Play fast, but practice slowly

“In order to play fast, you gotta practice slowly.” That’s what my guitar teacher kept hammering on me. Each time I ignored his advice, I regretted it afterwards – bitterly.

What happens when you practice too fast too soon is that you practice with inaccuracies and turn them into muscle memory. Once in muscle memory, it’s super hard – and super frustrating – to get rid of sloppy technique. It took me way longer to get rid of sloppy muscle memory than it would have been to get to speed had I started slowly, but accurately.

As much as we’d like to get to speed by spreading our story fast and often, we’re likely to regret it if the story is sloppy and doesn’t quite nail it. Correcting the wrong story is way harder than spreading the right story. Even worse, once we’re used to using certain words and messages, they become second nature and it becomes increasingly hard to see better words and messages that truly nail it.

It pays to start a little slower, craft messages that truly nail it, practice telling them, refine them while we still run at a pace that allows for it, and then, when we’ve mastered our story, spread it wide and fast.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz

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