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Gilliangirl

Have you ever.....

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Well, have you? LOL Have you ever taken a hiatus from playing? Do you recall why or how long? Was it hard to get back into it? What prompted your return? Was it a planned break? How rusty were you when you started again? How long did it take to get back in the swing of things?

 

I haven't played hardly at all for at least a year now, probably longer, due to health issues and time constraints. It's pouring rain here this morning and I stumbled upon an old song I used to love to play, so grabbed the guitar. Yikes, fingers sore, wrist sore from playing bar chords that I used to be able to nail, no problem. It's a bit distressing to see the loss of skill, but I know if I persevered it would come back. It seems like I'm not really starting from zero this time, just maybe back a few numbers from where I once was. Now I'm sitting here with the guitar on my lap, a big cup of hazelnut coffee, as the rain pours away outside. It's lovely. I know my fingertips will be complaining pretty soon LOL

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I contend that your muscle memory and brain-music connections will prevail and that you will be right back where you left off in no time- well, as soon as your finger tips allow. That gee-tar likely has some things to tell you by now, too.

 

Good to see you in these parts again!!

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Pretty much took a break from about 1975, when I seriously got into sailing, until about 2009. My old J-45 was actually in a storage unit from 1996-2003 while we sailed around the world. I did carry a little Martin backpacker on the boat starting in 1999, when the interest in guitar began to re-kindle, based in part on the boredom of long ocean passages and the need to something a bit creative for a change.

 

When I started playing again in earnest in 2010, my mind still remembered a lot, but my fingers had pretty much forgotten everything.

 

Now my fingers are remembering, but my mind is forgetting. Why can't I get both of them together in the same place at the same time?

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Have I had a break, oh just a short one between 1995 and 2008 ...

 

Yes it was tough getting back in the ring again, except in the 90's I could only afford Epiphones in 2008 I could afford Gibsons, made it for a much more motivating return.

 

Welcome back Karen, great to have you here .. [thumbup]

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I took five years off due to health reasons and as soon as I felt my hands gaining their movement, I reached for a guitar only to find my fingers out of shape. I still have no stamina for standing and playing but I sit and play better than ever because I grabbed a few DVDs to get me exercising and they've forced me to think about things a self-taught guitar player never learns on his own.

 

I have yet to write a new song, so I'm behind in that department, but that has more to do with not enough time to concentrate than anything else.

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Steve!! Oh my goodness, we go waaaaay back [thumbup] I still remember the original forum. Thanks for the welcome back and hope you're doing well.

 

AnneS, yes, it does seem to be coming back. I am now remembering little A7 runs I used to throw into songs, etc so there's hope on the horizon lol. Thank you for the heads up on the new John Denver CD (in your song thread). I seem to be going through a JD thing these days.

 

J45nick, sailing around the world? WOW! What an adventure! Re the re-kindling.... I think as a musician or lover of music, it never goes away. Did you keep the guitar watered while in storage? I have been really good at checking and watering the guitars, even when not playing for all this time. They're no worse for wear, or lack of wear! It's so nice to decide in the spur of the moment that I want to play a guitar and have the wherewithall to haul out a stellar Gibson from its case and pluck away to my heart's delight. [biggrin]

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Amen. I do indeed go through "geez-I-just-don't-feel-like-playing-guitar" stretches with some fequency. No particular rhyme nor reason to it.........just kind of drift away from it, get occupied with other things, lose interest......who knows. Just off a 5-6 month hiatus myself. Had a little finger tenderness for a day or two but not so bad it was discouraging. Now I'm playing everyday once more and getting the old writing bug back......not so sure of the results yet in that regard, but it's certainly fun working at it!

 

Welcome home!

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Euroaussie, I know what you mean about having a Gibson to motivate the return! [thumbup] 1995 to 2008 is a significant break! Thanks for the welcome back

 

Smurf, when I try to play simple bar chords I hear a whole lot of buzzing going on [crying] Definitely lost strength in my left hand and my right hand doesn't seem to 'get it' yet, altho' travis picking seems to be coming back pretty good, just no speed yet. Can you recommend any good DVD's?

 

By the way, the song that prompted my return was But You Know I love You by AKUS. I never did come up with a good arrangement for that one, but in searching for the chords/lyrics in my books, found a whole bunch of other songs that I used to play. LOL The rescue pigeon really likes AKUS!

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Never took a serious break, really. Had different points of focus over the years and in periods saw the guitar more as a tool than an instrument.

 

Longest pause was during a 30 days trip to the States 3 decades ago. Remember how Chimes of Freedom entered my brain with unbelievable stamina.

Impossible to throw it off – maybe because it couldn't be 'played out of the system'.

 

 

Good to hear you're returning to the 6 strings GG – and glad you didn't thin out the herd.

 

2 Heps your way ;-)

 

 

 

Hazelnut coffee sounds good - I sometimes drink walnut tea.

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Hey K. Tune it down to D# and slap a capo on. It's kinda like going back to the gym after stting out for a while. You'll get more playing time if you baby the hand and build up more comfortably.

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.

It great to see you post again GG. Glad you're getting back to guitar.

 

Never had a long break. Mine are measured in months, and I've had a few along the way. The thing I used to dislike was forgetting arrangements I had worked out - now I write them out in a mix of tablature and chords.

 

 

.

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Buc, I know you know what I mean because I know you've taken breaks too. Life happens, other things come into play, etc.

 

Em7, walnut tea? Never seen that. Sounds good tho!

 

Zombywoof, 10 years and you came back. You are obviously enjoying it again. The love for music never goes away I think.

 

Jedzep, great idea! The Southern Jumbo is down a full step I think. I will switch to that one for awhile. I grabbed the J-185 as it was the top of the stack. Both have medium strings on them so I can really feel it.

