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#1498789 - 08/18/10 05:09 PM Virtue sucks...
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
After a number of cigarette-free years, last winter I got depressed and started smoking again. The unfortunate truth was that smoking did wonders for my mood, concentration & motivation (there's a reason why people take up such a nasty, stinky habit), and as a consequence, I'd been having a great spring/summer with my music practice, super motivated, very productive, lots of progress, lots of fun.

But smoking is unhealthy, expensive, and antisocial, so I've been trying to quit. After several unsuccessful attempts, I decided my local convenience store was just too convenient, so I came to visit a friend who lives out in the suburban hills outside Seattle, where one needs to drive miles to acquire anything. And I purposely stranded myself here without a car. It's actually been quite a successful strategy. I'm on my sixth day cold turkey and the intense physical cravings have pretty much tapered off. But...

Quitting has put me into a major musical slump. I brought my starter keyboard up here to practice on, but its power cord is still coiled up in my suitcase. I got some theory and other music-oriented books from the local library, which I've been perusing in a desultory way, but my brain isn't absorbing much. Sometimes I do some theory drills on the computer (my dweeby version of computer games), but that's about it. Well, I'm also wasting lots of time on the forums here, of course (BTW, y'all need to post more, because I keep running out of stuff to read... wink )

My friend/hostess assures me that I'm not being a cranky quitter, but inside myself I feel like a whiney little kid. My thoughts alternate between "I'm soooo bored!" and "But I don't wanna do that!" It's been so long since I"ve had to deal with motivational problems regarding my music, I don't quite remember what to do about it. I don't feel like it's a good time to take a vacation from my music, because its absence leaves a such big empty hole in my life. But I'm having the hardest time getting myself going with anything!

Not sure what I'm looking for here... reassurance that my concentration and motivation will come back someday? Interesting music blogs or sites to read in the meantime? Suggestions of easy and amusing music-related activities to placate my cranky inner child? Strategies you've used to get cranky children to practice their music? ("No cookies coffee until you practice!" wink )
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Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1498829 - 08/18/10 05:46 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: south florida
I feel your pain, Tangleweeds, having been there many times over a 40 year smoking career. Presently going on 4 years clean, but it took a hospitalization and copd diagnosis to forever end my bad habit. What you are experiencing is just normal withdrawal symptoms. Keep drinking lots of water. Then drink some more water. Then some more. Around day 10 or so you will start to feel much much better. You will taste things and smell things (some not so nice) you didn't before. You will be a better piano player because you will be healthier. And your (non-smoking) friends and family will stop treating you like a cross between the devil and a leper. If you can stand to do physical exercise like walking right now, that can speed the process.

Good luck and don't beat yourself up, even if you slip up. Most people kick it when they finally really want to.

Jim
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
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#1498877 - 08/18/10 07:11 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: JimF]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Aww, I just started reading your blog, and actually found it rather inspirational.

It really sucks to read this now, since I really have no advice whatsoever to help you, I really wish I had. frown

I guess all I can do is wish you luck then, so here it goes; Good luck, I hope you pick it up again soon, and continue on the road to becoming an amazing pianist!

I know you'll get your stuff together, I just hope it'll be really really soon!
_________________________

Student/apprentice technician

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#1498886 - 08/18/10 07:48 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
kurtie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 207
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
The unfortunate truth was that smoking did wonders for my mood, concentration & motivation (there's a reason why people take up such a nasty, stinky habit), and as a consequence, I'd been having a great spring/summer with my music practice, super motivated, very productive, lots of progress, lots of fun.


As an ex-smoker, I don't fully agree with this. Your improvement in mood, concentration and motivation may not be directly related to smoking. AFAIK, tobacco does not improve them... on the opposite making exercise do. What tobacco may do is to reduce anxiety... but only for making you more anxious afterward, and that is the damned vicious circle. Easy to get caught into it. So, try to work on your anxiety instead of masking it with tobacco.

But I am sure you can have all that motivation and fun without tobacco. Just stay without smoking and you will get them again... it may take some time, but it is worth the effort.

If you learn to relieve your anxiety by practicing piano instead of by smoking, not only you'll stop smoking but at the same time you will improve a lot as a pianist. Yes, far easier to say it than doing it.

Anyway, remember, to quit smoking is worth the effort. Smoking does not gives you nothing valuable.

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#1498895 - 08/18/10 08:07 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: kurtie]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4379
Loc: Jersey Shore
Sounds as you are trying to use your piano playing as an excuse to smoke...

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#1498898 - 08/18/10 08:16 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Mark...]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5539
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Hm. The starter keyboard. That may be less than inspiring smile

But it doesn't seem to have interfered with your wry sense of humor laugh

Cathy
_________________________

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#1498904 - 08/18/10 08:25 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Mark...]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Mark - That's true! Play a piece well and you deserve a butt! I used to do that! It's a vicious reward system.

tangleweeds - Think of it this way - if you didn't smoke for a few years, the money you save would buy you a much nicer piano. For what cigarettes cost in New York City (currently over $11 a pack) in ten years you could buy a "cheap" Steinway and the increased health benefits will allow you to live longer to ultimately play better! grin

In your heart tho', you already know this!!!!


Edited by Emissary52 (08/18/10 08:31 PM)
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
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#1498912 - 08/18/10 08:52 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Emissary52]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
tangleweeds...you are in the middle of withdrawal from one of the hardest drugs on the planet to quit.

One side effect is that right now you can't think straight. You are in drug withdrawal.

Music is a delicate thing...many things can stop it up, such as depression, drugs, poor health, etc.

But, if music is inside you, it will come back out. Being a musician is like being pregnant...in some fashion, that baby is coming out.

Many musicians (myself included) have suffered from very serious dry spells...often their cause cannot be identified.

Right now yours can.

