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> Practice And Memorizing Procedure
KenA
post Aug 7 2016, 08:28 PM
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Hi all,

I've been quite off the forums, but it doesn't mean I'm off the axe (slow and always!). Recently I'm re-thinking about the way I'm practicing and memorizing things on guitar (be it, an exercise, song, etc). Suppose I have a new never played before exercise, what I do is to play it a few times just to get the general idea and then I leave it and come back to it later or even in another day.

The next time I play the ex, I feel much better, I get that feeling of progress being made and I repeat this similar approach until I have the ex. committed into memory. Only after this phase I allow myself to spend long time practicing it.

So I never spend long hours trying to commit an ex into memory. For this 'commit into memory' part I do it like a brain wash procedure, little by little and for things that I already know I feel comfortable to spend long time trying to make it perfect.

Did I try to do the opposite? eg, spend long time over the exercise? Yes, and what happens is that after a while I do get it into memory (let's also consider I'm at an intermediate level and the ex. is intermediate level as well) and I get to execute it correct, but since I did it in a one shot event, then if in the next day I try to play it by memory, in most cases I see that it's not 100% memorized yet. It was 100% memorized just for that moment because I forced it, but somehow it was not really there. (probably short and long term memory related things going on here)

I know, there's no right or wrong way, just whatever works for the individual is fine, but how do you guys do in this regards?


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Caelumamittendum
post Aug 7 2016, 09:09 PM
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Personally I never really know about all these things like: "5 easy ways to memorizing/learn..." or similar.

What works for me lately seems to be breaking down whatever I need to learn into smaller chunks and connecting them with the backing track, maybe through remembering the chords that are playing.

And then there's the whole thing about practicing slowly, getting it both into the brain memory and muscle memory. I think that works too. Practicing slowly is always good.

Some people like to memorize scales and what not by connecting them to a rhyme or similar, but I always found that a bit confusing, as I would then have to remember two things!

I'm not giving much advice here, but just rambling randomly. Maybe someone else can chime in with some advice smile.gif


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Phil66
post Aug 7 2016, 09:45 PM
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I'll ramble in and agree with Ben. Slowly but surely.
There are no short cuts.
As Gab said to me recently

"The good / bad news are that there are not short cuts since there is no end... smile.gif
I don't mean that we don't to transit wise roads in a clever and effective way.

Why would we need short cuts for anything that is infinite?

Music is infinite.

Let's enjoy the journey.
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Toxicity
post Aug 10 2016, 03:52 PM
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Small chunks and regular repetition are the key for me, but I have a generally appalling memory anyway!

If I am working on an exercise too intently though, sometimes I think I start to hear what I think I am playing rather than what I am actually playing. So then I find having a break and coming back to it after a few days with fresh ears is beneficial. I'm not sure if that is normal or if I am just going slightly mad smile.gif




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Phil66
post Aug 10 2016, 09:20 PM
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This is why I record practically EVERYTHING I play. I delete it after I've listened to it but it is very very revealing, you do actually seem to fill in the gaps with your mind. biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Toxicity @ Aug 10 2016, 03:52 PM) *
Small chunks and regular repetition are the key for me, but I have a generally appalling memory anyway!

If I am working on an exercise too intently though, sometimes I think I start to hear what I think I am playing rather than what I am actually playing. So then I find having a break and coming back to it after a few days with fresh ears is beneficial. I'm not sure if that is normal or if I am just going slightly mad smile.gif



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PosterBoy
post Aug 11 2016, 10:04 AM
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Repetition Repetition Repetition

I remember when Ben started his Bushido Challenges the first one he threw out was
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Metal_Patterns_1/

I practiced that like crazy any spare minute I had for 2 weeks.

I haven't played them for ages but I could do a ok take at a medium speed within 10 mins now.

Also when Gab did a Modern Metal collab and I was composing my solo one of the descending runs from that lesson fell into it quite naturally, it was slightly adjusted to fit the music but it was basically one of those runs that had now become part of my vocabulary.

Often people say 'learn this in all 12 keys and in different places over the neck etc' which I think is good advice to really get the lick ingrained into your playing.

Also working out, how to get to the lick and where to go after it is, what it fits over, is essential or else you risk just knowing a bunch of licks in isolation and can't do anything with them. So grab a backing track and improvise with only one goal which is including the lick a bunch of times.


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KenA
post Aug 12 2016, 12:51 PM
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Good points guys:

-- Slow and Repetition are important, but be careful not to repeat something wrong, otherwise we get good in playing wrong...

-- Recording: I'm a bit lazy but I sometimes do it and it's really revealing, so I must get back to recording my playing...

