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Older cubers discussions

OldManCuber

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2018SMIT42
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I would recommend doing full solves. Reasons? In 4x4 you need to be good at all parts, not only the beginning. After doing doing centers and cross you need as well to be comfortable with edge paring in 3-2-3 scheme. Next goes normal solving but recognition of f2l is different than in 3x3 becasue of double edge - you brain needs to used to it. And the final - parities. Without practice it can be harder to recognize it. That's my opinion. Literally doing full solves let you to be comfortable with 4x4 and Yau method. You can bring your times quite easily to 2 minutes barrier.
That just means I can't do more than about 15 solves a night until I get much faster. I'm averaging 3 minutes a solve now with a best time of 2:30. :(
 

SpartanSailor

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2016DUEH02
I would recommend doing full solves. Reasons? In 4x4 you need to be good at all parts, not only the beginning. After doing doing centers and cross you need as well to be comfortable with edge paring in 3-2-3 scheme. Next goes normal solving but recognition of f2l is different than in 3x3 becasue of double edge - you brain needs to used to it. And the final - parities. Without practice it can be harder to recognize it. That's my opinion. Literally doing full solves let you to be comfortable with 4x4 and Yau method. You can bring your times quite easily to 2 minutes barrier.
I agree. Although you can focus on particular sections as I described earlier, you definitely need to to do full solves in there too or you will quickly be stuck looking for what to do next.
 

OldManCuber

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I have been learning cfop for around 6 months and practicing a lot. I have been making steady progress but i was wondering if it is considered a good idea to take a break for a few days now and then, I'm wondering if I'm over practicing.
Absolutely take a break from time to time! I find when I do too many solves in a day I get slower because I'm just going through the motions of solving instead of trying to go fast. Many times I've taken a several day break and come back with one of my best times.
 

SpartanSailor

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That just means I can't do more than about 15 solves a night until I get much faster. I'm averaging 3 minutes a solve now with a best time of 2:30. :(
I don’t do more than 15-20 4x4 solves a day anyway... I’m closer to 1:15 average. My hands get fatigued if I do many more than that.

Ultimately, do what works for you. If you enjoy how you spend your time Cubing, then that’s the point. If you really want to become sub-1 or even faster then one way or another you will have to do hundreds if not thousands of solves. Some people do that in a month. Others, like me, do that over a few years. (I’m still working on it... )
 

h2f

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Absolutely take a break from time to time! I find when I do too many solves in a day I get slower because I'm just going through the motions of solving instead of trying to go fast. Many times I've taken a several day break and come back with one of my best times.
One more thing - dont measure your time. Just pracitce without it. Dont try to be fast - just try to be more efficient and fluid. Thats my 3 cents - I think I would be a better solver if I was trying different thing, not always measured my times.
That just means I can't do more than about 15 solves a night until I get much faster. I'm averaging 3 minutes a solve now with a best time of 2:30. :(
Maybe try just solving sometimes, not always. :) Good luck.
 

SpartanSailor

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@h2f makes a good point. The vast majority of my 4x4 solves are untimed. Just working on smoothness and trying to reduce pauses. Then, when the timer starts it all goes to crap... but overall it’s helpful to do untuned solves for me as well.
 

mark49152

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That just means I can't do more than about 15 solves a night until I get much faster. I'm averaging 3 minutes a solve now with a best time of 2:30. :(
That's fine. IMHO, total time is a better measure of practice value than number of solves. One day you'll find you can do 30 solves in an hour but it won't make a difference because by that point you need to do twice as many solves anyway to keep improving :).
 

pglewis

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Still using the Dayan TengYun M stickerless here, overall I'm still a fan. It has its own quirks but they all do; so far no fatal flaws have turned up. I'm not doing extended timed sessions for a while and blind practice has been in the freezer for ages so it's still too early to make any pronouncements about solving in anger. I was nearly ready to say it's too fast even for me without any lube to slow it but I believe it slowed some after about a week of solves plus, like always, I adjusted to it in a couple days.

The magnets definitely feel quite light, even lighter than the GTS2M. I think the placement away from the very edge of the pieces is part of that. This is a positive for my tastes because strong magnets don't mix well for me with fast, light puzzles; I develop a light touch but then have to increase it to break the initial force.

Another noteworthy thing is it may be the quietest 3x3 I've ever used.
 

