How do you Maintain your chops on the road?

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
Pobshot
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I'm graduating this May and will be taking a 1 month trip to Asia (Hong Kong and then Tokyo) and in that month won't have my guitar with me, what will happen when I get back??

What can i do!
Tommy
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When you get back you'll probably have gained some perspective and be a better musician. Bring your CD player or whatever and make sure you listen to lots of tunes.
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RAI
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Tommy wrote:When you get back you'll probably have gained some perspective and be a better musician. Bring your CD player or whatever and make sure you listen to lots of tunes.
I disagree...

Listen to as much local music as possible.
Why bring with you CD's you can listen to whenever you want to?
Experience the music as you travel, and you may bring something home that is priceless.........
Jay3
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Listen to the music as you travel, but that doesn't mean you can't bring a few of your favorite cds . .
j3
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Pobshot wrote:I'm graduating this May and will be taking a 1 month trip to Asia (Hong Kong and then Tokyo) and in that month won't have my guitar with me, what will happen when I get back??

What can i do!
You can't lose your technique in a month. If you do,you never had it. You may lose some polish, memorization, or relaxation in your playing, but these things are easy to recover. You should look at it as an opportunity. Every time I've taken a few months off, I come back with fresh ears and start with some very rudimentary technical development or go through old pieces to come up with new fingerings. Each time, I make progress that I don't even think I would have made with regimented practice.
So finish up something that you are currently working on (before you leave) and then take your opportunity to have some time away from your concentration on music in general. Take in the sights, sounds, art and experience of the foreign land. Develop yourself as a person. When you come back practice an hour or 2/day above your current average(be sure to thoroughly stretch/warm up)--for a week, rest for a couple days, then resume your normal practice schedule. You'll return with a fresh outlook and you may make some progress.
MarkRobinson
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You'll find you've slowed down by approximately 78% and it will take at least two years to regain that speed. In addition to this your timing will be up the wall and your vibrato will sound like crap. Some people never regain these abilities...others but only with conceited effort.

:D Relax.

I had to take eight months off on two occasions due to pain in my hands and I've been on several travelling trips at about five weeks each. If anything my technique and overall musicianship was better after taking eight months off...much more focused.

SOME people have poor neural memory and it takes time to get the CNS fiering your fingers as they did before...but by time I mean a couple of days. Nothing to worry about.
spanishphrygian
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I guess it is different for everyone. I never had a problem taking a month off. In fact usually, I sound ten times better after it because of the stored up energy and passion. I mean I think I sound ten times better. Of course I miss some more notes, and that gets me fired up to try even harder.

Robert Plant once said (In the complete studio recordings book of that cd box set) "that musicians need to travel"

I would probably take some cds a long, but that is because I live in the USA and "live" music is pretty much DEAD.

Perhaps, they actually have live music with real people playing in other parts of the world. Sheesh. I would rather live there then. Even if they are not super models, and have conflicts with there hairdressor or whatever.

I mean really, I would rather not HAVE TO OWN CDS period, but have trusty live musicians to experience in the park, or at the Cafe or somthing like the good 'ol days.

now all we have is dj's and (c)rap hehe.

I suppose if you are so addicted to your technology, and can't handle being without electronic equipment and things. (I wonder if they are holding you captive hehe) then you should probably make sure you have all of it with you because you might die or something. hehe.

This is so ironic; I just can't believe it.

Imagine you were stuck in the the woods and a hungry lion was going to eat you unless you played a folk tune. But you actually could not depend on an electric guitar, or a cd player?

Would you survive?

Rotfl.

I am just laughing with you man. Don't take me too serious please.

I hope that is not too far out there for you.

Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi4X-qCFGMk

I say forget cd's, guitars, put go to Hong Kong and get a lesson on the Pi-pa, come home and transpose the riffs using the whammy bar. Purchase cds there that you can't get here.

Try to be Chinese for a week instead of a rock guitarist. When you get back to the guitar you will be more originally like Steve Vai or something.

