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Martin

 

Posts: 150
Joined: Nov. 21 2004
 

Time to practice when you have young... 

I have two young children, and my guitars have barely seen daylight since they were born. Becoming a single parent hasn't helped. Anyone got any advice, or faced up to a similar problem?

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"Let me assure you that I am playing all the right notes...... but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecombe
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 10:59:35
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1764
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

My kids have always fallen asleep to the sound of my guitar. Plus, as they get older and start doing clubs etc then I got to practice in car parks. Taking them camping can be fun and if they are old enough to leave you alone for 5 minutes you can play then. Practice singing letras when driving, cooking or on the toilet. That said, I'm not on my own with my kids, I can see how that can change things.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 12:05:35
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1418
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

I always played guitar with my young son around, even in the evening time and naps between the day.
If a child knows the sound he will accept it as normal and sleep trough it. That is my experience.
Also I learned him not to touch the fireplace and not to touch the guitar.
and yes, you will have to make short sessions during the day, and be disturbed a hundred times, but that is something not to get irritated about, the same is happening while ironing or doing the dishes.

Good luck, and I wisch you enough sleep for everyday....😄

You can also put a cloth or a piece of foam just before the bridge. You still can practice without a minimum of sound

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 12:05:44
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Me too, two little children and too much work. I have a very few time. I decided to leave running and use the time for guitar playing (just 1 hour) and in other short moments. I decided that spirit is more important than cholesterol... .

I have lost technical 'level'... But the good news are that I started to enjoy more the sound from these falsetas that I really love, usually with oldy sounds, trying to do them much better and perfect and,unconsciously, I started to develop them (always controlling compas, of course)... therefore now I playing my own falsetas... They are not the Tomatito's falsetas but I accopaingn a friend of mine sometimes and I am really at ease with them. I look also for great masters falsetas with good sound and easy technique.

In conclusion, train less tricky technique and more flamenco quality.

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Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 12:15:19
 
Argaith

Posts: 427
Joined: May 6 2009
From: Iran (living in London)

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

I am not sure whether or not my children ever had any problem with the guitar sound, but to be on the safe side and the fact that it always took so long to put them to sleep; I had to tiptoe around them. Therefore I had to practice with a piece of sponge shoved under the strings. While that served the purpose, I believe it had a very bad effect on my playing. I could not hear the true sound of the guitar and had to play very stiff. I couldn’t adjust my technique to get a better sound because I wasn’t sure what it should have sounded with the sponge on.

We have now moved to a bigger house and my children are older. I practice full blast in the kitchen which is right under my son’s bedroom. He said the other night that he likes listening to my playing

I think you should carry on playing and let them get used to it and perhaps subconsciously learn it
A

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 13:44:30
 
Cloth Ears

 

Posts: 152
Joined: Apr. 26 2005
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Personally I use the rhythm method.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 13:55:05
 
Martin

 

Posts: 150
Joined: Nov. 21 2004
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

I get up shortly after five am, and by the time they are in bed and the jobs have finished its 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Not any energy left to practice

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"Let me assure you that I am playing all the right notes...... but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecombe
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 15:04:22
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Yes, I see you have few time...

You can play with sordine in the hour they sleep and, at least, you play feel the strings. But not one of these commercial models. Pedro de Miguel recomends me long time ago the sponge betwen the strings and the top of the guitar just in the bridge. You can try with several types of sponge utill you find the adecuate sound, because depending of the density and the pressure that it apply the guitar sounds less or more loudly. The tuning is conserved. With low density sponges the guitar sounds much better but loudly.

I use it when they sleep. It's is not the Panacea and you lost the shades of sound but it works quite well, you feel the guitar, and is allows to learn new falsetas. But you should also find time to play without it.

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Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 16:08:40
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11060
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

secret is to get an indoor trampoline:

http://youtu.be/AYwhLxMvhhE

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2015 18:23:56

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

If Ricardo can do what he does with little ones running around, then
none of us have any excuses. :)

I have a one year old now, and i simply practice while he runs around.

If you're not practicing, that is a choice. You either set up your life
to have time to practice, or you dont. Kids or no kids.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2015 18:28:35
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3520
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

I got better after I had a kid. Became more efficient in my practice time and got more into a schedule and less willy-nilly.

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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2015 19:03:01
 
Blondie#2

 

Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 14 2010
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

You don't say how young the kids are. Being a single parent with a baby would be tough, but if they are at school/pre school and you work you have options and a lot of it is about organising your life as Todd and Miguel say.

