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Thread: The brain doesn't forget

  1. #1
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default The brain doesn't forget

    I had to stop playing mandolin for two months due to moving house - there was really no time left in the day in this period. I wondered how my playing would suffer. Would I remember how to pick those tunes that I'd previously been playing every day. Would my fingers know what to do? Now, finally settled in (but still with masses to sort out) I dared to take my mandolin out of its bag for the first time yesterday, and again tonight. I as mightily relieved to find that my hands instantly knew their way around, and that tunes which I haven't practiced for ages have not disappeared from my memory. A little stiff and slow maybe, but the brain really doesn't forget.
    A testimony, I guess to the brain's ability to embed things that are regularly practiced, and to the enduring nature of muscle memory. Two months is not long, but quite a change to playing every day.
    It was worse with the bike. That was really noticable. Ten kilometers felt like fifty, and my legs were aching some!
    Both will benefit from more practice of course :-)
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    Brains vary !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  3. #3

    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    I would go a step further and say that,with time,those tunes,patterns,scales become even more user-friendly
    and tattooed in our consciousness to help represent and facilitate our own personal style of playing.

    At times certain tunes will play out even in dreams and idle thoughts. I bet I am not alone in this.

    Still plan to dig out my old bicycle and enjoy some riding again. It's a joyous thing.

  4. #4
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    My brain rarely forgets, it being fairly immune to new input in the first place. You can't lose what you never had.
    It is the jigsaw. It is purple haze.
    It never stays in one place, but it's not a passing phase,
    It is in the singles bar, in the distance of the face
    It is in between the cages, it is always in a space
    It is here. It is now.

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  6. #5
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Moss View Post
    My brain rarely forgets, it being fairly immune to new input in the first place. You can't lose what you never had.
    aka: Spencer
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    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.
    -anonymous

  7. #6

    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    My brain forgives, but seldom forgets, unless it's a name.

    ============
    "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship"
    -Louisa May Alcott

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  8. #7
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    After 50+ years of playing banjo,it's pretty much sidelined these days,so i might not play for 5 to 6 months. I play it every now & again just to keep the ol' grey cells in touch with one another,& after a half hour or so,i'm doing ok. I'm pretty sure that 'muscle memory' is a large part of remembering 'how to play',but i certainly have forgotten many of the tunes i used to play - that's the ''brain's bit'',
    Ivan
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: The brain doesn't forget

    I had not played piano for about 30 years when my church started hitting me up a few years ago to provide "special music" for summer services. I had lost a little fluidity, but the basics were there and it came back to me quickly, and the fluidity returned quickly too. Now I will say I don't pick as difficult pieces to play now as I would have in the past, but muscle memory is a big part of it - my fingers remember where to go, as long as I trust them. (I practice for about a month or so before I start the "special music.")

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