Quaver Learning to coach yourself – Basic Guide For New Players

Quaver Learning to coach yourself – Basic Guide For New Players 1 - steamsplay.com
Quaver Learning to coach yourself – Basic Guide For New Players 1 - steamsplay.com

Table of Contents

This is a very, very thorough and in-depth guide geared towards advanced/intermediate level players who are competitive and interested in improving. It will have a lot of heavy reading and in some areas be extremely specialized and specific. It is designed to teach players how to coach themselves in an effective manner and practice as thoroughly and efficiently as possible.

 
 

INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMERS

 

Hello kind reader. My name is Puzzle, and I’m a veteran of just under a decade of rhythm games. I also have experience playing 2 other games competetively at a near-to-top level; and I’ve dedicated a lot of my time towards researching how to improve and studying what we know about how the human mind learns. I’m here to explain what you can do to become a better Quaver player.

 

 
 

 
Warning: This is a very in-depth guide and I explore concepts extremely thoroughly. Be prepared for a long read. It might be a bit of a slog. 
 

YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO EVERYTHING IN THIS GUIDE. If most of this stuff is new to you, it is best to pick things out one at a time and work on them gradually. This guide discusses the ideal and what we should ultimately strive for. If it seems overwhelming or too much, just pick a few things to work on and focus on them instead.

 

 
Warning 2: this guide will be geared more towards the advanced/intermediate level of player. You may still look through it and find helpful tips and tricks as a newer player, but much of what I discuss here will be for the competitive player who wants to commit towards becoming better and improving at the game. If you are newer, you might have more success at first reading “How To “Actually” Improve!”; written by Yui in the guides section https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2485893742. My guide will not give much advice on actual physical tips and tricks that you can do; but instead will be much more focused towards teaching the reader how to turn themselves into an effective self-coach. 
 
Another disclaimer: I am writing this guide because I feel there is not enough actual quality information and resources that players can use to improve at VSRGs. It feels like there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Advice like “play more” is not helpful and is often actually harmful to your improvement. I’ll go more into that later on, but this is backed by plenty of learning science and I will do my best to link studies. If you are curious about this claim, check out Section 3 – “How you practice.” 
 
 

GUIDE OVERVIEW AND TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

You can consider this guide a study on how you can get the most value per unit of time spent practicing. We’re all about efficiency ’round these parts.

 

 
This is especially important because the amount of time we can effectively learn while playing is actually quite limited in a day – about a 3 hour session is probably the maximum amount of time you can play and expect to get quality practice. Most people will find 1 and a half to 2 and a half hours is their limit (it can vary from day to day). If you balance your day well, you can realistically expect to get 2 of those sessions a day; though I suspect most people would find that fairly difficult. I will discuss why this is the most we can expect later in the guide (Section 3, “How you practice”), but it’s very important that you don’t over practice. 
 
Over practicing will hurt your progression or at the very least be a waste of time. Given this, spending our time as efficiently as possible while we practice is key. This is even more true if you are someone like me – I work a full time job and I have another hobby I take very seriously; studying to become an artist. I do not have copious amounts of time to spend on VSRG’s despite them being my passion. Ideally I would set myself up a schedule where I practice for about 3 hours a day twice a day, but I cannot, and on weekdays I can hardly manage more than a single hour. I am forced to effectively min-max my time spent practicing. If you are competitive about the game and truly wish to improve, you should too. 
 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players 
 
There are four main categories of variables and factors that will affect your performance and improvement. I’ll list them in order of importance here, give a brief explanation of what each category is, why it is ranked the way it is, and then go more in-depth later. 
 

Table of contents, in order of importance

 

  • 1. Mentality. 
    • 1A. How you view the game. 
    • 1B. Combating negative emotions. 
    • 2. How you approach playing. 
    • 3. How conscious you are of mistakes that you make.
  • 2. Physical health. 
    • 1. Excersise, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep. 
    • 2. Wrist/Arm issues and pain.
  • 3. How you practice. 
    • 1. Warmups. 
    • 2. Critiquing your plays and avoiding autopilot. 
    • 3. Setting large and small goals for yourself. 
    • 4. Avoiding over practicing and burn out. 
    • 5. Challenging yourself in the correct manner. 
    • 6. Staying dedicated and following the formula for improvement. 
    • 7. Visualizing gameplay and watching others play.
  • 4. Gameplay. 
    1. Flow state. 
    2. Relaxing your hands. 
    3. Avoiding choking and getting into your own head. 
    4. Min/Maxing your level of play.

 

1- Mentality.

 

 

This is the big bad boy that I have found there is very little to no actually good advice on. Conversely, it is by far – byfar– the single most important factor that will affect your gameplay, and more importantly, your improvement and progress.

 

 
Mentality is how you shape your thoughts about the game, your mindset, your approach to learning, and your understanding of yourself. Having a good mental state and keeping yourself sharp and focused is absolutely paramount towards the quality of your gameplay as well as you progression as a player. 
 

2 – Physical health.

 

 
This is another interesting area that I feel is not discussed enough or understood enough. 
 

It is directly tied to your mentality.

 

 
Arguably, your physical health should be your top priority over even your mindset; however in the context of becoming a better player it is not as important as the way you mentally approach the game. It should go without saying, however, that outside of reasons involving the game, staying healthy and not injuring yourself should be close to if not your no. 1 priority. Take care of yourself, please. 
 

In the context of becoming a better player and coaching yourself, the saying goes – healthy body, healthy mind. It is vital in regards to keeping yourself as sharp as possible.

 

 

3 – How you practice.

 

 

There is a lot you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your time spent playing.

 

 
This section will be about things like constructively reviewing your gameplay, taking notes, setting large and small goals for yourself, taking frequent breaks, staying hydrated while you’re playing, making sure your gameplay is varied and not repetitive, avoiding burnout, and effectively challenging yourself. 
 

This is the section that will be backed up the most by studies and science about how the human mind learns.

 

 

4 – Your gameplay.

 

 
Gameplay is simply the act of playing the game. A bit more in-depth – 
 

it is the things you dowithinthe game and how you approach playing physically

 

 
– in terms of your posture, equipment, techniques, etc. – and, somewhat ironically, 
 

it is almost certainly the least important aspect of improving.

 

 
 
 

SECTION 1 – MENTALITY

 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players - SECTION 1 - MENTALITY 
 
Sun Tzu’s book “The Art of War” is notorious for having ideas and concepts in it that can be used to improve yourself in areas vastly and wildly different from war itself. The reason why is surprising – “The Art of War” is only vaguely a study on the physical, concrete aspects of war; but is instead much more focused on the internal and more fundamental concepts that drive the decisions we make and the actions we take. And, true to that reputation, I have found that there is a quote which is a perfect example as to why mentality is absolutely the most vital and fundamental aspect of improvement and why your gameplay is the least important. 
 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you 
will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu

 

 
The analogy here is simple. The enemy is the game – Quaver, Osu, Etterna, O2jam; this concept can apply to any game. 
 
