Fallen Behind

October was a rough month for me. This is not a “poor Tim” post, and I know that many people have it worse, but I had a skin cancer removal surgery and then I caught a nasty cold. After almost two years of quarantining, masking, and social distancing, my body was just not ready to deal with it.

Anyway! I fell very behind in my B2B lessons. I noodled on the bass a lot, but I wouldn’t say that I practiced much of anything. Maybe a couple of new AC/DC songs, but nothing contributory to my B2B lessons.

So! Should I pick up where I left off and dive right back into it? Or rewind a few lessons to ramp back up into it? Maybe do a quick review run-through of all the ones I’ve done?


I understand completely, @JustTim . . . :neutral_face:

Everyone is different and we all deal with things in the most comfortable way we can.

If it were me, I’d rewind a few lessons to ramp back up to it, but that’s just me :wink:



How do you fall behind in something that hasn’t a schedule?

But I’m in the same boat. I’m going to restart from the beginning and make sure I haven’t developed bad habits.


Sometimes it is good and beneficial to give the brain (and body) some time to digest all of the new-learned stuff. You might find going back to a few older lessons that you “remember” easily and getting up to speed again is no big issue.

As the old adage goes: it’s a marathon, not a sprint :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I’ve played all kinds of instruments over a span of about 20 years and I can attest that you’ll never completely forget everything you learn, no matter how much time passes. You might be a little rusty when starting up again, but that’s no different than having an “off day” with your fingers or forgetting to warm up.

Everyone here is right – the bass muses are very kind and I think you’ll be more surprised by what you can do than what you can’t!


probably what I would do too



And, start where you left off, seem too hard? Back up a couple lessons. Still to hard? Repeat until feels good.


The biggest obstacle in our way of doing anything is…ourselves.
This is a hobby not a job.
It should bring you joy not anguish.
We all have those moments when we are frustrated, that’s ok, but don’t let that be the activity. Do like Elsa and let it go.
I bet no one here plays or progresses like they would really want. Jobs and such. Enjoy the progress you do make and the entire journey is part of it.


I took guitar lessons when i was 9 or 10, then didnt play guitar again for about 35 years and i still remembered the important parts of what i learned.

I read mostly treble clef for 5 years (violin), then mostly bass clef for another 5 years (trombone and bassoon), didn’t need to read music again for about the next 30 years and it’s treble clef that I’m still way more proficient at :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Whatever feels comfortable to you I’d say.
If you pick up where you left off and have no problems with it go for it.
If you try to pick up where you left off and it’s a struggle go back a few lessons.


That’s actually a good question. “Fallen behind” probably isn’t the correct term. “Fallen off track” is probably better.

Bottom line, it’s probably been a good 4 weeks or so since I last did a lesson or any serious practice. Just lots of noodling. That’s what I was getting at. :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t worry about it. Just start where you were, or maybe back a lesson. It will all come back faster than you think.

I’ve gone a few weeks without playing much many times.


It’s a journey, nothing to worry over. You stopped and saw the sights, that’s part of the journey too because it’s supposed to be a fun journey.

I derailed with Billie Jean. Now with my new Stream I’m itching to finish the course as I want the skills that come with it.


I suggest you go back a few lessons and attempt the workouts until you find one you can’t easily play. If you find one you struggle with, go from there. OTOH you might find that the time away from the material has caused it magically to consolidate in your mind, and exercises you previously struggled with have become easy. Hope you feel better soon!

1 Like

@JustTim I hope you are doing better now. How is the practice going? I am sure you will feel home on the bass very quickly. And sometimes it is good to take a little timeout…some things in life are more important than your hobbies. :slight_smile:

That is so true. We should appreciate our hobbies. I have realized, that it is a gift to have interests that fascinate and motivate you. Many people don´t have anything besides work and the only thing they do to wind down is watching TV. Being able to get excited about something new you want to learn is a blessing. We should be grateful for it.

Go back a couple lessons to review, then continue with new lessons.
Yes, due to many negative life issues that crop up, especially over the past year and a half, there are times that I just don’t have the energy to pick up my bass and play.
Then, things fall in place and “all is right with the world” and all is right between me and my bass.
Have fun and good skills!!!

1 Like

Exactly! I believe that hobbies and especially music can have a healing effect.

1 Like

Resurrecting this thread because it’s important to keep in mind that this musical pursuit is a mindful act of joy. It is not a job. And struggling sometimes, when we want/expect mastery, is not failure. It is part and parcel of living life.

There is a guitar virtuoso named Tommy Emmanuel. A protege of Chet Atkins, Tommy is undisputedly one of the best of the best players to have ever lived. He plays over 200 tour dates per year, quite literally all around the world, but he is relatively unknown by the vast majority of the general public.

I say this merely to lay out Tommy’s background.

Back to the point: Tommy Emmanuel practices every single day, wherever he is. He doesn’t need to. He just loves to play, to learn new tunes, to try out new arrangements. To practice what he loves.

If there is a single, overarching requirement for playing an instrument, any instrument, it is to love doing it. To love trying to know it better, whether by leaps and bounds - or by baby steps. Because regardless of the lengths of our strides, we get ever closer to doing what we love.

Play on.


+1 @MikeC !

1 Like