That "Off Day" phenomenon

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Mastodon, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Mastodon

    Mastodon Songs about My Cats

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    My friend and I were talking about that off day phenomenon earlier today.

    You know what I'm talking about, you go to play your instrument but nothing is clicking and you feel like shit. Then later on you'll pass by your instrument, pick it up, and begin jamming. Sometime into your little personal jam you'll realize that you're not playing like shit, but now that you're conscious of it you go back to sounding like shit.

    I've wondered about this for a while. Are you actually playing more poorly than you usually do? Or is it a mental thing where for some reason you are more conscious of your playing and notice more mistakes and dislike the sound?

    Disscuss, and share your tips for overcoming this.
     
  2. keithb

    keithb Forum MVP

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    I find that my off days are almost always caused by trying to force myself to play a song/style that I'm not feeling that day.
     
  3. Allen Garrow

    Allen Garrow Famous Beaver Hunter

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    Hell yeah, I totally understand. Thursday and Friday were like that for me at work. I went to work with a specific agenda,,,and everything but what I had planned for went on. I generally look forward to playing some sweet ass guitars that I have tucked away in the warehouse,,,, but hell no, everything I touched was junk, the salesmen sold the kickass stash I had, I couldn't think straight, hell I even picked up an exacto knife with my left hand and when I went to put into my right hand,,, I well,,,, put it into my right hand, I stuck myself deep into my palm,,,, shit, fuk, dammit! Earlier that day my car failed emissions testing due to a fuk'n "service engine light". Hopefully next week goes better. When shit is going all wrong, my playing sucks, my attitude is shitty. Sometimes I just have to sit back stop playing guitar for a day or 2 over the weekend. Usually come Monday morning I'm playing back at speed again with some new perspective. The mind needs time to absorb what's been going on, and it will get board plus you physically need to recover.

    ~A
     
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I think it has a lot to do with every little thing.

    I seem to have more off days when I'm not feeling particularly productive, or when I'm forcing myself to play. But the more off-days I have, the better my on-days seem to go. This might be a contrast thing, though. :lol:
     
  5. Popsyche

    Popsyche Contributor

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    Some days I just have 10 1" thumbs when I try to play. I realize that, "I suck today!" I try harder, and knowing that I need to be way more careful how I do stuff. Then, the next time I play, I'm usually better than ever. I feel that the work I put in when it was difficult, pushed me further along the learning scale....

    What did I just say? :nuts:
     
  6. cadenhead

    cadenhead Get Some!

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    It seems like this last week or two have been nothing but off days for me.:scream: I've been working a lot of hours and It's taken a tole on my guitar playing as well as my creativity. I've been so tired after 12 to 18 hour days, I've been a zombie.

    Good thing I have vacation coming up next week. It'll give me some time to rest.:yesway:
     
  7. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Usually if I'm really sucking, I'll just put away my guitar, metronome and practice timetable and just do something different. I might just sit at the piano, or do some hardcore ear-training work. A lot of the time I'll just pick up the acoustic and strum some pretty chords.
     
  8. Your Majesty

    Your Majesty Ibanez Goddess

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    I can relate to this because it has been happening with me, personally, lately. For me, the frame of mind I am in, really effects my 'wanting' to play guitar. I don't even feel like practicing because I find it difficult to concentrate. My mind drifts elsewhere.

    I find it even more of a challenge, if I am teaching someone. It's hard to concentrate on what needs to be done, if Iam not in the state of mind to focus and deliever what needs to be taught. That royally sucks because that student is paying me to teach them for that hour....so I really need to kick my ass into gear and erase whats bugging me for that hour or so.

    How do I overcome it? I suck it up, most of the times, or have a good cry. Other times, I'll turn the lights off, close the shades in my bedroom and just crank the volumn up high. I find at that point, I am not 'playing' but letting lose any negative energies I have bent inside me. Something like a release. So yah, there's plenty of errors, playing off key, etc; but at that point, I am just releasing my frustrations and not playing to be 'perfect'.

    Personally, I find that releases alot of stress and or, anger that may have been building up inside me for awhile. Once I get that kicked out of my system, I can ususally tend to focus and concentrate on 'playing' and practicing. I feel alot better too.
     
  9. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Having to teach really sucks when you're feeling like that. I once had to take a lesson having not slept in two days...
     
  10. Your Majesty

    Your Majesty Ibanez Goddess

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    Yeah, it royally sucks and I hate when I do get into those moods. I'm human and far from being perfect. I don't know what else to do? I especially hate it when I have to teach someone in the next hour and I honestly have no will or patience. There have been times when I have gone ahead and cancelled a session to the next day because I just don't have it in me to focus. And frankly, that is completely unfair to that student. They deserve 100% out of me and nothing less.

    I truly hate it when I do that though, but I feel, I would be ripping off someone the opportunity of being with me for the hour to learn, and then, feel like a bigger shit for getting paid for it..and that's not right. So when that happens, I tend to move the session date to another day, like, the day after.

    Doesn't happen to often, thank god, but when it does, it fucks me up in a vicious way. As for myself, I tend to suck it up, have a good cry and whale the shit out of my amp and guitar for about 90 minutes. Release whatever is in me and then..... the next day, I can honestly sit down and play with pure enjoyment.
     

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