Oscar Wilde on Moderation and Excess in Guitar Practice
We strive to be prudent and rational. We aim for temperance and restraint.
And most of the time, this is well and good.
But on occasion, we need to balance all this moderation with some healthy excess.
The ideal guitar practice touches on several areas of study. It may contain technique, new pieces of music, older pieces of music and more.
But what about those days when our minds aren’t in it? On those days, it can be therapeutic to dig into scales or exercises for the entire practice. We can get out of our heads and into the physical challenges of moving our hands. We can take the mental load off and put the physical load on.
On a different day, we may not feel like doing scales or exercises. We may become enamored with a new piece of music, and want to spend every minute working on it.
And that’s perfectly fine. Wonderful, even.
Someone once said of dietary choices, “It’s not what we do one day a week that matters – it’s what we do six days a week that counts.”
And the same holds true in guitar practice.
We can aim for a well-balanced practice routine. And if we hold to it most days, we can safely go “off the rails” once in a while.
Problems only arise when we ignore important areas in our practice. As long as we’re getting our “minimum daily allowance” of everything, we can skip a day here or there and not see any ill-effects (just like overeating on holidays).
Even more dangerous than occasional excess is constant rigidity. We’re in service to our musical growth, yes. But we’re also in service to our whims and passions. (At least in moderation!)
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”