If you do not know the game, and you do not know yourself; you will fail to succeed. The first step is learning about the enemy – in this case, Quaver – and the final peak is learning about yourself. Knowing whatyouare capable of and what suits you best is the most vital aspect in our war. 
If you do not know what you can do, but only what your enemy can do, you will only find half success. 
 
You must study yourself as much as you study Quaver to become a truly great player. Understanding your limits as an individual is vital. 
 
So, lets talk about mentality! I’m using this term as a vast, sweeping generalization that picks up a few subcategories. Let’s make another list of these subcategories – though this time I will not order them specifically in regards to importance; but more in regards to how fundamental they are. 
 

  • 1. How you view the game. 
    • 1A. Play for fun 
    • 1B. Combating negative emotions
  • 2. How you approach playing. 
  • 3. How conscious you are of mistakes that you make.

 

 
 
 

MENTALITY, SUBSECTION 1A – HOW YOU VIEW THE GAME

 
This is one of the few areas that I feel people give pretty good advice. 
 

“Play for fun!” Is a very common saying and is absolutely correct and the right way to approach the game.

 

 
But one thing that isn’t explained often enough is why; and so I am going to discuss that here. There is also a balance that you can achieve between having fun and playing to be competitive, but that balance can be fine and the line you need to walk can be confusing and hard to find. 
 

Our emotional state has a serious impact on how well we play the game.

 

 
Anger, frustration, motivation, joy, and so on all contribute to how well we perform. The positive emotions generally result in a positive impact in your gameplay, and the negative a negative impact. It stands to reason that if you are getting frustrated or upset with the game then you are actively holding yourself back. You cannot focus as well, you cannot learn as well, you will make decisions that are objectively incorrect – like force replaying a map over and over and over to try and get it right out of frustration – and it will do you no good (I will discuss why this is objectively bad later in section 3. Yay science.). 
 
Playing for fun also helps avoid burnout. If you are dedicated to the game, if you really want to improve, you will probably end up at some point playing it so much that you find it is no longer fun. You may not enjoy it, and you want to stop. It feels more like a chore or job and that really, really sucks because you want to be better! You have all these goals that you want to meet and you want to prove to yourself or to others that you are capable. But you don’t like the game anymore, and you often don’t want to practice; and that means that you will naturally perform much worse and learn slower. There are more things you can do to combat burn out, and I will talk about that in the “How you practice” section of the guide, but making sure you’re actually enjoying the time you spend on the game will combat burnout extremely effectively. 
 
The third reason that this is important – arguably the most important reason, but somewhat irrelevant to the guide – is that 
 

there really isn’t any point in doing something if you dont enjoy it (and maybe if it doesn’t make you money).

 

 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players 
 
A job, you may dislike, but it’s necessary. School is the same. But playing a game? That should be for fun. You should do it because you like it. It’s a waste of your time if you don’t. I’m writing this guide because I like giving others advice, and because personally I enjoy being competitive. It brings me pleasure. That’s what drives me to keep playing and to keep improving. It’s a fun experience. 
 
So how do you deal with the “play for fun mindset” if you want to be competitive? A fear that I personally had was – if I move to exclusively playing for fun, will I lose my drive and motivation? How do you balance having fun and staying competitive? 
 

The key is, as Sun Tzu says, knowing yourself.

 

 
If you feel you are at this point you need to ask yourself some questions. Why do you play the game? Why do you care about being competitive? What does it give you? Don’t, to put it frankly, BS yourself here. It is important to be brutally honest and get to the heart of the matter. Are you competitive because you want to prove that you are the best? Why is that important? What does that give you in your life? If you dedicate yourself to it, will you regret it later on in life? Will you regret it if you don’t? 
 
Explore these questions. Find out what the answers are. You need to understand what motivates you, so you can understand if it is a flawed motivation or not. I can’t tell you what the right balance of being competitive and playing for fun is for you, as a person. But if you can take the steps to ask yourself what you need and what you want out of your time spent playing the game, you can find your own personal balance. Know yourself. 
 
 

MENTALITY, SUBSECTION 1B – COMBATING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

 
This section is not for every player. If you feel you have fun and don’t often get upset or frustrated while playing, you probably do not need to read this. It may still be worth skimming through. 
 

You’re someone who’s deeply competitive. You care about improving, you care about getting better. You get frustrated at the game, or upset, and you get angry or depressed. You get emotional frequently and it’s not positive. This section is for you.

 

 
 
This is a problem. It may be hard to realize it’s a problem, but in the context of improving and being the best person we can be – the best Quaver player we can be – this is holding you back. You need to take a step back from the game and understand why you react the way you do to these situations. Do not be dishonest with yourself here, and avoid any Dunning-Kreuger style tendencies you have. (If you do not know what that is, please look up the Dunning-Kreuger effect). It is absolutely vital that you be as honest as possible. You need to understand why you are getting upset to understand how to fix it. 
 

Is it because you’re performing badly at the game?

 

 
 
No. 
 
If you answered yes to that question, you are wrong. 
 

Getting upset because you’re performing badly is a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself.

 

 
If you answered that question with a yes then you need to re-evaluate your mindset and your mentality. You are getting upset because you have expectations about your performance. You are getting upset because you want to be a certain way, and you feel like you are not meeting that standard. The problem is the standard itself. It is not you. You are not the problem. The game is not the problem, your keyboard is not the problem, the song or the map is not the problem, the fact that you feel like you need to be a certain way is the problem. 
 

Find outwhyyou feel you need to be that way.

 

 
If you understand why, then you can being working on a solution. Is it because you have to big of an ego? Is it because you feel like you need other people to see how good you are, to validate you? I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel these things at all. They’re natural human emotions. I still have these feelings, too. But if you feel them so strongly that playing the game is a negative experience, you need to understand why you’re feeling that way; so you can reduce that problem. 
 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players 
 
One thing that might help some players is to understand that what you are theoretically capable of is irrelevant. Your talent is irrelevant. You are who you are. You can never change that. You can never make yourself fundamentally better, or for that matter worse. You can’t transcend what you are. It’s not possible, so don’t even think about it. 
 