Just put one foot in front of the other. When you get out of the immediate grip of nicotine, things will be different. Eventually, the music will be back, most likely for the better.

ps...if cigarattes did such a dramatic change in you regarding music, a doctor might know of a medication that could do the same thing only better, and w/o the health dangers, not just for this slump now, but even in the long run.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1498938 - 08/18/10 09:31 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: rocket88]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3485
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Try the 15 minute rule. There are a few different applications of the 15 minute rule:

1) when you have a craving for a cigarette, do something else for 15 minutes. Eye the clock if you need to. When the 15 minutes are up, your craving will be reduced. If not, hold out for another 15 minutes.

2) Go for a walk for 15 minutes. Make it a brisk walk, and be sure to walk at least 15 minutes. This will give your brain a boost. Go for a 15 minute walk several times a day.

3) Play the piano for 15 minutes. If, after 15 minutes, you feel bored and uninspired, you have permission to stop. But usually if you can just force yourself to sit down and play, the rest comes naturally. And if you don't feel like playing, just tell yourself all you have to do is play for 15 minutes.

4) Spend 15 minutes thinking about what you'll do with the money you'll save on cigarettes (and health costs!)

5) Spend 15 minutes planning your piano practice. Think about why you wanted to play in the first place, what pieces/songs got you excited?

There are probably other applications of the 15 minute rule, but these are the ones I know. I can't recommend the brisk walk enough!

Hang in there, you can do it!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1498944 - 08/18/10 09:41 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: ShiroKuro]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3485
Loc: not in Japan anymore
One more thing, congratulate yourself for all your hard work!! Quitting cigarettes is one of the hardest things to do, and you're doing great so far.

Get a calendar and put a star for every day you don't smoke. For every day that you go for a brisk walk, another star. For every day you play the piano at least 15 minutes, another star. Ok, or you could put a star for no cigs, a "w" for walks and a "p" for piano. smile

Make sure you count those stars or marks every now and then, and report back to PW and let us know how it's going.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1498959 - 08/18/10 10:16 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: ShiroKuro]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
One more thing...

I have found that if I simply cannot play the piano, I force myself to sit and play...most often after a few minutes, that primes the pump, and I can play at least a bit more.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1498969 - 08/18/10 10:33 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Emissary52]
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
There is hope, Tangleweeds.

I have the most addiction-prone personality of anyone I've ever known (though luckily I've never known any hard-core heroin addicts). Basically, if I find something I like, I do it until it practically kills me. So far I've always managed to back away from the cliff before falling off, and I bet you will too. You seem like a pretty sharp cookie.

I have had in my life four addictions (four substance addictions, anyway, a lot more if you count psychological addictions). They are: caffeine, cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol.

Caffeine isn't much of an addiction, but it's the only one I haven't kicked. I still indulge in 2-3 cups of green tea daily, though there was a time during my computer programming phase when it was about 6 espressos, 3 or 4 Mountain Dews, and a handful of No-Doz.

I was also a pothead in the 70's, but then, so was just about everyone else in my age/social stratum back then. But cannabis is a kid's drug. After a while, like most people, I found it socially unacceptable to bring a bong to parties, and it's kind of hard to find anyone willing to sell a bag of weed to a middle aged guy in a tie driving a Plymouth, so I just sort of drifted away from that addiction.

Tobacco was for me sort of a roller coaster drug. I only smoked regularly from my teen years until my early twenties. After that I would go for weeks or months without smoking, then as part of an alcohol binge I would smoke about 5 packs in 2 or 3 days. Sometimes I'd smoke for a few days after that and then when I quit the dreaded "errrrrrr" feeling of craving a cigarette would kick in. It seemed to me that the withdrawal always lasted for about as many days as I had smoked, usually 4 or 5 days. Even in the few cases where I smoked for a couple weeks it was generally gone in a week. Luckily, when I didn't have alcohol fogging up my reasoning, I was smart enough not to feed that addiction. I managed to give it up completely about 15 years ago, even though the binges continued.

My main addiction was always booze. By the time I quit 4 1/2 years ago I was putting away a half gallon of 80-90 proof every three days or so. I got pretty lucky doing computer stuff in the 90's and was able to retire early about 6 years ago. Shortly after that the individual binges sort of morphed into one long one. I don't mean to get all pouty, but in that era I really had every intention of drinking myself into oblivion for 5 or 6 years, then if the booze didn't kill me I would find something else that would. Hard to say what changed my mind. One thing was something very embarrassing that I did drunk that I won't share here. Another was coming close to getting arrested (not for DUI -- I learned that lesson long ago), and realizing that going to jail in my 50's would wreck my whole gradual suicide plan.

Anyway, one day I stopped. I started doing tai chi, yoga, playing golf, and re-learning the guitar. A few months later I bought a cheap 61-key keyboard to better understand music theory for the guitar. Since that day, Sept 1, 2006, there hasn't been a single day, other than a couple of trips to visit family across country, that I have not played the piano.

I said before when I find something I like I do it until it just about kills me. Well, soon I was practicing about 6 hours a day and fighting off repetitive stress injuries, but luckily I've backed off to a healthier 2-3 hours lately.

I started piano way too late and after far too many years of abuse to ever be very good, but it's a lot healthier than my previous hobbies.

I hope you find something that works as well for your cigs -- which I'm sure you know are killing you only slightly slower than Evan Williams bourbon was killing me. Just don't smoke today, and worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

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#1498988 - 08/18/10 11:17 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Thanks for sharing your story Tangleweeds.

Unfortunately, I, too, am a smoker - albeit a "light" smoker (2-3 per day), and now, it's been 20 years. frown
It started in college (hard major - Engineering)....then I vowed to quit after graduating, then after marriage, then after kids.

