My very first fiddle teacher said if you just practice for 15 minutes every day, you will improve greatly. But what happens if you just stop playing for months at a time?…You will improve greatly!
As you can probably guess given my recent lack of words on this blog, I haven’t played my fiddle in quite some time, let alone visited a session. During the summer it’s always hard to practice because there are so many other things I could be doing outside under the sunshine. Since we don’t get much sunshine in the great state of Vermont we got to eat up that Vitamin D while we can.
But tonight though, I broke out that fiddle, dusted off some tunes and went to the monthly session at On The Rise Bakery. I was reminded of just how much I love this music and how much fun sessions are. It inspired me to review that ever-growing list of tunes to learn and start practicing.
I’m pretty sure every musician goes through these little hiatuses every now and again, where you don’t play a note for weeks or even months and when you get back to it, not only does it feel good, but there is a new love for your instrument and the music. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I return to playing it seems I love the music even more.
So if you find yourself in a rut, and you don’t feel like you’re getting any better, take a break, take up painting, biking, hiking or something completely not music related. I can almost guarantee when you get back to playing you’ll wonder why you stopped in the first place.
2 thoughts on “How to be a better musician – stop playing”
Katrina – thanks for making me feel better! I played little to none all summer as well and have been beating myself up for it. When I finally sat down to a kitchen session a couple weeks ago, I had more fun and thought I sounded better than when I had last played. A break was definitely a good thing for me. Good to see you at the bakery. Hope to see you at a kitchen session soon…
I totally agree that sometimes the best thing to do is leave some distance. But like anything, too much elapsed time wears away at your skill. When I was younger, I took a 1 year hiatus from playing the drums and it greatly affected my skill level. It took me a solid month of playing everyday to build my chops back up.