Everybody goes through periods of when they don’t practice their guitar or instrument. Everybody!!

That means you or a professional guitar player you might admire. Things like travel, family, vacations or plainly lack of inspiration to play all take a role in it. Guess what? It is ok. There is no law that states you can not take a few days or even weeks (or months) off.

There was a period when the only time I picked up the guitar is when I needed to do something with it. Could be a show, could be a recording. I started looking at it as a tool.

Over time, of course, the initial passion for the instrument returned and I also play it just for fun like anyone else. Just remember, as Steve Vai once said, it is ok to get frustrated, but it is not ok to quit. And, your goals wait for no one.

I always knew that if I was not working towards something, then someone else was. This thought was very motivating to me. Playing the guitar sometimes is like putting pennies in the bank. You put em in everytime you practice and when you skip, loose inspiration or can not get to your guitar for whatever reason … you take some pennies out. You see what I mean?

This is why I always tell young kids to play as much as you can, because one day you will have to rely on the arsenal they have built over the time. This also applies to professionals. Travel, which is a huge part of playing live, takes serious time away from your instrument. You might take an 8 hour flight, go to your hotel, do some press in the am, check out at 2 for a sound check and pick up your guitar at 4pm. This often means that you have not picked up or seen your instrument in way over 24 hours. It’s just reality. If you are a musician (and, most people who play an instrument are) remember that having a creative output also means experiencing things in life that you later will express through your instrument. Sure, it is not technical in nature, but this can be some of the best practicing you’ll ever do.

I look at it from far away – as a big picture. In a span of 10 years, you taking 3 weeks off won’t really matter, so I suggest you don’t beat yourself over it. Just pick it up and play. No huge, grand plan needed for this. Just play. Over time you’ll see that you’ve been playing for an hour and had a good time. The momentum and a feeling of accomplishment will build if you repeat tomorrow and a day after. You’ll often find yourself that you love playing again. Horns!