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Thread: Practice Through Fatigue?

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Silence Kid's Avatar
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    Default Practice Through Fatigue?

    Or stop and rest?

    I've come to realize my hand-strength just isn't what it was when I used to have a guitar in my hand constantly; and I can wear myself out pretty quick when I practice more intense things. In other words- My playing after 5 minutes sounds a LOT different than my playing after 15 minutes.

    Should I just play for 15 minute spurts then? Or is that just something I need to work through? To specify - 'fatigue' doesn't so much equal pain, but a sort of generalized slow-ness that develops to my responses. I don't *think* it's anything I need to see a doctor about, and it doesn't really manifest anywhere in my life except for where I'm working on more complex guitar parts.
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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Through Fatigue?

    I do 15 minutes at a time, and take breaks. I keep a guitar out and ready to go at all times, and pick it up several times a day. I don't play in pain, but my attention span is more focused in 15 minutes than minute 45 in an extended practice session.
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  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Practice Through Fatigue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    Or stop and rest?

    I've come to realize my hand-strength just isn't what it was when I used to have a guitar in my hand constantly; and I can wear myself out pretty quick when I practice more intense things. In other words- My playing after 5 minutes sounds a LOT different than my playing after 15 minutes.

    Should I just play for 15 minute spurts then? Or is that just something I need to work through? To specify - 'fatigue' doesn't so much equal pain, but a sort of generalized slow-ness that develops to my responses. I don't *think* it's anything I need to see a doctor about, and it doesn't really manifest anywhere in my life except for where I'm working on more complex guitar parts.
    Little known trick:

    Switch to bass, run some exercise patterns all around the fretboard (good time to drill at alternate picking if that trips you up, too), and go watch an episode of TV so the mindless repetition doesn't zone you out


    Dunno if it's the gauge or the spacing or whatever, but unless your wrist is literally cramping up, bass and guitar don't "share" fatigue types. Your guitar speed and accuracy mightve slowed to a crawl, but if you switch to bass you'll be near-100%, and when you switch back your guitar readiness will be 90+% as well

    If you got a week of idleness at home to burn, you'll have fingernail-sized callouses and be able to alternate back and fortth for 24 hours straight if you wanted to by the end of it
    Last edited by Adieu; 10-24-2018 at 08:21 AM.
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  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Through Fatigue?

    I personally try to make the session gradually increase in intensity and then switch between kinds of exercises (scales, chords, improv etc) and that way I can avoid fatigue most of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adieu View Post
    Little known trick:

    Switch to bass, run some exercise patterns all around the fretboard (good time to drill at alternate picking if that trips you up, too), and go watch an episode of TV so the mindless repetition doesn't zone you out


    Dunno if it's the gauge or the spacing or whatever, but unless your wrist is literally cramping up, bass and guitar don't "share" fatigue types. Your guitar speed and accuracy mightve slowed to a crawl, but if you switch to bass you'll be near-100%, and when you switch back your guitar readiness will be 90+% as well

    If you got a week of idleness at home to burn, you'll have fingernail-sized callouses and be able to alternate back and fortth for 24 hours straight if you wanted to by the end of it
    This is great. Never thought of it. Iím trying this today.

  5. #5
    Junior Member timtheshredder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Through Fatigue?

    Fatigue is definitely a real thing. I guess it's kind of like any sport. The body can only handle so much before it starts to wear out. I typically do shorter sessions of high intensity. It's kind of like interval training for my hands. I've found that after I get worn out, there is no coming back. Maybe it's just me.

    I'll have to try this bass technique and see what happens. I wonder if it would work for other non-guitar instruments, like piano. I know you won't be using the same type of strength to press the keys down as you do on guitar, but it would give your hands a break while still moving your fingers. Just a thought.
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  6. #6
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Through Fatigue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    Or stop and rest?

    I've come to realize my hand-strength just isn't what it was when I used to have a guitar in my hand constantly; and I can wear myself out pretty quick when I practice more intense things. In other words- My playing after 5 minutes sounds a LOT different than my playing after 15 minutes.

    Should I just play for 15 minute spurts then? Or is that just something I need to work through? To specify - 'fatigue' doesn't so much equal pain, but a sort of generalized slow-ness that develops to my responses. I don't *think* it's anything I need to see a doctor about, and it doesn't really manifest anywhere in my life except for where I'm working on more complex guitar parts.
    Sounds more like a loss of ability to concentrate due to burn out. When I get burned out practicing stuff, the first thing to go is speed . . . which kinda makes the whole practice useless at that point.


    Schedule your sessions into smaller chunks. I think you'll get better results if you alternate between say five minutes of really intense stuff, and then ten minutes of fun and more relaxed riffing/song playing/slow stuff . . . and keep going back and forth like that. If you just try to do a half hour or an hour of really intense stuff you'll be wasting your time after the first 15 minutes and you'll improve more slowly.
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  7. #7
    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practice Through Fatigue?

    It shouldnít require strength to play for long duration on a stringed instrument. The stamina, attentiveness, drive and enthusiasm can be built up other ways without the instrument in your hands. Sometimes a gig requires you to play through. Ive found itís a valuable experience to learn how to have fun when itís not fun anymore. But other than that, take breaks and play when you want to and when your enthusiasm and energy will carry you. It will be more productive. Ever notice football players go to the sidelines after every big play?
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