What you can do is make yourself the best version of you. You can do everything in your power to reach that “theoretical” peak, the most that you are capable of as a person – which you can never reach, nobody can – but that is something that you have control over. Your talent is irrelevant. How good you are compared to other players is irrelevant. What matters is becoming better than you used to be. Seeing your own progress and not the progress of others. They aren’t you. Don’t focus on them, but focus on yourself. 
 
That’s another way of saying don’t worry about what you don’t have control over. What you do have control over is your habits and your efforts. At the end of the day, you can be a better or worse version of yourself. It does not matter where that version stands, because you do not have control over that. What does matter is what version you choose to be. 
 
Another nifty trick I have started using is to stop thinking about things in terms of being better or worse or even necessarily progressing. When I play, I play to explore what my capabilities are. I play to find out what I can really do. It’s a more positive way to look at things and might help some players. Play to discover yourself! 
 
 

MENTALITY, SUBSECTION 2 – HOW YOU APPROACH PLAYING

 

Neat! Hopefully, you’ve read my previous section, and got yourself in the right mindset – or at least you know what sort of view you should have about the game in general. We’re here to play and have fun and to grow and to have a positive experience. That last bit is very important. Stay positive, guys and girls.

 

 
So how should we approach actually playing the game, from a mental standpoint? 
 
Well, if you’re here, you probably want to improve. As such I’m just going to briefly mention again the importance of playing for fun – it is very, very important – and move on to other aspects of how we look at playing the game if we’re seeking to improve. 
 
Lets revisit Sun Tzu’s art of war. The key here is 
 

Knowing yourself. It is vital that you understand your limitations – that is, when to practice, when to stop, and what to practice.

 

 
Playing Quaver should be a self study. The game is itself very simple. At its most basic and fundamental level it is pattern recognition and muscle memory. That is why “Play more”, while frankly being terrible advice, is such a go-to response to the question: “How do I improve?” The game has no abuseable mechanics. It has no hidden features. It is not complex, it is not in-depth. 
 

It is simple and straightforward and there are no or very few things you can do to change what you’re actually doing in the game.

 

 
If we apply this to Tun Szu’s quote – that means our enemy, Quaver, is not a very difficult one to comprehend. Achieving half-success is very easy. The true challenge lies in ourselves. This is why mentality is the most important aspect of the game. 
 
So, how do we manage this self-study? 
 

In an ideal world, before you load up Quaver, remove all distractions from your enviornment. Shut down your internet browser. Close any videos, movies, or pictures. Put your phone away. You are here to focus. Make that a priority.

 

 
Now, I understand this may be an unrealistic expectation. You don’t have to remove all of these things from your focus bubble. But the more distractions you cut away, the better. 
 

Play some warmups. While you are playing them, remember you are here to practice and improve. Focus on being sharp and attentive to your mistakes.

 

 
You want to get into a mindset of understanding what you are doing and what mistakes you are making early on in your practice session. 
 

It is absolutely crucial that you do everything to avoid “auto piloting”.

 

 

IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL THAT YOU DO EVERYTHING TO AVOID AUTO PILOT.

 

 

IT IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, ENTIRELY REQUIRED FOR YOU TO DO EVERYTHING TO AVOID AUTO PILOTING. DO NOT AUTO PILOT.

 

 
I really, seriously cannot stress this enough. This is one of, if not the most important pieces of advice you will find in this guide. Avoid auto-piloting. When you play, you need a concious stream of thought. 
 

Auto piloting is when you’re playing but you’re not actually aware of whats going on. You get through a map, you can’t remember what you did, you can’t remember what mistakes you made, you can’t remember when the map was difficult or easy. You can’t retrospect and analyze your play to determine what you did right and what you did wrong. It is a lack of focus.

 

 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players 
 
Dont do this. Bad doggy. No. 
 
This is where Quaver becomes a self study. You need to push yourself to retrospectively look at your plays after you make them. Do not spam play songs over and over. It is vital that you have some idea of the mistakes that you made. It is vital that your mind is processing information. Be aware of the choices you’re making. 
 
Have a reason for doing everything. If you find you are struggling with this aspect of playing, one tip I have that will guaranteed make a difference – talk out loud when you play, as if you were explaining to someone the reasons you are doing something or trying to teach them. This will keep you focused on whats happening and what you’re doing and why, instead of having your mind wander. 
 
You can even record yourself or stream your gameplay just so you don’t feel as silly when you’re talking and working through your thoughts. Just do everything to keep your mind moving in a constructive, focused, analytical manner. I used to regularly stream to no viewers just so that I could talk to myself as I played and not feel awkward about it. 
 

Playing consciously will not only help you identify your physical mistakes, but help you develop a feel for your limitations and what things are good or bad for you.

 

 
You need to be able to identify when something is too easy, when something is too hard. When you need to take a step back from the game and take a break and when you can push yourself to go farther. Did you finish a map, just barely scraping by with a pass, spamming your little heart out to try and stay alive? You should be able to identify that the map was too hard. It may be worth playing for fun, but not for improvement. Did you nearly SS a map without breaking a sweat? That map is too easy, and you should be able to tell that it isn’t challenging you. Did you play for 3 hours and after the first 2 realize that you suddenly couldn’t stay focused anymore? 
 

Your brain is overloaded. You are now on auto pilot. If you can’t focus anymore, that is your body sending you a signal telling you that you need to take a break. You need to be able to identify signals like those and respond to them appropriately.

 

 
The way you learn these things about yourself is by staying focused, staying conscious while you play, paying attention to the things that you feel, and asking yourself questions. Was this right? Was this wrong? Why or why not? Should I have stopped playing here? Should I have kept going? Why or why not? Understanding and responding to your feelings and your biological signals is important. 
 

Learn yourself!!!

 

 
So; to quickly recap this section: 
 
1. Stay positive! 
2. Enjoy yourself! 
3. Come into sessions focused and with minimal distractions! 
4. Avoid auto-pilot at ALL COSTS!!! 
5. Do your best to have a continuous conscious stream of thoughts! 
6. Do your best to recognize what things are good or bad for you. Judge that from your feelings and ask yourself critical questions! 
 
 

MENTALITY, SUBSECTION 3 – HOW CONCIOUS YOU ARE OF THE MISTAKES THAT YOU MAKE

 

This will have some overlap with Mentality Section 2; but will also have some new things.

 

 
Understanding how to be aware of your own mistakes and what options you have to do so deserves its own section. 
 
As we discussed last section, avoiding auto pilot is absolutely vital and crucial. Understanding is the fundamental key here. 
 

Your goal is to understand everything you do – from the smallest action, like why you press a key at a certain angle, to what your feelings are and what mistakes you make.

 

 
The more you understand, the more you can manipulate situations to your advantage. 
 
