Tags : Apple, Bruce Cross, Carlos Santana, cerebellum, dendrites, Dr. Bruce Cross, Einstein, Eric Clapton, Garage Band, guitar synthesizer, guitarist, keyboard, learn to play guitar, learning guitar, MIDI guitar, muscle memory, Muse Box, musician, neurons, neurophsysiology of learning, neurophysiology, norepinepherine, Peavey, philosopher, radiation oncologist, Roland Sound Canvas, seratonin, synth keyboard, You Rock Guitar, YRG
Comments : 5
Your senses provide input to the brain, and the brain then sends out commands for action.
This is more than a conversation, it is a dance.
When you are first learning to play the guitar, you use your eyes to help find the frets and make the notes. Once
this is familiar enough, your sense of touch takes over, particularly in the first 5 to 7 frets. This is similar to learning to type,
eventually you get past the hunt and peck.
The YRG neck makes this practice “brain friendly” by simulating the guitar neck and spacing and feel, so you can transfer
at the sensory level playing the YRG to a more “standard” guitar. But it doesn’t just happen—-you have to keep playing.
At the back of the brain, just above the spinal cord is a structure called the cerebellum. This is not a thinking center but more like a router,
and as the person learns a skill or a movement or a pattern, signals are facilitated by the formation of new connections between the
ACTION cells called Neurons along little extensions called dendrites.
USE IT OR LOSE IT — as we advance in our understanding of the learning process, the old adage of “repetition is the mother of retention”
comes up over and over (and over) again. Before mental rehearsal can be useful, you must first learn the skill, the movement.
Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton spent hours repeating those lead solos and patterns, until it seemed the fingers just did it…..
Some sports trainers refer to this as “muscle memory” but it is so much more—and we all have the ability to improve it. When they took
a piece of Einstein’s brain and looked for differences from a “standard” brain, they found more dense patterns of dendrites. More thinking
trails that had been walked along many times, and then again.
So first, find something to learn. Then repeat it until you start to feel it. Practice before going to sleep and let the storage mechanism work.
You are a miracle of a being that can improve itself….but you still have to get up and do it
A keyboard player once told me all guitarists were looking for the next gadget or pedal or gimmick that would give them their
“tone destiny” and I thought this was a little cold—-I don’t look at my YRG as replacing other guitars, just connecting me to the ability
to learn and retain the miracle of “muscle memory” with other guitars. The fact that you can take your sensory understanding
of the guitar neck and play other sounds, many in the YRG, or through Garage Band (Apple) or MIDI connections and boxes (Roland Sound Canvas, Peavey, Muse Box, just about any synth keyboard) is a double treat because you are sending the same output from the brain but getting
different feedback. This is a powerful stimulus because it now recruits the emotion center, a sort of super chemical repository
that provides serotonin and norepinepherine, positive brain chemicals that are reinforcement for your efforts.
Light up your brain—-pick up your YRG and make some dendrites—they will be there for you……….
Bruce Cross, M.D. Radiation Oncologist, novice philosopher and amateur musician