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Whether it is on your couch, the foot of your bed, the edge of your easy chair (My favorite), an office chair with no arms, wooden stool, or what ever. You have picked this to be the place where you practice new songs, and different techniques. Since my favorite spot is in the living room, I usually have to either wait until everybody goes someplace else to do my thing, or just let them "suffer" through my angst of getting something right.

Now I'm discovering another hurdle (if you will) to this manner in which I practice.

My chair is old,  worn, and comfortable. It has surrendered to, and shaped itself to my "cheeks" quite well. I have been learning some new tricks, and struggling with others like playing an F# with my thumb while playing a diminished chord in the first position. (Fred Sokolow must have very long and / or an extra joint in his thumbs!).

So I got to thinking (my wife says that's a dangerous thing for me to do), "Maybe it is the position I am sitting in and perhaps I should try a different place.

WOW! What a slap in the face I got!

First I moved to the couch...not a whole lot of difference, but still, a little less used than my chair and the position changes only slightly. So I grab a chair out of the dining room, a wooden folding chair from a dining set used when we need extra places to sit (It is called the kid's table during holidays), one of those folding metal chairs like you find at the local town hall meetings, church overflow etc.

And I can barely play a lick in any of those!

I have gotten so accustomed to practicing in just one place, sitting in the same position, that all the muscle memory that has taken place recently, turned into DaHUH?!?

This will definitely affect how well I sound playing out again. So now I am wondering (there goes that thinking again) should I just start using one of those folding, more portable units that are hanging around, and then carry it with me, as part of the equipment necessary to perform live in a venue somewhere about town?

OK Some of you who know me are thinking (watch out) "Arlie, you've been playing for a very long time, and even admitted that you have played out & actually made money doing so. How is that now you are saying that you are not able to play anywhere except in your favorite chair?"

I can answer that! :) and without too many synapses exploding at once.

My last paying gig can be counted in years. This gap was filled with silly things like driving a truck all over the continental US, and such. It's kind of difficult to book a gig in Seymour In., when you're sitting in Asheville NC. waiting for a load.

It is only recently that I have been able to focus more attention back to playing music.

And now I digress...

The question I pose for this discussion is this...

Do you practice in the same place, at the same time, or do you move it around a little?

Have you tried to move your practice spot, and what were your results?

Tags: Acoustic Guitar, Arlie Box, Completely remove the current Government & start over, practicing, sitting arrangments

Views: 521

Replies to This Discussion

I had mentioned that F# over a first position diminished chord, and I'm sure it isn't too hard for some and others will say it can't be done. So I did a screenshot of Mr. Sokolow playing that chord.

It puts my wrist & hand in a very awkward position, and he makes it look so easy

:)

My wife and I retired to our lake home/cottage in northern Wisconsin.  Being small, it's difficult to "get away".  Our bedroom suite/sitting room is in the lower level of the house.  So, I've taken over one of the bedrooms on the main floor as my "music room".  I have my 3 gits on stands and a boom box on a dresser where I can play my iPod/iPad through to play along with the "real" music I'm trying to play.  I have a wooden stool in there where I can use the partially opened drawer of the dresser as my music stand.  I can close 2 doors to minimize the "noise" my wife hears in the lower level.  She assures me she can still hear me.  But she is very understanding knowing how much I enjoy this git thing after only about 3 years of playing.  Without a teacher, I can REALLY sound bad when working on something new.  I also spend "plunking" time on the main level couch when I want to watch a sporting event.  I plunk during timeouts.  My best time, though, is in my bedroom.  Keeping It Fun, Dean

I have a hard time playing without a strap, sitting or standing. Though about 95% of the time I sit in a wooden chair in the bedroom I always have a strap on and thus never really notice any difference.

I sit mostly while practicing, but if I'm getting ready to perform (which isn't very often yet) I practice standing up because that's what I'll be doing at the venue, and the feeling is different.  Like Denny, the strap is on no matter the position.  I'd just hate to be sitting with no strap and then stand up forgetting it's not there!  I don't need any unwanted percussion in the practice room.  In my practice area I sit on a small swiveling secretary chair with no arms and a broken height adjustment feature.  (That secretary must have swivelled a whole lot.  Wish I could have seen her!)  I've put two throw pillows on it to get me up to a comfortable height. 

I've tried going elsewhere in the house, but all the chairs have arms, which I can't work around or which endanger the guitar.  Sitting on the end of a bed or the edge of an easy chair is okay for about five minutes and then my back hurts.  A sofa is real comfortable but, like you say, Arlie, the hand positioning, especially the fretting hand, is very different, and I can't get my hand around the neck.  It's okay if I just want to try finger picking exercises without doing any fretting, but that's not much fun. 

My wife and I covered one of the bedrooms into a "quasi" craft/music room.  I just have to pick up my "toys" when I'm done....put away the guitars, pedals, etc.  I try to practice at the same time each day... in the morning before I go to work, and later in the evening..  I have tried the living room..well..it just didn't work out...

Hi Arlie,

I find i can rehearse just about anywhere, even outside, but I have a small home studio that I love to retreat to...it used to be our old Guestroom until I turned it into a recording and storage space.  There is still a single bed in there, and it even appeared on the cover of my first CD release, what else..."Music from the Guestroom."  I think the key is to find somewhere where there is a minimum of distractions from what you are doing, like trying to make insane chords like the one you pictured!   Edward

My home studio:

The CD showing the other side of the room:

Arr Arr Arr (To paraphrase Tim Allen) A Man Cave with guitars & a recording device!

And a bed for those all nighters!

Works for me...sometimes the wife just cracks the door and quickly pokes my dinner tray in and closes it again!  :-)

Even Bette!!

Each time I read this I start thinking "Man is he ever so lucky"

I usually sit in an old office chair and practice during commercials. I do have a music alcove that I use if I want to be alone.

I practice in my bedroom, sitting in a wooden chair in front of my desk. I put the music I'm practicing on my desk and use that as a music stand. I practice there because I can close the door and shut out some of the distractions. It would be nice to have a separate room where I could use just for music! Sometimes I think about trying a change of scene, maybe practicing on the front porch or back steps when the weather is warmer.

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