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You can't plough a field by turning it over in your mind.
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Ben Higgins
Instructor
30 years old
Male
England
Born Feb-26-1985
Interests
Guitar (surprise!), Karate, cars (American and European), reading, weightlifting (sometimes), horses.
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Joined: 11-March 10
Profile Views: 34.072*
Last Seen: Yesterday, 03:48 PM
Local Time: Feb 8 2016, 11:14 PM
13.366 posts (6 per day)
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Ben Higgins

GMC Instructor


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3 Jan 2016
I finally got around to doing a video explaining my approach to using speed bursts - in my opinion, the most effective way of building speed. This can be applied to all techniques too. The key is to spend time in the Zone - that area where you're asking your hands (and brain) to work at a higher pace than normal.

27 Nov 2015
Hi all, thought I'd throw down another little ditty for you. This one's a bouncy little pop number.. ok, who am I kidding. It's not. It's got distorted guitars, battering drums and dirty bass. If you like it, sit down and eat smile.gif

24 Nov 2015
I've finally got around to creating my own website... makes sense, seeing as I've been focusing on solo material for a couple of years smile.gif

http://www.benhigginsofficial.com/
1 Oct 2015
Whenever we take to develop a new ability, it requires us to learn skills that were hitherto unknown to us. One thing that we often do to try and make this easier on ourselves is to scour the net, or chat to others, for advice.

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Advice is both good and bad. You've got to realise that everybody's experience of life is personal to them and what works for them may be because their circumstances allowed it. Maybe they already had tons of experience under their belt, they were in the right head space, it appealed to their unique way of learning and so it worked for them. 'Them' being the key word. Anecdotal evidence is great and all but it isn't proof of anything and it most certainly isn't a magic bullet to set you on the road to success.

What it can do is make you aware of something you might not have realised. It could be something to do with technique or how to arrange your time spent on it. It could be to do with gear / equipment. It can make you look at your own approach and give you ideas of things to try out. 'Try' being the key word here.

It will always come back to trying stuff out. Physical action. The amount of words consumed can't make up for time spent doing something. At some point you'll have to put hand to fretboard, foot to tarmac, hand in pocket - whatever it may be.

Going back to the idea of having unique ways of learning, people definitely do have different ways in which they judge whether something is working for them or not. Some people have a very logical, methodical way of working. Others tend to be more about feeling it and going on intuition. This is important to remember when you take advice from people. You may read a cool sounding quote from your favourite guitar player but is this guy someone who is more of a methodical, logical type or someone who just 'feels it'?

For example, someone like John Petrucci or Guthrie Govan have immense knowledge, both technical and musical, to impart to anyone who wants it. Yet someone like Jimmy Page, EVH or Keith Richards may have more of a 'it's rock n roll - just play your guitar' approach. Depending on what guitarists you like or what genre you prefer, you may choose to embrace certain soundbites and ignore others - often due to the source. But I say give all advice its fair due. Be wary of all extremes and be aware that the answer is usually a combination of everything. These guys all had different ways of learning things. Some of them were more instinctive and accidental, some of them understand more of what they do while others are just thankful that whatever they do seems to work.

So, when taking advice, consider the source. But don't discount it out of hand either. There are loads of ways of doing things and the chances of one guy having the exact answers you need are very rare indeed. You could spend years on forums looking for the best ways of doing something or you can go and try them for yourselves now. Having some knowledge is good because you can often avoid mistakes such as over training injuries caused by too much, too soon or bad technique. But the rest of your knowledge will come from your own endeavours and will eventually become your own wisdom.

Trial and error - it's the story of life. When's the last time you put this into action? It could be guitar playing or anything else smile.gif
27 Sep 2015
I saw a tv programme the other night and it was about scientists exploring what happens in our brain during moments of inspiration. They used equipment to capture the neurons firing in the brain during different tasks. Sadly, I can't recall enough info or find any supporting text to fully explain the findings but my layman's understanding was that the pre frontal cortex, which is the part of our brain dealing with rational decision making and planning, has a decrease in activity whilst an increase in neuron activity occurs in the right side of the brain, the area associated with creativity.

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An increase in activity in the creative side of our brain is nothing surprising but what was interesting to me was the suggestion that our frontal lobe basically shuts itself off in order to allow the flashes of inspiration to occur.

It was while watching and hearing the data that it occurred to me that this is probably what is going on when we're "in the zone." I'm sure we all know what it feels like to be in the zone. You lose that annoying, restraining self consciousness and are able to let go and get on with the task, whether it's playing guitar or whatnot. Time ceases to be a factor and things just happen.

This is obviously a state that we're all able to access, although it's not always forthcoming by us trying to attain it. But what makes it possible?

Is it the relaxing of the frontal cortex that controls decisions, rationale, planning? That's the part of our mind that would normally tell us what can or

cannot be done, what is appropriate or not. You could say that perhaps this limits us when trying to think outside of the box. But if this part of the brain is temporarily out of the way then we're suddenly allowed to accept incoming thoughts and ideas that normally the frontal cortex wouldn't allow through, like some gatekeeper of rationality.

I find it fascinating how science is slowly identifying real world phenomena that can begin to explain what is going on in certain situations. Before, we only had feelings and beliefs to go on. Such inspiration would normally be attributed to something approaching the supernatural. It still has a way to go in understanding the whole "inspiration" thing but the state of being "in the zone" is something that may soon be demystified and understood as just another state, rather than something that just happens every now and then.

What do you think?
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Comments
Todd Simpson
Welcome! :) Great to have ya!
9 Jun 2010 - 2:11
Ben Higgins
Thank you man !! :-)
5 Jun 2010 - 15:24
thefireball
Welcome to GMC!!!!!!! I hope you enjoy your stay and I look forward to cool lessons! :)
5 Jun 2010 - 0:14

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