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big joe weems:

I always get such great advice on this forum (thank you!)—so hoping to get your thoughts on this question:

I‘ll go several days playing a certain song great and picking it smoothly—then one day I will play the same song very clumsily! On those bad days, I wonder if it’s better to push through and keep practicing it, or hang it up until the following day? By pushing through am I forming bad habits? Anyone have experience with this?

I definitely have good days and bad days. For repertoire songs I don't think it matters much, so I generally just play through. It's a little different with songs I'm working up, kinda still in that range where the fingers are still training to the licks and it takes a lot more muscle work, if you know what I mean, doesn't just "flow"? I may focus on the parts that are still struggling, do repetitions of short bits. Sometimes that will even sorta get me out of the off day feeling.


I think this is something we all suffer from. Sometimes I find a struggle to play even a familiar piece smoothly. First stop is to recheck my tuning, if this fails to help, try another guitar. Still no joy, try a slide or open tuning piece. Still no joy, Iíll leave it for a couple of hours.

Happens all the time, there are just days you aren't feeling it (literally, in your fingers!). Sometimes a break of a few hours or a day helps, or if you have a gig you just have to power through it.

I've been going through that 'off day' thing for the last few years, just too busy pretending to be a farmer, rather than pretending to be a musician.

I'm joking of course, but many a true word is spoken in jest, as they say.


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