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?
I usually practice a couple times a day....never at the same time. Sometime during the day and then again at night. We have an unattached heated small garage. I have a music stand I leave out there and use a old dining room chair that I picked up at a flee market, I put a chair cushion on it and it works fine. Good lighting and its warm. But, living in Michigan on Lake Huron is COLD. So I have to get bundled up and guitar in case, music in hand and go out to garage. I do this once a day....I can be alone and concentrate, listen to Ipod and try to play along. Our house is cottage type and small and open floor plan. When I practice in the living area my husband puts on his headphones to watch TV. He doesn't seem to mind but I worry I am playing to loud. The only other place is the bedroom, thinking about trying there I think I could make that work. Don't usually sit on couch and play, almost always use a dining room chair (no arms on it). I feel like posture is better. Also I have a guitar buddy I practice with, when at his house we play in his living room on dining room chairs. When he comes to my house we play in garage.
I have a jam buddy whose been a friend for over 20 years that comes over once in while & he will use the couch while I'm in my spot. Everybody else either listens or leaves. That's their two options. My youngest son created his own third option. He puts on headphones & plays on the computer.
It sure helps me to have someone to play with.....keeps me focused and practicing!!
Most of my practicing happens sitting at my desk on my office chair with the arms flipped up. ( I specifically bought a chair with flip-up arms for this purpose).
But I also keep a guitar in the living room and often mute the t.v. during commercials and play with the guitar. This only works when my wife isn't watching with me... ( no surprise there!)
Lately I've added a new dimension to my practice.. I've got a fairly decent "carlo robelli" (sam ash house brand) acoustic that I bought at a garage sale for $25.. It sounds ok, plays nicely, the action is great, (That's my doing...) and it actually stays in tune! Since I basically paid next to nothing for it I'm not worried about it getting damaged so I take it with me to work. I like to arrive at work a half hour to an hour early (To beat this god-awful Tampa traffic) and then sit there playing with the guitar in my truck.
The truck isn't the best place for this. the position I have to sit in is a bit awkward, and I have to roll the window down so I can stick the headstock out, so it's not really an option if it's raining, but overall it's better to practice under less than ideal conditions rather than than not practicing at all...
Still, the spot where I've made the most progress by far is the office chair. But I think this is partially due to the fact that I'm sitting in front of my computer and can download guitar chords from sites like ultimateguitar (my personal favorite) and chordie.
I had been practicing in an office chair with the arms removed downstairs at my computer desk, but there's a TV down there that our oldest son watches. I can't concentrate with the TV on. When I was practicing with an electric guitar I'd run it through my POD into the computer and put on headphones. But about a month ago I realized that I should be playing the acoustic guitar. I put the electrics away and haven't looked back.
The past 4 days I've been practicing sitting on our bed with my wife watching TV. Not all that comfortable. But my wife has been impressed since I've been working on Fleetwood Macs Landslide. I've been trying to learn some finger picking songs. I'm a little sloppy but I'm getting better with it every day.