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[Help Thread] Lookahead Discussion

Discussion in 'Cubing Help & Questions' started by dmchale, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. dmchale

    dmchale Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    I posted most of this in the Introduction forum but I'll repeat a little bit here...

    I've been cubing for almost 2 weeks now, not too intensely since i have the job/wife/child to take care of but I've been spending time with the cube almost every night at some point. I learned enough of the Beginner's method that I learned from DanH over on cubestation.co.uk to solve the cube without a "cheat sheet" within 48 hours and my current average is somewhere around 2:40 or so.

    I've already received some recommendations on what to work on to bring my times down, and I think the 2 biggest factors for where I'm currently at are (probably not surprisingly to most of you) F2L and PLL (I currently have a 4LLL). My problem is that my F2L is still only solving the edges after putting the corners in place (I've tried keyhole but didn't feel it really added/detracted from my time) which either requires the edge to be in the top layer or, obviously more slowly, having to get an inverted edge piece out of it's destination spot first. My PLL I know is just a matter of learning some of the algorithms at first for corner/edge permutations and learning the rest from there before tackling OLL.

    I feel like I'm drifting slightly but there's the quick history. Anyway, I was trying to deconstruct what I'm doing during my F2L and I realized that a LOT of time that I'm losing, I'm losing to my utter failure to be able to look ahead. I know this will come with practice but I'm having difficulty getting an initial grasp on being able to do it at all. I'm curious what others are "looking for" when they are looking ahead... do you try and pick up a corner and locate the edge from there? Find an edge and then spot the corner? Should I be "ignoring" some cubes in lieu of solving "easier" slots first? Meaning is my bottom color is going to be on top of the cube, should I ignore that color pairing to go for a different corner if possible? Do you usually try and spot them in a certain order, like Y/O and then O/W and then W/R then R/Y? Does that matter?

    I know it's a lot of questions but you can tell, I hope, that I just want to learn and I'm not even 100% sure on what to be asking for help. I just know spending 5 seconds or more in between each corner isn't helping my times at all since I'm still blind to the look-aheads.

    Thanks in advance, hopefully someone can recommend something that helps it "click" for me! :)
  2. nitrocan

    nitrocan Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    You don't need so much look ahead when you are sup 2:00. It will come with time. Basically, you keep track of pieces and do the correct thinking while inserting your pair.
  3. PeterV

    PeterV Guest

    It sounds to me as if your using a LBL method (ie. inserting corners first, then edges). If this is the case, looking ahead simply means looking for the next piece to be solved while solving the current piece. For example, while your solving a corner, start looking for the edge piece that needs to be inserted next. With some practice, you should be able to solve the corner piece without thinking which will allow you to focus on finding your edge piece, minimizing pauses between steps.

    That being said, key-hole or f2l methods will slow you down when you first transition from LBL. With practice, though, you'll get faster times with these methods.
  4. No offense, but you average pretty high to be thinking about look ahead. With practice you could probably get down to a minute or so. What I would do is break down your method, what I mean is: you start with the cross, right? so focus on improving your cross first, then try to improve your corners and edges and so forth. Hope this helps, good luck!

    P.S. - I agree with Peter, keyhole/F2L will slow you down at first, but when you get used to it you will be much faster :D
  5. MichaelErskine

    MichaelErskine Premium Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Sherwood, Nottingham, UK
    Well, the thing that worked for me was watching badmephisto's intuitive F2L videos, the first of which is at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=k-xbcAMfWwM
  6. Vonix11

    Vonix11 Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    I would say that badmephisto's f2l tutorials REALLY helped me,also,have you lubricated your cube?If not that helps too,when I first lubricated my cube my times went down by 10-15 sec,it really helps.best of luck

  7. *LukeMayn*

    *LukeMayn* Member

    Apr 11, 2008
    New Zealand, Auckland
    Badmiphsto taught me F2L off his video o.0. thanks for saving me time and memo badmephisto :D
    PS: you may want to learn some other actual algs for F2L for the long cases
  8. amostay2004

    amostay2004 Member

    Jul 27, 2008
    Definitely not a time to worry about F2L lookahead just yet. Get your LBL solving time to about 1minute or so, then start working on F2L.