To understand things, you must probe them to their depths and foundations. To probe something to its depths and foundations, you must ask questions. In other words – 
 

To understand something is to question it.

 

 
The best way, then, to be aware of our mistakes is to ask ourselves questions. A very easy one is – 
 

What did I do right in that last play? What did I do wrong? By asking yourself this question, and questions similar to it, you force yourself to become aware of the mistakes you are making.

 

 
However, there are more difficult questions you can ask. Mistakes don’t necessarily pertain to your in game play. 
 

Even something as simple as booting up Quaver on the wrong day can be a mistake.

 

 
In this example, the wrong day could be – a day where you’ve had it rough, and you’re emotional and unable to focus. Or maybe you’re very tired, or maybe you’ve been playing too much recently. 
 

Anything can be a mistake. Playing a certain map. Hitting the wrong key while you’re playing. Not hitting the marvelous timing window. Letting your emotions get the better of you. Going into a multi lobby instead of single player. Asking yourself too many questions instead of playing the game and having fun can even be a mistake!

 

 
Be aware of this. Even the meta aspects of the game and general, fundamental things that don’t apply to what you’re physically doing can be problems. This is another reason why mentality is so important. Question everything. 
 
But remember – you don’t have to go overboard. You don’t have to become some inter dimensional, semi-sapient godlike being who questions the philosophy and fundamental natures of reality itself. But you can always push yourself to do things a little better. Baby steps are better than no steps at all. 
 

Don’t over do it. Having fun is the most important thing at the end of the day.

 

 
And finally, 
 

You don’t only have to focus on the negative! You are working to improve. You are accomplishing things. Ask yourself what you didright, too. Congratulate yourself for it. Try to do it again in the future.

 

 
You do things wrong, but you also do things right. Doing things wrong can be a positive thing – it gives you something to improve on and better yourself with – but so can doing things right. 
 

If you do something cool, or difficult, or reach a new skill level – don’t be shy about it. Don’t feel bad about it. That’s awesome. You’re improving and growing. Remember that.

 

 
 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players 
 
 

SECTION 2 – PHYSICAL HEALTH

 
This section is going to be shorter than the others, but it is the second most important thing to have your focus on if you plan on becoming a better player. 
 

Your bodies physical health has a very large impact on the performance of your mind.

 

 
This should be pretty self explanatory! Your mind is a part of your body. Staying moderately healthy or at least developing good habits will make a huge difference in the quality of your play. I am quite sure there are top players out there who, if they ate and drank healthier, exercised more frequently, and got more sleep, would be a skill level or two above where they are now. 
 

This is all without even mentioning how important your health is in a general sense.

 

 
And, hey – if you can use Quaver as a motivator for being a more healthy person and staying in shape and fit, that’s a win-win. 
 
 

PHYSICAL HEALTH, SUBSECTION 1 – EATING, DRINKING, SLEEPING AND EXERCISE

 
Again, this will be a fairly short section. A lot of this should be somewhat self explanatory. 
 

The two most impactful things you can do to affect your Quaver gameplay immediately are drinking lots of water while you play and getting plenty of sleep.

 

 
If you’re looking for an immediate, short term boost – these two things are it. 
 

Getting healthy amounts of sleep is arguably the most important thing here. If you do nothing else, make sure you do this. It makes a huge difference.

 

 
(Side note – if you feel that no matter what amount of sleep you get you still feel tired throughout the day, there is a possibility you are anemic or have sleep apnea. Both of these are serious medical issues and sleep apnea in particular can be extremely dangerous. Please look into them and determine if you need to visit a doctor.) 
 

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will help you combat fatigue and keep you focused for longer during your practice sessions. I also highly, highly recommend you do this if you don’t already.

 

 
If I practice for 2-3 and hours I will often drink 2-3 liters of water and a redbull during this practice session. You don’t have to drink as much water as I do, but keep in mind that you should be drinking enough that your urine is clear. (Its okay to drink other drinks too if you want while you’re going, just DRINK LOTS OF WATER. STAY HYDRATED.) 
 
As for things that provide you with more long term benefits and generally make you feel better; you can look into exercise and dieting (or at least trying to eat healthier foods and drink less soda or sugary drinks.) There are so many options here – you have a lot of flexibility in this section. 
 
Using myself as an example, I personally do a routine of 3 workout sessions a week and I eat a mostly vegetarian diet (I let myself have meat once a month. It’s not religious, its just good for the environment and for my health.) 
 
But you could do something as simple as eating less junkfood and a few push ups after every 5 plays on Quaver instead. It doesn’t have to be intense and it doesn’t have to be life changing, but the more you do to keep yourself healthy the better. Pick something that works for you, and if you feel like it helps, add onto it as time goes on. Slowly push yourself to be more and more healthy and to develop better habits. 
 
Quaver Learning to coach yourself - Basic Guide For New Players 
 
Even a lamp can be a good exercise tool. Or you can just use it to practice your pole dancing skills.  
 
 

PHYSICAL HEALTH, SUBSECTION 2 – WRIST AND ARM PAINS

 

www.medicalnewstoday.com – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324489#Wrist-and-hand-stretchesis a link to some nice wrist stretches. Remember that you want to do these gently! Do not compound your injuries or start new ones by over straining and stretching your hands.

 

 
I am personally a fan of the “Wrist rotations” stretch and the “Fist opener” stretch. 
 
Before reading and taking this advice into consideration; 
 

Please note that I am not a doctor. If you are having serious issues with wrist or arm pain, visit a doctor and take a break from the game.

 

 
Wrist and arm pains are a pretty common issue in VSRGs like these. The best thing you can do is to take preventative steps before you ever begin experiencing these issues – and because of that, 
 

I recommend to everyone that you do at least 3 sets of wrist stretches per practice session.

 

 
One before you start, one halfway through, and one when you’re done. 
 

If you are having wrist and arm issues, the best thing you can do is stop playing the game.

 

 
I injured my wrists at work about a year and a half ago and took a month break from playing. If I can do it, so can you. Taking a break wont kill you. Your health and the longevity of your hands is more important than Quaver. 
 

If you are getting some wrist and arm pains that aren’t serious and you want to continue playing; perform stretches before you begin playing, stretch after every map/play, and stretch once you’ve finished your session.

 

 
If these pains continue or worsen after a week or so of this routine/method of playing, DO NOT CONTINUE PLAYING. This is a sign that your condition is degrading or in the least not improving. Visit a doctor. 
 
 

SECTION 3 – HOW YOU PRACTICE

 
Alright! We’re finally at the part where we actually play the game. Yippie! 
 

