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Will your hard practise be for nothing and is there a solution

If you have landed on this blog post then you are probably trying to decide if you should bring your guitar on holiday or leave it behind. If not, then perhaps you will still find some useful information in this article.

Sometimes it is not realistic for us to have our guitar by our sides, and when this happens it can prove a little worrying for the keen guitarist.

I remember when I was starting out on guitar and wouldn’t have dreamt of leaving it behind for a week or two to go on a family holiday. It’s that stage of playing when your hands seem to be glued to your instrument and not many things can take your attention off it. For me, the prospect of not practicing guitar for 2 weeks was not too enticing, even if I was going to get to see both Thailand and Singapore. I feared that months of alternate picking, tapping and improvisation would all be pointless after the holiday, and I would be back to square one. After begging my parents to let me bring the guitar on holiday, I had to leave it behind and board the flight.

Sometimes the guitar can wait at home!

Do my skills slip away if I don’t practise for longer than a week

This was long before I became a guitar teacher in Brighton and I didn’t understand that your skills wouldnt simply fall behind if you do not keep up your usual practise routine. After about five days into the holiday I was itching to play and was anxious to get my hands on a guitar, especially seeing as I had been to an amazing live Blues night that made me desperate to work on my playing.

Find a guitar store on holiday

If you really are feeling the pinch of not playing guitar then I suggest looking up where the nearest guitar store is. This is what we did; it was both an eye opener and completely relaxed me about my time away from the guitar. When I found the store, I asked to try out a Paul Gilbert Ibanez guitar, a guitar I had been wanting to play for ages, and what a pleasure to play. However, my playing had slipped and it felt like starting all over again! I was shocked, but after 30 minutes it was back on top form, which was a great relief.

I didn’t realize it at the time but the only reason I experienced this sudden ‘back to square one™ feeling was because I was relatively new to guitar and my muscle memory was nowhere near as developed as it is these days. The main thing to remember here, is that you will not lose all of your skills, and your months or years of hard-work will not be wasted.

Get a Mini Fretboard Neck

If you are a real fanatic, then an alternative to getting to your local music store is to buy a mini fretboard to practise hand positions and chord changes, plus warm ups to keep you in shape. You can take this with you and find slots of time on holiday if you really do miss your guitar that much. There are quite a few different types of fretboards on offer and as an alternative you could buy an actual travel guitar to take with you and practise with sound. Travel guitars are just miniature guitars with built in amplification for the guitarists on the go.

The main thing to remember is that you shouldnt worry too much about leaving your guitar behind when you go on holiday. Just as the case is with many areas of dedication in life, a break is sometimes really good for you, and brings energy and enthusiasm for when you are able to return to your usual routine.

Enjoy your holidays!

(Image Credit to Gabrielle White)

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