Nowadays, I have a stressful job, and unfortunately, part of my routine with piano is taking a "smoke break" in the garage. Sucks...I know. I admit to no one that I smoke, and I have successfully quit before, cold-turkey, and then some stressful life event would trigger me to smoke again. I'm also fearful that I'll end up like you - unmotivated w/out the smokes. It really does help me concentrate too..that, and coffee...

..and to end my own shameful story, sorry, but I can't resist this --> smokin

PS-Tangleweeds, keep me posted on your cold turkey progress, and whether you find a good substitute, and become motivated again. smile


Edited by CebuKid (08/18/10 11:20 PM)
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Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
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#1499004 - 08/19/10 12:06 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: CebuKid]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
How about taking up a new healthier habit - like chocolate? I've been addicted to it (the good kind - dark chocolate) all my life and have no plans of ever quitting. Tastes great and gives ya a nice little kick. grin

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#1499009 - 08/19/10 12:15 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Elssa]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Wow, thanks to everybody for all the encouragement, and also just for letting me get that big ol' whine out of my system. I know it's just a matter of sticking it out until my brain chemistry re-calibrates itself, and then this brain-fog should clear up a bit. I'm just gonna have to live with it being a bit tedious in the meantime, though.

I really don't feel like I'm using my musical constipation as an excuse to smoke, so much as trying to analyze what I get out of smoking, in order to recognize rationalizations before they can persuade me to lapse, and to figure out alternative means of achieving similar benefits.

But I had definitely allowed the cigarettes to insinuate themselves deep into my musical practice routine. I'd practice until my concentration got ragged, then relax with a cigarette, which seemed to hit my mental "reset" button, so I'd go back to the piano feeling refreshed and ready for more concentration. I've been trying to think of some alternative strategies to achieve that mental resetting effect -- the best idea I've had so far is to get up, drink some water, and do a few invigorating standing yoga poses, or take that brisk 15 minute walk. Any other suggestions for alternative ways to break up practice sessions in order to renew mental freshness?

And at least writing about all this stuff gave me some perspective on the funk I was in, enough to motivate me to get my keyboard plugged in, and then play around with it for the first time in a week (eek!). I wasn't able to concentrate for very long at a stretch, but I got in a 10 minute session, took a brisk walk, and then did another 15 minutes. And doing it really did make me feel much better.

I'm thinking I should treat this phase of nicotine withdrawal like one of my depressive phases (which still happen, though I'm well dosed on both cutting-edge and classic antidepressants). When that happens, I plant lists of "Beneficial Activities" on my computer desktop and everyplace where I'm likely to sit and mope, to remind me to do engage in activities which experimentation has proven to raise my spirits and energy levels. When I'm in a low mood, such things no longer occur to me spontaneously, but, if reminded regularly, I've gotten pretty good at nudging myself into doing them just to break the tedium of a lousy mood.

Oh, and on the topic of drinking lots of water, I highly recommend making some "spa water" for the summer heat -- basically nice filtered water infused with slices of fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs. At home we have a special pitcher with a perforated compartment to hold the vegetable matter, but here at my friends house I just put a couple slices of cucumber, one slice of lime, and a leaf of mint into a pint glass each morning, and keep refilling it with water and ice all day long. It's very pleasant, even if one is not in drug withdrawal. smile
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1499073 - 08/19/10 03:45 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
Tangleweeds, kudos to you for quitting smoking!!! 3hearts

Let me asure you that I personally am very proud of you, and that you definitly are doing the right thing. It is an addiction, and therefore it is extremely hard to quit. You will continue struggling for quite some time, but the longer you manage to stick to it the easier it will become.

Let me tell you why I really want you not to smoke. My grandfather (on my mothers side) died from lung cancer. I remember how we used to take walks in the woods and how he used to teach me how to read. He was very sick for a long time, but there was nothing they could do. This is over 15 year ago. My granmother is still alive and well, and very spirited and bright, or what do you call an old person that still has a great health? And I am just sad about that grandpa is not there by her side just as alert as she is. He never saw me finish school or get my M.Sc degree.

This is not all, my mother died in lungcancer as well just a few year ago. She became only 53 years old. It was somewhat unexpected, because we didn't know she had it. She had been sick, but was not honest to doctors and just thought it was just because of work when for example her back hurt. And when she was coughing, she thought it was just another cold. Nevertheless, now I have no parents and no siblings. I was very very close to my mother, and now she is not here anymore. She will not be here when I get kids, and she will not be here when (if???) I get my doctorate.

I know how much smoking meant to her. I honestly think that she would have said that life is not worth living if you can't smoke. For us who knew her, that is a really ununderstandable perspective. WE would have loved to have her around for many many years.

These seem of cource silly arguments. Just because my mum and her father died, does not mean that every smoker will die. The problem is that every smoker believes, that "I feel well, I'm exercising, I'm sure I will belong to those who will not get any severe smoke-related illness". Most smokers probably believe that. But they cannot be right all of them...

Back to piano then! smile Since the forums are a good distraction, why not make the piano a good distraction as well? When you sit at the piano you need to focus on the music, and consequently must have less time to worry about cigarettes, right? Be creative, try new music, try a different gengre. Go to concerts maybe? Find someone to play duets with? Join a band? Borrow an electric keyboard and go busking? Anything that might light that spark of inspiration. I guess you will have to find a way to connect to music as a non-smoker. It's possible, but you might need some patience. Currently you brain is simply disapointed in you, because you don't provide the regular calming reward it is used to. wink

Wish you the best of luck! I'll be cheering for you.


