The Creature: Repeated Mistakes

by guitarkadia on July 19, 2009

in Blog

New York Times published a piece in the Sports section about ‘Why Athletes Keep Repeating the Same Mistakes‘:

“In one experiment, researchers put eye-tracking cameras on soccer players and instructed them to avoid a particular part of the goal in making a penalty kick. Guess which part of the goal their gazes most often fell?”

Musicians suffer from this too. You worry about a certain section of music that has always bugged you, and you worry you’ll screw it up when you perform live, or record…and voila, it happens! My theory is that a large part of why this happens is how you’ve originally learned to play that section. When learning a song, the first and most important goal is to get the feel of the piece as a whole. Then you go back and smooth out the rough sections. If I’m started off with a warning as to how difficult that middle section of the song is, my mind is already focused on that road block, not the journey. You’ll also notice that pieces/sections that paralyze you are not necessarily harder than the ones you play effortlessly. Therefore, the mental block may have nothing to do with your capability, physically, to perform it, but the bad information you were fed about it.

Would you agree? How about you? How do you deal with the ‘Creature’?

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