-- Break it into Small Chunks then join them later

-- Context: that's very important, try to fit or mod the lick/exercise into a song/jamtrack .. this generally leads me to have musical ideas ...


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Caelumamittendum
post Aug 12 2016, 01:30 PM
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Good summary smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 12 2016, 10:58 PM
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This is a great idea smile.gif Recording yourself, even quick vids with a cell phone, is a great way to track your progress. Try to keep them all of you can. Just transfer them to an external drive or keep them on "the cloud" (e.g. google drive, dropbox, youtube etc.) so that you can have a record of your progress.

Progress can be frustratingly slow, and being able to go back and see that you are actually moving forward can be the difference between progress and quitting the instrument. I have seen many students get frustrated with their lack of progress and just put the guitar down for good. This is the worst thing IMHO. Guitar is a wonderful instrument and a great way to express yourself musically and get rid of stress, bond with other musicians, bond with music, etc.

So sometimes it does help just to see that you are moving forward. Any player that has played for at least a year, and kept a visual record, should be able to see progress. Assuming of course they are practicing smile.gif You don't get any better if you don't practice and it can be tedious at first. Indeed, the first few years.

Always remember, ...

Anybody you have ever heard play well, has earned it. You can't buy it. You can't cheat it. You have to earn it. Note by note. Day by day. Once you have it, nobody can take it away from you. You will always be a player. smile.gif





QUOTE (Phil66 @ Aug 10 2016, 04:20 PM) *
This is why I record practically EVERYTHING I play. I delete it after I've listened to it but it is very very revealing, you do actually seem to fill in the gaps with your mind. biggrin.gif


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jstcrsn
post Aug 14 2016, 12:21 AM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 7 2016, 09:09 PM) *
What works for me lately seems to be breaking down whatever I need to learn into smaller chunks and connecting them with the backing track, maybe through remembering the chords that are playing.

And then there's the whole thing about practicing slowly, getting it both into the brain memory and muscle memory. I think that works too. Practicing slowly is always good.

I break it into to smaller chunks to memorize as well. I never worry about speed . I always am concerned about mentally seeing and feeling every single note perfectly. I need to get to the point were I can mentally play the part perfectly , without the guitar in my hands

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Aug 12 2016, 10:58 PM) *
Anybody you have ever heard play well, has earned it. You can't buy it. You can't cheat it. You have to earn it. Note by note. Day by day. Once you have it, nobody can take it away from you. You will always be a player. smile.gif [/color][/i]

so true, and this is why they have good self-esteem or are conceited
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Phil66
post Aug 14 2016, 09:48 AM
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I keep all of my videos and collab takes but the little pieces of one or two bar practice I get rid of. Reaper is always open and a track armed for record so a quick CTRL R and I'm away wink.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Aug 12 2016, 10:58 PM) *
This is a great idea smile.gif Recording yourself, even quick vids with a cell phone, is a great way to track your progress. Try to keep them all of you can. Just transfer them to an external drive or keep them on "the cloud" (e.g. google drive, dropbox, youtube etc.) so that you can have a record of your progress.

Progress can be frustratingly slow, and being able to go back and see that you are actually moving forward can be the difference between progress and quitting the instrument. I have seen many students get frustrated with their lack of progress and just put the guitar down for good. This is the worst thing IMHO. Guitar is a wonderful instrument and a great way to express yourself musically and get rid of stress, bond with other musicians, bond with music, etc.

So sometimes it does help just to see that you are moving forward. Any player that has played for at least a year, and kept a visual record, should be able to see progress. Assuming of course they are practicing smile.gif You don't get any better if you don't practice and it can be tedious at first. Indeed, the first few years.

Always remember, ...

Anybody you have ever heard play well, has earned it. You can't buy it. You can't cheat it. You have to earn it. Note by note. Day by day. Once you have it, nobody can take it away from you. You will always be a player. smile.gif



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Todd Simpson
post Aug 15 2016, 01:27 AM
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Good plan smile.gif It should ideally be as easy as possible to pick up your guitar and record audio, video or both. I have had students that had to break down their entire recording rig due to space limitations etc. In cases of limited space, I always suggest something along the lines of a smartphone based system like the iRIG that one can simply plug in to and play/record using headphones and minimal space. I recently bought an iRig myself. Very handy for being able to play and record without any setup. Just the guitar and your phone/earbuds, and the irig of course. The entire thing is small enough to fit in your pocket.

For folks that can leave a laptop or computer hooked up to a recording interface, I always suggest having the daw launch when the system starts. That way it's there when your computer turns on. It's ready when you are, and it's still active once you are done checking email or what not, it's ready to record a bit of practice.