In this section, I will be giving advice on efficient practice methods. Some of these things will be backed up by studies, and some will be my own personal opinions.

 

 
I’m going to try and go through this section in order of importance. With that in mind, 
 

I want to reiterate that the best thing you can do to practice well and effectively is to understand yourself and your limits.

 

 
You need, need to understand when to stop practicing, when to practice things that are simple, when to practice things that are just the right amount of challenging, and when to practice things that are too hard. 
 
I cannot tell you when to do these things. I can give you general advice and some guidelines to follow, but you need to understand yourself well enough to recognize when to practice what and how much. Given this, the most important thing is to follow my advice in Section 1 of the guide and do your best to learn and get a feel for these limits. 
 

I will still do my best to help you understand how to recognize these “break points”.

 

 
 
Here’s a list of discussion points for this section. 
 

  • 1. Warmups. 
  • 2. Critiquing your plays and avoiding autopilot. 
  • 3. Setting large and small goals for yourself. 
  • 4. Avoiding overpracticing and burnout. 
  • 5. Challenging yourself in the correct manner. 
  • 6. Staying dedicated and following the formula for improvement. 
  • 7. Visualizing gameplay and/or watching other players play the game.

 
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBSECTION 1 – WARMUPS

 
It is very important that when you start a practice session you put yourself in the right mindset. 
 

You want to know what you’re going to be doing and you want to be prepared to be focused and to keep yourself on-track.

 

 
Not only that, but the physical warm up can be very important to making sure that you’re refreshing your muscle memory and ironing out any weird kinks in your play for the day. 
 

Do some light hand and finger stretches before your practice session. Get your muscles limbered up, and use this time to think about what you want to be doing when you’re playing.

 

 
As an example – 
 
I’m warming up. Im stretching my fingers or tapping them, and during this time I am considering any goals I might have set for myself previously, areas of improvement I want to focus on during my gameplay, and how to keep my mind on task so I can remember to do things like critique and review my gameplay or understand/question mistakes that I make. 
 

The first few maps you play should be things that are very, very easy for you.

 

 
You want to build up and refresh your muscle memory. The way the human mind learns is very interesting – it essentially builds connections between neurons for activities that you do and sort of “purges” them during the night and when you sleep. However, those connections are easier to build back up again the next day, and so playing on a new day is somewhat like playing on a fresh slate.*1 
 
^You see this little star and number? This means that I have a study or multiple to link discussing this phenomena! Yay, science! Check out the bottom of a section/subection with these stars in them to find links to these studies. Read up on them if you’re curious to learn more of the science behind my claims. 
 

Because of this aspect of how the human mind learns/purges itself during sleep, it is absolutely vital that your first few plays are ones that are not too difficult. You need to rebuild your muscle memory coming into the day. Play maps that are very easy for you and gradually increase the difficulty.

 

 
I generally shoot for 6-10 warmup plays when I first start a practice session. During these warmups, I am getting myself mentally prepared for the rest of my practice session. I am focusing on mistakes, trying to get my reading to an adequate level, and working on making sure my muscle memory is where it needs to be. 
 
*1 – science.sciencemag.org – https://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6324/507, www.nature.com – https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15405 
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBSECTION 2 – CRITIQUING YOURSELF AND AVOIDING AUTOPILOT

 
Once you’ve made it past your warm ups you want to be certain that you are not on auto pilot and THAT you are not playing things mindlessly. 
 

Critiquing your plays after you make them is a very powerful tool that has multiple uses and benefits.

 

 
For one, if you are critiquing your plays, then 
 

You are remembering what happened during the play.

 

 
This means that you are focused on what is happening in front of you, and you are inherently dodging the auto-pilot plague. 
 

It also helps you learn more effectively.

 

 
By critiquing your plays, you force yourself to look at your mistakes – and when you see your mistakes, they are much easier to fix. 
 

Critiquing your plays also means that you are not spam playing things over and over again. It is very, very, very veryveryveryimportant that you take breaks between plays.

 

 
Studies have shown *2 that the human mind learns much more effectively when taking multiple small length breaks during practice sessions. 
 
My own opinion on this has to do with how the human mind processess information. It is a mostly subconscious event that occurs whenever we are learning or doing something. Our brain is constantly processing what we are doing when we are playing Quaver. Playing maps over and over without any breaks doesn’t give our brains time to fully unpack the information it received while we were playing previously, and our processing centers get “overloaded”. Taking small breaks allows your brain to unpack all of this information and process it all efficiently with no backup. 
 

And finally, when you are critiquing plays, your brain is likely going back through the play and you are visualizing it.

 

 
Studies to the rescue once again! *3 As it turns out, visualizing yourself doing something (and even watching someone else do something if you are familiar with it) is nearly as good for practicing it as actually practicing it is. So thats a nice benefit to our method of critiquing ourselves! 
 

Critiquing yourself is simply replaying what happened during the song/map in your head (or watching a replay) and asking yourself what you could have done better, or what things you did well. However, do not spend your entire time during a break critiquing yourself. 10-15 seconds is enough. The rest of the break should be you letting your mind rest!

 

 
When you’re done with a play, think about what happened. Was a particular part too fast for you? Next play, you should try speeding yourself up to be more effectively able to follow it. Could you not read a certain area? Focus on trying to follow the notes when you know that part of the song is coming up. Did you mess up a pattern? Try to practice it while watching a replay or slow it down in your head/rate the map to be slower and try it until you think you’ve got it figured out. Just be aware of what things you can do better. 
 

To reiterate – Critiquing yourself is an extremely powerful tool. It does many different things and if you are critiquing yourself you should be able to easily avoid auto-pilot. If you find that you can no longer focus well enough to critique yourself effectively, this is a sign that your brain is overloaded and you need a break.

 

 
 
*2 – www.cell.com – https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30219-2 
 
*3 – pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14998709/, www.researchgate.net – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44624168_Observational_practice_benefits_are_limited_to_perceptual_improvements_in_the_acquisition_of_a_novel_coordination_skill#:%7E:text=during%20observational%20practice%20the%20observer,the%20acquisition%20of%20motor%20skills  
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBSECTION 3 – SETTING LARGE AND SMALL GOALS FOR YOURSELF

 
Setting goals for ourselves is another tool that, like critiquing our plays, has multiple benefits and uses. 
 

When we set goals, we orient ourselves, simplify learning, set a direction and focus point for our play and habits, give ourselves something to feel accomplished about, and chop up climbing the skill mountain into more attainable/approachable figures.

 

 
Probably the most important thing to remember about this is that we simplify learning – by setting ourselves goals, we get rid of the clutter of our play and practice and allow ourselves to focus on one specific area of game play at a time. It is very easy to get overloaded with mistakes that you make or areas of focus without goals. When we set goals, we remove this clutter and it makes practicing more efficient. 
 
