Do you have a practice "ritual"? (not WHAT you play, but HOW/WHEN you play)

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by ruger9, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    Just curious... note I did not say "routine"... not interested in WHAT you practice, but HOW you practice....

    -do you get up with your coffee first thing, and sit down with it and the guitar every morning?
    -do you usually not have time until very late at night, right before bed, and it helps you "wind down" from your day?
    -do you prefer "afternoon delights" LOL (this would really only apply to retirees, I'd think... the rest of us are still working lol)

    That kind of thing.

    For me, I do NOT have a ritual yet. But I think about it constantly. I love the thought of sitting down with my coffee and switching on an amp... but 1) it's pretty early for that kind of volume, for my wife (if I were single, this would definitely be a ritual), and 2) sitting with my wife every morning is OUR ritual, since we don't see each other all day.

    I'm also drawn towards practicing in the sunny afternoons, since my music space is right buy our patio doors, lots of great natural light. But I'm either working or checking things off the "to-do" list.

    Last thing before bed would also be a great way to wind down, but again- that time of night, too much volume for the wife. Altho, if she is still awake, reading in bed, I CAN (and do) occasionally play right before bed, when I'm especially bothered by something (life troubles, etc.)

    I USED TO have a daily ritual, before COVID- because my wife is corporate, and commuted, and I am a contractor, I usually got home before 5pm, and she, between work+commute+after-work classes (like yoga), wouldn't get home many nights until 7-7:30pm. So I had 2-2.5 hours to walk the dogs, pour a glass of wine, play a little, then start dinner. It was a great ritual. I miss it. She works 100% from home now, so that's all gone.
  2. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Gretschie

    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    A common thought in songwriting is to do it every day using a routine to ensure that you do, much like your pre-pandemic one. I am retired and would like to say NOW I have a routine. I can do it almost any time of the day or any day of the week. Alas, still not the case. In fact, while working I was more apt to have one as the work routine left only a few options. On Saturday, I’d play in the kitchen before everyone woke up. During the week it would be after everyone went to bed. I was a strictly an acoustic player then.

    I haven’t really figured out a good time and stick to it. Perhaps my motivation isn’t what it was? That could be a different thread topic.

    When I do sit down, I’ll let mood dictate which guitar and amp (or no amp)to start with and then begin. Usually it’s a few runs, a few select chord progressions and maybe a familiar song or two. If I’ve been working on a new song, I may start with that. Sometimes I start too late and the energy just isn’t there. Other times I lose myself in the music and that is a magic time.

    I have found that songs written (or played) in the morning hours are more positive than those done late at night.
    T-Bawler likes this.
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    How interesting, I have found this as well!
  4. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Gretschie

    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    I have sometimes thought that perhaps the morning is fun of hope and energy whereas the night has witnessed the fatigue and realities of the day.
    ruger9 likes this.
  5. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Im an evening guy. Morning ritual is already full with quiet time, daily planner, coffee, mental prep and then getting the family and pets sorted before im out the door. Work has to come first , so even on non teaching days i have to work on my primary career (im a painter). Dinner with the family is sacrosanct. So after dinner, 7.00-10.00 is negotiable time. If im not needed or its an everybody do your own thing night then i go to my studio and play. Weekends i play whenever i can. Saturdays are often spent recording or mixing tracks for the bands im in. Or saturdays are good daylight times to tinker, clean, string change, check humidifiers etc. so no strict routine but mostly playing at night and doing more technical things or recording on weekends.
    If i were retired though ...... ahhhh that would be a different story
  6. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I am fortunate to be retired and have a modest art & music room I can practice in without being too disruptive to the rest of the house, so I try to practice at least an hour every day, usually starting about 10AM, sometimes two hours if I’m really focussing on a music problem, but since Covid, always before noon. As noted above, energy and interest drops for afternoons and evenings. I think it is influenced by playing alone. Before Covid I’d jam practice any afternoon or evening if friends were available. Having a jam partner is a big motivator.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
    T-Bawler and ruger9 like this.
  7. T-Bawler

    T-Bawler Electromatic

    Aug 23, 2020
    Every morning, seven days a week, from 7:30 to 8:30. (Post-coffee.) The routine helps make practice a reality for me. What I've had trouble with is working in the additional time needed to get good at it.
    Chmason85 and ruger9 like this.
  8. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Since I do most of my playing on recordings I play just about every day.
    I don't really have a routine other than to practice the parts I'm going to be recording on that day. If I'm tracking for a customer's song I will work out the parts pre-session so I'm prepared. If it's my music I will often work the parts out as I go along. On some projects my playing can be more of a jam where nothing is really worked out. It's just "play and see what we come up with". Those types of sessions can really be fun even if it doesn't work out...:).
    When I was gigging (pre-Covid 19) I would always work out my parts (or learn the song) at home before the band got together for practice. I hated wasting time at practice waiting around for someone to learn their parts to a song. Over the past 40 years I never played a gig without practicing - I guess that's what I would call my only routine...:D.
  9. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I play when the mood strikes me.
    I will often use a little warm up riff, just to get the fingers in gear.
    Duo Slinger likes this.
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    No ritual for me, or something like @wabash slim mentions just above...

  11. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Synchromatic

    May 1, 2018
    I hardly ever play in the middle of the day, and not even because I’m busy; even when I’m off with nothing to do I just don’t pick it up. My best times are daily when I’m having the morning coffee and a couple hours before bed when I’m winding down.
  12. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ...... just pick up and play
  13. BFTmarshall

    BFTmarshall Synchromatic

    Jan 12, 2020
    just had the funnest session. more so a bass player..just did the bass line to Pump Up the Volume & put it in a looper & totally went nutz over it with leads.

    I have 2 1 -2 original songs every something is cooking all the time..get verse-chorus situated..then beat on the drums..soon as i have a theme..into Reaper we go..
  14. DougWheeler74

    DougWheeler74 Gretschie

    Jul 10, 2019
    NE Wisconsin, US
    I took up disc golf a couple of years ago and in good weather we play between 3 n& 4 times a week. depending on the course and weather and how many rounds we play for about 3 hours each time. We do play in the winter but temperatures and snow conditions limit it. The time spent there takes away from the free time I have to play. However, if I played guitar that much I certainly would get better. We do talk about music a lot though.
  15. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Never had one, even when I was almost playing daily. I don’t really have rituals unless you count a cigarette with my coffee.
  16. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I usually tune my guitar.:)
  17. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I make a point to differentiate between grabbing a guitar and playing, which I do every day and Practicing. When I Practice which I do every 2 or 3 days my intent is to learn something (song, scale, chord, chord progressions etc) and when I learn it well enough I incorporate it into the times I sit down and play. I don’t try and learn a lot at one time either.
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