Anyone else learn in fits and starts?

Don’t feel lonely. It took me like 9 months to finish b2b, and that was at 90-120 minutes a day! And i think i maybe had two days i didn’t play at all.
I got plenty problems in my brain. And my memory ain’t so good no more-

As for fits and starts? Yes, it’s a slow slog through until it clicks, then suddenly it opens up and i can do that now. Not fast, but i can do that.

I think it happens to everyone, and sometimes these periods of slower learning ( i like to think of these as structural reinforcement ) are what make it easy for people to put down their instrument and let it get Dusty.

Myself, i refuse to do that.
Instead. I’ll learn something different, play something different. This journey isn’t defined by completing this module in this time frame, or this course by this date-rather, it’s about learning to do something i love. I hope to do that well.


I think my biggest limitation is my inconsistency. Can sometimes get in a role and play everyday for a week or two, then seem to have too many gaps. Usually because I don’t know what to practice. Sometimes the mini breaks are good but often I’ve gone slightly backwards.

Overall I’m getting better at both bass and guitar, but definitely not as fast as I’d hoped most of the time.


Interesting read, I’ve mentioned to my kids that sleep is like filing for your brain. It helps organise everything so you can find it when needed.


In my perception, this is valid for anything. Whether it’s for purely cognitive processes or for instance developing proper table tennis or badminton technique, or even riding a bike, progress comes in bursts.
I remember a Monday evening on which I suddenly managed to sort out my badminton overhand backhand (which is a complicated technique that is generally avoided, or worked around, up to a certain level). I had practiced it for quite some time, but with varying success and never consistently good. But that Monday evening, it suddenly “clicked in”, and it immediately improved my entire game… not only because it surprised my opponent, but also because it took a weak spot out of my game. The resulting confidence boost is priceless.

Another example:
When I decided that, lower down the fretboard (where the money notes are), microshifting was the name of the game for my pathetically short fingers, and I started practicing that, I had a similar experience. Once it clicked in, it changed my bass game, eliminating a weak spot, and making me feel a lot better about the whole shebang.

But also for purely cognitive processes not involving physical dexterity (programming, music theory, rocket science), this kite will fly. You’ll find that, quite often, understanding the underlying basic concepts helps you to “get” the big picture. Once you understand a concept, you don’t have to burden your memory with it, and the resulting Aha-Erlebnis will make you wonder why you didn’t get that earlier (what has been seen once, cannot be unseen).