Edited by Basia C. (08/19/10 03:47 AM)
_________________________
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1499109 - 08/19/10 08:02 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Emissary52]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Originally Posted By: Emissary52
tangleweeds - Think of it this way - if you didn't smoke for a few years, the money you save would buy you a much nicer piano. For what cigarettes cost in New York City (currently over $11 a pack) in ten years you could buy a "cheap" Steinway and the increased health benefits will allow you to live longer to ultimately play better! grin


Actually, that is the one and only reason I decided to quit myself. :P

I also calculated the money I'd spent on smoking so far, and realised I had practically burned a lovely grand. frown

Never smoked since.
_________________________

Student/apprentice technician

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#1499145 - 08/19/10 09:10 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: CebuKid]
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Originally Posted By: CebuKid
Thanks for sharing your story Tangleweeds.


Nowadays, I have a stressful job, and unfortunately, part of my routine with piano is taking a "smoke break" in the garage. Sucks...I know. I admit to no one that I smoke, and I have successfully quit before, cold-turkey, and then some stressful life event would trigger me to smoke again. I'm also fearful that I'll end up like you - unmotivated w/out the smokes. It really does help me concentrate too..that, and coffee...


Ah, yes...this hits home. On one of my many trips to becoming a non-smoker one of the things I missed most were the many smoke-breaks I got to take at work, away from the computer and phones for a few moments of peace.

So many of us use smoking as a reward for a job well done, a good practice session, a great meal, etc. ect. etc.... Smoking also gave me time to think quietly, as I was mostly alone.

Many good "processes" listed here for helping with the withdrawal, but I have found that, after thinking I have made the grade, no amount of reasoned thinking could stop me from having just 1... there is no such thing as just 1. Hard lesson for me to learn (still learning).

Good luck buddy, and try and remember smoking does nothing our brains tell us it does. It is just a relaxation technique gone ary... find another, and then post what it was so I can steal it. Like many, I need all the help I can get.

BTW, yelling at me or preaching to me is counter-productive. Nothing will get me to light up faster then a chance to shut someone up.. Now, isn't that just stupid on my part????
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1499148 - 08/19/10 09:20 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
The money-saved incentive is a very good one. I used that to quit smoking. Marking each day on a calendar helps, too: having a physical record of your success reinforces your resolve.

I also realized that my smoking was helping to make a lot of heartless rich bastards richer. I was determined not to be their stooge any more.

As John Lennon said, Sir Walter Raleigh was a stupid git.

When you practice, you could try briefly playing easy pieces from your repertoire between sessions on new pieces and/or technique.

You can also post something on the Self-Teaching Support Thread. wink

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#1499229 - 08/19/10 12:16 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: moscheles001]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
Tangleweeds -

I know how you feel. I quit a year and three months ago. Nothing made me feel better about quitting, either. I didn't even get to enjoy the money I started to save from not buying cigarettes, because I kept having to buy new clothes because nothing fit anymore. Boy, did I want to punch anyone who started to go on about how wonderful it was that I was saving so much money. I had a lethargic spell myself. I recently started exercising and feel a little bit more motivated now (I would have felt like throwing something at someone for the suggestion a year ago). Find things that make you laugh hard, too. That helps. It just takes time, and since you've quit before, you know that.

I go through lapses in motivation when I feel stuck on pieces. I find what helps me is listening to pieces I love, or watching people play pieces I love on You Tube. I'm then reminded that I'll never get there unless I practice and usually that's enough. What also helps is going back through music collections I haven't looked at in a while, because those pieces might have been too hard at some point. Some of those pieces aren't as daunting now, and realizing how far I've come is usually good motivation.

Good luck!
Aimee

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#1499280 - 08/19/10 01:38 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I remember I used to buy cigarettes for my dad and they were .60 cents a pack!!! I can't believe how ridiculously expensive they are now. When I was quitting I was told to have a really good reason that will keep you from reaching for a smoke. Well the health thing didn't really cut it because that's not something you see or feel immediately. Then one day I was trying to decided if I wanted to spend my last $5 on a pack of American Spirits or lunch when it suddenly hit me. WTF!!! Here I am living paycheck to paycheck spending my hard earned money on cigarettes so the cigarette company execs can get rich and in turn they are providing me with a product that will eventually kill me. F THAT! So basically I quite out of spite.

Anyway, this is what I would suggest. First of all remember to accept the feelings you are having as normal. Sometimes if you try to fight it too hard they will come back stronger. But if you allow/accept them they will usually subside rather quickly.

Also, do stuff that you enjoy or things that will make you feel uplifted and energized. Rent a comedy, try cooking something you've never had before, maybe even try some yoga or martial arts classes. I know they're not music related but they are all things that will make you feel better and require at least some concentration. Don't use the cigs as a concentration crutch. YOU are the one who decides to concentrate not the cigs. It might take a little time but you can do it. I also have concentration issues and normally practice in short spurts. I feel that overtime I will sort of build my "endurance" and will be able to sit longer.

Finally, and this is most important. I think the idea that motivation comes first is a myth and waiting around for it is a mistake. Action comes first-then motivation-then more action. So, play anyway. Even if you feel unmotivated. Because more often than not once you get started you will just want to keep playing. (To get yourself started you can just say you will play for 5 mins. But I bet once you get started you will not stop after 5 min.)

Good Luck!
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
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#1499283 - 08/19/10 01:45 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: ShiroKuro]
Kymber Offline
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Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I think the calendar is a good idea. I did that when I quit caffeine/diet soda. It really helped to see my progress and one day before I knew it I realized it had been 4 months since I last had caffeine.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1499295 - 08/19/10 01:55 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: bluekeys]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Bluekeys:

Pot/booze/cigs/caffeine...its all a vicious cycle. I'm glad you found your way out of it.

Sometimes I think all people need is something that connects with their soul. But, unfortunately they usually find "substances" first. Music is such and incredible healer.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1499298 - 08/19/10 01:59 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: CebuKid]
Kymber Offline
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Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: CebuKid


I have successfully quit before, cold-turkey,


Years ago during one of my attempts to quite smoking my son sensed my anguish and blurted out "why don't you just quit by eating cold turkey"
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1499308 - 08/19/10 02:08 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Kymber Offline
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Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds

Any other suggestions for alternative ways to break up practice sessions in order to renew mental freshness?



