View Full Version : Frustration.. after a few days not playing..

01-05-2011, 02:33 PM
Hey all..
I have had a lot of schoolwork and company etc and haven't been able to play my ukulele very much the past few days. I was so excited to play today finally after so many days... and it was just nuts. My strumming was so fast it was like I couldn't slow it down no matter what I was playing... Should have been playing The Ramones, if I could change chords fast enough.
It was almost like I didn't know how to play or strum anymore. Any progress I made on that darn Bb is history. UGH!
I finally put it down after a bit because I couldn't slow down and I was getting frustrated.. I hope this isn't a new trend... Anyone experience anything like this before? I sure hope that it will get better tomorrow, I should be able to go back to regular playing and practicing now that the holidays are over..
Thanks for any suggestions or advice you can give.

01-05-2011, 02:44 PM
You're probably putting too much pressure on yourself to get some practice time in. You'll be fine, it was wise to put down your uke when you started feeling frustrated. Chill out, the holidays are done, and you can get back in the groove now.:cool:

01-05-2011, 03:29 PM
Excitement is an awesome thing :) Do you play with someone else ever? That tends to help me slow down considerably. 'Course, I like to sound like the RAMONES.
Gabba Gabba we except you.
I also find that I like to sound off with others, and even though the ten or so folks I get to play with regularly are learning and are at or lower than my level (not that my level is anywhere near anything but beginner) I always learn faster with more than one brain working on the problem. Fortunately I have a live in jam partner and uke enthusiast. My wife loves playing probably more than I do.

Biggest thing I have found with frustration, as I am learning along with my wife is that when she gets frustrated, it is time to put them away. I say she because I have experience with other instruments and she does not, and I gave up getting frustrated a long time ago. For me, if it ain't fun, then it ain't worth doing. Probably while I will never be real good...but I will always be smiling.

01-05-2011, 03:55 PM
don't get too frustrated. Sometimes it can work to your advantage. I remember playing banjo and having trouble with certain licks. Took a few days off and forgot my bad habits. It may take a little but it will come back , don't get down on yourself

01-05-2011, 04:06 PM
There's a quote that's been attributed to various professional musicians that "If I don't practice for a day, I'll notice a difference in my playing. If I don't practice for two days, my band/orchestra will notice. If I don't practice for three days, my audience will notice."

But sometimes we need (or are forced by circumstances) to take a break. Sometimes it feels like I never missed a beat, sometimes I feel I'm struggling.

For me, it helps to warm up with several simple, easy pieces that I'm already pretty good at. That helps set the tempo for me.

For me, if it ain't fun, then it ain't worth doing. Probably while I will never be real good...but I will always be smiling.
Exactly! There's nothing wrong with high and lofty goals, but letting yourself get frustrated doesn't help any.

Personally, I'm fairly happy to wallow in mediocrity because I enjoy what I can play and don't get too frustrated over what I can't. :)

01-05-2011, 04:55 PM
I finally learned a long time ago that my delusions of grandeur are actually more like delusions of mediocrity - so I just have a good time and don't sweat it. :)


01-05-2011, 05:05 PM
Aloha fitncrafty,
Putting it down and walking away to relax and calm down is what you should do. Don't get flustered. When you pick it back up, you'll have a new perspective on what you want to accomplish. This also applies to everyday life. So just relax and I'm sure it'll work itself out............BO.............

01-05-2011, 05:06 PM
I have found that sometime I pick up the uke, or more often the accordion because it is so much harder, and I can't play. I put it away and the next time I play fine. In fact just this week I just couldn't play the accordion right. I put it away, had some dinner, unwound for awhile and then I could play just fine. I don't know what I am trying to say except it is normal sometimes to have it not click.

mm stan
01-05-2011, 06:44 PM
Aloha fitn crafty,
Trying to fit ukulele playing in your tight schedule will get you excited and rush you through things...I'm sure when you have more time to relax, practice, and concentrate.... things will fall into place..
It takes time to get acclaimated again...practice, patience, perserverence, passion.. Have Fun and Enjoy!! Happy Strummings...MM Stan

01-06-2011, 02:30 AM
Sorry to hear about your frustration. I usually have the opposite thing happen when I do not play for a day or two. I am a little more relaxed and whatever I might have been working on flows a little easier - maybe it had time to settle into my hands and head after working on it for awhile. Just relax and have fun.

01-06-2011, 02:34 AM
Thanks everyone for all your responses... I am usually fine if it's just a day or two.. it was 5.. and you would have thought I was in DT's or something... All our company has gone home and the kids are back and school, hubby back and work.. and I have my quiet time without 'the critics' (as I call them) I am sure today will be better... so glad I will be able to get back to almost daily playing!
You guys (and gals) are the best.....

01-06-2011, 09:21 AM
Hey, Carrie.
I think it is normal - especially when you aren't playing with someone else more than once a month. I generally work days, and have some time free in the afternoons, if you want to get together and strum a bit. We can talk about it Monday night at the Uke Get Together.


01-06-2011, 09:59 AM
Not long ago i had a similar thing happen. Because i was ill over the holidays with flu i didnt play uke for a few days. When i came back my strumming was ok but my picking was completley messed up. I decided to take a brake like you. When i came back i relized i forgot to do my warm up and then it was starting to pick up after i did a warm up. You did the right thing to stop playing because being frustrated will not help.

01-06-2011, 11:25 AM
well, I have never been totally without playng ukulele so long but there are days that I get to pick up ukulele for just too little times :) I find that when that happens, next time I just strumm the pain (of not playing) out at first. Like a cattle in spring :) just running not thinking, not really trying anything. simple chords, fast strum :)

01-06-2011, 02:12 PM
I think sometimes you just have to have those days when you are content to cradle the uke in your arms and bring soft sounds from it - other days, when things have been less hectic and you are more fresh - those are the days to really try for excellence. Sometimes, just let the uke comfort you...


01-06-2011, 04:13 PM
I think sometimes you just have to have those days when you are content to cradle the uke in your arms and bring soft sounds from it - other days, when things have been less hectic and you are more fresh - those are the days to really try for excellence. Sometimes, just let the uke comfort you..
Even when you practice every day, there'll be days when you're "with it" and other days when you're just not. On the latter, I just go for a minimum practice time and consider it "callus maintenance". :p

01-06-2011, 05:11 PM
My favourite uke got damaged badly on Christmas. It is currently in the shop getting repaired. I have hardly touched my other ukes. I haven't gone a day without playing a uke in three years. I just don't have the drive to want to play. This incident really took the wind out of my sails. Very upsetting. I'm hoping I get back my enthusiasm when my favorite one comes home. I know I haven't lost what I've learned and neither have you. Just keep playing.

01-06-2011, 05:27 PM
I've had that happen while practicing for a show. I think it's like folks said, you put pressure on yourself. I try now just to have fun and that seems to work. It's not like I'm gonna be playing at Lincoln Center in front of the President. So what if you mute a few strings or miss a few chord changes. We aren't robots. Weez freeky skittery peeps and we can smile and have fun.

01-07-2011, 01:53 AM
Same here, I've been bogged down with school, haven't played for three days!