Some experience about the "sleep on it" strategy

Hey I just want to share some experience about the “sleep on it”. I have practiced piano when I was a kid, so I know a thing or two about that strategy. But the piano stuff was more like, only if you practice the fundamental for one hour or something will the “sleep on it” work. Back to finger drumming. I have been trying to practice the drum pattern from Morning Bell by Radiohead since day one because that was what occurred to me when I first played around with the pad. But I could not make the snare roll sound constantly good. There was just something subtle about how hard I should hit and how long my fingers should linger on the snare pads that I didn’t understand (clearly because I am still a beginner). Then I went to a short trip last three days so I didn’t have anything to practice on. But today when I got back to my pads, the snare sounds so much better than before. It is not perfect but a lot better and constant. I don’t know what is going on in my brain but clearly it IS something scientific. Thanks, Robert.


Ha, that’s great! Yes the sleeping on it thing works so well… I don’t know the science behind it. I always see it as your brain “organizing” things while sleeping and deleting the redundant data. So the next day you’re left with the right synapse connections on which you can then build further.

5 minutes of practice isn’t the end all be all ofcourse. Sometimes diving a little deeper and taking some time is beneficial. But I did learn that in a busy life it’s easier to convince yourself to do 5 minutes and stick to it almost every day. And that repetition is usually more valuable than the length of the practice session.

I use this method now for recording the monthly challenge videos. Those are long performances, usually two songs in one session and then 3 tempo’s so I have to “nail” 6 performances without making any mistakes and also getting the groove right.

The way I prepare is first spend 1 or 2 longer sessions messing around coming up with a sketch of the beat I like to play. And then I spend about a week just playing the performances on each tempo once or twice… that will take 10 minutes or so. I do that every morning when I’m the most sharp and clearheaded.
And then after 1 week I turn on those camera’s and blast out the performances on all tempo’s. It will still be multiple takes to get the very best version, but it feels pretty magical how well I know the songs where a week before I had to focus super super hard to play them with still a lot of mistakes.


This is a great episode of Andrew Huberman’s Huberman Lab’s podcast going into the neuroscience of learning new skills and how to learn new skills faster. He is a neuroscientist and tenured Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Great free podcast if not familiar. The entire episode is very interesting but between the 30-60 minute mark I found especially helpful and interesting. He discusses studies and experiments that revealed the importance of repetition and the mistakes and how the brain compensates for mistakes during not only sleep but through short post practice meditation sessions of sorts. I found it really interesting in the “what to do immediately after” section about how if you sort of meditation and “do nothing” for 5-10 minutes after a practice session your brain plays the motions backwards… and then when you sleep your brain plays them forward and this can speed up your ability to learn skills faster. Highly recommend taking in this episode on your next commute or what not.

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Wooooo, thats soms next level insight there. Thanks for sharing!