 

BigKahune, I hear ya on the forgetting arrangements thing. I'm trying to decipher my chicken scratch on my notes here and it's questionnable. "I play this in D" is scratched out, then "I play this in Bb" is scratched out then "I play this with an arpeggio" is scratched out. What a mess! Shoulda kept beter notes!

 

I'm having a great old time here this afternoon tho. The fingertips are holding up surprisingly well, as long as I take short breaks. Playing old favourites.... Kathleen Edwards' In State, Edward Bear's You, Me and Mexico (all bar chords, yay for me! hah), Ray LaMontagne's Hold You In My Arms and many others. It's sure good to get back at it.

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So nice to see you around , Karen! I'm happy to see you still have your guitars and didn't sell them off while taking a break. I quit playing for 15 yrs, I think. When I began again is when I began to acquire much nicer instruments which fueled my desire to improve. Now and again I feel I'm in a playing rut but I'll learn a new tune or two and it lifts me up. Great to see you! Stick around!

Rob

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Yes. Only once. Took one month "away". But it was part of a time of mourning... for the loss of a loved one.

 

It was a long time.

 

On both counts.

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Hi Karen...........took a very long hiatus due to injury and life changes>36 years. Was a rock n' roller in the 60's into the 70's when I crushed my fret hand fingers and eventually lost the mid finger. Long story, short version....retired 2 1/2 years ago and started to noodle around with an old dread that had been stored for decades. Today I can proudly say my playing is very good in standard and some alternate tunings and I have begun to acquire many excellent acoustics and gear. Amazin' what you can do with a little time and technique! Best, J.D.

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20 years brought on by unintended consequences, left side paralysis from MS, now slowly recovered. Cajoled back into it by former band-mates, my abilities and dexterity once known were all lost, and now I'm just a happy hack, focused on what I can do, and not on what I can't anymore. Its all good.

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Playing guitar - I have never missed a day that I couldn't help since I was 8 years old - and that is a while back....

 

Really don't know why now, but I still love it as much as I did at the beginning.

 

 

A couple of quotes from Chet:

 

" You leave a guitar alone for three days and it doesn't know you when you pick it up. It's just a constant battle getting acquainted with it and staying acquainted."

 

"Stay away from the dusty end of the fretboard - there is no money up there!"

 

and

 

"It took me 20 years to find out I couldn't tune very well - and by then I was so rich I didn't care!"

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Karen...

 

Great to see you back - just as I get into rodeo season. <grin>

 

Hope the health is not just "better," but truly "good." The horse?

 

If you're fingerpickin' mostly, give a shot at reeeally light strings for an acoustic (9-42) on a 24 3/4 scale guit and figure you're playing classical. <bigger grin>

 

m

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Yes, I have taken breaks. Some induced by poverty so sold guitars, some by injury.. detached fingers reattached, auto accidents resulted in reassembly of hands and arms,and a serious bout with throat cancer 2 1/2 years ago.. BTW I don't smoke, chew, drink or do drugs.. it was just my turn. I was so drugged I dared not pick up a guitar for a very long time. Whenever I jumped back in, within 30 days I was at the same level I was when I quit. I found that it was more of an effort to get up the initiative to play than the playing itself.

 

Glad to see you are back at it.

 

Another finger picker.

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I first took up the guitar when I had moved to Texas in '76 because everyone I knew there played and I was always being asked why I didn't bring my guitar...like I was some kind of freak (or worse, a Yankee). But I always had a hard time with it (how did you guys do it before electronic tuners?) so when I moved back to Colorado in 1980 I sold my first guitar, a Sigma dred, to a local guy, and got totally absorbed in telemark skiing and fly fishing. Cut to 2002 and I was going through a painful breakup so I took up running and picked up a guitar and started to practice. I don't think I've gone more than three days without playing since then. I no longer tele ski (left knee) or fly fish (time for me to leave trout alone) so I have a lot of time to play and the more I do the more I just want to play the guitar. I'm way hooked.

As a side note, I'm at my usual Friday night jam session last week with my mates and one of our sometime players shows up and we are getting a buzz on and playing and I notice that he is playing a really nice sounding D style guitar that is old but in just immaculate condition. He pivots around and asks me if I recognize his guitar. Yep, it was my old Sigma, unplayed since 1980 and hardly a scratch on it. He bought it for $250 from the guy I sold it to who had just shoved it under his bed for all these years. He asked if I thought I wanted it back but I'm pretty much a Gibson guy now. It's cool to sit in with it though and hear what it can do. Brought back a ton of memories too.

I think that making music is just about the finest thing that humans do and I also think that if you can make music in some way, you might leave it for a time but there is a musician within that never really goes away. That musician within will, sooner or later, want to come out. Welcome back to the land of the musician. If I've learned anything in sixty years of being on the planet it's that when you feel like doing something, do it. When you feel like not doing it anymore, stop doing it.

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I played 24/7 as a youth (wore out my Ricky Nelson (James Burton) records) and throughout my early 20's. I was burned out by '75 and didn't get back into until '97. Started off learning new styles instead of trying to remember everything I forgot. Really enjoying it this time around.

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I quit playing between about 1988 and 1995. I had played coffeehouses, parks, street corners and clubs in Tucson/Bisbee Arizona and El Paso Texas starting in about 1972, but just wanted to take a break. Then in 1995 I started playing in a church worship band in El Paso, felt stupid because I quit, and haven't slowed down since. When I started back I was extremely rusty, but it didn't take that long to relearn.

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One of the old poets here says :

 

If you stop writing you have never written

 

Then again he's a hardcore guy.

 

A bit over the top, but we get the message. . .

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