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Nate Moorman

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
37
I am trying to get faster (shocker) and I find that my times are very inconsistent. I range from 16 to 27 seconds in a normal session. I think this is because my look-ahead is garbage. I was trying to get some tips on the best way to practice good look-ahead. This is using CFOP by the way.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
443
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
WCA
2016DERO04
YouTube
Bigodon
Hit up CsTimer and select "Cross Solved" scrambles,

Now, on the "Tools" menu, fire up the Metronome. Set it to >=60 BPM and plan your first pair, take your time.

Start the Metronome. Do one half-turn per beat only. No more, no less - and do resist the urge to solve fast if your lookahead suddenly clicks.

Solve F2L as usual. Rinse, repeat. If you skip a beat, count 4 and take the opportunity to, well, plan ahead.

Once you're feeling comfortable, increase the BPM a little. Keep it going and notice how you can solve surprisingly fast even though your TPS is relatively low.

This helps immensely three things that make for a good F2L: Increases lookahead (you learn to execute a pair blindly while you're planning the next one, which leads into...), cuts down pauses and helps you develop a steady, flowing turning.

It's not crazy to say that within a couple weeks of Metronome practice you'll cut at least 3 seconds in average at you're current speed.

Do those as untimed solves, too. This is important because instead of "Solved Cross" you can use regular scrambles to practice your Cross, which I also recommend you to do.

Then once you're done with F2L, you can tune up your LL TPS up to eleven, and do so without the added pressure of a running timer. This increases confidence and thus your real time solves will benefit as well.

By the way, another good way to use Metronome practice, once you get used to it,
is during the Cross. Plan it, execute using the Metronome and jump into F2L. This should be a good way of practicing your Cross into F2L transition, another major feature of a great CFOP solve.
 
K

Kshitij Singh

Guest
Hi Guys! I am a beginner. I solve at sub 50. When I ask someone to correct me, they say know what to do next. What does this really mean and how do I do this?
 
K

Kshitij Singh

Guest
Hey Guys.... I am at sub 50. And I DON'T KNOW A F*CK ABOUT LOOK AHEAD. Help
 

Oatch

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
240
Location
Australia
Hi Guys! I am a beginner. I solve at sub 50. When I ask someone to correct me, they say know what to do next. What does this really mean and how do I do this?
The basic idea is that while you're performing a certain step, instead of looking at the pieces that you're currently solving, you look around the cube and plan what you would do in the next step. Then, once the first step is completed, you start performing the moves you previously planned and now once again you are free to start planning the next step. This is the principle of 'look-ahead'.

So in the context of CFOP, in inspection plan out the moves for your cross thoroughly. Then, execute these pre-planned moves and while you're doing that, you can look around and find your first F2L pair. Then, once you finish the cross, you can transition straight into executing your first F2L pair, or at least know where the pieces that constitute the pair is so your apparent recognition time is much faster. Then for each F2L pair, as you solve the current pair, since you don't need to look at it, you can instead scan the cube and find pieces that make up the next pair, and then when you finish the current pair you can smoothly transition into solving the next one.

This is the general concept of what look-ahead is considered to be. It's not really a skill that can be completely taught. Ultimately, it comes with experience and your proficiency/knowledge of the cube and your method. I encourage you to play around with it, explore it, and see what you make of it. It's a skill that takes time to develop, so don't be alarmed if it only yields a minor improvement at first.
 

Kalius

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
23
Location
France
Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum and I would like to ask a couple of questions. Before posting, I have thoroughly read the Mephisto's guide on how to improve your times in 3x3:
https://www.speedsolving.com/forum/threads/how-to-get-faster-using-the-fridrich-cfop-method.6085/

Here's my current situation:

I'm currently Sub 40. I average between 30-35s and I manage to get 27-29s sometimes. When my cube locks or I repeat algorithms due to getting nervous (or going to fast), I tend to go down to 37-39s. My current record is 20.79 (no PLL and too much luck that time, so let's act like I never made it :p). However, this stuff motivates me to keep improving and never give up.

Now, my doubt:

According to mephisto's, I have now learnt PLL algorithms (not too long ago) and I'm still getting used to them. However, when it comes to improving F2L Look ahead, I feel like I still need to improve my F2L overall, as I make a lot of unnecessary moves (F2L = 15-20s avg at this point). I should then focus on looking ahead, but my progress hasn't gone that well. Should I before learn advanced F2L (41 cases) or work more on my intuitive F2L until I master it and then look ahead? What would my priority be?

Since I'm kind of new to the "speed-cubing world", I'd like you guys to provide me with some advice on what to improve first, in order to prioritize and therefore improve my times faster.

Thank you all for reading, and any comment/feedback is very welcome! :)

Best Regards,
Kalius
 

cubeshepherd

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
1,972
WCA
2016STEE01
I am new to this forum and I would like to ask a couple of questions.
First off welcome to the forums!

