Author Topic: No Time  (Read 1469 times)

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Offline DanniTSI3

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No Time
« on: September 06, 2019, 09:53:30 am »
Any tips for time poor periods in life?

Im a struggling at the moment with a demanding job with long hours, two kids 5 and under and all that goes with that. Most nights I get to guitar about 8pm after the kids go to bed but they constantly wake up and interrupt and I'm lucky if I get 30mins uninterrupted and by then I'm trying to be quiet, or am over it.

My playing is diminishing and going downhill which is making me feel depressed because there's not enough time to get big gains. Weekends are filled with looking after the kids.

I feel like you need 1-2 hours a day to really get anywhere.

I master a song and move on to something new, then a few weeks later  the old song is sounding crap again.

Tonight I'm just going to play easy stuff, because I'm feeling demoralised.

I'm level 5-6.

What can I do? Just plug away and be kind to myself?

I had hoped to enter this month's comp, but I've got no new material I'm feeling confident enough with.

More of just an off load. Thanks for reading.



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Offline DavidP

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Re: No Time
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2019, 10:09:47 am »
Danni,

Tough indeed with so many demands on your time.

Certainly be kind to yourself, and try and make the time with the guitar as much fun as possible.

I know what works for me but maybe I am a bit weird ... OK, colleagues say I am more than a bit weird.  I am not driven to achieve any particular goal, be it short, medium or long term, by any set date.  What keeps me going is just persisting and slowly getting better.

I think 30 minutes is plenty of time, especially if that is daily.  Justin advocates focussing on something for 5 minutes at a time.  But be focussed.  At stage 5 & 6 the focus could be on shuffle strumming and that F chord.  And once both are kind of there then I'd pick a song for each and spend time just working on the songs.  Maybe play a couple of other songs from your repertoire and you'll maintain your level and in due course have the new things down.  Then record a low-fi video of the song and pick the next thing.

Another idea ...

If noise is a problem, them maybe it is a good time to start on the basic finger-picking lessons in stage 7 & 8.  Took me months and months to get it down, it is quiet, and 5-10 minutes of regular practice should see you moving forward.

But if you are hoping to finish BC by a given date, well that may not be realistic.  But so what, it is for fun, right.  You were doing great, and doesn't matter if you just continue to polish the abiltities you have rather than pushing forward and learning more and more quickly.

Just enjoy the instrument, I'd say at the level you're at ...

Hope reading this long wall of text is helpful ...

Offline DanniTSI3

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Re: No Time
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2019, 11:08:38 am »
Thanks David. I'm feeling very frustrated at the moment.

It's more like every 2nd day at the moment.

It's finally spring here after a long winter and I always feel slugglish this time of year - run down.

I wonder too as things get more complex with guitar it obviously takes longer to get the skill, whereas in the early days learning a few chords and easy songs seemed very uncomplicated.

I'm trying to get the intro for Going Down Slow, and I'm so slow, it feels like I'm never going to get it fluently.

I'm thinking of starting the fingerstyle - it's something I'm really keen on.

I did have a goal to finish beginners this year but it's been a tough one with starting a new job and other personal losses which have impacted. I'm not too worried about missing that goal, because there are very good reasons why.

Thanks again David

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Offline DavidP

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Re: No Time
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2019, 11:41:23 am »
Always a pleasure, Danni.

Don't know the intro you are speaking about, but I think there is a fine line between stretching oneself with a challenge and attempting something that is just a little too difficult.  The latter could lead to frustration.  Personally I probably tend to err on keeping the stretch really small e.g. I'd have never even consider trying We Are Going To Be Friends until Maggie gave me a nudge.

Just keep at it and for me, when times were tough, my guitar, even just playing simple songs, was a place of solace, respite.

And just keep at it.  Hold onto how much you have learned so far, which shows you can learn with practice.

Keep strumming & picking, rocking and rolling  8)

Offline DanniTSI3

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Re: No Time
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 12:05:08 pm »
Thanks David!

It's already 830pm and the kids have only just stopped crying and are on their way to sleep!

So as an example I'm so tired now after work and kids I just want to curl up and sleep!

Thanks again for responding. Just ordered a new lapel microphone with a condenser as my $3 china import (unsurprisingly) gave up the ghost hopefully it will be here early next week so it might get me on the comp bandwagon in the nick of time

Xox

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Offline redrhodie

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Re: No Time
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 01:20:28 pm »
Awww Danni. Hugs to you. It sounds very frustrating. I really believe this is temporary, due to the young age of your children. Luckily your guitar will be there whenever you have time. I don't think you should pressure yourself with deadlines. Just do what you can. Fingerstyle might be a great thing to learn. It might be soothing to play to them as they're falling asleep. But maybe that's a fantasy I believe from movies.

