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Featured So What / How Do You Practice?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Tbear, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Tbear

    Tbear
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    Practice.jpg
    What does learning to play guitar and learning to be a great sim racer have in common?

    So, as the old joke goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?". As a fair to middlin' guitar player I know that the answer is "Practice!" of course.

    So what/how do YOU practice your racing? I take some tips from back when I was learning to play guitar.

    1. Whether practicing scales or driving laps behind a ghost car ... never quit in the middle of what you are doing. Quitting in the middle just creates a bad habit and makes it easier to quit when times get hard. This is VERY hard to do given the passion in racing and is something I have to work at very hard. Sometimes I can ... sometimes I can't ... but I have been working on it and trying to find ways to help learn this very important skill
    2. Always set a goal for my practice and always see it through to completion. Don't do open ended practice sessions. At the beginning tell yourself what you are going to do: "I'm going to do the mixolydian scale 10 times forward and backwards" Or, "I'm going to do four - 5 lap sessions behind the ghost car".
    3. Take frequent breaks. Don't let yourself get tired ... fatigue leads to mistakes, mistakes lead to frustration and frustration leads to quitting.
    4. Always warm up first. If its guitar, play a tune you know, not related to your practice ... in the car, drive 5 or so very mild laps laps increasing the speed a little each time ... then begin your practice session.
    5. Don't try to cover too many things at once time, but do some things every time, every lap ... like remember to address or acknowledge your braking points, turn in and apex every time.
    6. Practice often and regularly. I am trying to go up a class from the Mazda Cup to the Porsche Cayman GT4 Club Sport. Over the past week I am doing 10 lap sessions on 3 different tracks several times a day and night.

    Think you're too good to need to practice? ESPECIALLY the best musicians practice, some for several hours, everyday ... even Eric Clapton ... and so do drivers. During practice sessions for LeMans this year I was impressed to see the Toyota team and Fernando Alonso taking every minute of practice allowed, when all other teams had quit practice ... Fernando Alonso, a two-time F1 champ was still out there banging out laps until the sessions were officially closed. Fernando is a guy who wants to WIN!

    Practice is a matter of faith ... I may never get to be good enough on guitar to get to Carnegie Hall and I may never get fast enough to race at LeMans ... but I practice like I'm going to go tomorrow.

    So how and what do YOU practice?

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    Do you have a practice regimen to become a better driver, or do you just practice to prepare for coming races? When you practice, do you practice specific aspects of your driving or just try to get faster lap by lap? Why don't you tell us about you practice habits in the comments below!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
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  2. ears

    ears
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    I just race and hope I get better.

    My racing time is so limited and what I always want to do is race against other humans, so I just do that.
     
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  3. Jiltjes

    Jiltjes

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    Just doing laps is just to get a feel for the "car". in race I am usually faster because I learn from other racing lines I see from other racers. Stealing rather than putting in a lot of time!
     
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  4. Davebrave

    Davebrave

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    Interestingly, I started to learn to play guitar this summer and somehow I find simracing and learning an instrument similar... Obviously it's all about practice and more practice, repeat again and again the same thing until you get better... (with a bit of frustration in the meantime)

    However, regarding simracing, I'm not that competitive so I don't strictly follow "a plan", I just try to have fun. There are always tracks and cars combinations that I do better than others... but I try not to get too obsessed.
     
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  5. FlyGasm

    FlyGasm
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    Maybe it's a different way to look at it, but I never consider it practice. I'm just having fun at something I love to do. If you set goals to be the next alien, then you might get frustrated and destroy all the fun in sim racing.

    Just like everything in life, the more you do it, the better you get. If you want to call it practice, then ok. I just call it fun.:thumbsup:
     
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  6. Sean Armstrong

    Sean Armstrong

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    As someone who has studied music my whole life I have noticed some parallels with sim racing and studying music. It just so happens, guitar is my main and has been for over 10 years but I have learned to play every instrument I've been able to get my hands on in life, at least any instrument I've purchased or borrowed for a long time.

    The biggest parallel I've noticed is in practicing perfecting classical guitar pieces and practicing a track/car combo that I know very well. When I get to the point that I don't have to think to drive this track/car combo well in practice or the same with a classical guitar piece, I start to notice certain parts of the track/piece that I can do better or at least try differently. When I do this I only focus on that individual part of the track/piece that I want to improve or try differently, but I still start from the beginning, play/drive all the way through and see how things change.

    One other parallel I've noticed is just how much time I can spend on either one of these activities when I have the extra time to devote to them. I really love this kind of activity in life. I think it is why I was drawn to music and sim racing. While I have spent way more time on music than sim racing, I can't deny the similarity. I love seeing or hearing improvements in something you can repeatedly work at and I think both music and sim racing will likely be something I'll be passionate about my whole life.
     
