Tips for the Efficient Tuner: Part 7

By Benjamin Sanchez posted 02-22-2018 20:13

I love mental techniques. The brain is a powerful tool, one that can work for us, or against us. This week’s tip is about teaching your mind to work for you.

Tip 7: Pre-Condition Your Mind

One day, I overestimated the travel time involved to get to my appointment. I got there about 15 minutes too early to go to the door, so I pulled over into an empty parking lot. Like all good technicians, I don’t like to waste time, so I checked my email, posted to, did all the ins and outs of being self employed, looked at the clock — still 8 minutes before I’d feel comfortable going to the door. So, I pulled up a game on my phone.

Watching little aliens go marching is kinda boring, but there was a fast forward button in the corner. Clicking that button made them march faster!

Well, time came for my appointment. I went to the door, went through the usual routine, opened the piano, and began to tune. My mind was preconditioned for speed. As many of you know, for “normal” tunings, I tune from the bottom up. I remember thinking, “man I’m going so slow today!” By the time I had reached C4, I paused and looked at the clock. 15 minutes! That was a record for me.

Science says, given a specific circumstance, the human brain can be conditioned beforehand to do it better. Preconditioning isn’t something new. The military has used it for centuries, as have some types of sports.

How exactly can we precondition our brains to move more efficiently? For me, I found watching something in fast forward mode did the trick. Some say listening to slow music, then a few minutes before the event switching to fast music works well.

Find a way that works for you. Being intentionally focused in on your job is great; being preconditioned to work as efficiently as possible is even better. (That being said, make sure you precondition your brain before driving to your next appointment. Speeding tickets await those that mix up the order....)

Just remember, mental techniques can also be used against you as well. Make sure you aren’t preconditioning your brain to move slower than necessary! 

As with most of the tips I’ve discussed, this is something simple to do. Yet, how easy is it to implement in your everyday routine? But how worth it will implementing it be?