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lack of sleep
lack of sleep and practice problems
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December 9, 2020 - 4:10 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
Forum Posts: 989
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what are anyones views on lack of sleep and its effect on practice? does it affect you, My intonation is poor at best anyway, but I find when I dont have much sleep as is the case lately , I seem to go worse. From scratchy sound to completely flat, is this a phenomenon that others on here find affects them, or is it just me. i also seem to have reached a plateu that no matter what I do I cant get beyond, which is unrelated to lack of sleep but thought I would mention. My vibrato is improving all the time, but playing isnt. Does each individual get to a level which they can not get beyond, I hope this isnt the case but would value your ideas and opinions.

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December 9, 2020 - 5:15 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 3637
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I think lack of sleep affects everything you do.

I think we all reach plateaus when we are doing something and then whatever it is you are doing starts moving forward again, and it will plateau again, etc. Maybe it is some ingrained mechanism? You just keep going on your plateau. Maybe it is your brain telling your body it needs to be more comfortable or secure before moving on. Not sure. But I have heard about these plateaus in many activities.

The Bumblebee Flies!


December 9, 2020 - 7:47 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2020
Forum Posts: 492
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Hitting plateaus over time is normal.  My teacher has indicated this as well.  Sometimes, if you are just banging your head against something, it’s best to leave it and move on to something else (e.g., another piece, other exercises, etc.,). 

Not suggesting not working on difficult parts—just when you’ve spent the time & effort, and it’s not working, move on.  So many things to focus on with playing this thing, it’s okay to leave a specific something—you can revisit it later. 

I’ve just done this—I was working on a Mozart piece that is a little bit of a stretch for me (good to do, too), but I was getting frustrated by it.  I told my teacher I wanted to take a break from it and work on some Christmas duet pieces instead (‘tis the season, after all), and revisit Mozart at the beginning of the year. 

These pieces still have some challenge to them (learning both parts, 2nd violin a little more complex), but I can focus on some other things that I wasn’t with the Mozart piece (matching tone with other player, etc.,).

If it “all seems wrong” (I've been there--"Why do I bother with this thing"), just take a look at a specific something, and work on it.  It may also be that you are more “in tune” with how you are playing now—so that those little scratches and slightly flat notes that got by you before are now standing out to you.

As for the sleep part—can’t be at your best without good rest.  Gotta get more sleep! smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.


December 9, 2020 - 10:35 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 3550
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Yep, like SharonC says - take a break, go on to something new.  Go back to the music you were having the trouble tomorrow or next week. 

If you're of the mindset you'll challenge yourself, and you practice, you will always improve! 

Like GregW always says, "just play" and enjoy yourself.  There's always at least one tune you know you can play well, even on a bad day (yes, I have bad days).  End your session on a good note. (lol) 

About sleep, I'm extremely lucky if I get more than 2 hours of sleep, once or twice a week.  My playing gets sloppy if I'm really tired. 



- Emily

Gordon Shumway
London, England
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December 10, 2020 - 5:03 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1779
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I've had three good nights' sleep in my life. There was a time when I could still remember the feeling I had upon waking up from the last one. 


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