Good Luck!
fyrie
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It's been awhile since I haven't picked up the guitar for a long period of time, but when I when I was on a few week vacation, the dang thing actually seemed like it was easier to play physically.
spanishphrygian
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Yeah I tell you the same things happens to me, and I wonder if anyone knows why.

I have not worked on a certain style of guitar for a while, then the other day I picked it up and I was playing things that I never thought were posible for me to do.

I wonder what is going on. Perhaps daily practice tears up muscle tissue or something making our fingers weaker or something? Either that or we are doing something very wrong.

Honestly, after a camping trip here or there for a few weeks, I feel more sensitive to music with the long break. My fingers feel faster, stronger, and better then ever. My ears are better. I am more inspired. Everthing seems to get better for me. haha

I've also spend times in school where I had classes for four hours during the day, and I would come home and practice for ten hours. I would become so jaded, that it was so noticable.

I figure it must really take some kind of person to be able to keep it up, and be fresh and interesting year after year with out some sort of break or other hobby or goal or something.

of course every person is probably different and goes through different things at different points in their lives as well.
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Ricardo
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I have not worked on a certain style of guitar for a while, then the other day I picked it up and I was playing things that I never thought were posible for me to do.

I wonder what is going on. Perhaps daily practice tears up muscle tissue or something making our fingers weaker or something? Either that or we are doing something very wrong.
I have read this has to do with the brain. As most woodshedders will be familiar with, it is not "wrong". What happens is after you do some intense practice for hours and hours, your fingers don't seem to be getting better, but in your brain, the neural pathways are being constructed. If you sleep well, you will find you are doing better the day AFTER an intense practice session. Same goes if you practice some unrelated material for a while and come back to the thing that was giving you problems. Seems like "magic" but it is just how our brains work.

Ricardo
spanishphrygian
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Yeah that is what I mean Ricardo! Sometimes I swear that after not working on a peace for a month or so I actually play it better. I think that somewhere inside my brain the nuerons are still working on the piece or something.

Like I used to work on Picado all day long: imi mim imi mim imi mim, and I swear I was as slow as a slug, then I picked up my flamenco guitar the other day and I was ripping it up until my fingers got too tired.

I find it amazing that I can improve even when I have not practiced Picado for a year.
acoates
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Pobshot wrote:I'm graduating this May and will be taking a 1 month trip to Asia (Hong Kong and then Tokyo) and in that month won't have my guitar with me, what will happen when I get back??

What can i do!
You will suck balls when you get back but it will come back infinitely quicker than when you learned it the first time
Becker Ola
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If you're really really concerned about it, you could always purchase a practice tool. I took a trip to Europe last year for about a month, and I was really worried that my chops would be dead by the time I got back. I was so worried that I went out to Guitar Center and bought a Ruff Rider callous maintainer and a Medium Tension Grip Master. I used them obsessively on the plane ride over, the constant bus rides, and even in the evening before I went to bed. However, this didn't really help much. I guess the most it did was make my fingers stronger, but it certainly didn't help maintain my technique. The inherent issue with these things is that there is no substitute for the real thing. I've heard tell of something called a "Shredneck," you could look into that, but, for the most part, you're best bet is to just take a month off and get a new outlook on melody and music in general. You'll find that you've developed a new way to think in terms of chordal integrity and even in lead lines. I guess the only real advice I can give you, though, is to either find a ton of local guitar shops or buy a travel guitar (Fernades makes a pretty good one, or your could get a Taylor backpacking guitar). Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
<Mike>
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I was away from my guitar a week maybe two months ago.

I felt sick. Being without a guitar sucks. I feel my stomache hurting and stuff like that when I don't have access to a guitar.
auralperception
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I never noticed any difference in my motoric. (either better or worse, its just in the long term >= 6 month).
Its not like I do an exercise on one day, and put it 7bpm faster the next week. More like in terms of months.
(Im lefthanded and play righthanded for years..darn righthanders ;))
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