It’s also a lot easier to focus on what we’re doing if we have some context to put that action in. Playing a map is one thing, playing a map to accomplish so and so goal is another. Splitting our focus across multiple areas degrades our practice quality. 
 

Goals come in two sizes – long and short term. Its important to set ourselves achievable goals in both categories.

 

 
Often times, improving can feel like a monumental task. And, well, it is. There are massive peaks and mountains to climb as we push ourselves to improve and become better. By setting goals we can chop this long, arduous journey into more reasonable and satisfying chunks. 
 

When you set goals they should be reasonable and attainable. Short term goals can be something like achieving a certain acc or ranking or score on a map. Long term goals might be something like passing a certain difficult map or reaching a certain rank.

 

 
You have a lot of flexibility here in choosing your goals, but the more attainable they are – the more motivating it is to see your progress. Don’t set yourself a goal that you’re 6 months away from achieving, even in the long term category. Or if you do, make a list of goals with that as a checkpoint on the way. 
 

I highly recommend that after every play session you sit down, think about what things went wrong and what went right, and set yourself a “learning” goal for the next practice session.

 

 
Writing things down helps us retain information and giving yourself a focus point for an area of something you want to learn/do better on is an extremely good way to plan out how you want your next practice session to go. 
 

We want a clear picture of what we’re trying to accomplish when we’re practicing. A learning goal is an excellent tool for getting that picture.

 

 
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBSECTION 4 – AVOIDING OVERPRACTICING AND BURN OUT

 
It takes time to master a skill. A lot of time. It also takes a lot of focus, and effort, and energy. 
 
This makes doing that skill more frustrating and less fun than we expect. In turn, it can become very easy to unexpectedly burn out on what we’re doing, and that stunts our growth completely. 
 

If you are already experiencing burnout, it’s best to just quit playing the game for awhile.

 

 
You need a break. You’re not enjoying it anymore, and it’s probably not worth playing right now. Take a month break, at least. When you come back – focus on adding variety to your gameplay (like mods), playing things that are fun instead of a chore, and taking frequent breaks. 
 

There are three ways to avoid burn out preemptively, and they all help us improve! They are playing for fun, taking frequent breaks, and variety.

 

 
I have already discussed playing for fun in Mentality Subsection 1; if you haven’t given that a read you might want to check it out now. 
 
Variety is another strong tool which will not only help you avoid burnout, but it also will help you learn better. * 4 It turns out that the human mind learns much more effectively for various different reasons when our practice is varied. 
 

So make sure you’re playing a wide pool of map styles and practicing all kinds of skillsets!

 

 
Another tip for this category is to try to have some other skill or hobby that you are learning or doing for fun. This way, you have a nice way to spend your time when you aren’t practicing Quaver, and it will keep your days varied, fresh, and will help you stay sharp and focused in both hobbies. For example, I am studying as an artist. 
 

Now, lets talk about taking frequent breaks. As it turns out, breaks help us improve significantly – both long and short term.* 2They’re fantastic for helping us avoid burnout, they help us learn more quickly – and they help us avoid over practicing.

 

 
Breaking is a “rest period” which our mind uses to process information and sort through what we’ve been doing. This is why you should avoid as many distractions as possible when playing – your brain needs to be sort of “idling” and not processing any other information when you break. 
 
We should be taking breaks between every play for 1 to 5 minutes (if you are tired and it was particularly difficult.) Make sure you’re critiquing yourself for at least 10-15 seconds of this time – but don’t do it the whole time! Let your brain rest. 
 
If you’re struggling to do this but not get distracted – try taking a walk around your house in between plays or doing some exercise like push ups or sit ups. You can even listen to music; but watching videos in general is not a great idea. Remember, you don’t want to get distracted – just rest. 
 

To avoid over practice, it is very important to stop practice sessions when you can no longer focus. Most people can retain the level of focus required for quality practice for 1 and a half to 3 hours.

 

 
Over practicing is a major no-no. It’s one of the reasons why “play more” is kind of bad advice. Not only does it ignore all the context of an individuals practice routine and mental state, but it also can encourage players to practice when they shouldn’t. More practice doesn’t necessarily mean better skill. * 5 Practicing a skill too much when you are not focused can even reinforce bad habits. 
 

I cannot reiterate enough – don’t practice when you can no longer focus on what is happening. Quality over quantity.

 

 
Remember to take breaks in between your plays – anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes long – and do not allow yourself to get distracted during these breaks. 
 

It will also help you avoid burn out and over practicing if you don’t play the game every single day.

 

 
I play 5 days a week, and after every 3 months (or if I feel Im hitting a wall) I will take a solid week break where I do not touch the game. This helps me come into it fresh and lets my mind rest for awhile. I find that coming off of this 1 week break I perform much better and learn faster. I recommend you try something similar. 
 
I know that coming off of a break can sometimes feel terrible, but rest periods are absolutely vital to how our mind retains information. * 6 
 
*2 – www.cell.com – https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30219-2 
 
*4 – en.wikipedia.org – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varied_practice#:~:text=In%20many%20learning%20domains%2C%20varied,and%20application%20of%20acquired%20skills.&text=First%2C%20greater%20diversity%20of%20the,relevant%2C%20task-invariant%20information. – I know its wikipedia, but it references the studies for me. 
 
* 5 – royalsocietypublishing.org – https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.190327 
 
* 6 – www.frontiersin.org – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00400/full – this is an article linking to multiple different studies 
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBESCTION 5 – CHALLENGING YOURSELF

 
One of the mistakes I see people make the most is not challenging themselves in a healthy way. 
 

When it comes to practice, you want to weight most of your time to be spent playing maps that are just very slightly above your skill level.

 

 
That is not to say that you should be playing things that you can’t do or can’t pass. Something being “slightly above your skill level” should mean that when you play on it, you feel challenged and its not something that is easy/comfortably manageable. 
 

It should be something where you finish and you think; “If I just make some improvements in this and this area then this map will become comfortable for me.”

 

 
Once you understand that, the real issue becomes defining what “comfortable” is for you. 
 
I can’t tell you exactly what this break point is – you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. It varies from individual to individual and skill level to skill level. 
 

If you’re breezing through a map, it’s probably too easy. If you’re struggling to keep up with the map, it’s probably too hard. If you can play through the map and you feel you’re not making many major mistakes for your skill level but its still somewhat challenging, then its probably “comfortable” for you. You want to play things just a smidgeon more difficult than that.