Tuck your hands under your armpits and run around he house squawking like a chicken. If it doesn't renew your mental freshness at least you will be laughing so hard at yourself you will forget all about the cigs and deprssion.

p.s. the spa water sounds good. I think I will try that. I'm trying to cut down on calorie containing drinks but sometimes get bored with plain water
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1499314 - 08/19/10 02:17 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Kymber]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Btw.. can you tell I'm totally bored at work with all these replies
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1501208 - 08/22/10 09:25 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Kymber]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Well, it's been 10 days, and I'm hardly having cravings at all. But tonight is the big test -- we're going to visit an old friend of mine who smokes like a chimney, and I'm sure to be tempted. So I'm reminding myself how nice it is not to be having cigarette cravings all the time, because I know that if I bum a single smoke from my friend, the cravings will just start up all over again. Must gird myself up to be strong & sensible, even after indulging in a beer or two... perhaps I should drink coffee instead.

My withdrawal moodiness is still manifesting itself mostly in relation to my music, in that I'm still quite cranky about relocating myself to the piano, though I have demonstrated to myself several times now that I have fun once I get started playing. I had an awesome practice session last night, with a big breakthrough with my sight reading (more on that in the sight reading thread). But that hasn't helped me drag myself to the piano yet today, sigh! I hate being moody & irrational!
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#1501240 - 08/22/10 11:00 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4379
Loc: Jersey Shore
I entered the medical field in my late 20's and I have over that time seen countless people die and suffer from smoking. The cost to our economy is mind bending. The majority of the young heart attack patients I see in the Cardiac Cath Lab are smokers, I quit when I hit 30 and never looked back...

I see so much regret when I talk to these people who now wish they could turn back time and save themselves...

WILL YOU? Time is on your side, don't waste it...

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#1501248 - 08/22/10 11:17 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Mark...]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5539
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
HANG IN THERE!!!

Water or coffee instead of beer is a good idea. Of course, you have to take into consideration my bias - I had to give up beer just before I turned 30 because I couldn't resist a lot of things I told myself I wouldn't do, if I was drinking. I still miss it, sigh. But water is the best thing. . . I love water.

Take care, and hang in there smile

Cathy
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#1501250 - 08/22/10 11:19 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: jotur]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
good advice Shiro

tobacco has nothing to do with music. if the drug helps - do find another crutch.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1501307 - 08/23/10 01:12 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: apple*]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Smoking stinks! My neighbours' entire family smokes and their backyard is facing ours, so whenever someone takes a smoke break it comes wafting into my house. Even the bedroom windows which face their yard. Grossest thing waking up to that smell.

Hard to tell them to stop, it is their right, unless I grow some massive trees to block it.

Another funny thing I see is after playing outdoor basketball, alot of the younger Asian players will smoke up during the break! Kind of defeats the purpose of working out.

My suggestion, do some hard exercise like sprints or heavy weight lifting. The endorphin kick may be a good substitute.

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#1501342 - 08/23/10 03:43 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
Happy to hear about the ten day mark, Tangleweeds! thumb wow Some days you'll be in a good mood, and somedays you'll really be dying for a smoke, but hang in there! Come on, Tangleweeds!!!
_________________________
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#1501614 - 08/23/10 02:33 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Basia C.]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Good news -- at this point I seem to be more addicted to the internet than to nicotine! Last night we were responsibly irresponsible, and phoned the mothership to report that we were spending the night at my old friend's house, rather than drive home under the influence. And then we took the opportunity to thoroughly overindulge, guilt free.

And I really only had one bad nicotine craving, which tempted me out onto the porch to breathe some second-hand smoke while our host had a smoke (whereupon he grimly ordered dme back inside!). Amusingly, I was much, much more stressed out at being separated from my computer and internet umbilicus. Being a intoxicated and therefore no longer the sharpest knife in the drawer, I somehow conflated resisting nicotine addiction with resisting my internet addiction, until finally late in the evening, in a flash of light, it occurred to me that it was permissible for me to bum the use of a web browser before I passed out for the night. Ah, the relief... internet umbilicus re-established! Forget tobacco, I'm strung out on information!

Now I just need my piano cravings to resume...
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#1501616 - 08/23/10 02:39 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5539
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Great news. And how cool that your host is enabling your QUIT syndrome laugh

The nice thing about your internet addiction is that *all* of us benefit from it smile

Cathy
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#1501622 - 08/23/10 02:53 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: jotur]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: south florida
Good work, Tangleweeds. Now treat yourself to something good, like a new book of sheet music. Reinforce yourself, you deserve it. (basic Pavlovian behaviour modification).
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#1501647 - 08/23/10 03:47 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: JimF]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17778
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Congratulations, tangleweeds! The hardest part is over... but you need to still be vigilant. Avoid triggers (e.g., smoky bars) and continually remind yourself of how grateful your loved ones (present AND future) will be that you took this step to ensure your health and longer life. heart
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#1501701 - 08/23/10 05:12 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Monica K.]
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
In this, I am well versed. If you passed a night of drinking without smoking, you are easily 80% there. Next you will have a dream that you started smoking again and you will wake up grateful that it was just a dream. After that you need to make it through a significantly stressful event while maintaining the attitude that no matter what happens you're not going to smoke. That might not happen for a few months, so be vigilant. Calm is in order now, no back pats just yet. (Also, whack yourself in the thigh with your fist every time you get a craving. That helps.)

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#1501784 - 08/23/10 06:23 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: bluekeys]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Originally Posted By: bluekeys
Next you will have a dream that you started smoking again and you will wake up grateful that it was just a dream.

