Should I Schedule a Rest Day in my Practice Routine?
My name is Manuel Diewald and I am a Sydney based guitar teacher in West Pennant Hills who is in his final year at the University of New South Wales studying music with a stream in Pedagogy.
When I was younger, I often found myself wondering about what days and times I would practice in the week though I never really thought about scheduling a break or a so-called rest day. I was chatting to a guitarist recently about how during this pandemic, with more time than usual to practice our instruments, we found ourselves taking some days off in our practice routine. This was interesting because the amount of practice per week has increased and therefore, we felt that we needed some breaks to clear the mind.
For clarity, the breaks we took were longer than what we usually would have taken before the pandemic of COVID-19 had started. For example, I would practice at least six days a week and take one day off whereas during COVID-19 I was taking two, sometimes three days off. I still felt kind of guilty even though I was practicing more than I usually was.
These breaks were quite refreshing and surprisingly when I thought I would not have retained as much memory with these larger breaks I was wrong. I felt I had improved, almost as if the memory in my muscle had a chance to settle. Now I am not suggesting for people to take two- or three-day breaks, though I do suggest scheduling in at least one day rest throughout the week, that is, if you practice every day.
This is simply a suggestion and if you do decide to give it a go, see how you feel after the week or even a month and then make a decision on whether this is something you wish to continue with. If you do not practice every day, say four days a week, then I would not suggest scheduling a rest day. If you feel like your practice routine is a bit cluttered, then you may want to space your sessions out a bit more if they are planned out consecutively.
I hope you enjoyed this, happy practicing 😊