I get up around same time as you, I have an Aria silent guitar and get 20- 30 mins in each week day when I get up, longer at weekends. In fact I am sacrificing some practice time right now to respond to this post so I'll be brief.

I take a real guitar to work maybe once a week and sacrifice a lunch break to get 45 mins in there.

There are plenty of activities that younger kids can do to amuse themselves for a while during evenings and definitely at weekends while you grab 45 mins on the guitar, you do not need to spend every minute with them. Relatives, friends with kids can help share workload by helping each other out and giving you some free time.

Plan the longer term to give yourself even more practice time in terms of your job, hours worked etc, you have to sacrifice things if time with the guitar s important to you.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2015 9:44:01
 
pink

Posts: 570
Joined: Jan. 8 2013
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Martin

I have two young children, and my guitars have barely seen daylight since they were born. Becoming a single parent hasn't helped. Anyone got any advice, or faced up to a similar problem?


Its hard enough bringing up children as a couple let alone as a single parent. You must find the time somehow to allow yourself the opportunity to do something you love that is just for you....we all need that.
If you have become a single parent through seperation or through bereavement , both will have a huge psychological effect on you all, which will take time to overcome. I wish you the best with that element.
Blondie has made good suggestions with regard time management.... if you can practice at work or perhaps early morning then do. If you have the good fortune of family/friends close by then see if they can help.....a friend takes your children for a few hours once a week and you do the same in return....both parents win with that.
My children are 16 and 18 now and my wife and I have been fortunate enough to still be together happily married throughout.... its been fekkin hard work though so either way it will be tough for you. I've played guitar throughout and my boys have always seen me play and not been phased by it....they did their thing and dad did his! Give it a go.
I wish you well.

Best

pink

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2015 11:21:07
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11060
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

That scene in La Bûsqueda where Paco is on tour and practicing in his hotel room with the 7 year old on the floor playing video games on the Ipad pretty much says it all.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2015 15:25:06
 
GaryNLA

 

Posts: 15
Joined: Jan. 2 2015
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Playing guitar for your children will soothe them and infuse them with love of music, perhaps even the spirit of flamenco! I have an 18-month old nephew and when he comes over, the guitars come out. He dances around the room to whatever we're playing. From the time he was six months old, as we'd tune up, he'd hum the notes of the guitar strings - on key!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2015 16:53:18
 
Martin

 

Posts: 150
Joined: Nov. 21 2004
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

The twins are two, and I get 30 minutes lunch break at work.

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"Let me assure you that I am playing all the right notes...... but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecombe
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2015 18:06:48
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2578
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to GaryNLA

When my two kids were young, most of my practice time was after they went to bed. Their bedroom was upstairs, I played downstairs, but I'm sure the guitar was quite audible in their room--the house wasn't that big. It didn't seem to disturb their sleep.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2015 18:08:52
 
chester

Posts: 729
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Martin

The twins are two, and I get 30 minutes lunch break at work.


Single parent, AND twins?!? Damn that's a lot of work.

Whoever tells you to just put them in front of an ipad or tv and practice is not someone I'd take parenting advice from.

Give them the attention they need, and in a few months to a year they'll probably be able to occupy themselves pretty well. As a father of a 3.5 and 1.5 year old kids I promise you - it gets better!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2015 3:25:03
Guest

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Hi
For over a decade ( 14 years to be exact ) I've been a single parent to two children
Primary carer with their mother having limited access
My son is now 19 and my daughter 17
Both have recently become fairly independent with my son supporting himself away from home ( well almost ) and my daughter finishing school

Throughout all this I earned my keep as a musician
Working during school hours as a guitar teacher and taking gigs
As my parents passed away years ago my brother and his wife helped with care
Along with the network with parents through their school
I also shared a large house with a pianist friend who was a single parent with a daughter the same age as mine
We helped each other out a great deal
I managed to practice fairly consistently, at least a few hours a day - no real social life for some time...kids and guitar was all i had time for.. - always hoping students wouldn't show for there lessons :-)
Any type of touring wasn't a viable option
But always found time to practice - and mostly the kids let me -

might be beneficial to find some sort of support group, less common for males to find themselves in this situation...keeping the black dog away (ie mental health, depression) is paramount to making it all work...there is nothing easy about any of this...and im not sure how alone you are in your situation.

