We don’t often take the time just to step back, sit quietly and reflect. Just being. Sitting listening to the world around us – a dog rattling off a lazy bark in the distance somewhere, the buzz of insects in the trees, wind rustling leaves, birds calling gently to one another their dusk time melodies, or if you’re in Melbourne on a cold and wet Friday afternoon watching the rain bucket down from the sky……
I have just gotten back from a long-awaited holiday and had some of that useful downtime to ponder these thoughts.
Taking a break, be it a week or even a couple of hours, away from the hustle and bustle of our lives can help us to just step back, take stock and see the woods for the trees. This, of course, can have a fantastic impact on our approach to guitar playing, music and learning.
Rest and respose
In those moments of repose we can ask ourselves are we doing what we really want? Are we learning in the most effective way? What do we want to do differently?
Stepping back and gaining some or at least a different perspective can give us some much-needed rest and relaxation for the brain and body – allowing any physical niggles or injuries a chance to sort themselves out and take our brain away from the daily (because you do daily practice right?!) practice schedule and rigours of active learning and reinforcement. It allows some of those subconscious elements to do their thing in the background whilst you’re doing other things for a while. Trust me…. 😉
Some downtime, a rest or a change of scenery (a change is as good as a rest as the old saying goes) can also help to refill the creative juices.
It can also help you put a different spin on things – perhaps that tricky bit wasn’t quite as tricky as you thought. Perhaps you were putting too much energy into one particular element of your playing or practice that you can transfer over to other elements of your playing (or other parts of your life!).
Soaking in your surrounds – both existing and new – whilst kicking back a little and taking your time can also be a source of creative inspiration . You’d be surprised, I’ll bet the old grey matter will be coming up with thoughts, ideas, concepts and approaches that are new to you, without even really consciously thinking about it. You’ve just got to let your brain do its own thing from time to time.
It’ll be fantastic for your playing!
And don’t stress. Taking a full rest from physically playing the guitar for a week or two or even three is not the end of the world. Neither is it going to have a serious long-term impact on your playing. Sure, you’ll be a little fluffy and clunky around the edges for a day or two – nothing some slow and steady, building-it-up-gradually-to-something-more-vigourous scales can’t fix up – but be rest assured that the preceding weeks, months and years of practicing and playing the guitar and playing the music is most definitely embedded into your neural network – your brain, your arms, fingers know exactly what to do because you’ve instructed them how to do it for some time. Probably. If you’ve practiced like a good student that is 😉
So, when coming back to it just trust yourself.
The rest will have done you the world of good and your playing will feel new, fresh and exciting as a result.
We’ve got some exciting posts – including some more interviews, reviews and even our first guest post (woop woop!) – coming up in the next few weeks. Very exciting! If you’d like to be involved in the blog in any way, feel free to drop me a line.
And if you’d like some further advice perhaps on getting back into playing after a bit of a hiatus, I’m all ears and happy to help – send me an email.