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Thread: Hows does your brain work

  1. #1
    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Hows does your brain work

    Odd topic I know.

    (And for the record: I started this thread yesterday, wasn't happy with the wording, deleted it, never got around to re-posting, and got caught out by a Forum Member who saw I'd deleted it and very kindly answered me anyway via PM!!! LOL!!!).

    Lemme try again.

    Conventional wisdom says to practice every day. And you'd be hard pressed to find a Pro. that doesn't advocate the same. But I'm starting to notice a certain pattern with me and I'm really curious about it:

    Let's say I'm trying to master a phrase or solo or something. So I sit for hours on end on a particular day trying to get it right. But cannot. And eventually get frustrated. Try again the next day. Same thing. And so on and so forth. But let me just not try to play the same phrase or solo or something for a good few days (maybe not even play at all for a day or two) and when I then get down to trying it again: it just "happens" "as if by magic". It's almost as though my brain has to have time to soak up what it is that I was trying to do in the first place (but takes its sweet time about it). It may be true that when I'm battling with something: I'll end up obsessing over it while not playing and will have been actually picturing the notes and fingering during these breaks between attempts. Could this be a possible explanation??? Is this some type of actual "method" that I've not heard about??? Curious.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    I don't sit there for hours. I work on complex stuff in very very small steps, with extremely focused practice for 15 min at a time, several times a day. I eventually will get to the top of the mountain.
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    Ben1962
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    I feel once fatigue sets in and you start making mistakes, back off. Play something else, baby steps add up to big ones.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Practice every other day... to keep the brain fresh. And for "soaking".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I don't sit there for hours. I work on complex stuff in very very small steps, with extremely focused practice for 15 min at a time, several times a day. I eventually will get to the top of the mountain.
    YES!



    I wasted so much time trying to play the same riff or lick over and over again until it was good enough. It takes forever, your fingers keep tripping up, it doesn't flow right, Turns out that's a huge waste of time for me. Stuff needs time for your brain to process it and for it to really sink in. Concentrate hard on getting the riff down for 10 - 15 minutes, and then come back to it the next day. By the third or fourth day you will have mastered the part after spending less than an hour on it. Otherwise I end up spending two or three hours all on the same day trying to learn it, and then maybe an hour or two the next day.
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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    I have spent a lot of time trying to understand how I work, and how other students work. Some people need to compartmentalize their practice (between 9-10pm every night!), and some can't work on the same thing every day, so they need variety.
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    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Concentrate hard on getting the riff down for 10 - 15 minutes, and then come back to it the next day. By the third or fourth day you will have mastered the part after spending less than an hour on it.
    So true. The rule of thumb I have always heard and live by is to play the part 3 times clean then move on. You want a clean run to marinate in your brain, not a flawed one. Eventually, you begin to put everything together.

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Wow!!! Thanks everyone!!! So many great responses in such a short period of time!!!

    Very interesting. And I'll be honest with you and tell you that there was another reason for my deleting my initial thread yesterday i.e. I was a bit embarrassed to be honest. Wrong call on my part evidently!!!

    Well it's not just me then (and here I thought I was unique!!! LOL!!!).

    You never read about this now do you. As I said: the rule of thumb really is supposedly/apparently to practice every day (all day if you're fortunate enough to be able to do so) (which I currently am able to do albeit that I dunno for how much longer unfortunately). I think it should be maybe stated that practicing as much as possible and as often as possible is great but practicing the same thing continuously and over and over until you get it right is maybe not the way to go??? Point is I didn't know this and it's led to frustration because you think you're doing something wrong and not following the rules (to greatness).

    Wonder if this (concept) is in any way related to ear fatigue??? Most times I'll record something and it sounds lousy to me. But then if I listen to the exact same recording a week later it generally sounds great to me (from that point on). Have also found that my first take is usually the best i.e. when I start trying to finesse a recording with multiple takes things tend to go downhill.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaterson View Post
    Wow!!! Thanks everyone!!! So many great responses in such a short period of time!!!

    Very interesting. And I'll be honest with you and tell you that there was another reason for my deleting my initial thread yesterday i.e. I was a bit embarrassed to be honest. Wrong call on my part evidently!!!