SpartanSailor

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2016DUEH02
@openseas @Mike Hughey @mark49152 and the other BLD guys... any advice for practice methods that can help improve accuracy and memo speed? I know there’s no secret trick that beats practice and repetition. Just wondering if there are ways to aid improvement rather than simply doing tons of solves.

I have a long run up to my next event... which currently is US Nationals. I qualified with a 2:31 and would love to do a sub-2 in Aug at the comp. but I’ll need to improve my accuracy and speed to make that happen.
 

h2f

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@SpartanSailor I redo bad 3bld solves to discover cause of mistake. When I was about 3 minutes this helps me a lot to increase my accuracy. This looks like normal 3 bld solve: I scramble, I do memo, I execute. Of course when you do in the 2nd or 3rd time it's faster but you can discover if it was memo mistake or execution mistake. In both cases there may be few causes.
For memo:
- just wrong - you look at wrong edge/corner
- you look at wrong spot of the sticker - maybe try touching next time
- you used the word that doesnt make any association in your mind - change a word.
- other - I disoverd one day that with short nails my accuracy is little bit higher ;)

For execution you used wrong alg. But maybe it's just wrong setup? Try drilling. Etc.

I've organized the competition in my town. Being an organizer makes no chance to make good solves so I'm happy to make 13.66 single.

Here are results: http://cubecomps.com/live.php?cid=4148
 

Mike Hughey

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@SpartanSailor I agree with h2f that especially at your level, it is quite helpful to do post mortems on solves. With as much time as you have before Nationals, I would say you should consider going through a month or two where you try to figure out what went wrong on a significant percentage of your solves. That way you can find the consistent mistakes you're making, and fix them. Your accuracy should go up a great deal from that.

Other than that, I find that speed and accuracy are unfortunately mutually exclusive for me, and I always have a tendency to overemphasize accuracy. In order to improve speed, especially memorization speed, but also "thinking ahead" speed, it's really necessary to push yourself to go a little faster than you're actually capable of. And I find it very hard to bring myself to do that. I suspect the best strategy is to go through waves where you focus on one, then the other. So perhaps spend a week or two focusing on accuracy, then a week or two on speed, and go back and forth like that.

My personal experience has been that it's best to focus on accuracy immediately prior to US Nationals - that's how I've had my best success. People get nervous and do worse than at home when in competition, but if you've focused on accuracy, you'll probably do better than most people with that.

One other thing I think really helps if you have the time is to do really long BLD sessions, like 2 or 3 hours straight. If you're not used to that, the first 10 or 15 solves can be really painful, but eventually you get where you're used to having to memorize again and again, and you get where you can handle any number of BLD solves in a row with no problem. And that leads to much better accuracy, eventually.

At 2 minute speed, it may be more important to be able to "think ahead" well than it is to be able to initially memorize quickly. So when you practice, focus on thinking about your next pair while you're executing the current pair. It's a lot like looking ahead with regular 3x3x3, where you don't want to be thinking about the current pair in F2L, but rather be looking for what you'll do with the next pair. The same is true with BLD.

Anyway, those are some obvious things I can think of.

My suspicion is that you could probably really surprise yourself with some dedicated practice.
 

mark49152

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@SpartanSailor : For speed there are a few kinds of dedicated practice I do, but accuracy just comes with lots of solves. I aim for 50-60% accuracy during practice - much higher than that suggests I'm not pushing speed enough.

For memo speed, you can practise tracing the cycles without memorizing, but as fast as you can. This helps with speed of recognising pieces and finding cycle starts, etc.

You can also set a time limit on memo, by having the timer beep after N seconds. This puts pressure on you to rush your memo. After the beep, don the blindfold immediately, and solve as much as you can, even if DNF is inevitable.

Having a letter pair image list is very helpful to both speed and accuracy. Thinking up images on the fly wastes time and the images often aren't reliable.

I do various things to push execution speed too, but they are focused on comms and I don't think it's useful at 2-3 minutes anyway. Better to use dedicated practise to develop your memo speed and rely on full solves to develop your execution.
 

SpartanSailor

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@h2f thank you for the feedback. I think I will do the DNF redo process for a bit to see what caused he error. I’ll work on that for accuracy, since as you say the speed will naturally be faster the second or perhaps third time.

@Mike Hughey thanks for the advice. I think I will follow much of this—focus on accuracy and speed at different times, postmordomes, and doing longer dedicated sessions.

@mark49152 good points too. I’ve been reluctant to develop a letter pair list—it seemed like too much effort and not worth much for me at the time. But I think as I continue to progress, it is worth the effort and can improve the memo time as I notice I do spend time trying to think of something that works in the moment. Some pairs come naturally and tend to always be the same anyway....

