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pix The Leak In The Brain pix
pix pix by Dario Napoli  

Page added in December, 2011

About The Author

Dario Napoli is a professional guitarist, producer, composer and teacher. His influences range from Django Reinhardt to Charlie Parker, George Benson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Satriani.

He has played for over 20 years, performing live and recording and teaching for over 10 years. His latest project Dienne Manouche is a solo album titled "Gypsy Bop" available on itunes and CDbaby.


Visit him on the web at www.darionapoli.com.

Send comments or questions to Dario Napoli.

© Dario Napoli

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  Have you ever had the feeling you actually were able to master a particular phrase or passage or technique you had been working on on your guitar, only later to feel like maybe it wasn't you who was playing it earlier... or maybe it was but you just seemed to forget how to or simply couldn't do it with the same ease with which you remembered yourself doing it?

Few things can be as frustrating as believing something has been conquered on the instrument and then finding out that they haven't been conquered just yet (or at least, not at the standard one expects at that particular moment).

Unless one understands the concept of the leak in the brain. Once this concept is understood, you will have better perspective on your improvements, understand the timeframe of your improvements and cope much better with the frustrations that inevitably happen to anyone who tries to master an instrument.

Imagine your brain as a vase. At the bottom of this vase, there's a small hole. When you practice, you are simply putting water in the vase. The more you practice (and the better you practice), the more you will fill your vase with water. With enough practice, the water reaches an acceptable level for you at that particular moment. The problem occurs when you return to your vase after some time and expect to find the water at the same level you left it. You're thinking, wait a minute, I know I poured this much water in this vase, I remember that, I even made a note of that! (if you practice seriously, you will keep tabs on your improvements).

So a little disturbed, you probably look to get some more water and pour it right back in the vase. This time around, you're thinking, I'll make sure to reach that height in the vase again, and so you do. Once again however, when you get back to check on the level of the water, guess what, it's not there where you left it but somewhere below... so now you think, there must be something wrong with my vase, my vase is not good enough, maybe I just won't pour anymore water into it, what's the use?

The reality is that everyone's vase comes with a little hole in the bottom, therefore you will only reach and master a certain level over time and if you have the patience and determination to keep pouring in water over a long period of time. The size of our respective holes can vary, arguably, but anyone who knows or learns how to pour in the water (practice efficiently and effectively) and more importantly, understands that it is vital to come back the next day and pour some more water in order to maintain and only in the long term, increase the water level, will reap the benefits of becoming a master on their instrument.

I believe the disillusion around this concept has caused many people to quit their instrument altogether. If unaware of the reality of learning, most people just won't want to bare with the frustration of never reaching or staying at the desired "water level" on their instrument. However, when this concept is understood and accepted, one will not only practice with appropriate perspective, but will also be able to set goals appropriately and realistically.

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