How to "ignore" notes when chunking?

In a 4-note sequence, how does one just play the first note and “ignore” the rest of the notes as if they would just magically be picked perfectly? I tried to “ignore” the other notes and obviously that did not work at all. What exactly is mean by “ignoring” the notes and what is the secret behind chunking? Thank you.

  1. Having repeated the chunk many many times to make a more efficient encoding of the chunk as a single unit.
  2. Playing fast

These two points are sort of orthogonal, but unless you’re playing quite fast then you’re always going to be aware of individual notes to a certain degree and thus speed is a prerequisite for having the sense that the other notes in the chunk are just a result of that first one.

A final point is also that an accent might help. The only chunks I experience like this are fast runs where the accent fall on the downbeat. All I do is focus on syncing up the downbeats in the chunks. Troy also talks about this, and has some nice footage of accents (leading to rest-strokes) that he says happens on an unconcious level. I’m sure it’s possible to have fast jazzy lines with upbeat accents, but the tempos are often much slower there so this isn’t something I have experienced.

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Thanks for your answer. The reason I asked is because whenever I try to go faster, focus on the first note with a downstroke and accent, and “ignore” the rest of the notes there is a good chance I’m going to either touch the wrong string or miss picking any string completely. What am I dong wrong?

Chunking isn’t a solution to any of your problems. It’s just something that happens when you’ve played something a lot. You shouldn’t be working on ‘forming a chunk’, but instead on playing the sequence or lick correctly. The chunk will form on its own.

You might’ve noticed that it’s hard to start playing a piece you know really well from say the middle of bar 5? You might’ve learned it piecemeal, one bar at a time or so, but that’s certainly not how your brain thinks of that piece of music anymore! It’s now much easier to start the piece and play through the entire thing than anything else. This is also chunking at work, yet you didn’t work on it at all. It just happened because that’s what brains do :slightly_smiling_face:

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This is something I’m finding difficult to switch to as well.

I keep hearing the individual notes in my head, instead of “one”, “one”, “one”, etc…
At higher speed they blur together in my head, I’m still trying to drown them out and
focus on the chunking “ones”. I spent so long making sure I could count individual
sequences, such as 16th notes, as one-ee-and-aa.

Glad I’m not the only one! Now what is the solution here…