Using a web cam or handycam is also a good idea. Being able to make quick vids is a great way to go. You can upload these to youtube or record directly to youtube via web cam. You can keep the vids "unlisted" if you don't want them public. Keep them in a playlist so that you can review your progress at any time in one place smile.gif

Todd

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Aug 14 2016, 04:48 AM) *
I keep all of my videos and collab takes but the little pieces of one or two bar practice I get rid of. Reaper is always open and a track armed for record so a quick CTRL R and I'm away wink.gif



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verciazghra
post Aug 15 2016, 08:59 AM
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QUOTE (KenA @ Aug 7 2016, 07:28 PM) *
I know, there's no right or wrong way, just whatever works for the individual is fine, but how do you guys do in this regards?


Actually there are very static ways in which our memory works. Our muscle memory always needs rest to solidify but your mental memory doesn't need to rest in the same way and is also helped by a number of visualization techniques. People have a slight difference in what type of memory they use as their main aspect of memory(such as visual or audial or kinesthetic) but these differences doesn't really matter in concern with visualization which mostly encompasses both visual and audial memory.


This gives a fairly detailed instruction on how it works practically for a pianist:
http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.6.10.3

As for muscle memory... Taking a bunch of breaks as often as possible helps a lot. Also sleep is awesome.


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Caelumamittendum
post Aug 15 2016, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE (verciazghra @ Aug 15 2016, 09:59 AM) *
Actually there are very static ways in which our memory works. Our muscle memory always needs rest to solidify but your mental memory doesn't need to rest in the same way and is also helped by a number of visualization techniques. People have a slight difference in what type of memory they use as their main aspect of memory(such as visual or audial or kinesthetic) but these differences doesn't really matter in concern with visualization which mostly encompasses both visual and audial memory.


This gives a fairly detailed instruction on how it works practically for a pianist:
http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.6.10.3

As for muscle memory... Taking a bunch of breaks as often as possible helps a lot. Also sleep is awesome.


I've not read the article, but my logic tells me that muscle memory is also helped by playing slow, and preferably without mistakes, to solidify the movements on the fretboard...and picking hand for that matter.


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verciazghra
post Aug 15 2016, 02:52 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 15 2016, 12:33 PM) *
I've not read the article, but my logic tells me that muscle memory is also helped by playing slow, and preferably without mistakes, to solidify the movements on the fretboard...and picking hand for that matter.

It's actually more helped in many cases by playing way above your max speed. Because when you slow down your motions are often exaggerated. Definitely the "without mistakes" part is true tho. Segmented at absurdum you can practice way above your max speed with extremely correct and fast motions. Hardest parts first toward easier parts. Problematic clusters especially with micro breaks and relief by something else to avoid injuries and overuse.


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Arpeggio
post Sep 9 2016, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (verciazghra @ Aug 15 2016, 08:59 AM) *
As for muscle memory... Taking a bunch of breaks as often as possible helps a lot. Also sleep is awesome.


Two good bits of advice there. When asleep the body is adapting to what it went through and the challenges it had when awake. Short breaks work for me too.

I've heard of different lengths of consolidation phase that the brain and nervous system goes through. The longest being a month. So when someone suddenly has a good day on the guitar out of apparently nowhere perhaps that's why?


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 9 2016, 11:26 PM
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Some great advice on here!!! I'd double up on


1.)Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. E.G. You just gotta practice and it's gonna take a few years to get good. Just like it takes a few years to get pretty good at anything difficult.

2.)Record EVERYTHING: Use your cell phone, web cam, whatever, upload to youtube but keep it "unlisted" if you like. So you have a audio/visual record of your progress. Guitar progress can seem really slow. Going back to your old vids can show you that you have improved smile.gif

3.)Jump in to every Collab/my Saturday Shred Fest/Etc. on GMC and play ANYTHING you can manage. Each one you miss is a missed chance to push your ability and get feedback smile.gif

Todd



QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Aug 11 2016, 05:04 AM) *
Repetition Repetition Repetition

I remember when Ben started his Bushido Challenges the first one he threw out was
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Metal_Patterns_1/

I practiced that like crazy any spare minute I had for 2 weeks.

I haven't played them for ages but I could do a ok take at a medium speed within 10 mins now.

Also when Gab did a Modern Metal collab and I was composing my solo one of the descending runs from that lesson fell into it quite naturally, it was slightly adjusted to fit the music but it was basically one of those runs that had now become part of my vocabulary.

Often people say 'learn this in all 12 keys and in different places over the neck etc' which I think is good advice to really get the lick ingrained into your playing.

Also working out, how to get to the lick and where to go after it is, what it fits over, is essential or else you risk just knowing a bunch of licks in isolation and can't do anything with them. So grab a backing track and improvise with only one goal which is including the lick a bunch of times.


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