I also re partnered about 5 years ago to a single mother and we are still together
I feel blessed with the support I got - You do learn to use the time you have in the most beneficial way
And have faith in the good will that exists in our world


Most of the hard yards are in essence behind me
So the light at the end of the tunnel wasn't the train I expected

I could write pages on the turmoils and experience of facing life under these circumstances
But the key to all is getting support - asking and returning favours - weighing up viability of offers and how it may affect your duty as a parent

feel free to pm me if support is needed - happy to help and offer any insight into the situation I experienced

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2015 6:29:16
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

quote:

the jobs have finished its 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Not any energy left to practice


Actually the problem is the work time and energy. When children are awake, guitar never is a problem. What's more, they can participate if they are older.
I understand you.

Not all the people are professional, are close to muscians or have free time. Little houses (small flats) and hard phisical work do not help. But remember, that Flamenco is a life expression and primitive flamenco is family music and there is not greatest thing that have childrens and share your expression with them now and in the future. May be is time to forget bulerias, rumbas and dark siguirillas, and improve your tremolo, ligados y 'sonidos angelicales'(armonicos) playing 'nanas' for them some minutes before they go bed ...

I'm sure you will find a good solution.

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Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2015 9:24:57
 
aloysius

Posts: 233
Joined: Apr. 7 2005
From: Adelaide, Australia

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

I've got a 2yo son and daughter due in 2 months. Certain pieces my son really likes and actually asks me to play them over and over - especially Escudero's Ímpetu (which he calls jinga jinga) and the second of Rodrigo's Dos Preludios (which he calls puckie puckie). I've got no idea how he came up with those names. Other times he'll pick up a drum or xylophone and join in. Some times if he really wants my attention away from the guitar of course I put him first - generally though as others have said it's just normal to him that dad's playing guitar. Playing while he's asleep is definitely a non-issue, he heard so much guitar even in the womb it won't wake him. If there is any way to make your work as guitar-related as possible, as much as your current level and local demand will allow, this will help - for instance going part time and setting up a teaching practice from home on the other days.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2015 8:00:44
 
jmb

Posts: 119
Joined: Oct. 14 2014
From: Vallecas - Madrid - Spain

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

By the way, the favourite teething ring of my younger son was my favourite capo, one of these fantastic cheap traditional blacks from Pedro de Miguel. I gave it to him and it gets broken by humidity of his droll. I had to buy other some days ago (I love the smell of guitarrerías in the morning) and repair the old with glue as memento of babyhood.

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Suenas payo ¡y lo sabes!

Sing and string - other flamenco blog
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2015 11:53:18
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3520
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Damn AlVal, that is amazing! What a road you've traveled--you should write a book.

The first few years, an infant requires a mind-boggling amount of work. And I wasn't even a single parent. My daughter is 6 now and literally would watch Ipad all day if I let her. I could practice all day! But I don't think that would lead to desired results in life.

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Connect with me on Facebook, all the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/migueldemariaZ


Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2015 15:19:50
 
barblackmore

 

Posts: 22
Joined: Jan. 26 2011
 

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

Hi everyone. Many interestings toughts here
I don´t have children yet, but i live with my wife and work 55 hours a week
It´s tough, but you have to be creative
I practice 30 min everyday day after i woke up. Then, go to work. I eat my breakfast at work, just to save me time to practice at home
Then, when you left the car and walk, you can hear mp3 on your smartphone. I have a files from a book called "One note ear training"...a piano plays a note, and then a voice tells you which note it was. When you start, it seems impossible, but you´ve to keep practising, until one day you recognize notes by ear, and that´s an amazing feeling!
I also have a tuner on the smartphone. But i don´t use for the guitar, i use it for my ear training instead. When i have to wait....in the bathroom, for example, i use it. I turn it on and think "I will sing an A sharp", and then the tuner shows me if my pitch was correct.
I would be glad to play 8 hours if i could, but i do these little things that are better than nothing
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2015 16:13:15
 
Mark2

Posts: 1469
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Time to practice when you have y... (in reply to Martin

My kids are grown up-28 and 21 years old. I found time to practice a lot and do a lot of gigging while they were growing up without sacrificing my duties as a parent. But, I had a really supportive wife. Without her support, I don't see how I could have spent anywhere near the amount of time I did pursuing music related activities. I was not making my living playing though. In that case, there is really no choice but to do the required practicing, etc.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2015 22:50:46
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