The Spacing Effect: How to Improve Learning and Maximize Retention


Article on how to maximize learning. Wonder how well it would transfer to guitar learning.


yeah, helps explain how we (I) waste much time practicing. We find a lick or pattern and run thru it and sort of get it wired then we get bored and go on to something else. Even if we did it 100 times on that session it gets quickly lost.

if we remember to repeat it later it will get more deeply burned into the memory etc.

Though im fairly low tech I can see a good way to apply it: film your practice sessions and go back through and edit and save the cool parts and repeat them later that day and the next day etc.

Boom, quick repertoire built

Do we actually even KNOW how to get faster?

from another thread:

I been trying to work this into my routine lately. for instance say you do a lick at 8pm then u go to bed and get up and go to work and the next night you train that lick again. Well thats 24 hrs between. You are going to lose a lot of the memory and groove of that lick.

One little trick then: When u wake up, do that lick a few times before u get ready for work. That splits that 24 hrs in half so you will get way more retention

Wanna get crazy with it? Do the lick upon waking. Takes you an hour to get ready for work? Do the lick right before u walk out the door. Do the lick when u walk back in the door from work. relax a bit, whatever, then do your 8pm actual practice time. Now you have like 4 different “memory events” or recharges.

Nvmnd of course visualizing the lick and/or tapping it out with your fingers at work

Lots of possibilities there. Good way to learn a new lick quickly


I’ve had tons of success with doing this, way more than my typical marathon practice sessions. Sometimes the shorter the session the better.


Yeah, shortly after waking up, for about 20-30 minutes feels good for me. I play, and get to a point where I feel like I am treading water, and I just stop.

Also, 8ish at night feels good. Not too tired, and the afternoon sluggishness is gone.


I think if I practiced for 50 years straight, I still couldn’t play like this:


yeah, RG playing stuff live that Les Paul would cook up in the studio by speeding up the reels etc


Not with that attitude!