 

 
Quaver is a game which is all about pattern recognition and muscle memory. Given that, the idea here is that you will learn the most if you’re playing things that reinforce muscle memory that you already have while gently pressuring you to build new muscle memory. 
 

That doesn’t mean you should never play easy maps or hard maps.

 

 
Remember, we want to be playing easy maps in our warm ups anyway. But there’s a general rule of thumb you can use to guide yourself until you start to figure out what your limits are and what things are or aren’t comfortable. 
 

This rule of thumb is 60/20/20. 60% of our time is playing things that challenge us, 20% is spent playing things that are easy for us, and 20% spent playing things that are very hard.

 

 
This is a nice healthy balance of challenging yourself, reinforcing your already learned muscle memory, and pushing yourself really hard to hit that next level. 
 

TIP: If you’re really unsure of what is comfortable or challenging for you, its always safer to play things that are a bit more on the easy side. You will always be reinforcing muscle memory that way. Set an acc goal for yourself on every map you play and try to hit it. If you’re newer, just going for an S is solid. If you’re intermediate level, aim for 96%+ on maps, and for advanced players shoot for 98%. These aren’t exact numbers, don’t take this as gospel, but if youreallydon’t know where to start these numbers can help you figure it out.

 

 
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBSECTION 6 – STAYING DEDICATED, FOLLOWING THE FORMULA

 

Getting better ishard. Its an F’ing slog. Don’t let that discourage you.

 

 
Improvement takes time. That is part of the formula. It is a necessary part that can’t be skipped or worked around. Don’t try it, and don’t let yourself get frustrated because you feel like it’s taking too much time. 
 

It will most likely take you years to reach an elite level.

 

 
And that’s alright! Its taken me a good solid 2 years to get where I am. Along the way there have been frustrations and happy moments and times where I’ve felt like I wanted to quit. 
 

Its important that you stay positive. Keep working at this. I know it gets rough sometimes, but if you don’t believe in yourself, it gets a lot rougher.

 

 
And you know what – I believe in you. I think that just about anyone and everyone who’s really dedicated can make it to any skill level. It’s more a matter of mentality than of talent or anything else. I may not know you or know anything about you, kind reader, but I really do believe in you. 
 
So stay dedicated! 
 

But don’t work yourself ragged.

 

 
Remember, burnout is a serious problem. Enjoy the game. Give yourself plenty of breaks. If you feel like you’re hitting a wall – stop playing for a bit. Its okay to stop and give yourself rest. More than being okay – if you’ve read the studies I’ve linked, it is absolutely vital. Its an important part of how we learn! 
 

The formula reads something like this. (Time x mental state) + effective practice + rest periods + healthy habits = improvement.

 

 
Simple enough, right? If we put time into it, we have a good mindset and outlook, we’ll make a ton of progress. Bonus points if we practice well, take plenty of breaks, and keep up healthy habits. No biggie! If you really dig into it, of course, the formula gets a lot more complicated. That’s why Im writing this guide. 
 

But if you ever feel lost, just remember this formula. Sometimes simplicity is best.

 

 
 
 

HOW YOU PRACTICE, SUBSECTION 7 – VISUALIZING YOURSELF PLAYING AND WATCHING OTHERS

 
This is going to be a relatively short section. I have already mentioned this, but 
 

As it turns out visualizing an activity in your mind and/or watching others perform that activity are nearly as good as practicing it yourself.* 3

 

 
This is a relatively simple and easy thing you can do to help yourself improve. Got some downtime at work/class? 
 
Think about playing the game. Some notable plays you made last session, how the map went, what kind of patterns you were trying to follow – and try to imagine yourself playing it again. It’s a nice way to actually get some “practice” in without having to practice. 
 
And, watching other players can be a great way to learn some new tips or tricks. Maybe they’ll have some advice for you, and as it turns out, watching them play can be a good way to learn too. Plus, you’re supporting your community and content creators! Yay! 
 

You can do one or the other or neither. But studies show that doing both is ideal towards your improvement.

 

 
So, if you’ve got some downtime – maybe watching a stream and visualizing yourself playing would be a nice way to spend it. 
 
*3 – pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14998709/, www.researchgate.net – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44624168_Observational_practice_benefits_are_limited_to_perceptual_improvements_in_the_acquisition_of_a_novel_coordination_skill#:%7E:text=during%20observational%20practice%20the%20observer,the%20acquisition%20of%20motor%20skills  
 
 

SECTION 4 – GAMEPLAY

 
In this section, I’ll be talking about things you can do while you’re playing a map/chart to improve your level of play. 
 
A quick overview – 
 
1. Flow state. 
2. Relaxing your hands. 
3. Ways to deal with choking/getting in your own head. 
4. Min/Maxing our level of play (for the TRULY invested/competitive.) 
 
 

GAMEPLAY, SUBSECTION 1 – FLOW STATE

 

The “Flow state” is what mode we get into when we’re completely focused on the game, but not letting our conscious thoughts get in the way of our game play.

 

 
You can think of it something like Ultra-Instinct in Dragonball. It’s a state where we’re purely creatures of actions and reactions in terms of our physical bodies – we are not thinking about the movements we are making – but we are still conscious of what is going on and we are staying focused on the map/our gameplay. 
 
The theory behind the “Flow state” is that your mind, when it is actively thinking about the actions we are doing, takes time to process what is happening. This creates a sort of lag that can interrupt/completely ruin the ability for your built in muscle memory to take over and for your pattern recognition to kick in. If you have to be aware of the things you’re doing, you’re not playing at your peak level. 
 
I know this is a bit contradictory, and this is more of an advanced technique. Ideally, as you move to higher levels of gameplay, you want to relegate what is physically happening more and more to a subconscious level. You shouldn’t have to think or even necessarily be aware of pressing the keys, it just happens. What you should be focused on are things like – where the map gets difficult, things you need to be aware of to try and overcome issues you have or mistakes you make on the map, consistency, and staying relaxed. This keeps your mind on the game but not on your physical actions. 
 

This means that if you are trying to learn something like patterns, flow state is not ideal. However, for general gameplay you want to shoot for being in this state as much as possible. Your brain is still processing information in this state.

 

 
If you’re struggling with a pattern or something of that nature, then you want to focus on the pattern. As you naturally improve, however, most players will find that patterns become second nature and you can reliably enter this state on every map while not having to worry about developing the muscle memory for new patterns. You can just focus on more fundamental aspects of your gameplay like speed, stamina, and reading. 
 

