Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Slow Practice is the best practice

I've come across some excellent research regarding how slow practice is the best.  Through the The Bullet Proof Musician website I read some interesting information on slow practice.  The first bit of info comes from Dr. Frank Wilson, a hand specialist who has studied the connection of how our brain and hands work together.  An article of his was uploaded the Bulletproof site and this little article had some really interesting points.  I'll try to sum it up.

  • The Cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls fine motor skill.  This part of the brain works best when left alone.  Remember this post of mine? It's about playing through the subconscious.
  • So it turns out that the part of the brain that controls the playing of music sort of runs the hands on an auto-pilot when everything is up and running.  Of course it will only work as well as you have practiced. 

So, we want to practice enough to where we can get to a point to where we can let our hands take over and not "think."  How do we do that?

PRACTICE SLOWLY of course.

The Bulletproof website mentioned golfer Ben Hogan, someone I had actually never heard of since I'm not into golf, who is one of the great legends of the game.  Can you guess how he honed his swing to perfection?  That's right, SLOW MOTION practice.  Hogan perfected his swing through years of carefully analyzing his movements at a snail's pace. 

These links are excellent insights into how slow, observant, and mindful practice yield the best and fastest results. 

Check them out.