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Topic: Practicing when physically tired: good or not?  (Read 307 times)

Offline alberlos

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Practicing when physically tired: good or not?
on: February 12, 2023, 11:58:46 AM
Hey everyone! I would love to get some advice for this one, would be very thankful!

So I've been noticing this for a long time.
Most of the time, I don't sleep good. And I know it the moment I wake up. I just don't feel repaired enough. The thing is that focusing on efficient piano practice seems 100% more difficult that day. Not to mention that you make more mistakes than the day before, making it seem that you didn't improve at all. This is all very frustrating. What I end up doing is leaving the practice and going for a walk, which seems okay, but makes me feel somewhat pressured to sleep well that day to practice a lot the next one. Which continues the vicious cycle.

I know that there are people here who work and practice as a hobby. I guess that "leave practice for the next day" or "just play whatever you feel" is valid advice for them. I would do that too if I could! But piano is my career and will be my job one day. I have deadlines, exams and auditions and I can't really relax much and do nothing.

Have you experienced this? What do you do in a practice day when you don't feel rested at all?
Thank you for reading and sorry for my poor English!

Offline ranjit

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Re: Practicing when physically tired: good or not?
Reply #1 on: February 12, 2023, 04:43:52 PM
I try to sleep again! Seriously, I don't know if "nap" is the right word, but yeah I try to go back to sleep for an hour or two. Much more efficient than spending that time practicing when you're too tired imo.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Practicing when physically tired: good or not?
Reply #2 on: February 12, 2023, 09:47:05 PM
Some various thoughts.
- There is a kind of efficient practice where you only spend say 10 minutes, but every minute counts.  Sussing out where you spend too much time so as to trim the fat may be one thing to do.  When you only have the energy for 5 - 10 minutes, at least you can use that short time.

- "power naps" - you don't want to make it more than 15 - 20 minutes because several hours leaves you groggy.  It might end up feeling like a meditation rather than a real nap, where you haven't actually drifted off, but it can be remarkably refreshing.

- If you're in college studying music, can you bring this up with any of your professors?

Offline ego0720

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Re: Practicing when physically tired: good or not?
Reply #3 on: February 27, 2023, 06:40:11 PM
You always want at least 50 minutes between frustration points.  Any earlier and it's counterproductive.  If you practiced for 2-3 hours and your fingers hurt, you need 24-hours recovery.  That's the tough part when you take piano to the next level. Doing it for fun allows rest time at liberty than when its a job. I'm not sure how professionals continue with their love with 3-8 hours a day (ritually). It's also more difficult go on with techniques than it is with theory. Keep in mind that studying theory is also practice if that helps. Having explored multiple recreations.. I always end up at the same point; burnout. It happens to everyone. Those who make it learn to deal with it and keep going. The secret is addressing it and not dragging it on because that only goes so far.

If you are in a burnout phase its always good to take a longer break (like a week).  If that's not an option focus on the non-physical component or a different focus.  You want to think of the longevity.  As an athlete it is ideal to cycle every 3 month and try something different.  Widely known for the plateau phase.. athletes know they can get better doing something different after 3 months. I do not know if the same logic can be applied to music but that's where I'm coming from.

Like everything else, always keep in mind the reason you do music. Nobody comes in knowing they will be olympians or a billionaire or famous.  They focus on just being good or better.  Sometimes you take long strides and sometimes its just a step.  But you keep moving forward.  Don't set your goals too high.  Whether you get there or you don't, its always good to focus on how good you are now and just roll with it. And always be proud, objective, and realistic. Hope that helps.

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