In Boot Camp

I am back to basics in my piano lessons.
We started getting into learning some songs to break up the monotony when I realized that I just could not play these songs effectively.
The way I was playing these songs was literally memorizing them and the chords associated with them. I would play the melody with my right hand and then attempt to hit the chord symbols with my left.
However, not having the chords in my brain meant that I had build each one from scratch, and then memorize it in context of the song. Very unproductive and not very applicable to easily learning new songs.
And certainly not good for jazz improvisation which was the road I was going down.
So I’m back to basic training – boot camp for piano.
I’m drilling chords over and over and over and over until they stick in my brain and I can hit them instantaneously. Need to drill on them continuously and use repetition to burn them into my brain and my hands.
I think about what it takes to burn something in one’s brain. I think about my jazz piano playing and the need to memorize all the chords. I think about the triathlon training and doing all those workouts over and over again, drilling on form for swimming, biking, and running. It gets monotonous sometimes, but you have to do it so that your body and mind learn new things and destroys bad habits and infuses new better ones.
Sometimes you just need to stick with something for a long time, and it WILL get monotonous…but that’s what stamina and commitment are all about. In this fast-paced-low-attention-span world, people want things too quick and don’t want to put the effort in to really master something.
Mastery melds innate skill with stamina to stick it through the monotonous, repetitious, bad-habit-breaking parts. So next time you really want to get good at something, brace yourself for the monotonous parts and enjoy experiencing them rather than succumbing to their monotony. You’ll definitely enjoy the end result.