I have no delusions of being in the top at Nationals... I just want to do well for me, and if I can apply all this in practice with consistency, I should be really well prepared for Nationals.

I do think there are easy ways to practice tracing and execution drills that do not required a LOT of effort and I can do that while watching the news or whatever at the same time.

Thannks guys.
 

openseas

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Oct 11, 2015
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@h2f thank you for the feedback. I think I will do the DNF redo process for a bit to see what caused he error. I’ll work on that for accuracy, since as you say the speed will naturally be faster the second or perhaps third time.

@Mike Hughey thanks for the advice. I think I will follow much of this—focus on accuracy and speed at different times, postmordomes, and doing longer dedicated sessions.

@mark49152 good points too. I’ve been reluctant to develop a letter pair list—it seemed like too much effort and not worth much for me at the time. But I think as I continue to progress, it is worth the effort and can improve the memo time as I notice I do spend time trying to think of something that works in the moment. Some pairs come naturally and tend to always be the same anyway....

I have no delusions of being in the top at Nationals... I just want to do well for me, and if I can apply all this in practice with consistency, I should be really well prepared for Nationals.

I do think there are easy ways to practice tracing and execution drills that do not required a LOT of effort and I can do that while watching the news or whatever at the same time.

Thannks guys.
@SpartanSailor / I’m not qualified to talk about the accuracy as all of us know:-(

I agree with all the comments from other folks, especially post mortems and practice part. When I practice, I always write down what was the cause or symptoms of a DNF. Sometimes, it is clear what went wrong - sometimes, difficult to figure it out since it was completely messed up. So, making records help to understand what to practice to reduce known errors. For example, certain letter pairs are prone to miss or get confused: then, switch the letter pair audio or image. Some comms are prone to get messed up - drill that comm, etc.

Speaking of images, at 2-3min, if you forget corners (CEEC case), you may spend more brain efforts during setup/unsetup which makes corner memo weak. Need more practice/drill to make setup/unsetup procedure more automatic. So, training stronger images and drilling executions are not exactly exclusive to each other.
 

AbsoRuud

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Hey other old folks. I just came back from my first competition. It was a lot of fun. I did well in some events, less well in others. 4x4x4 needs a lot of improvement, Clock needs improvement (I didn't make the cutoff for those two after two solves) but I did really well in 3x3x3 and Skewb, If I check the over 40s rankings, I'm now 16th in the world for Skewb average (Sorry Ron). 2x2x2 and Pyraminx went alright, but I didn't get close to the second round. :)
 

Mike Hughey

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Hey other old folks. I just came back from my first competition. It was a lot of fun. I did well in some events, less well in others. 4x4x4 needs a lot of improvement, Clock needs improvement (I didn't make the cutoff for those two after two solves) but I did really well in 3x3x3 and Skewb, If I check the over 40s rankings, I'm now 16th in the world for Skewb average (Sorry Ron). 2x2x2 and Pyraminx went alright, but I didn't get close to the second round. :)
Made two second rounds at your first competition, and at speed events, no less - rather impressive for an oldie! Congratulations!
 

OldManCuber

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Anyone else use Yau for 5x5? I'm picking up 5x5 this week, and decided to just go with the Yau method because I'm already learning Yau for 4x4 and have gotten a PB of 1:49 after 3 weeks. Anyway, does anyone have a breakdown of times for each step? I assume the breakdown will be different than for 4x4 because edge grouping will take longer.
 

MarcelP

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Still using the Dayan TengYun M stickerless here, overall I'm still a fan. It has its own quirks but they all do; so far no fatal flaws have turned up. I'm not doing extended timed sessions for a while and blind practice has been in the freezer for ages so it's still too early to make any pronouncements about solving in anger. I was nearly ready to say it's too fast even for me without any lube to slow it but I believe it slowed some after about a week of solves plus, like always, I adjusted to it in a couple days.

The magnets definitely feel quite light, even lighter than the GTS2M. I think the placement away from the very edge of the pieces is part of that. This is a positive for my tastes because strong magnets don't mix well for me with fast, light puzzles; I develop a light touch but then have to increase it to break the initial force.

Another noteworthy thing is it may be the quietest 3x3 I've ever used.
I think this cube is absolutely fabulous! Like you said, it is probably the quitest cube ever produced. And it turns so nice that it is an actual joy to solve. I love it!
 
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