    Well it's not just me then (and here I thought I was unique!!! LOL!!!).

    You never read about this now do you. As I said: the rule of thumb really is supposedly/apparently to practice every day (all day if you're fortunate enough to be able to do so) (which I currently am able to do albeit that I dunno for how much longer unfortunately). I think it should be maybe stated that practicing as much as possible and as often as possible is great but practicing the same thing continuously and over and over until you get it right is maybe not the way to go??? Point is I didn't know this and it's led to frustration because you think you're doing something wrong and not following the rules (to greatness).

    Wonder if this (concept) is in any way related to ear fatigue??? Most times I'll record something and it sounds lousy to me. But then if I listen to the exact same recording a week later it generally sounds great to me (from that point on). Have also found that my first take is usually the best i.e. when I start trying to finesse a recording with multiple takes things tend to go downhill.
    Never be embarrassed to ask for help! That’s how we learn.
    I just learned the solo in Metallica’s (Diamondhead) “Am I Evil”.
    It seemed like a huge task at first but I just broke it down into smaller chunks and concentrated on that. That solo has lots of little “sections” with repeating phrases. I started at the beginning and learned 2-3 licks and then practiced them for short bursts. Then kept going back and adding on the next section.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Memory is the key factor here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Kinda made me think of gym or body building type stuff. You break down muscle and then give it a break for a day and (painful as it may be) when you go the next time you work your way through that and build on top of the scar tissue (something like that anyway i.e. tried it once and gave it up as a bad job so I ain't no expert that's for sure!!! LOL!!!). I never thought it would apply to music though.

    One thing with me anyway: it takes long for something to "stick" but once it has "stuck" then it stays. Been playing the piano since three (apparently anyway) and there have been YEARS that have gone by that I've been nowhere near a piano (or keyboard) and yet I can just simply sit down and play everything I used to play. That's not to say that it's as polished as it was initially i.e. you certainly do lose something (a lot actually) by not keeping at it on a regular basis but it's not that much of a stretch to get back to where you were before. But alright: my nemesis is the guitar and just sorry I never put the effort in all those years ago when I had the opportunity (opportunities over the years actually) and never took it seriously until now. As I noted on another thread: just LOVE it when Vivian Campbell says that the guitar is one of the easiest instruments to play!!!

    But I digress. There's probably a good scientific or medical explanation for this all and probably some or the other teaching method based on this???

  12. #12
    Ben1962
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Never be embarrassed to ask for help! That’s how we learn.
    I just learned the solo in Metallica’s (Diamondhead) “Am I Evil”.
    It seemed like a huge task at first but I just broke it down into smaller chunks and concentrated on that. That solo has lots of little “sections” with repeating phrases. I started at the beginning and learned 2-3 licks and then practiced them for short bursts. Then kept going back and adding on the next section.
    I have always thought the guys who take it to the next level were the guys who know how to practice best. And as dumb as it sounds, dont forget to breathe.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    I have always thought the guys who take it to the next level were the guys who know how to practice best. And as dumb as it sounds, dont forget to breathe.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    I reckon you are quite right actually.

    One thing I must say is that I can, and do, see the merit of practicing scales daily. Well not necessarily scales per se but where you start at the bottom and work your way all the way up the neck and back down again and then rinse and repeat. It’s not frustrating like not being able to get it on with a certain phrase or something. It’s just boring unfortunately.
    Last edited by dpaterson; 01-23-2019 at 01:29 PM.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Like any other exercise, focus on form. Better three good reps than 30 crappy ones. Speed comes with time. Stop practicing if you are getting overly frustrated. Give yourself time to rest and recover.

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    Memory is the key factor here.
    What was the topic again???

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    Ben1962
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  17. #17
    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Too funny!!! LOL!!!

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    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    One last thing if you do not have one buy a metronome. It can be laborious and drudgery at some points but the payoff of benefits are unmeasurable.

  19. #19
    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Agreed.

    I've got software to do it (those things that you can program to speed up over time). Works well with those scaley things I was talking about earlier.

  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    ... BARELY?

    "New stuff always sucks" -Me

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