Yes! I had those for months, when I quit smoking several years ago.
Quote:
(Also, whack yourself in the thigh with your fist every time you get a craving. That helps.)

I've had good luck with hyperventilating a little bit through pursed lips, as if smoking an invisible cigarette. Strangely effective, not sure why. But I don't argue with what works...
Quote:
maintaining the attitude that no matter what happens you're not going to smoke

There's definitely something key about maintaining a sense of closure regarding my relationship with cigarettes. I remember that from last time, that sense of being finished with it. It's that open-ended "Well maybe if..." that wakens the devils of temptation.
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#1502090 - 08/24/10 03:35 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
Oh, just continue reading the forums and I'm sure the piano cravings will appear. whistle How could they not?
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Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1502101 - 08/24/10 04:59 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Basia C.]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Actually, I'm quite hopeful that I'll be in for a good dose of piano-related excitement when I get back home to Portland from my visit to Seattle.

First, I've been continuing my hobby of hunting down inexpensive used copies of sheet music which catches my interest, and so a series of slow (but cheap!) media-mail packets have been wending their way toward Portland. I have been informed as each item arrives, but it's pretty abstract satisfaction to that an item has successfully completed its journey, when I can't examine it in detail and gloat over each item properly.

And on a much larger scale of anxiety and relief, there was an issue with my new PX-330, and after Casio was useless in even helping me fully diagnose the problem, Sweetwater swept in to the rescue. They emailed me a label to ship the problematic unit back to them for free, and the replacement arrived in Portland just a few days ago. I'm so glad I spent the extra $$ to buy from someplace with a good customer service policy!

So I have a plethora of highly interesting piano-related packages awaiting me upon my return. I can't imagine this failing to awaken some degree of pianistic compulsion on my part.
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#1502113 - 08/24/10 05:39 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
That's great news! It will be like Christmas when you get back. grin
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#1502240 - 08/24/10 11:27 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati
OT re smoking, but good customer service is absolutely worth a bit more money.

Also, glad you mentioned media mail. For those who don't know, this is a long-standing US Postal Service special, reduced rate for media, which includes sheet music, books, and the like (ask them about what's eligible). It can be as little as 1/4 of the regular rate, very handy for heavy books. It does travel more slowly, however.
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#1502813 - 08/25/10 04:38 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Alagondar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 23
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
After a number of cigarette-free years, last winter I got depressed and started smoking again. The unfortunate truth was that smoking did wonders for my mood, concentration & motivation (there's a reason why people take up such a nasty, stinky habit), and as a consequence, I'd been having a great spring/summer with my music practice, super motivated, very productive, lots of progress, lots of fun.

But smoking is unhealthy, expensive, and antisocial, so I've been trying to quit. After several unsuccessful attempts, I decided my local convenience store was just too convenient, so I came to visit a friend who lives out in the suburban hills outside Seattle, where one needs to drive miles to acquire anything. And I purposely stranded myself here without a car. It's actually been quite a successful strategy. I'm on my sixth day cold turkey and the intense physical cravings have pretty much tapered off. But...

Quitting has put me into a major musical slump. I brought my starter keyboard up here to practice on, but its power cord is still coiled up in my suitcase. I got some theory and other music-oriented books from the local library, which I've been perusing in a desultory way, but my brain isn't absorbing much. Sometimes I do some theory drills on the computer (my dweeby version of computer games), but that's about it. Well, I'm also wasting lots of time on the forums here, of course (BTW, y'all need to post more, because I keep running out of stuff to read... wink )

My friend/hostess assures me that I'm not being a cranky quitter, but inside myself I feel like a whiney little kid. My thoughts alternate between "I'm soooo bored!" and "But I don't wanna do that!" It's been so long since I"ve had to deal with motivational problems regarding my music, I don't quite remember what to do about it. I don't feel like it's a good time to take a vacation from my music, because its absence leaves a such big empty hole in my life. But I'm having the hardest time getting myself going with anything!

Not sure what I'm looking for here... reassurance that my concentration and motivation will come back someday? Interesting music blogs or sites to read in the meantime? Suggestions of easy and amusing music-related activities to placate my cranky inner child? Strategies you've used to get cranky children to practice their music? ("No cookies coffee until you practice!" wink )


I stopped smoking about 5 years ago. I had to actually think about it. I was a very heavy smoker for 20 years. Smoked rolled cigarettes out of a tobacco pouch (50 grams). About 50 cigs a day and I inhaled with each intake. The reason I quit was that I hated to be so dependant or enslaved by a cigarette.

First a reassurance: inspiration, motivation for playing piano WILL come back. Second listen to your body. It is your mind that craves nicotine not your body. Take a walk when you feel a crave coming up, focus on nature. It worked for me.

I applaud your effort.

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#1503262 - 08/25/10 09:46 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds


And on a much larger scale of anxiety and relief, there was an issue with my new PX-330, and after Casio was useless in even helping me fully diagnose the problem, Sweetwater swept in to the rescue.


Last time we ordered from Sweetwater, they sent hard candies along with the package - they might rescue you from a craving or two! grin

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#1503309 - 08/25/10 10:57 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: AimeeO]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
try drinking a shot of molasses.
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1503316 - 08/25/10 11:23 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: apple*]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 369
Loc: New York City!
All the greatest pianists were smokers: Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, and Arthur Rubinstein smoked cigars. Rachmaninoff and Horowitz preferred cigarettes.
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#1503498 - 08/26/10 09:20 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Jonathan Baker]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
All the greatest pianists were smokers: Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, and Arthur Rubinstein smoked cigars. Rachmaninoff and Horowitz preferred cigarettes.