I'm currently Sub 40. I average between 30-35s and I manage to get 27-29s sometimes. When my cube locks or I repeat algorithms due to getting nervous (or going to fast), I tend to go down to 37-39s.
The biggest thing for you to keep in mind is (a) Slow down, (b) Do a lot of slow solves and practice your look ahead, (c) Be patient.
To break it down here is what I mean: When I was reading your post I felt like you are going 100mph and I myself felt pretty overwhelmed with trying to keep track of all that you are saying:). I think that you need to slow down and focus in one part/step at a time, and practice that and then once you are comfortable with that step move on to the next.
I experience the same problem like you described in making more errors and lockups when I try to solve to fast or am nervous.
What I have done to avoid that all is slow down my TPS and make sure that I am turning without lockups and also make sure that I have PLL and OLL recognition down without having to pause and think about which alg it is, and once I did that I dropped my times from around 15 seconds to to 9-10.
So once you do slow solves and work on look ahead with no pauses you will drop your times really quickly. Also, getting sub 30-25 will not happen in a few weeks. You can get there pretty fast if you focus on 3x3 and practice a lot but it will still take some time.

According to mephisto's, I have now learnt PLL algorithms (not too long ago) and I'm still getting used to them. However, when it comes to improving F2L Look ahead, I feel like I still need to improve my F2L overall, as I make a lot of unnecessary moves (F2L = 15-20s avg at this point). I should then focus on looking ahead, but my progress hasn't gone that well. Should I before learn advanced F2L (41 cases) or work more on my intuitive F2L until I master it and then look ahead? What would my priority be?
I am glad that you have PLL memorized and to help get your recognition better and times faster on PLL (OLL as well) is to do several PLL time attacks, which is you start the timer and do all the PLL as fast as you can, and for recognition there are PLL trainers that will generate random PLL's in which you should know and solve the PLL as fast as you can once you recognize it, (hopefully that makes sense).

For F2L, I would say do not memorize any algs (Maybe for only a few cases though), but for the most part if you can learn and practice intuitive F2L that will help you out a lot. To get better at F2L I would recommend that you watch a lot of advanced F2L cases and walk-through solve videos from some of the top cubers on YouTube, and then practice it a lot.
I have only learned a few F2L algs total, but for the most part I only know intuitive F2L, and that is all that I have needed to get sub 12, and that is what I would recommend you do as well. I do not think that learning some F2L algs are bad at all, but if you can do it intuitively and track the pieces/see how they are moved then you would be better off.

I hope that this makes sense, and please ask more questions if you have any.
 

Kalius

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
23
Location
France
First of all, thank you both for your replies, much appreciated! :)

I hope that this makes sense, and please ask more questions if you have any.
It does relieve me indeed, knowing that I won't need to learn all F2L algs, as I've been farming PLL in the last week :D

I'll prolly be posting questions soon. Now I'm working on my finger tricks and have some pain in one of my tendons on the left arm trying to get my F' work with my forefinger. That's also one of the reasons of my lock-ups :p

Go to "cyotheking." its a youtube channel. Then click on his "playlists" then go to "PLL finger trick tutorial"
I'm aware of the channel, but I haven't checked this one in-depth yet.

Thank you both for the tips, I'll be looking into them as soon as I can :)

Best Regards,
Kalius
 

Kalius

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
23
Location
France
Hey guys,

Thanks for the tips you gave me almost a month ago :)

I decided to vastly improve my F2L by working on the basic 41 cases and I managed to learn most of them. It's now a matter of time for them to get stuck in my muscle memory. Now instead of 30-35s average, I go around 25-30s, going down to 20-23 sometimes. New PB is 18.8, so I can see progress here! Look-ahead is also working much better when I go slow, but sometimes the same thing happens. I get nervous and start turning fast, then I need to remind myself of the wonders of turning slow :D. I'll directly focus on the theory-craft to reach Sub 20 (even though I know I'm not gonna make it that fast). The finger tricks will be improved overtime, by practicing.

I got a couple of questions now:

  • After I finished checking the 41 F2L algs and a couple of days of practice, I realized that I was using them around 40 to 50% of the time. I have seen that it is necessary to highly reduce rotations whilst performing F2L, and learning new algs for different cases would help. However, I'm not quite sure if I should focus on the rest of the advanced F2L cases (up to 77) or I should learn Full OLL (I know this last one would enhance only a couple of seconds). What do you guys recommend?
  • I also need to learn how to do the F2L algs from different positions, but this would involve to keep learning more algs for the 41 cases. Do I need to focus more on this step rather than the previous one?

Also, I want to ask you out of curiosity... How long did it take you to reach sub 20?

Thanks a lot for the responses, as always :)

Best regards,
Kalius
 

macncheese

Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
39
You don't need full oll at sub 20.
You don't really need to memorize all the 77 f2l cases right now.
Look at an all sheet, do an all and see how the pieces move.
Learn how to do f2l cases efficiently (~7 moves)
 

Duncan Bannon

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2017
Messages
1,780
Location
Here
It took me about 7-8 months to get sub 20. I was sub 20 with 4LLL and like 2 other PLL’s. I’m just getting around to learning the rest of PLL now. I average mid 18’s now.

Because you already know the F2L algs, look at them and see how they work, from there doing them from a different angle should be easy. I wouldn’t learn full OLL. I would learn PLL if you don’t already know it. Feel free to ask more questions!
 
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