Anyone else learn in fits and starts?

Based on my prior musical experience, i had assumed learning bass would be a gradual slog of tiny gains on a fairly consistent basis. To the contrary, i am finding that one day sonething ‘clicks’ and makes sense, then i feel like i am spinning me wheels, then another leap. Sometimes the leaps are not even in stuff i am practicing, but stuff i can hear or figure out that i couldnt previously. Wierd.

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I’m this way too. Sometimes you just have to accept that you’re getting nowhere that day; others it’s like you’re on fire.

Even the getting nowhere days can be fun, once you accept it and just start playing for fun.

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Biology has a term called punctuated equilibrium. Things go along at a slow, steady pace, then have short bursts with leaps of advancement, and then back to the slow pace. Probably fits here too

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I’m 100% the same. But I am finding that a year + in I’m having a few more good practice sessions than I used to.
I’m also accepting my limitations at any moment in time and making sure I’m happy with something before moving on to the next phase.

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sounds like my teenage son’s growth spurts. Nothing for a while and then hey, he is 2 inches taller. Unfortunately my bass progress is more splutters, than spurts!

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+1 to all the above. some days I spend an hour and can feel I’m getting nowhere, so I’ll put the bass down. The next day boom! Breakthrough. And I might go on for 2hrs

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I find that the more you play/learn, sometimes the bigger setbacks. I think this is because you are pushing yourself further to learn more difficult things, or tighten up sloppiness, etc. in the beginning improvements come in big leaps, then leaps seem smaller.

Kinda like losing weight. Big drop followed by smaller drops as you get closer to your goal.

I’ve been in a serious fit for a week or so and finally see the light coming out of it. When I’m playing badly, I take a break but then really focus hard on something.

It’s a loooooong journey. Be one with it.

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Another way of looking at it is - consolidation. Now that I’ve got the concept of straight eighths, I’m kind of happy to put on a drum loop, chug away for an hour whilst watching YouTube. Is it super interesting? No but rather than learning something new I’m putting in the work to ensure the next things I learn are built on a solid foundation.
I also find it relaxing to just play and let my mind drift :grin:

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Yes, I throw “fits” and then “start” to cry.

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It’s fairly normal I guess, and it’s something I’ve experienced throughout my lifetime, no matter what I’m trying to learn or memorize. Our brains are like sponges, they can absorb a lot, but sometimes it just takes them a bit of time. Sleeping between learning sessions helps tremendously, as our brains seem to go into turbo mode when we sleep. I often wake up the next morning and able to nail whatever I was struggling with the day before. Sometimes it takes several sleeps for it to soak in, but it eventually does.

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https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory

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That’s a great article @wellbi. I’ve read it in the past, but it’s helpful to revisit it occasionally. Thanks

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As with most things, awareness is a key thing! You’ve clearly touched upon a point that we all relate to and share. I think that simply being aware of your progression your limitations, and reasonable targets and achievements is a healthy way to learn such a broad stuff!

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Yep this is very much me, I think largely because of my neurodivergent brain. Some days thinks make perfect sense and I feel like Stephen Hawking, other days I feel like my brain is made entirely of hyperactive puppies.

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That is such a perfect analogy.

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I keep wondering if hypnosis would help this, as this is my brain’s normal state, and I feel like if i could clear it without the use of substances (just my bag, I have enough spending issues) I would get a lot farther along the musical journey.

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Definitely fits and starts for me… sometimes there are leaps backward too.

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I think about 99% of us. Learning any musical instrument is a journey. Often rocky, sometimes painfully slow, sometimes exciting, usually frustrating. But keep going. It can be really fun and worth the effort.

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