i feel very tired

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
tarasboulba

i feel very tired

Post by tarasboulba » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:24 am

I am 37 years of age and after 9 years i try to play the guitar again. But something very curious happens. after playing for an hour i feel very tired. I never had that feeling before. The thing is that i exercise regularly and dont feel tired at all. Can anyone help me on what can be the causes? Meaby my posture is not right or my breathing is not right.

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GeoffB
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Re: i feel very tired

Post by GeoffB » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:43 pm

Hi tarasboulba,

I'll leave your query to the experts, except to mention that it's a good idea to have a break from playing anyway at least every hour, maybe more often. I sometimes feel quite tired when playing, but that is probably because I don't sleep enough at night and some types of guitar practice do seem to lull me to sleep, especially the hypnotic effect of the metronome!

By the way, I see you've just joined us. Would you like to call in at the Introduce Yourself section some time and tell us a few words about yourself, so we can give you a proper welcome and pass on a few tips on how to get the best out of the forum? Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Geoff
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Re: i feel very tired

Post by pmiklitz » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:26 pm

Playing a musical instrument is an enormous task and involves a lot of concentration. Just think of the many things you are doing simultaneously when playing the guitar:

You are constantly trying to coordinate delicate movements of both hands while reading a score and listening to the result. If that isn't multitasking, I don't know! And it's your brain doing all the work of coordinating these many actions, so no wonder you are getting tired. Since you had a break for a long time, your brain needs to get used to this work again and I am sure it will improve with practice. Also make sure you are breathing properly as many people "forget" to do so, when they are concentrating. Lack of oxygen will make you tired, so practice in a room with ample ventilation and an appropriate temperature (not too warm).

Normal physical exercise is much less demanding on your brain, especially if you do it regularly, as your muscles will be trained and the brain just runs a series of programmed movements, which won't tire you out that much anymore.

Cheers,

Peter
Dringt durch des Aberglaubens Nacht, die Euch zu finstern Köpfen macht. Christian Fürchtegott Gellert (1715 - 1769)

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remmus
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Re: i feel very tired

Post by remmus » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:40 pm

pmiklitz wrote:Playing a musical instrument is an enormous task and involves a lot of concentration. Just think of the many things you are doing simultaneously when playing the guitar:

You are constantly trying to coordinate delicate movements of both hands while reading a score and listening to the result. If that isn't multitasking, I don't know! And it's your brain doing all the work of coordinating these many actions, so no wonder you are getting tired. Since you had a break for a long time, your brain needs to get used to this work again and I am sure it will improve with practice. Peter
So very true! I tell my new students this all the time. They feel embarrassed sometimes just playing very simple one-line melodies, but when I tell them all the things that their brain is having to sort out and coordinate, they seem to understand the enormity of it much better. Just in sight-reading alone your brain has to deal with all this at the same time:

1. What note to play (seeing it in the music staff)
2. What string to play
3. Which RH finger to use to play the string (p,i,m, or a)
4. How long to let the note ring
5. Which string to fret
6. Which LH finger to use to fret
7. Where to fret (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc...fret)
8. Exactly when to fret
9. How long to hold the fretted note

See? And that's only a few of the things going on while playing classical guitar. So give yourself a pat on the back and keep at it. It will get easier. :D
And take some breaks - go get a cup of coffee or a snack and start again.
"...it is awfully easy to become content with a level below what one is actually capable of." - Carl Peter

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Re: i feel very tired

Post by BugDog » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:24 pm

Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes the same thing happens to me, if I haven't rested well. What happens is I get so darned relaxed that the sleep deprivation sets in and I start to nod off.

