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How to Bend the 10,000 Hour Rule

I want to bust the myth of the 10,000-hour rule. But let’s start at the beginning…

Have you ever seen a natural talent giving it their all? A six-year-old kid playing guitar like a pro for example?

We see those videos again and again. The only way to make ourselves feel better is by accepting that these kids are naturally talented. Therefore, there is no way that we could ever achieve what they achieved in six years (to be honest, the kid has actually had 4 years of practice at best).

What if I told you that genetic predisposition only plays a small role in this context. Consequently, there must be ways and methods to bend the 10,000-hour rule and accelerate our learning speed to that of a six-year-old, right?

Today, I am going to share my top 4 flow hacks with you!


You’ve probably heard about the state of flow. What you might not know is the benefits flow has on the way you learn. Here is the good news. The two activities that trigger flow the easiest are sports and music. So one could say that we have an unfair advantage to a lot of learners, simply by the choice of our profession.

What is Flow?

Wikipedia describes the state of flow as “… the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity… a state of effortless attention.”

Benefits of flow:

  • Let’s you focus on what’s important and positive
  • Can improve performance (this especially true for musicians)
  • Accelerates learning and skill development
  • Heightened productivity
  • Increased enjoyment and creativity

Most of us have experienced a state of flow more than once. We might refer to it as “being in the zone”. There are multiple ways to take advantage of it. Being able to get ourselves into flow is almost like a superpower. But where it really gets interesting is when we can get other people into the flow state. Imagine recording another musician. How would his performance change if you could get him into the flow?

Top 4 Flow Hacks

  1. Mindset
  2. SMART Goals
  3. Challenge
  4. Immediate Feedback

MINDSET: To get into flow more easily, what we do has to be important to us. We can’t create flow while doing something that we don’t care about. To get ourselves in the right frame of mind we have to ask ourselves these three questions:

  1. What am I going to achieve with this? What advantages will I gain?
  2. How will I feel once I achieved my goal? How would I feel, if I had procrastinated or given up?
  3. Why is it important to do it, now?

SMART GOALS: SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If we break a task down into small, manageable chunks we will increase our focus and willpower. By setting SMART goals we ensure that we stay on track and are able to celebrate many little wins along the way.

CHALLENGE: Flow is a state of peak performance. This means that if we don’t challenge ourselves enough, we cannot enter it. the same happens if we overwhelm ourselves. So the challenge here is to find the perfect degree of challenge (just on the edge of your capabilities) to enter the flow state.

IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK: When mixing a song, most of us already take unconscious advantage of this hack. By listening to the mix on different speakers/speaker emulations, headphones, etc. we get immediate feedback on how the mix might sound outside of our room.

Muting and soloing tracks fall into the same category. This also works extremely well when playing an instrument. We can turn up the volume to get more detailed acoustic feedback (just make sure you don’t overdo it and all you get is feedback 😋). Filming ourselves to get visual feedback on our economy of motion is another great way to learn from our mistakes.

For more detailed information on how to apply these flow hacks please check out my Flow Hacking Series on Youtube.

I hope my flow hacks will help you to get more out of the time you invest in your passion. If you are a musician yourself you might be interested to check out my TOP 10 PRACTICING HACKS (free eBook).

Love & Bass✌️

Strictly Bass is the solo project of the German Neo Soul bassist Mischa Marcks.
Connect with Mischa:
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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