    In short, just practice =)
  9. I think he meant that what piece does he look ahead for when he does for example, place the first layer corner piece..
    To answer your question, just look for the next corner piece while looking for the first one.
  10. eragg0

    eragg0 Member

    Oct 15, 2008
    hmmm.. here is so many people who is struggling with look-ahead. Why it can't be told in any beginner method to start training it (like that start following corners only and then expanding to edges after starting f2l)?
  11. FU

    FU Guest

    imo it doesn't hurt to start early. it gives you more time to get used to it, and the only con i can think off is that, you will suck at the beginner's method :p
  12. Escher

    Escher Babby

    Jul 23, 2008
    what do you mean, look ahead will make you suck at beginner method?
    i would think that a reasonably slow but very steady LBL would be plenty faster than a lot of other beginners, who might be turning very fast, but with little or awful recognition, and no lookahead to speak of.
    and anyway, it would make transition to other methods, particularly fridrich, much easier... so you would go from 45/50 LBL to 25 fridrich much quicker than others would.
  13. fcwy1

    fcwy1 Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    No matter what method, look ahead is always important.
    It is one of the most important things to bring your timings down
  14. dmchale

    dmchale Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    thanks for all the responses. And to one of the above posters, no need to worry about hurting my feelings ;)

    "start by looking only for the corners" is mostly along the lines of what I was asking in my original question; just something to aim for when trying to pinpoint what my next move is going to be so I waste less time between actions while I look around the cube. My speed isn't phenomenal right now as far as making all my moves, but it's at least *okay*. But I probably spend nearly half my time just turning the cube around looking to see what state the cube is in so I can then start making the next move.

    And yeah... I know I'm trying to learn Fridrich early but I figure I can work on my speed using those alg's rather than the beginner method alg's. If Fridrich is a "better" method, why not just start learning it now, right? :)
  15. MichaelErskine

    MichaelErskine Premium Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Sherwood, Nottingham, UK
    Same here - my F2L is pretty slow but the advice of looking for corners is starting to reduce the hesitations in this phase of my solves. There's only 4 of them after all!
  16. wongxiao

    wongxiao Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    It's okay to start early, but basically this is the way I see it... there are two factors involved: how fast your fingers are, and how fast your brain is. Getting your fingers fast enough to sub-2:00 is a good idea, and doing so will prepare your brain to process the Fredrich F2L concepts. When you're actually learning the Fredrich F2L, you just have to accept that your fingers are fast enough (for now), and that your brain has to get faster. If you let your fingers move faster than your brain, you'll get nowhere.

    I think that using keyhole is a good idea because it forces you (or at least it forced me) to follow the pieces intuitively, instead of putting it in the right spot and doing an algorithm and viola.

    So you can try to tackle Fredrich now, but your times will go up, and your fingers may not be fast enough to get better times. If you do decide to do it, or even if you don't, here's an idea: try to play to a metronome or music, making exactly one move per unit of time. This will force your fingers to move slowly enough for your brain to think, and will force your brain to know a your next move in time for the next beat. This should improve your lookahead. My recommendation is to at least sub 2:00 before tackling Fredric or worrying about lookahead, but don't take my word as Gospel! Do what feels right to you.
  17. eragg0

    eragg0 Member

    Oct 15, 2008
    Also some things for look-ahead; if you use it in beginner method and you saw 1 corner in place wrongly (<-nice word in english, eh?) while putting another in place you can easily know your next corner :)
  18. xchiltonx

    xchiltonx Member

    Oct 15, 2008
    LOOK AHEAD: exactly when do you look at what

    During the solve exactly when do you look at what ?
    I'm interested when you look ahead, how do you do it. Try to break it down in to steps:

    So you get a look before starting the timer.
    Before = initial cross (+ possibly one or more F2L)
    during cross= more F2L
    after cross = nothing
    during F2L = next F2L
    Ending F2L = possibly 1st look of OLL
    After F2L = 1st look of OLL
    during OLL = possibly 2nd look for PLL
    After OLL = 2nd look for PLL
    During PLL = nothing, just look for timer to press.
  19. TimMc

    TimMc Premium Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Before the Cross to solve it
    2. After the Cross to solve the first F2L pair
    3. During the first F2L pair for the second
    4. During the second F2L pair for the third
    5. After the third F2L pair for the fourth and to determine Edge Orientation
    6. After Edge Orientation to determine Corner Orientation and LL Permutation

    That's about it for me *shrug*

  20. d4m4s74

    d4m4s74 Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    1. Before cross: cross
    2. During cross: cross
    3. After cross: corners
    4. During corners: other corners
    5. Last corner: edges
    6: During edges: edges
    7: last edge: first look for oll
    8: oll: second look oll and first pll
    9: pll: trying to find touchpads

    I wish I could do it like Frank Morris
    1: wind up hands
    2: release timer and unwind hands

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