PDA

View Full Version : Muscle Memory



ginrose
10-06-2007, 02:53 AM
Last week I was looking through the compartments in my old guitar case and found an old notebook with chord progressions etc. from lessons years and years ago. Wonder of wonders, my fingers "want" to go to the right strings and frets even though it's been maybe 20 years since I looked at those exercises.

Tonight I practiced until my fingers got too sore to go on, went to bed, and whoa, what popped into my brain but a lecture from Zoology class about how the brain stores something to memory! I had to get it up and share the thought. The take home lesson was if you start making mistakes you should change to something else because you'll teach yourself the mistake and then it'll be doubly hard to get it right.

kevint
10-06-2007, 08:32 AM
I've read that before, that is why they say to practice slowly (so you don't make mistakes) and build up speed as you go along and also break things down into sections and work on the section you are having trouble with rather than starting from the begining again.

Learning songs in sections then putting it all together is some of the best advice I ever got, works great for me.:jamfest:

rsmalling
10-06-2007, 09:43 AM
Thanks for passing that along. I have been starting from the begining after screwing up....

David.MacKenzie
10-06-2007, 09:53 AM
from my limited, and humble experience on this earth, i would say that is very true. when i studied tae kwon do almost 15 years ago, my instructor told us about muscle memory. we had to do a specific movement right at least 26 times for muscle/mind connection to kick in. that was only the small beginning to perfection in the art as we would do those moves easily hundreds of times over the year. to this day even though i dont pratise these moves, my mind easily remebers them, and i could pick them back up with the proper practise. same can be applied to guitar. my fingers/mind connection do roughly the same thing. when i dont think so hard while i am playing, i can actually go from the 1st or 2nd fret, to somewhere past the
12th fret and beyond and hit the note i need without looking. it is a small victory when that happens for me. a sign that my muscle/mind connection is there and funtioning. what i am getting at here is that do your practise routines right everytime, and soon that connection will be second nature for you. it does work!!! our bodies are capable of some extraordinary things!!!

merle
10-06-2007, 10:29 AM
Hey ginrose, think what Steve said in one of his lessons, when you screw up don,t stop. he said if a bear is chaseing you in the woods and you lost your shoe you would'nt want to stop and pick it up then you'nt want to come back later and get it ha ah .boy that steve says some funny stuff! see ya Merle.

Jim.Deeming
10-06-2007, 10:35 AM
Good point David. I always thought that was the biggest reason behind forms - or kata - in martial arts. By slowing down and exaggerating the movements, and repeating them about a billion times, you are teaching the muscle memory not only the basics of the techniques, but how to transition between them for combinations of moves. To the casual observer, it doesn't look like "real fighting", but it's a great way to learn it right. I hadn't heard the number 26 before, but on that topic I always thought if a little is good, more is better, and too much is just right...

And YES, YES, YES to kevint's advice -
Repetition is the master instructor, but while learning something new, break things down into small enough chunks that the repetition is being done correctly. When learning a new song, I may find a trouble spot to be something like a transition in and out of a new chord. So I will repeat - about a billion times - the transition to that chord from the previous. When that starts to work, then do the transition from the new chord to the next one. THEN I go back and do the three together. To the casual observer, it doesn't sound like "real music", but it works.

I too have been guilty of the "play 'til you crash, then start over" routine. What a great way to get really good at one half of a song.

Reminds me of the joke about training Gulf War One Iraqi pilots being twice as fast and half as expensive - since they never came back, they didn't have to be taught how to land. ;)

David.MacKenzie
10-06-2007, 12:48 PM
Good points jim!!!! hahahaha, i like the iraqi pilot joke!!!! nice!!!

fenton1
01-06-2008, 09:11 PM
is this how stuttering begins??

estaban
01-07-2008, 12:44 PM
Even though I cant practice with my guitar here at work I can read and learn things like on this thread. Good stuff.

mbeury
03-11-2008, 10:06 PM
when i studied tae kwon do almost 15 years ago

lol that just makes me laugh

cappinator
03-12-2008, 04:05 AM
Muscle memory for teh win!

Last night, I went from a G to a C without thinking about it and it was as smooth as butter and as clear as a bell. I stopped and looked at my fingers and was utterly amazed.

I tried it a few more times and each time I was even more amazed that it wasn't a fluke. My fingers are starting to get a mind of their own!

It feels like how I learned to type so many years ago. I couldn't for the life of me understand why our teacher made us type the same sentences over and over again, for pages after pages. But as I'm typing this, I never ever think about which fingers need to type which letters, it all goes automatic.

It used to be where your brain goes: The 'a' key is under your left pinky if you lift it up and move it slightly to the left and forward, your brain then tells your hand to move that way and your finger presses down. Muscle memory means skipping those middle steps and just go: 'a' -> down goes that finger automatically.

Sylvia
03-15-2008, 01:40 AM
Last week I was looking through the compartments in my old guitar case and found an old notebook with chord progressions etc. from lessons years and years ago. Wonder of wonders, my fingers "want" to go to the right strings and frets even though it's been maybe 20 years since I looked at those exercises.

Tonight I practiced until my fingers got too sore to go on, went to bed, and whoa, what popped into my brain but a lecture from Zoology class about how the brain stores something to memory! I had to get it up and share the thought. The take home lesson was if you start making mistakes you should change to something else because you'll teach yourself the mistake and then it'll be doubly hard to get it right.

Thanks Gin. I'm always amazed what I remember from my 1980's college classes. This was a delightful story. :cool:

Sylvia