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  7. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    It is an interesting parallel for sure. I've always approached simracing the same way I approach playing guitar - I don't really set any goals for myself or follow any strict rules in regard to practice, because if I did, it would no longer be a fun activity, it would become a lot more like work. So I don't have any goals, apart from "I'd like to learn this song the best I can in the time I have" or "I'd like to learn to drive the car/track combo the best I can in the time I have".

    Which I guess explains why I'm always average at best in regard to both (maybe slightly above average at times). I guess I could become better if I really set my mind to it and approached it more seriously and systematically, setting specific goals, studying my results and such. But it would also become a lot more of a chore and quite a lot of fun would be lost.
     
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  8. Alex72

    Alex72

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    So often when people look at someone that has skill they say "oh i wish i was that good!".The reality is most likely that the person who is skilled have done that very thing thousands of hours throughout his or her life.

    As an old fart its what im telling youngsters all the time: find something you would like to get better at and get crackin' pronto! The younger you start the easier it is because your brain is like a sponge when younger. As a 20 something you think life will be like that until you're so old that you sit in a rocking chair at 90. Sorry, but thats not the case.It goes downhill much faster than you think, lol. So if you wanna become great at something make time for it and practice, practice, practice. Doesnt hurt if you love doing it at the same time. :)

    With sim racing i just had fun and the skill came gradually on its own. The fastest i learned to get better was with friends who are really good and who gave pointers along the way. Some of the best sessions has been driving for example on the Green Hell with friends and gotten pointers while going around it. How to take corners, how to setup your car better, how to catch slides etc etc. I am nowhere near the aliens but thats ok. I love the experience even if im battling the mid pack. :)
     
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  9. Tbear

    Tbear
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    FAR OUT!!!! EXACTLY BANG ON! I was thinking of Pablo Casal's etudes I used to learn pick control when I wrote this.

    It's a LOT of work, but a perfectly played musical piece is every bit as satisfying as driving a (nearly) perfect lap.

    After you've been at both for a while you'll also begin mixing terms like "rhythm" and "flow" to describe both tracks and musical pieces.

    Also art comes into play, especially painting. One "applies" paint whether on a wall or on a canvas ... and you do it in the same manner with brakes and accelerator. These things are NEVER just smeared on and off ... they are applied thoughtfully, carefully ... and with finesse . Check out Behind The Wheel with Jackie Stewart (Vid Here). A little dated perhaps ... but not badly.

    All this said, I wonder if I'd be pushing the metaphor too hard if I brought up those troubling "setups". Some guitar players get REALLY hung up about them ... to the point that the set-up becomes the exercise and guitar playing (i.e., technique) takes a back seat. I know guys who can take the lowliest $25.00 guitar from a pawn shop and make it sound absolutely heavenly.

    If y'all ever heard of Seasick Steve you know 'xactly what I'm talking about (Vid Here)

    Dwight Yoakam knows a bit about guitars and cars too (here)
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  10. ears

    ears
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    I did learn to play piano as a child.

    But I don't ever remember the other kids smashing their pianos into mine if they weren't as good as me.

    Maybe the children of 1980s Stockton-on-Tees were just that bit more mature than modern online simracers.
     
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  11. Enzo Fazzi

    Enzo Fazzi
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    Both have a lot to do with talent though. I've been playing bass guitar for 14 years now and simracing for 5. I'm pretty sure I'm better at simracing hehe
     
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  12. johndough247

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    Great post! :thumbsup: As a professional musician (Bass guitar primarily) and educator, I also share this passion for both and see the similarities. I would add two things:

    1) I believe the "practice makes perfect" mantra is close, but not quite on the mark; I would say "Perfect practice makes perfect".

    In music, if you learn how to play an instrument without input from others, it's quite possible you may develop bad habits/techniques that may actually hinder your future development, whether it's rhythmic/melodic accuracy, speed, ease of motion or all of the above. the "perfect practice" bit means you should first find the most efficient way of performing something before practicing it repeatedly (committing it to muscle memory). Whether it's through a teacher or through self-discovery...and yes, occasionally your unorthodox way is actually the most efficient way for you to do it...but the point is to learn as many ways to do it as possible, make a judgement call as to which would be most efficient in the given scenario and then practice that repeatedly until it's second nature.

    Just like there are many patterns to play a scale on guitar (for example), there are many ways to slow down a car, or navigate a corner or a series of corners...it's when drivers/musicians realise that there are other ways than "their" way, is when breakthroughs in speed/accuracy/ease of motion can be achieved (not to mention inspiring creativity for the future).

