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Feb 9, 2024 - 3:54:37 PM
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11476 posts since 3/19/2009

Seems so.. I've hardly touched my fiddle, literally, in over 5 weeks.. I went busking a few times lately and found that I seem able to put much more feeling, good sounds, drones, chords etc...into the music .. Maybe the break did me some good? Comments?? Has this ever happened to you?

Feb 9, 2024 - 4:17:33 PM
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3371 posts since 10/22/2007

Sometimes I feel that way too, Lee.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
That being said, it doesn't mean I can't be fooled.
Recording myself has always been a, a, ah, morale crusher. (Not the recording, but the listening back) To the point where I really quit doing it. But it's always in my mind. . . . The "great judge" always awaits.

Feb 9, 2024 - 4:26:35 PM
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3643 posts since 9/13/2009

My wife certainly thought it got better when I played less laugh

Feb 9, 2024 - 5:10:51 PM
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11476 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler

My wife certainly thought it got better when I played less laugh


You wife must know my wife!!  My wife only hears me PRACTICE  at home.. Once, she came upon me and a few others playing at a restaurant.  She later said, "I never knew you could play so well"....  

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 02/09/2024 17:12:10

Feb 9, 2024 - 6:49:40 PM
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40 posts since 9/20/2007

You wife must know my wife!! My wife only hears me PRACTICE at home.. Once, she came upon me and a few others playing at a restaurant. She later said, "I never knew you could play so well"..

EXACTLY! I was asked to play solo for an hour at a museum. My wife was totally shocked I could play whole tunes up to speed! All she ever hears is me working on the rough spots.

I do find when learning tunes, it’s sometimes best to leave and come back tomorrow.
It’s always easier on subsequent days.

Feb 10, 2024 - 4:54:45 AM
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361 posts since 6/21/2007

I’ve never skipped playing for that long. But I have noticed that if I put the fiddle aside for a few days and concentrate on the banjo, when I next pick up the fiddle a lot of rough patches seem to have smoothed themselves out.

Feb 10, 2024 - 6:47:31 AM
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Fiddler

USA

4400 posts since 6/22/2007

Sometimes a break is a good thing. It allows your brain to create those connections that are needed to connect the nerves that control those small, fine muscles. You see this technique with skills training. You spend hours and hours practicing a certain procedure and it doesn't seem natural. Then, after a period of rest and you come back to the procedure, it is almost natural.

I do the same thing when learning a new tune or working on a technique. I'll spend some focused time trying to get it. Before frustration sets in, I will walk away and do something totally different. It may be for a few minutes or a few days. This allows those new synapses to form. When I come back to the tune or technique, it comes almost naturally. It is not perfect, but I am closer than I was when I started.

Feb 10, 2024 - 6:56:13 AM
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1512 posts since 3/1/2020

I think that once your musicality becomes engrained from regular practice and performance, it becomes easier to pick the instrument back up after a pause. When you’re learning, the progress is not always linear, and it doesn’t all happen while the violin is under your chin. So if you take a small break, it’s likely that you are still subconsciously processing information that you’ve gathered from recent playing even if you’re doing something else.

When you stop playing for a while you do lose some accuracy and dexterity, as these are the mechanical aspects of playing that require the most constant maintenance. However, other aspects remain longer and don’t degrade as quickly.

If you’re playing heavily enough that you’re getting physically worn out, an occasional break can be beneficial to give your body time to recharge. Players who put in rehearsal time of four or more hours daily will often give themselves a little respite after performances.

Feb 10, 2024 - 8:14:29 AM
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6546 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Seems so.. I've hardly touched my fiddle, literally, in over 5 weeks.. I went busking a few times lately and found that I seem able to put much more feeling, good sounds, drones, chords etc...into the music .. Maybe the break did me some good? Comments?? Has this ever happened to you?


Not really sure how true it is, but it sure seems that way at times - in my experience.

 

...or perhaps it's just the fiddles way of saying "Please don't leave me again, I promise I'll sound good."

Edited by - tonyelder on 02/10/2024 08:18:15

Feb 11, 2024 - 9:55:35 PM
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2522 posts since 8/23/2008

I think this happens because; when you haven't practiced for a while you subconsciously allow yourself to make mistakes, or you expect to not play so well. Therefor you relax and that is the ultimate condition for good playing...

Feb 12, 2024 - 6:07:58 AM
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Earworm

USA

543 posts since 1/30/2018
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Short answer: yes.

Feb 12, 2024 - 8:09:39 AM
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1199 posts since 7/30/2021

I agree with the relaxation, and I also think that sometimes our "ears" just get tired of hearing something...and when you come back, you hear it like a fresh tune and you play it better... I think it's good to take a break once in a while!

Feb 12, 2024 - 8:24:32 AM

Erockin

USA

937 posts since 9/3/2022

I am enjoying the little breaks that I take. I'm more aware. Plus I miss it. It's a great topic.

Feb 12, 2024 - 3:50:29 PM
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3643 posts since 9/13/2009

Some of this might relate to the various ideas and benefits of taking Sabbatical; to return with fresh or changed perspective.

How every time pick up fiddle is same old routine, just continuing what did before, even if seems new, it's with same process, perspective, goals; might be getting into going thru motions, auto pilot; comfort zone. Perhaps (even if unaware)  a bit or rut; fatigue; perhaps a form of burnout; (or even slight muscle issues, inefficient or RSI); but never stop to notice these things, just keep on doing same old. Amount of time may vary, but enough time/distance to break out of that.

When return, won't just pick up where left off. Especially the physical aspects, being a bit rusty, might not recall how did something; can't rely on routine, rote, just muscle memory... can't just pick up where left off; involves having to go back some steps to relearn or think about some aspects; but from different vantage point, taking a fresh approach. Some might be in what buckhenry mentioned, relaxed not expecting to; maybe less obsessed with some technique detail thought was important, , critiquing in different way, listening in zoomed out way to overall.

They mention different types of sabbaticals, some don't require stopping and doing nothing. That is, it wouldn't have to be stop playing entirely, but rather change of scene, playing a much different instrument, or different style of music, different people; something requires you to take different approach to playing music/instrument... doesn't have to be serious long term pursuit, just dabbling, exploring, for fun.

Even if nothing else much changes, as pick up after long absence, (esp if felt like rut) is also the renewed passion and energy, focused more on basic core reasons you enjoyed about previous, how you missed just doing that. Kind of related to other post about lighting a new fire, sometimes just need spark, to reignite it. The relationship thing, reminder and return to why you fell in love in the first place. To the OP, maybe it's just that renewed passion makes you play better.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 02/12/2024 15:57:55

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