And how exactly does this help Tangleweeds quit smoking?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1503548 - 08/26/10 10:50 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: rocket88]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
By giving me a mental image of myself sitting at a grand piano puffing on a cigar? Effective deterrent, that...
(visualization aid: I am a middle-aged lady with very long hair)
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#1503633 - 08/26/10 12:59 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
TheHappyMoron Offline
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Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Isaac_Alb%C3%A9niz%2C_1901.jpg
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All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#1503634 - 08/26/10 01:00 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: TheHappyMoron]
TheHappyMoron Offline
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Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
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All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#1503666 - 08/26/10 02:19 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Jonathan Baker]
durden365 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 95
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
All the greatest pianists were smokers: Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, and Arthur Rubinstein smoked cigars. Rachmaninoff and Horowitz preferred cigarettes.


awesome, hidden benefit of smoking,

the best actors are also smokers, jack nicholson, johny depp, leonardo dicaprio...

DON'T SMOKE! i myself am trying to quit.

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#1503669 - 08/26/10 02:23 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: durden365]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati
And what of the great ones who didn't smoke? tiki
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#1503670 - 08/26/10 02:25 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: elecmuse3]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati
Had to add the tiki icon. I'm not trying to inflame a subject which is itself inflammatory ha
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www.theplayerpianoshop.com

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#1503672 - 08/26/10 02:26 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: elecmuse3]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
i don't think Chopin smoked. what with consumption and everything.


Edited by TheCannibalHaddock (08/26/10 02:27 PM)
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All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#1503691 - 08/26/10 03:00 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: AimeeO]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: AimeeO
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds


And on a much larger scale of anxiety and relief, there was an issue with my new PX-330, and after Casio was useless in even helping me fully diagnose the problem, Sweetwater swept in to the rescue.


Last time we ordered from Sweetwater, they sent hard candies along with the package - they might rescue you from a craving or two! grin


I love sweetwater. I was so floored from the over-the-top customer service from my first order that I just go directly to them now for everything.

My CS rep called after my last order to make sure everything was working properly. I told them the music stand I ordered (for my digital) was working as intended. ha You can't beat that kind of customer service.

The candy is a nice little bonus too. smile

oops, sorry for the hijack. Stop smoking. laugh
_________________________
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#1513676 - 09/12/10 02:08 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
thumper49 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 170
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did. I think I might have had an easier time of it if I had been playing the piano at the time. One of the big attractions of smoking was that it gave me something to do with my hands. There was something about the manipulation of the package, removing the cigarette, striking the match, etc., all the way to stubbing out the butt when finished. Playing the piano would have satisfied that need for something to do with my hands. Mind you, there was also the oral aspect, which I calmed down with peppermints, and ended up gaining 30 pounds in 4 months. It's been a constant struggle with weight ever since. But I'm not sorry I quit. I wish I had invested the dollars I burned up every day for 10 years. I could have been retired by now. Or been able to buy a grand piano . . . .

Be strong. You can do it.
_________________________



Currently working on: Suzuki Piano School, book 4, second half

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#1513842 - 09/12/10 02:28 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I've been meaning to check in with my progress. Tomorrow (Sept 13) I will have been cigarette free for a month (I celebrated my 4 week anniversary on Friday as well -- I'm going for all the positive re-enforcement I can get).

I wish I could report that it's been easy and wonderful, but in reality I've had a pretty bad musical slump since quitting. I've managed to entice myself to the piano most days, but my practice has lost the structure and momentum that it had before I quit. I've needed to step back and re-frame my assessment of my piano time, so instead of measuring the work I've done each day and judging it for quality and quantity, I now simply give myself a big gold star for any time at all spent at the piano.

Nicotine acts as a stimulant in mammals, and my body is still missing the energy that habitual use of this stimulant provided. I have had to accept that it will need time to re-establish a physiological equilibrium that allows me to feel energetic and motivated without regular doses of nicotine. I can tell that this has begun to happen, but unfortunately it seems to be a slow process.
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#1514101 - 09/13/10 02:25 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Wow, what a depressing post. I should also mention the silver lining of this cloudy-headed month, which is that I've been doing more music reading than I've ever done before. The only piano activity I've been much interested in doing is reading/playing (stumbling through) my sheet music collection.

When I was up around Seattle detoxing at my friend's house, I kept missing sheet music I owned but didn't have with me. I'd brought a keyboard and some pretty well chosen music, but I kept having urges to test my improving reading abilities against music I had left in Portland.

So when I got home and was joyfully reunited with my sheet music stash, I decided that I needed to reorganize it all to make the currently readable/playable stuff easier to locate. And of course many items turned out to require more in-depth, at-the-piano testing of readability.

So that's how I got myself to play piano while I felt totally cranky and unmotivated.

I think I'm starting to come out of it now, since I find myself working on coming up with some sort gently structured study plan to suit my detoxifying brain.


Edited by tangleweeds (09/13/10 02:29 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar
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#1514104 - 09/13/10 02:45 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Jonathan Baker]
jlynne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 102
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
All the greatest pianists were smokers: Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, and Arthur Rubinstein smoked cigars. Rachmaninoff and Horowitz preferred cigarettes.


They're all dead, too. Just sayin' . . .

Hang in there Tangleweeds. I'm green with envy. I've tried to quit a thousand times - and I will succeed - eventually.
_________________________
99% of what I produce at the piano is simply noise, but that other 1%? That's music.

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#1514105 - 09/13/10 02:47 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5072
Loc: Italy
Well you know it takes about 4 weeks to make or break a habit - you are now really on your way.

Hang in there.
As for encouragment whenever you need it.
My husband quite smoking 20 years ago and still, every now and then he wants a cigarette. I do my best to distract him with other treats.......so far so good, he's still smoke free.

Continue to detoxify - you can only feel better!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1514107 - 09/13/10 02:49 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5539
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'm impressed, tangleweeds, and good luck, and keep it up thumb

Cathy
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#1514110 - 09/13/10 02:59 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
That's not a depressing post at all. You ARE doing a great job. thumb thumb and thumb again. A really great job! The first month without cigarettes is definitly hard, and many many people give up and start smoking again. I am thrilled that you are not one of them, and I am sitting here cheering for you.