    2) Mostly related to No. 1, there are situations where a good setup on the instrument/car can help someone who has done the "perfect practice" to achieve better results...but there are, more often than not, times where no "perfect setup" is going to help "imperfect technique". A person with "perfect practice" technique will be fast in "fixed-setup" races and may be at least competitive in others, whereas the person who practices the wrong way repeatedly will have trouble in both situations.

    This is why I always think (in all things) you can't say unequivocally you're better at something because "you are older and experienced at it"...if you're experienced at doing it the "wrong way" (inefficient way) for 20 years, you're just as bad as the young rookie, except you're more stubborn now :D
     
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  13. NDG

    NDG
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    No, you don't say! Who the hell decided that guitar playing and sim racing in a single thread is a good idea? It's a freakin' awesome idea! :thumbsup:

    (Spent 20 minutes thinking what to type)

    Realized this thread is 10 years too late for me to be relevant. All I am now is a "used to be" :cry: At least I had that 20 minutes to think and remember what I do best. Before I got married, I was a guitar addict. My very first PC was from Pentium 3 days, and the actual reason I got interested in computers is I thought I needed the best PC around to run that studio software that I used to record my guitar playing. Had a band in high school and we rocked the whole school with RATM and some other titles that will give any professor a heart attack.:laugh: Played some gigs in college until every single member went abroad, including me, and all we have now are memories.

    Sim Racing was there from the start. Maybe as early as 7 or 8 y.o. I cannot say if I have been there or done that, no major achievement here, but it's an addiction just the same. This actually picked up the good PCs I had for guitar recordings and turned them to racing rigs. Yeah, multiple machines. The best way I can describe myself in both of these interests is I'm mediocre, but I loved doing them.

    The way I learn and practice is pretty much identical. Heard a good song, look for lyrics, youtube videos, and a guitar tab. Then learn, play, record. On sim racing side is look at the schedule, watch youtube hot laps, learn, race and kickass. A new song, or a new race track I can learn in 3 days. Start from Monday and performance on weekend. OP is pretty much bang on.:thumbsup: I just practice one hour at a time. I never sit more than an hour learning a song or a track. You'll just lose interest and concentration once fatigue starts to overwhelm you.

    This thread makes me wanna pick up the guitar again, then realized it's 2AM and I'm the only one awake in the house. :D I wish I can find the time to play that again. And I don't wanna spend another 20 minutes thinking how to end this post. I'm too old for this.:coffee: I'll wait maybe when my kid goes to college or finish school, then I'll have time again to do both at the same time. Closing a book doesn't mean you won't open it again. But for now, I need to close the guitar book side of my life... then let's go have a race! :sneaky:
     
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  14. Sharjeel

    Sharjeel
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    Now that we are talking, how do I get past that f***** F chord..I started out as an absolute noob never having touched guitar my whole life about 3 years ago, made good progress in 2 months, practiced madly daily for about 3 hours and then hit the wall on reaching that F chord. I picked up simracing sometime after that, fortunately haven't hit that wall yet.
     
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  15. Tbear

    Tbear
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    BUST THROUGH THAT WALL!

    It's more important to play then get hung up on one chord.

    2 months in I wouldn't bother with the full barre' yet ... just try to get the notes and the B and E string with the tip of you index first ... and just play the tunes you can. There are a million ways to learn the full F once you get rolling along ... and you are going to have to stretch muscles to get them.

    I think I took a full 6 to 8 months before learning full barre' chords ... and almost a year before I began trying to figure out why God gave me a pinky.;) But that was back in 1964-65 ... so I bet things have changed. I bet they don't even make guitars out of wood these days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  16. k_badam

    k_badam
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    I started learning guitar late last year, every time i start feeling demotivated, i go and watch a Phil X video, he such a crazy guy. That's one thing sim racing lacks, someone very entertaining to get you excited to race.

     
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  17. Tbear

    Tbear
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    Well Dang! That's what I thought we at Race Department were trying to do.

    Why don't you go on Youtube and give my good friend @Chris Haye a look (Here) VERY entertaining and inspiring! Nice shoes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  18. johndough247

    johndough247
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    He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think Jimmy Broadbent fits the bill...I think he's probably brought more people to sim racing (or at least made more people aware of it) than anyone else in recent years.
     
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  19. nico80131

    nico80131

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    1) Some quick laps to discover the track
    2) 2-hour quali runs (often finish frustrated because I want to be the 1st)
    3) Race pace practice with full tank.
     
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  20. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    Matt Malone, Jimmy Broadbent, Empty Box...all of them manage to do exactly that for me. YMMV. Nicki Thiim might be that for some, as well as Gamer Muscle...
     
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