Summertime and the Practice Ain’t Easy

I haven’t picked up my fiddle in 4 days! Today, I will finally have some time for practice. Last weekend was very good. I even recorded a new tune on Monday, Angeline the Baker. Then, everything began to fall apart. I was out of state for two days for a wake and funeral, came home to eight wholesale orders for our home business, and developed a summer chest cold that just seems to be zapping all my energy.

I felt like I was on a good roll coming off the weekend and this would be a good week with my fiddle, but it just wasn’t in the cards. So, today, I will get back on track! My current tune is Julianne Johnson.

I can say one thing. I don’t have any of that “guilt” that I haven’t played in four days or the “fear” that somehow this is the beginning of the end like I did when I first started and missed a day. Granted, this is the longest stretch in five months, but sometimes life gets in the way, I guess. The only thing I can do is pick up where I left off and move forward.

Not much else to report, so I will stop writing, tune up and have a practice session. Just wanted to check in since I usually don’t go this long between posts either.

Happy Fiddling!

  8 comments for “Summertime and the Practice Ain’t Easy

  1. old cowboy
    June 20, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t have any problem of wanting to practice, in fact I think maybe I practice too much, if that is possible. I just am not sure I am practicing in the right way. I know I need to do more scales but that is not my favorite thing to do so I tend to shy away from them. I try to do some of them before each practice session but just not sure how much time I need to spend on them. When I am doing scales, 15 mins. can seem like a lifetime!

  2. old cowboy
    June 17, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    I thought I was the only one who felt the way you describe. If I miss a day of practice, I think what if I forget everything I know? What if I loose interest? The weekends are hard on me. What with church and Mondays are bad days for my practice also. By the time tues. gets here I am feeling pretty dry! I put on my new fiddlerman strings and I can’t make up my mind if I like them or not. Don’t get me wrong, they are not bad. They just don’t seem to be as easy to play as the ones that came with the fiddle I bought. Maybe it’s just me. I seem to be in some kind of slump for the past few days. I would like to encourage other fiddlers to comment on this site. It is interesting to know what experiences you are having and it helps all of us and we can help each other.

    • June 18, 2019 at 5:09 am

      I think we all can easily fall victim to negative thoughts when we miss practices, and feel like we are going backwards. While I had a good practice on Saturday, my chest cold really flared up on Sunday, and the aches and lack of energy kept me from practicing again…kept me from doing anything on Sunday but sleeping and just sitting in my recliner. Then, Sunday afternoon, another attack of gout (3rd in 4 weeks) started to come on. Yesterday, was another rough day, but I forced myself to practice for a while, although I don’t know how beneficial the practice was.

      What Fiddlerman strings did you buy? His brand? What were the ones you had on your instrument before?

      Like you, I would love to see more folks who follow this blog to make use of the forum, but it is what it is. I am a member on the Fiddleman Forum that currently has over 22,000 members, but I’ll bet no more than a fraction of 1% ever make comments. I’ve seen this low participation rate on just about any forum I ever joined. It is the nature of forums…unfortunately.

      • old cowboy
        June 19, 2019 at 10:42 am

        I bought his brand. The originals that came on my fiddle were Thomastik Vision. The fiddlerman strings aren’t bad they just don’t seem as easy to play as the others. Maybe it is just me. I seem to be in a real slump for some reason. I just can’t seem to get anything to sound right. Maybe I just need a break from it. I too am a member of the fiddlerman forum. A lot of info there. I have a brother I play with occasionally but he lives two hours away so I don’t get to see him as often as I would like. I went in to practice this morning but got so discouraged I gave it up. Maybe tomorrow will be better. For one thing I am trying some different things now like shuffle bowing and slides. I find shuffle bowing really difficult. Sometimes it sounds OK and other times its just a lot screeching!

        • June 19, 2019 at 1:06 pm

          I feel like I am in a slump, too. With my 3rd gout attack in 4 weeks, it is really starting to get to me. I don’t have as much motivation to practice, and when I do, it is hard to concentrate, especially on days when the pain is bad. I haven’t practiced yet today. I was feeling pretty good this morning, so I went to the grocery store. It took forever since I am walking so slow, and by the time I got home, I felt exhausted. I think I will at least work on some scales now.

  3. June 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Nail that practice today!

    I’ve cut my practice session time in half, as I was planning, and that has actually improved my consistency – I practiced every day this week, even if it was just one song for at least 15 minutes a day. That’s not much, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. And a few of those days, I went longer because I was interested in what I was trying to play.

    It’s just easier to persuade myself to sit down if I tell myself it will be for a shorter duration. Once I get in the seat, it’s easier to stay. I hope I can eventually nudge it up to two shorter practice sessions in a day to cover the amount I used to do.

    Either way, keep going! I find even after taking a break, I might have some cobwebs to shake off, but picking it back up isn’t as difficult as I feared.

    • June 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      I did have a good practice yesterday! I memorized and played the first part of Julianne Johnson several times through. Today, though, this chest cold is kicking my butt with congested chest, coughing, aches and absolutely no energy. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day, and I’ll work on part 2 of the tune.

      Perhaps practicing a shorter time helps you concentrate more on the task at hand.

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