I think you have a good approach and you have an understanding of that your body is missing the nicotine, and not really behaving as you would like it too. smile Hang in there, you are right in that it will become easier and that your brain will learn how to how to apprechiate piano and other enjoyments again with time. BTW, are you getting you sense of smell (olfaction?) back? I have heard many smokers who have been happy about suddenly sensing a lot of scents that they didn't notice before they quit smoking.

Happy to hear that you are sight-reading a lot. That's not bad at all, and will definitly benifit your playing in a long time perspective. I have a feeling that your enjoyment of piano will be coming back little by little. One day you will simply notice a detail in your technique that you feel an urge to improve, or notice a section in a piece that is so beautiful or fun that you just have to work on it. In the mean time I think you are doing the right thing in rewarding any piano time at all.

If you want to motivate yourself a little extra with piano, maybe you could set a date for something that you really need to prepare? For example decide to prepare and memorize some christmas song songs for Christmas, set a time to bring your keyboard and go busking, or find someone to play a duett with. If you don't feel like it, it's perfectly ok. Just some suggestions if you want to give yourself some extra motivation for working on stuff. Having a deadline, and someone to share the music with could be helpful for awakening some inspiration.
_________________________
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1514345 - 09/13/10 02:00 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Basia C.]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: south florida
Good work Tangleweeds. Keep it up.

Basia,
......
Quote:
and go busking
.....

??????????? confused
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Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
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#1514353 - 09/13/10 02:09 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: JimF]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: JimF
Good work Tangleweeds. Keep it up.

Basia,
......
Quote:
and go busking
.....

??????????? confused


grin Not sure if it my English that is lacking, if you don't connect busking with pianos, or if you have doubts about how fun and entertaining it is?...

Busking on Wikipedia

Tangleweeds was mentioning having access to a keyboard, so that would be portable enough to bring along for some street performance.

Edit: Ok, I was maybe not entirely serious, but the idea in general is excellent! smile


Edited by Basia C. (09/13/10 02:11 PM)
_________________________
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1514356 - 09/13/10 02:19 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Basia C.]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati
Here in Cincinnati at the moment, we have pianos out on the streets!!!
http://www.streetpianos.com/
for the general idea and
http://www.streetpianos.com/cincinnati2010/pianos/music-hall
for pics and video of one of them!
Please look on the artist's website to find out if your city is scheduled for an installation, and if not, inquire about it. It's a great idea!
Busking is possible with these pianos, although being donated, they tend not to be wonderful instruments. And, of course, depending on your city's regulations, you can take a battery operated keyboard out.
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www.theplayerpianoshop.com

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#1514394 - 09/13/10 03:28 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Basia C.]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Basia C.


Thanks for the wiki link. I followed it to another page on Joshua Bell, and one of the references was this article on Bell busking in Washington DC as an experiment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

The experiment: would anyone stop to listen to a world renowned violinist perform some of the greatest masterpieces on a $3 million Stradivarius in a subway station during morning rush hour?

Only a few people stopped, and only one recognized him. I wouldn't have recognized him, but I would like to think I would have stopped.
_________________________
Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
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#1514396 - 09/13/10 03:29 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: Basia C.]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: south florida
cry --headslap-- oh, of course. thumb

I must live under a rock, never heard the term used before.
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#1514415 - 09/13/10 03:58 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I've always loved that Joshua Bell story -- it reminds me to pause to appreciate the world around me as I go about my business.
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Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

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#1514709 - 09/14/10 03:00 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Basia C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Sweden
JimF, I have no idea about how common the term might be. smile I picked it up over at violinist.com, maybe even in connection with the Bell story.

Tangleweeds & BenPiano, I am not really surprised over the Bell story. It is quite reasonable that we pay attention to the most important things in our environment. When walking through the subway, it is much more important to make sure we don't trip or bump into other people and to make sure we get to the right train. Especially, during rush hours. I guess our brain cannot take in so much information at a time.

I completely agree with Tangleweeds that we should try to take the time to appreciate things...

(BTW, if you now swedish, read "When the beauty came to the village" by Nils Ferlin. It's about noone appreciating beauty or laughter since they are so busy working and doing serious stuff.)
_________________________
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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#1514755 - 09/14/10 06:16 AM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5539
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
There was actually a piano busker in Boulder, CO, a couple of years ago - she had an upright out in their pedestrian area smile And someone here on PW one time asked about pianos that might work for busking and got advice on how to make an upright "portable." I haven't done it with a keyboard yet, tho I've used a battery operated 76-key keyboard for playing outside with Roaring Jelly. I think it'd be fun smile

I wasn't really surprised at the Joshua Bell story, either, given the venue. People stop more often on the plaza here in Santa Fe. More of the people are on vacation, or out on their lunch hour, and have time to linger some.

But I agree with tangleweeds, it's good to be reminded that we have more opportunities than we often use to take a moment to not be so "busy" and enjoy a busker, or a shop window, or a fresh bakery smell smile

Cathy
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#1516067 - 09/15/10 06:59 PM Re: Virtue sucks... [Re: tangleweeds]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1838
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
By giving me a mental image of myself sitting at a grand piano puffing on a cigar? Effective deterrent, that...
(visualization aid: I am a middle-aged lady with very long hair)


I quit smoking six times. There was always an excuse to start smoking again. The last time (34 years ago) I used cigars to quit smoking. I would only smoke one when the craving was intense. That lasted about six months. After 34 years I think I can safely say I have kicked the habit... I wish you well with your battle. It sounds as if the hard part is close to being done, but watch out for those traps. For me, they were usually when I was out having the most fun. Good luck!
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