The dreaded “Learning Block”, at some point we all have one. Characterized as a point that you just can’t seem to move beyond. It may occur while trying to learn a new concept or technique, or maybe a new song. You get to a certain level and you just can seem to move beyond it. You become frustrated and have the urge to give up, to walk away.
So what do you do? How do you push through? Here are 7 tips that I use to for overcoming learning blocks when they occur.
1. Analyze Your Approach
Sometimes you need to step back from what you are trying to learn and analyze your approach. When I get stuck I try to break the material down into smaller chunks, mastering each bit before moving on to the next one. Once I have mastered all of the bits, I then work on putting them together as a complete piece. Trying to do too much at once can be very overwhelming. Remember not to bite off more than you can chew.
Look to remove any distractions and set clear, attainable goals to focus upon. When I truly focus on a task, I find that not only do I achieve my goal, but I do so quickly and efficiently.
3. Keep a Log
To clearly see improvement we must log our practice sessions. In this way we can track our advancement, no matter how small. Along with a written log, you should aim to record yourself at least once a week to further analyze your playing.
4. Take Another Road
Look to other sources for the same information, sometimes learning is all in the presentation. I may learn something just fine by reading through material in a book, but you may learn better by watching a video demonstration of it. Look at it from another angle, especially if you find the material you are working from is too complicated.
5. Take a Break
Don’t work too long or push yourself too hard. Taking a break can help to clear your mind. If you are completely frustrated, step away for awhile, sleep on and come back to it the next day approaching the problem from a new direction.
6. Know When Your Beat
If you don’t have the fundamental skills needed, you may need to stop, reassess your skill set and decide whether or not you are ready to tackle the task at hand. This is what I did after I first reviewed Lesson 13 of Teach Me Bass Guitar. I realized that I was not yet ready to proceed, so I spent some time shoring up my existing skills.
7. Don’t Give Up
Always keep practicing. Don’t get caught up in trivial things, focus on what is important. If you feel stuck look at your practice routine and mix things up a bit, perhaps you just need a change. Try to practice everyday in order to internalize what you are trying to learn.
Good luck in Overcoming your Learning Blocks!
If you have any additional tips or seek help, feel free to share in the comments.