Mind/Brain exercises for better technique/dexterity?

MagRick

Member
Messages
1,284
I read somewhere that when we play an instrument, both physical and mental aspects should be in sync.

I think even though I am physically capable of playing better, its my brain that restricts me from crossing that hurdle..Maybe I'm lazy..

Is there a way to exercise the brain to do better?
Is it even a thing or I'm mistaken.

Thanks
 

handtrix

Member
Messages
2,349
More so mindless; If you watch a half hour program (sitcom) all you need is a couch and your unplugged electric guitar.
Preset the mindset, then watch mindless TV while developing motor skills.

e.g. Focus right hand; Either triplets open string muted with left (or use a wristband scrunchie or long sock to tie around the nut area). The you can start on high E to low E.

Use the same principle with the left hand, choosing a 123, 124, or134, or 234 fingering. Keep the triplet theme throughout. Change it up the next day to 4 notes per string. Then, the next day mindlessly string skip. Choose just 2 strings at first - back and forth. Change it up any mindless, yet creative and beneficial, way.
You can stay on the same fret across the strings or sequence up a fret. Starting in the higher frets back down to lower frets, or the other way going up. Or a zigzag pattern of up/up a fret/down/down a fret/up/up a fret and so forth. Anything you can mindlessly do constructively to move your muscles, and to build your dexterity. Ascend and descend.
GUARANTEED results in one to two weeks! Yes mindless improvements - they work and all you're doing is watching your favorite TV show. The guitar is not even there.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,623
I read somewhere that when we play an instrument, both physical and mental aspects should be in sync.

I think even though I am physically capable of playing better, its my brain that restricts me from crossing that hurdle..Maybe I'm lazy..

Is there a way to exercise the brain to do better?
Is it even a thing or I'm mistaken.

Thanks
Listen to the Rite Of Spring five times.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,664
Practice playing guitar without a guitar - aka visualization.

joe diorio used to spend some time practicing on a guitar with no strings
Visualization is good. If you can imagine it, you can play it, given enough time and effort.
Diorio as well as Don Mock got it from Howard Roberts...
Been doing it ever since I took lessons from Mock almost 3 decades ago....

Use your right arm as the fingerboard...and tap/hammer-on from nowhere with your left hand fingers the lines like you would on a guitar.
Of course it looks weird doing that on the metro...
The subtler version use the thumb of your left hand as imaginary fingerboard.
Side note, do it in time.
You can learn entire lines, sections, tunes this way, away from the instrument.
 

Neer

Member
Messages
12,552
The Art of Piano Playing is a brilliantly written book and very much relevant to this topic, regardless of the instrument you play. A very scientific approach to understanding the brain/nervous system’s involvement in playing.

 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,623
Diorio as well as Don Mock got it from Howard Roberts...
Been doing it ever since I took lessons from Mock almost 3 decades ago....

Use your right arm as the fingerboard...and tap/hammer-on from nowhere with your left hand fingers the lines like you would on a guitar.
Of course it looks weird doing that on the metro...
The subtler version use the thumb of your left hand as imaginary fingerboard.
Side note, do it in time.
You can learn entire lines, sections, tunes this way, away from the instrument.
Man...you got to hang with the masters!
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,664
Man...you got to hang with the masters!
Wish I had actually had the right reasons for it back then....I'd gotten a lot further in my journey...oh well, youth wasted on the young type stuff.
And later on when I was at THD i actually really did.
Best was when I was trying to get hold of Holdsworth (Bill DeLap made it happen) he calls and I turn into a blathering idiot for 5 minutes cause at that time he was my fave guitarist.
 

Badstrat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,421
I think the best exercise for playing guitar is, well, playing guitar. I simply practice by playing along with songs and try to learn it note for note, usually while trying to master the vocal at the same time. That’ll give your brain some exercise.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,623
Wish I had actually had the right reasons for it back then....I'd gotten a lot further in my journey...oh well, youth wasted on the young type stuff.
And later on when I was at THD i actually really did.
Best was when I was trying to get hold of Holdsworth (Bill DeLap made it happen) he calls and I turn into a blathering idiot for 5 minutes cause at that time he was my fave guitarist.
I got a call back on my friend's answering machine from Diorio saying that he thought he could make times for a lesson the next day. Problem was, I was out getting hammered with my friend and his brother and didn't get the message till early the next morning. Joe had already filled in the time by then and my head felt like it'd been his by a sledge. Wasted youth indeed.
 

hangten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,155
I think the best exercise for playing guitar is, well, playing guitar. I simply practice by playing along with songs and try to learn it note for note, usually while trying to master the vocal at the same time. That’ll give your brain some exercise.
For sure.
Also play the chords and sing the melody.

BUT

visualization is a great (and in my opinion underused) tool. There is a lot of down time in this world where you can be stuck somewhere with nothing to do and no guitar. Delete social media apps, you can still practice!

It's hard at first (maybe always) and you don't get the gratification of actually playing but you definitely can work on a LOT and my personal experience is that you will get some nice surprises in your playing after doing this from time to time.
 




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