February 22, 2018 at 10:50 PM #58850
Does anyone have any solid clues as to whether it is more effective to practice in the morning hours as opposed to late night/evening sessions?
I read some data once that said it is more effective to practice earlier in the day as opposed to later. Has something to do with the way the brain is wired to operate. Seems different times of day have been partitioned off by the brain for different operations by moods, chemical changes, etc. etc.
I’m pretty convinced that early is better…I’m putting this up as a motivation to change my habits from putting it off to late night sessions. Now that our fiddle camp is over, I have tons more stuff I’m trying to work on & motivated by seeing results happening.February 23, 2018 at 9:47 AM #58855
Have had better practice and seem to catch on best while practicing in the AM. Age may be a part of it as 80 is approaching at astounding speed and I benefit more while enjoying my first cuppa coffee. Thought that it was just me!February 23, 2018 at 9:57 AM #58856
I like either end of the day but I don’t learn much in the middle…February 23, 2018 at 10:05 AM #58858
It seems to me that the early, early morning is the best time. I’m talking 3:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. When I go to Tennessee and my wife stays back in Arkansas, I go to bed real early some nights and get up real early some mornings. I really enjoy these early morning hours to practice. There are no neighbors to annoy so I just let it flicker!February 23, 2018 at 11:50 AM #58863
Fred, you sound like my husband…up at 3 or 4… I’m like…no way…those are raccoon hours…people hours don’t start for me until after lunch…lol. I can do ok after lunch until I get too sleepy at night…mornings…nuh-uh…never. I let the raccoons get to bed first.February 23, 2018 at 12:41 PM #58868
So, Fred..if you stay up late enough, that becomes early morning right? So maybe I been doing it right after all?February 23, 2018 at 1:54 PM #58871
Rodger, sounds like you and Cricket are both “night owls”. lol
I grew up on a farm and later was in the electrical union and traveled long distances to work in the morning, so getting up super-duper early in the morning is just ingrained in me.February 23, 2018 at 7:57 PM #58878
I think this was on the forum a few years ago, but I found this very interesting.February 23, 2018 at 8:38 PM #58880
I do get up early, but mostly I just drink coffee and check emails until after lunch…lol. I think mainly I practice in my sleep…lol.February 23, 2018 at 10:49 PM #58884
So, Angela, are they saying you should play your instrument right after you wake up??February 24, 2018 at 11:04 AM #58907
I usually practice in the evening . . . and then I sleep on it. It seems to work best for me.
Check this out. <below>February 24, 2018 at 1:01 PM #58909
I like that guy, Josh Turknett…he’s got lots of interesting ideas…smart enough to be a brain surgeon…oops, that’s what he is…lol. He has lots of neat ideas…he’s the one who started the online Old Time Jam Machine, plus, I’ve seen he has personal experience with a specific diet he followed to overcome his debilitating migraines. All that, not to mention pretty doggone good banjo player, too.February 24, 2018 at 4:47 PM #58919
Nancy, that article pretty well sums it up I guess at least according to the current knowledge available on the brain. I think my ideal practice time is when I’m sleeping.
Concerning that visualization procedure: I know a fellow that taught himself to shoot a bow & arrow by that technique (holding his bow in his hand while doing the visualization thing) and went out and got his deer with his first shot!February 24, 2018 at 11:02 PM #58934
I think I do much better with morning practices. Coffee first. Always. But most jams are nighttime hours. I can practice OK at night depending on my energy level. If my brain is awake after work I can practice. But, if I happen to come home and sit down and get relaxed. . . I am useless for the rest of the evening.February 25, 2018 at 9:29 PM #58946
Roger….I think the article is talking about just before sleep. I wonder if it would work before a nap, too. hmmmm
Nancy’s article seems to sum up the same research, “And there is some evidence that the brain, when it triages the events of the day, gives priority to the activities performed closer to sleep. So, all other things being equal, you may be able to get a little more bang for your practicing buck closer to bedtime.”February 25, 2018 at 11:47 PM #58954
Makes sense..but I’ll have to sleep on that…
What an incredible creation the brain is…so fantastic…
but Cricket you mentioned those x-rays….when I look at an x-ray of my head the brain appears to be totally missing.February 26, 2018 at 1:25 AM #58955February 26, 2018 at 1:28 AM #58956
Practice and Sleep Make for Music Mastery:February 26, 2018 at 3:15 PM #58967
Well, what I was thinking is how first thing in the morning our mind is like a clean sheet of paper and hasn’t begun to make it’s list of stuff to figure out, so if you put the fiddle on the top of the list it gets some kind of special priority. A lot of people like to use that first hour for meditation/prayer because it seems to be less clutter up than later in the day. By night we have a full basket load up there all clattering for attention.