If that is the case then:
1) Get more sleep.
2) Try playing in the morning.
3) Drink more coffee. :cafe:
BugDog
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Michael.N.
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Re: i feel very tired

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:16 pm

It could be posture. Certainly playing with too much tension will make you feel tired.
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: i feel very tired

Post by Erik Zurcher » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:39 pm

Please consult your doctor or physiotherapist! Don't expect a diagnosis or therapy from fellow guitarists. I am sure that every advice is given with the best of intentions, but I strongly advice you to to leave medical matters to the experts.
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davidinla

Re: i feel very tired

Post by davidinla » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:37 pm

e.zurcher wrote:Please consult your doctor or physiotherapist! Don't expect a diagnosis or therapy from fellow guitarists. I am sure that every advice is given with the best of intentions, but I strongly advice you to to leave medical matters to the experts.
I have read your advice in two "ergonomics..." posts today. Is this a new board directive? I ask because you are a moderator. If yes, maybe this section of the forums should be closed?

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: i feel very tired

Post by Erik Zurcher » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:29 am

davidinla wrote:
e.zurcher wrote:Please consult your doctor or physiotherapist! Don't expect a diagnosis or therapy from fellow guitarists. I am sure that every advice is given with the best of intentions, but I strongly advice you to to leave medical matters to the experts.
I have read your advice in two "ergonomics..." posts today. Is this a new board directive? I ask because you are a moderator. If yes, maybe this section of the forums should be closed?
No, certainly no directive! Just common sense. A friend of mine, a professional guitarist, suffered from shoulder pain for a long time. He went to see a physiotherapist and brought along his guitar. He played in front of the therapist to see if his pain was posture related. It took some weeks to resolve the problem, but it worked eventually.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

Marc Pilon

Re: i feel very tired

Post by Marc Pilon » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:04 pm

I'm 54 and find I've got a bit less energy or stamina when playing than I used to. This is especially true when practicing, rather than when playing in front of people, which seems to stimulate me. I must say, however, that I play more demanding music than I used to, when I was younger.

Right now, I play about 2-3 hours per day, but I break up the time in 45-60 minute segments. I agree that playing guitar requires a lot of attention, coordination, not to mention physical strength. Sometimes, I feel tired and take a break. I've noticed that my diet also matters: For example, if I have a beer, sometimes that loosens me up, and I play well; at times it seems to take away some of my energy. Otherwise, I'm in pretty good physical shape and eat well.

Tarasboulba, you mention that you're tired subsequent to taking up the guitar after a nine-year hiatus. That could be part of the situation: you're having to expend a lot of energy and concentration after years away from the guitar, which means building up the reflexes, attention and physical strength needed to play.

Seeing a physician certainly won't hurt. Also seeing a good teacher would help: maybe you're playing with too much tension, or bad posture, etc.

Good luck,

Marc

Sean

Re: i feel very tired

Post by Sean » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:30 pm

BugDog wrote:Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes the same thing happens to me, if I haven't rested well. What happens is I get so darned relaxed that the sleep deprivation sets in and I start to nod off.

If that is the case then:
1) Get more sleep.
2) Try playing in the morning.
3) Drink more coffee. :cafe:
If all else fails, go with step No. 3 - it works for me!
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Alhambra

Re: i feel very tired

Post by Alhambra » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:36 pm

I had a similar issue a while ago when I started playing after a few years break. Best thing to do is to keep practicing and also keep taking breaks, you will get the hang of it.

Alhambra

Re: i feel very tired

Post by Alhambra » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:41 pm

tarasboulba wrote: The thing is that i exercise regularly and dont feel tired at all.
Since you work out regularly those muscles are used the to stress and tension so you dont feel tired. While playing guitar you are using different muscles which are not used normally and may be 'out of shape' if I may say.

guitarforthejuan

Re: i feel very tired

Post by guitarforthejuan » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:24 am

It could be sleep as mentioned earlier, performing any activity for a long amount of time (even if you really enjoy it) can get ones mind weary.

jdhunt

Re: i feel very tired

Post by jdhunt » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:31 pm

Another possibility is that you are so engrossed in the playing that you forget to breath, or take too shallow of breaths.

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