Day after rehearsal
Here's a funny thing- I play the guitar ever day. Figure it's the best way to get better. I usually play for an hour or so, spending 30 minutes or so learning new songs I'll play with the band, 10-15 minutes warming up and doing exercises, and 15 or so just noodling, jamming, and messing around.
Days the band rehearses, though, I play a lot more- usually an hour or so before rehearsal, to have everything fresh in my head and as ready to go as I can. (This is important to me- I'm the least experienced, and weakest, player in our band. THere's stuff I can't do, but they're never going to say I don't put in my time and come prepared.) We rehearse for 3-5 hours, depending on when the next gig is and what we're playing. I often play a little after coming home from rehearsal to get the new stuff we've played "cemented" in my head and hands. All in, on rehearsal day, I'm always playing a minimum of 4-5 hours, though not all consecutive. SOmetimes as much as 6 or 7.
And the next morning, when I go pick up my guitar for a little before-work noodling around, I feel...guitarded. My fingers just don't go where they're supposed to, where they went with ease the day before. Stuff I can play with my eyes shut, now I can't play with a tape player.
Anyone else get the day after rehearsal blues?
Yep, been there and no idea why it happens.
You have to pick up your guitar and start gently the next day; don't try and just launch into something you were playing fluently the day before. Approach it like it's music you've never seen before.
And I've no idea why that works either.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
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if you jog for 5 miles a day and then go out and run a marathon, you'll be worn out the next day.
same thing's happening here. your fingers are tired, even if you don't notice it. either increase the amount of time you practice every day, take a day off after the long sessions, or accept that it's gonna happen.
How about the opposite. Say you have a gig the next day. Do you spend a day or two just staying limber, and that's it? Do you play and practice your entire set a few days before, and just stay fresh until the gig, or do you play you set the day before as practice and then the gig and then rest?
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin
from my own personal experience, what i do the day of or the day before a gig has little effect on my playing, except to possibly give me a false sense of security, and that two or three days before is the latest i have to have things down for a gig to run smoothly, while anything more than a week before begins to fade. however, the more practice i put in during that time frame, the better the audience response in general. the day before and the day of are good to run through the set and fix details, but the bulk of the work needs to be done before then. the day after is mine to do with as i please.
Yeah- heavy practicing right before a gig is usually not helpful.
It's not so much my fingers as my brain being worn out after a heavy practice- fingers don't stumble, but I miss out verses, jump to the wrong place, play one song and sing another. It usually applies only to the stuff rehearsed, too- I can play other stuff, but not what I played in the long rehearsal.
Days of a gig, and the rest of the day after, I can do anything. Leap tall buildings, climb mountains, save damsels in distress...adrenaline is a wonderful thing.
But the day of is too late to do much fixing of the set.