But those cycles are impossible to figure out. Back home the birds (before cats & pesticides decimated them) would all wake up & start singing on cue about 4:00AM in the summer time really loud…then get quiet until about first light when they would start their day. One of my deepest & most wonderful memories is that sound. It would start with one bird deep in the woods making a weak little sound, then right away another would answer & instantly the entire mountain would be a loud concert of intense singing. Nothing could be more wonderful. Before the modern times of artificial lighting, & especially before the 1800’s they used to have the 1st & 2nd sleep. It was common to get up in the middle of the night for an hour or so & then go back to bed for the 2nd sleep. I personally believe that this practice was necessary for security reasons & check on livestock to scare off predators, and such things as that which was important for survival, but it was a cultural practice even for people living in towns. The concept of sleeping all the way through the night uninterrupted is a modern thing. In our situation here I seldom sleep all the way through the night.February 27, 2018 at 8:15 AM #58992
We used to get up and stoke the fire.March 2, 2018 at 2:20 AM #59060
Morning is good for creativity and analytical thinking, and evening is better for ingraining repetitive tasks. However, fiddle practice is a little bit of both! To be on the safe side, maybe we shoud practice twice a day. :)March 2, 2018 at 11:33 AM #59079
Dr. John: Maybe that’s why, when I have free time during the day, I pick up the fiddle and just play some fun tunes. ?March 2, 2018 at 2:42 PM #59080
I had a few minutes this morning…picked up the fiddle, got inspired to fire up the Presonus, started in on My Old Kentucky Home…time flew by and Mike got home, and I realized this tune had gone nuts on me…I just lost my mind on that one…I mean, it’s almost kinda good, but pretty bizarre…yes, now I think I’m losing my mind. I thought to delete the whole thing, but I might sleep on it, see if I can get a few minutes in the morning again and see if it can be fixed, or if it’s as nutty as I’m thinking right now…it all started veering off into a weird direction, and I know exactly how it evolved into the beast it became…lol. If I end up keeping it, I’ll explain …if I delete it…it’s for the good of all humanity.March 2, 2018 at 3:00 PM #59081
Can’t wait to hear it…………….:)March 2, 2018 at 6:13 PM #59086
Lol…but, well, for the good of all humanity, you know…I might have to delete the thing…trust me, it turned very weird…lol.March 2, 2018 at 11:56 PM #59098
Haha maybe we shouldn’t ask to hear this one… I don’t want to be responsible for the fate of humanity!June 12, 2018 at 5:00 PM #62008
This is what happens to me after my night time practice, <see below>June 12, 2018 at 8:30 PM #62022
Nancy good one !June 13, 2018 at 1:52 AM #62032
I find mornings to be easier to learn and practice. I also think (noticed) that the hearing might be a bit different over the day. I often find that the same song played in the morning sounds very different from when played late in the evening. It sounds much better and more exact in the mornings but not so good late in the evening (or maybe one plays differently the muscles not responding so exact?).
Regarding the best practicing time of the day maybe it is not so much at what time one practice but what is done afterwards that has most effect on how well things are memorized.
There have been several very interesting articles around physical training and the brain that shows a direct correlation between aerobics training and effectiveness in learning eg jogging or something else that increases blood flow through the brain for ca 45 min, especially if the training takes place about 4 hours after the learning event.
I believe that it might be true and have noticed myself that there is a big difference in learning when combining the practice with some type of aerobics training (eg jogging).June 13, 2018 at 5:10 AM #62045
Great article, Hakan, thanks for posting.
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