How to Double your results in your practice time
How to Double your results in your practice timein PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:56 pm
by pebberbrown • 920 Posts
Heres a great blog/tip from Dan Mumm!
How to double your results from your practice time-
Have you ever run into the problem of slow progress on something you've been practicing? That's probably a ridiculous question, right?
If you know the correct approach, diversifying your practice can be very effective for a number of reasons. However, if your approach to practice is more based on what you feel like doing instead of a clear strategy, practicing many things at once will lead to lousy results.
The key thing to remember about practice is that it's simply a means to train your brain. As long as the relevant sections of your brain are functioning normally at the time, repetition of anything will lead to memorization and greater associated skill. The more you are aware of this, the more you can use it to your advantage.
My favorite metric for determining the effectiveness of my own practice is based on my noticeable progress on the day after I practice something. The key phrase there is "on the day after," not "on the day of."
If you're practicing something effectively and focused in on something specific enough for your current skill level, your brain will actually continue to practice after you to go to sleep. Now, this might sound like pseudo-scientific nonsense, but it is a well documented phenomenon. There have been serious controlled studies done on the subject that make the fact of the matter pretty clear. More importantly than that is that you can easily replicate the results yourself. There is no more powerful way to expedite your progress and you can literally double your results from the same practice time.
On the other hand, if your practice is unorganized and somewhat random, you will not benefit from this very much at all. It's critical to clearly direct your mind to a specific task and repeat it enough times to make it appear important enough for your brain to continue working it out in the background.
The keys are focus and repetition.
Now, using the metronome method I constantly tell you about is the most effective way to achieve this that I'm aware of - but there are other ways. Pretty much any method of repetitively practicing a specific technique or part of a song enough times will kick your brain into gear.
Here, it's important to reiterate the motto of "perfect practice makes perfect." You can train your brain to practice something sloppy just as easily as you can train it to practice it with precision and fluidity. This is the reason why I say that the gradual metronome method is the optimal method to achieve this with.
When I first was learning sweep picking back in my high school days, one experimental practice method I played with was to learn a pattern well enough to play it without paying attention to it and then repeat with the volume down while watching a movie. While I can't say this is an optimal method, it at least covers the bases of massive repetition and it certainly builds "muscle memory."
The truth is, however, if you want the very best results, absolute focus is a must.
Playing the same thing over and over again for an hour might seem painfully boring to you. At first, you might even have to fight against a feeling of boredom. I can promise, however, after you've been doing it for awhile, it becomes quite an enjoyable, almost meditative experience. It also becomes immensely rewarding when you start seeing those results you've been after for so long.
Anyone can do it but only few will actually do it. Most people will complain about how "hard" it is and never put the time in. That's the common approach and it's no wonder that they don't get the results they're after. It's not that it's hard, it's that it requires real focus and some discipline. The only real difficulty is getting yourself started. After that, your own momentum will keep you going.
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