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Is it like this for anybody else out there? I feel like the situation with my facial muscles and lower lip varies depending on how much I've practiced that day. After a solid 5 hours throughout the day I feel great about myself and like I've accomplished something, no matter how effective the practicing actually was. If I wasn't able to practice, I feel a little melancholy and have a severe "itch"(mentally, and physically, in the lower lip) to practice the next day ASAP.

It's different as far as gigs go. I could be on a 4-hour gig and be playing for most of the time but still feel like I need to get in all that practicing to feel good about my face and about my self-worth.

Does anybody else have their face-time on the various horns far too wrapped up in your own self esteem and happiness/mood?
 

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I look at it as stress release rather than a self esteem thing. If I miss a day of playing music, I can feel myself getting tight and cramped up. Practicing is like letting off steam.
 

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Yup there's a guilt if you don't put in and honest amount of practice everyday. It seems like this feeling doesn't go away until your body can't take it anymore and you have to quit from exhaustion and those aches and pains start taking control. All of us in the back of our minds know it's possible to practice 10 hours a day and we're lazy for not doing it. Some one brought up the work ethic of certain cultures as the under lying reason.

Being able to play and play well is certainly going to be tied to ones self esteem, but more importantly it's going to get you the only kind of respect that matters....self respect.
 

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Definitely! Just last night one of my last thoughts before going to bed was "Tomorrow I'm going to practice my scales for an hour and a half! It will be fun!" I literally was anxious about it, knowing that I had spent most of the days practicing on music and not fundamentals.

Often I'll get distracted while playing, as I'm often playing with recordings or referencing SOTW for something, and I'll be fully aware that I'm procrastinating and that I'm just being lazy.

A good day of focused practicing is good for the soul.
 

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I would offer a different opinion; it is good to be motivated to practice, but I think its a bad habit to train yourself to base your self worth as a player or person on if you get enough practicing in for the day. I used to think this way when I was in school, and it really can get to you in way. Once I got out and learned to balance all the other life demands with my playing career, I learned to better divorce my feelings about my playing or chops/ability with what I have to play for the day. Practicing is of course to be done, and there is always improvement to be made but at a certain point you have to believe in your abilities and just learn to play to your potential, regardless of how lousy you think you feel. This mental part can't be overstated, I think--mind over matter. (Liebman has some good thoughts on this in his book...) Players spend a lot of time in college with the technical aspects of playing, but I think the players who master the mental aspect of playing/practicing early really have a leg up...Of course, some of this comes from some years of playing gigs and just basic chops experience I suppose...
 

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heath said:
Yup there's a guilt if you don't put in and honest amount of practice everyday. It seems like this feeling doesn't go away until your body can't take it anymore and you have to quit from exhaustion and those aches and pains start taking control. All of us in the back of our minds know it's possible to practice 10 hours a day and we're lazy for not doing it. Some one brought up the work ethic of certain cultures as the under lying reason.

Being able to play and play well is certainly going to be tied to ones self esteem, but more importantly it's going to get you the only kind of respect that matters....self respect.
Even if I put in what I set out to do, it is never enough. Iknow 10 hours is possible, but the laziness is overwhelming. 6 hours is a good day recently, with 4 being the norm.
 

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I know what you're saying Ving. It's more of a physical compulsion and a slight guilt that comes from realizing I could be fulfilling my potential more than I have been recently. With a current 9 to 5 job every day, and gigs every weekend, practice time is a bit slim lately and I have less mental energy to devote to it than I used to when school was in. Lately when I get to pick up a horn I focus on musical aspects and usually try to drill one or two things I don't know how to do and apply them to a tune I am working on. With the flute and clarinet it's still mostly technical and tone studies. I try to get in time on three horns every day and at least two hours total but I have been missing the mark and feeling erratic lately. It's frustrating and manifests as "physical guilt" and feeling like my chops are slipping... even though usually they are not, it's mostly in my mind. I think I might have to get in early tomorrow just to put in an hour before the work day starts.
 

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I haven't played my horn for 2 1/2 weeks due to my surgery and it's driving me mad. Only 3 more weeks to go. :(
 

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Well, I deal with that all the time as well, I do a lot of playing in my teaching job with lessons, including fl and cl, but inevitably when a show comes up I am focusing on what the part calls for and I feel inadequately prepared regardless. It is tough to keep that going out of school, I don't freak out as much on playing each horn every day--I can spend a week or so with more focused playing on the other horns and get to speed when needed, excluding flute--I try to play at least a bit on that every day, but for example today I skipped out on that even though I have a more flute heavy show coming up in a week--but starting tomorrow I am back at it... (it was a holiday, right?!)
 
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