M2M Day 131: I leveled up and feels so good

This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For March, my goal is to play a 5-minute blues guitar solo.

Today was the day.

I turned on a blues backing track that I found on YouTube, plugged in my guitar, and started soloing.

Eight minutes later (halfway through the track), I realized that I had stopped consciously paying attention to my playing. When I tuned my brain back in, I was surprised to hear how natural my playing sounded.

I had leveled up.

Over the past week and a half, I’ve been practicing intensely and acquiring a lot of new guitar knowledge. As a result, to effectively incorporate what I’m learning into my playing, I’ve had to be very deliberate and calculating as I solo.

This is fine as I’m learning, but solos typically don’t sound very musical when they’re played in a calculated fashion. (My solo from five days ago is evidence of this.)

Today, though, something happened. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, because I genuinely zoned out for about five minutes when I was playing (in a good, meditative sort of way), but it felt like it happened quickly.

My brain entered into this zone where playing the guitar suddenly felt effortless.

It felt so good that I was scared to stop playing. I feared that, if I stopped, I would lose this newly found power.

Back in November, when I was learning to memorize cards, I had a similar feeling: During the first two weeks, I felt like I was drowning in my practice, and then, all of sudden, something clicked, and I started severely outperforming my expectations. After each memorization session, I would always think “There’s no way I’m ever going to be able to do that again”, but then I would.

That’s exactly how I feel about my guitar playing today: I have a hard time believing that I’ll wake up tomorrow and still be able to play the same way.

But, if November is any indication, I will be pleasantly surprised. Whatever happens tomorrow, I’ll definitely film it.

Anyway, this feeling of “leveling up” is the reason I’m still motivated by this project. It’s honestly so addicting…

Read the next post. Read the previous post.

Max Deutsch is a product manager at Intuit, the creator of Somebody.io and Rightspeed, and the guinea pig for Month to Master.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.