whole lot out of the time invested. On the other hand, if I take the time to learn and transcribed a new song by ear, sight read, work up a transcribed song (not tabbed;))... figure out what I'm weak at and work on it, than I get a lot more out of the time invested.

    With that said I try to get in at least an hour a day on my own. I'll also typically rehearse with my band once or twice a week and we average at least one gig a week... 10-15 hours a week, total.
  18. Again, not enough.
    Although, practicing shouldn't be a chore, so when I don't feel like practicing, I won't!
    And when I do, and if I want, I could play for 5 hours straight.
    It's purely a "what-you-wanna-do-now" thing.
    And it's hell when you double on upright and electric basses.
    But, in my humble opinion, if you ever feel obligated to practice, you've been practicing too much.
    Sean -aroo
  19. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Usually an hour (at least) during weekdays. Sometimes more on the weekends. Depends on what is going on with the wife and kid.....you know how that goes. I usually just do some scales to warm up then jam with CDs.....:D

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