In any case, you're doing great, both on guitar and as a mom. I have thought that when seeing your daughter in your videos, how sweet and calm you are. It will all be worth it someday.

Lynn

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Offline CT

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Re: No Time
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 03:43:01 pm »
Such great advice and empathy from @DP & @redrhodie. Great input as always when kindness is called for.

I will jump to a sports analogy, but I think it can help here. You have to do mental reps (repetition) when you can't do actual reps. Record that 30 minutes of playing and play it back/analyze it on your commute, doing house work or whatever. Likewise record some lessons and "drill" them mentally. Fight against the "out of sight out of mind" syndrome. Get a looper pedal. Keep your head in the game.

Taking a deeper dive, your family may be jealous of your commitment to guitar. Talk to them and include them as best as you can. You may need to play "Three Blind Mice" or other songs to draw them in. Nothing more energizing than hearing your young ones sing. Simple songs like 'Ba Ba Black Sheep" can help you get started with timing, ear training, fingerstyle (or just different styles) and transposing on the fly. Focus on what you CAN do.

Be thankful for having those 30 minutes. There are going to be days when those 30 minutes are impossible.

Offline stitch101

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Re: No Time
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2019, 04:23:13 pm »
Danni one small thing I did about 20 years ago and have done ever since is
keep a guitar out on a stand or wall hanger all the time.
With you having 2 little ones I'd suggest a Hercules wall hanger to keep your
guitar up where the kids can't get at it.

This gives you the oppertunaty to play any time you have a few minutes.
I'm lucky my wife likes my guitars so there are 3 guitars, a mandolin, ukulele
and a piano in  our living room. I understand this may not be possible for everyone
but if there is a spot somewhere in you house where you can hang your guitar so
you can grab it when you have a few minute to play. 5 minute here a couple there
add up.
Hopefully the coming of nicer weather will help lift your spirits and give a few extra
minutes a day.

Offline stitch101

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Re: No Time
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2019, 04:30:03 pm »
I should also add. Check the Relative Humidity of your home.
If you live where the humidity inside is between 35 to 70% all year you don't
need to worry. If like where I live in Canada the humidity can drop below 20%
in the winter and we heat our home I have a humidifier to keep the RH at about 45%.

Offline BeachBill

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Re: No Time
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 09:44:19 pm »
I'm just jumping in here to reinforce what stitch101 said. I started this guitar adventure just over three years ago - and found my biggest boost was when I started having a guitar handy all the time.

I have an acoustic on a stand (no longer children at home) in our living room and a couple in my office area. I can pick up a guitar and do "something/anything" with it several times a day - if even for only a few minutes. I often pick it up during commercials when we are watching TV.

That was the single most beneficial thing I did to improve my playing.

Offline DanniTSI3

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Re: No Time
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2019, 06:09:39 am »
Thanks everyone, lots of good tips and advice here.

I have both of my guitars out: one on the wall and one on a stand.

During the day I don't get a moments break as it's constant interruptions from my kids - it gets super frustrating. They are just at that age when it is just relentless and they want or need me all the time.

I'm going to try and do my exercises during the day with 5 mins here and there so I can stuff around at night.

Maybe learn a few wiggles songs.

To confirm what Im saying, while typing this post I've had 2 separate interruptions from the kids

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VOX Pathfinder Amp
Pedals: Boss Super Chorus CH-1

Offline DavidP

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Re: No Time
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2019, 07:03:53 am »
I remember those years.  Our son is 20 now, so a different story.  I guess philosophically may have to make peace with a lower focus and pace of learning than you'd like.  But in the bigger scheme of things it is a short time and at least you are learning, even if slowly ... not like some of us who started the learning 10-20 years further down the road  :D

Offline close2u

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Re: No Time
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2019, 10:33:12 am »
I feel for you Danni and am / have been in similar positions many times. This last year my workload has kept me from making any serious progress at improving and developing skills.
I see myself through by learning new songs within my reach and keeping a few old songs ticking over.

Offline CT

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Re: No Time
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2019, 04:15:51 pm »

Maybe learn a few wiggles songs.


Big Red Car by the Wiggles is a snappy I-IV-V turnaround. It's all just music. Try having your helpers clap, sing (or whatever) along with you. Get some shakers, clickers, a tambourine, you get the idea. Kids dig that stuff and it's good for them.     

Offline Endureth

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Re: No Time
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2019, 05:10:39 pm »
Big Red Car by the Wiggles is a snappy I-IV-V turnaround. It's all just music. Try having your helpers clap, sing (or whatever) along with you. Get some shakers, clickers, a tambourine, you get the idea. Kids dig that stuff and it's good for them.     

This is a great idea.  I have a bunch of bongos, a xylophone, a lap harp and shakers just for music circles whenever they happen.

Sounds like a good idea for kids.  You can practice chord changes, have them bang on things and come up with words.

 

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