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Practice time

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by wishforbass, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. wishforbass


    Jun 23, 2016
    Actually sometimes I practice only 30 min per day but sometimes I play 2 hours non stop .my question is that is it ok to practice without rest for two hours?
    Or I should have more rest ?
    What is the best safe ideal between rest and practice ?
    gregunit likes this.
  2. Do you hurt the next day? Are you showing signs of repetitive motion damage. If not, keep going.


    If you are building muscle memory, don't do the same thing for more than 15 -30 minutes at a time. It doesn't do any good. Your brain needs time to rewire, so allow a couple hours minimum between selected pieces. Play something different.

    I did play one piano piece for 10 hrs in the practice room getting ready for a recital in Dec., but I was working on accents and evenness in addition to speed. Attention @5 String Bass: Metronome Alert.
    saabfender, LBS-bass and wishforbass like this.
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    IF, you go by ear alone, I give what’s essential 1-2 hours & then work it again later that day or within a few days to remember & refine it. If it’s new material, it takes time to just learn the particular song and/or arrangement you’re doing. Doing this under constant deadlines is the best way to really develop a system to learn & retain music.

    Leave yourself time for what I call “recreational playing”. That’s learning songs you’ll probably never play live, running through favorites, and pursuing genres outside your wheelhouse. Ear training, different techniques, tones and styles come at you and one can, after a while of practicing this way, hear the music coming.

    If you’re a great reader of notation & charts, well, you’re in a whole ‘nother League.
    wishforbass likes this.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    As long as you aren't in pain, you aren't playing too long. I know some serious jazz and classical musicians who practice 8 hours a day and more.
    saabfender and wishforbass like this.
  5. danesdad


    Feb 24, 2018
    Western PA
    Play as long as you are enjoying yourself and not in some sort of pain.
    wishforbass likes this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you gig, you likely are playing for over an hour without taking a break
    wishforbass likes this.
  7. TreySonagras


    Aug 11, 2013
    Do you play gigs that last 2 hours? Sometimes we need to work on endurance.
    wishforbass likes this.
  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    One’s physical health is important. Being strong helps with not only endurance but having the energy to keep your memory working. Getting adequate rest before extended playing times can aid in getting through rigorous playing demands. Being well rested helps your overall performance, whether you’re behind a bandstand or a rockin’ onstage clown. Having energy for that plus, your creative/ reactionary side is key. Know yourself physically and you’ll set yourself up for better onstage success and enjoy the work much more.

    If you’re not prepared, mentally & physically, it’s hard to have fun. Don’t hope for those ‘moments’. Prep properly and put yourself in a position to create them.

    You really have to love music (and the business) in all its respects. Know that it rarely loves you back.
    wishforbass likes this.
  9. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    I agree with the others that you can practice for as long as you are physically able to do without injuring yourself. I typically practice 2-3 hours at a time and might do a couple sessions a day, maybe one of those will be shorter. But in order for me to run through everything I have to learn, it takes as long as it takes, and if I want to run through things more than once, well, that takes twice as long :)
    wishforbass likes this.
  10. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Like like everyone has said, if it hurts, stop. Play less.

    I’ll add that you probably aren’t practicing intensely for two hours straight. Who has that kind of energy and focus? I’ll tell you who: young people in music school playing classical violin or piano. Those pieces are a heap of notes to learn and fairly long.

    That’s not the kind of playing you’re doing. You’re playing rock songs and hopefully working on technique in pursuit of that end. Playing two hours at stretch is cool. But if you distill it down, I’ll bet the aggregate concentrated effort, what could be considered “practicing” is closer to 30-45 minutes.
    wishforbass likes this.
  11. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    Does your practice routine have a planned sequence or are you drilling one thing for one or two hours? IOW do you do something like: 1. warmup, 2. scales, arpeggios & etudes, 3. songs, 4. review your earlier etudes, 5. reward yourself by careening through something you know well and really enjoy? You can repeat yourself into skill but, if overdone, into injury. No matter how you go about it, pay attention to your body and take a break before the first sign of fatigue. This is music, not athletics.

    I’ll practice an hour-and-a-half in one sitting but if I’m going to go longer than that I’ll take five at the one hour point (& two, & three) to get up and move around. At least every twenty minutes I’ll look out the window for a few seconds to give my eyes a break. (Close focus works the eye muscles hard, distant focus relaxes those muscles. A few seconds now and then prevents eyestrain and headaches.)
    wishforbass likes this.
  12. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I have had days where I shed for 3-4 hours then played a 3 hour gig followed by a 4 hour gig (with 2, 1 song breaks where the keys player plays bass).

    If it hurts, stop. If you don't have that option, find ways to vary your technique so you do not hurt yourself with repetitive motion. Otherwise if it's all in the shed take some breaks but keep at it as long as possible.
    wishforbass likes this.
  13. gregunit


    Feb 23, 2006
    South Carolina
    We gig for 2-3 hours. I think the post about not hurting yourself is good advice. Some a tougher than others. Find and know your limits and enjoy.

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