WARNING: THIS TECHNIQUE IS NOT FOR NEW PLAYERS. This is strictly an advanced level technique. Remember, the goal is to relegate what is happening to muscle memory and the subconscious side of our brains. If you are trying to learn things on a more fundamental level and don’t have great muscle memory built up, this isn’t going to help you. I don’t know exactly when players should try to learn this, but I’d guess if you can’t make at least a PR 28 play, this isn’t for you.

 

 
 
 

GAMEPLAY, SUBSECTION 2 – RELAXING YOUR HANDS

 
A bit of a disclaimer for this: This is not backed up by any concrete science, unlike most other areas of my guide, and is purely my opinion. 
 

I have found that the more relaxed my hands are when I play, the faster I am able to go and the better stamina I have.

 

 
Tensing up your muscles can slow you down and it takes a lot of effort and energy to keep them tensed. It can be very difficult to relax when you are so tense, and you might feel like you’ll drop a few notes getting out of a tense state to a more relaxed one, but I find it is almost always worth the temporary acc drop. 
 

If you can manage it without it completely destroying your play I find in the long run it will increase your acc on a map. You’ll have more stamina and the faster parts will come more naturally to you.

 

 
It takes a lot of practice and physical effort to actually manage this. My best advice is if you notice this tensing and think its a problem or just need something to focus on; try your best to keep your hands and fingers as relaxed as possible as you go through the play. Its okay to tense up in some parts, and you probably won’t be able to avoid it anyway; but once it does happens try to gently ease up the pressure and let your hands and fingers flow more freely. 
 
I find that practicing tapping my keyboard like I would when Im playing, but doing my best to get my keyboard to register the tap while pressing as lightly as I possibly can is good practice for limbering up my fingers/hands and staying relaxed during a difficult play. Its something you can do between plays to try and keep your motions light and relaxed. 
 

Note that if something is very difficult for you, you won’t be able to avoid tensing up. That’s okay. Just keep in the back of your mind that the more relaxed you are, the faster you are able to move and the less energy it takes.

 

 
 
 

GAMEPLAY, SUBSECTION 3 – HOW TO AVOID CHOKING AND GETTING IN YOUR OWN HEAD

 
This is a pretty common issue that players have. They’re smashing a play, its gonna be their best – or one of their best – but they get nervous and choke and the play’s not nearly as good. How can you deal with this? 
 

This is a problem that ties into our mentality, so it’s best to examine the problem at its root source.

 

 
I find the reason I get nervous is because I start to consider the value/results of the play, and I really, really don’t want to mess it up – I want that result, to show off to people or to feel good about myself. This is the wrong mindset. 
 
Our play shouldn’t be what’s important to us. Our improvement should be. In other words, a relatively effective way to combat this is to 
 

Preemptively convince yourself that the end result isn’t important. What’s important is what you learn.

 

 
After all, the more we learn and the better we get, the better plays we’ll make in the future. No point in getting nervous, then, right? 
 
If I start getting nervous, I will often times do my best to convince myself that the play isn’t important in any way. In a month, Ill probably be able to beat whatever play Im currently making without nearly as much effort. In the long term, this play is relatively meaningless. If my goal is to be the best player in the world, why should I care about a play that isn’t anywhere near that level? 
 

Of course, this is something that’s very difficult to accomplish and requires monk-like levels of self control and ego management. I don’t expect anyone to actually be able to solve the problem this way – I certainly can’t. Its just a nice and theoretical way to preempt the issue and reduce the problems wedohave.

 

 
Its always best to look at an issues source rather than to band-aid fix it. However, since in this case that is largely unrealistic – 
 

There are still some good band-aid solutions. If you find you are getting nervous, taking deep breaths and focusing on your breathing is often an excellent way to combat this. It takes your mind off your game play and forces you to enter a more calmed state.

 

 
Another tip that I have is to consider what stressful situations other people might have been in. For instance, I originally played Osu Standard; and a common thing Id do in years past was to think “But what about that time Cookiezi FC’d freedom dive with 99.8% acc (wayyyyy back when that s*t was WILD.)? How nervous was he? How amazing was that compared to what I can do? I shouldn’t be getting nervous if people can do things that impressive.” 
 
It’s just something that I personally do to combat anxiety and nerves. It may help you, too. 
 

Generally I find the more I’m focused on what I’m doing, the more nervous I’ll get and the more likely I am to choke. Taking deep breaths, trying to keep my hands relaxed, and forcing my mind to think about other situations is a good way to try to re-enter the “flow state”. Try to find good ways to keep your mind off what you’re doing if you’re nervous.

 

 
 
 

GAMEPLAY, SUBSECTION 4 – MIN/MAXING OUR LEVEL OF PLAY

 
Disclaimer: This is another section that is entirely based off of my own opinions. No science here, just intuition and experience. 
 
Making sure our offset is optimal and that we’re comfortable with our skin and scroll speed is the most obvious way to be sure that we’re “min-maxing” our gameplay. If you’re wondering what skin to use, what scroll speed to play at, and so on – the first answer is always “What you’re comfortable with.” 
 
However, we can push ourselves to new heights by doing a few unusual things. 
 
For the record, I do not believe your skin is really impactful in anyway. As long as its clear and concise, it doesn’t matter what style you have or the colors you have (though I personally much prefer darker skins because the contrast hurts my eyes less.) 
 

However, I do believe that scrollspeed matters. This is another “technique” I would consider advanced.

 

 
As a newer player, I don’t think it’s something you should worry about too much. Your goal is to build muscle memory. 
 

But as you get better, I believe it will benefit you to push your scollspeed faster and faster.

 

 
There are a few reasons. 
1 – It simplifies patterns and gives our brains less immediate information to process. I cannot imagine a world where having less to process/remember harms us in any way. As long as you can read the scroll speed, this should only benefit you. 
2 – It, in a roundabout way, makes timing easier. Your chances of hitting the right timing are better if the time the note is on the screen is less. It also simplifies timing in the same way it simplifies patterns. 
 

And the big reason why faster scroll speeds are generally better is because they encourage you to enter the flow state.

 

 
The faster the notes are coming, the less time you have to process. The less time you’re processing, the more you’re reacting. The more you’re reacting, the closer you are to achieving the flow state – which is the ideal mental state to be in while playing. 
 

The downsides to faster scroll speeds are that it makes newer patterns harder to learn, it takes time to get used to, and at a certain point your hardware might limit you.

 

 
IE, having a 144 hertz monitor will make playing at higher scroll speeds a lot easier. 
 

Because it makes learning newer patterns more difficult and because the increase in your level of play from faster scroll speeds is so small I consider this an advanced technique. Its not worth investing into or worrying about if there are other areas of your gameplay/improvement that need more immediate attention.

 

 
I also believe that 
 

The mechanics of how you play are vastly under-rated and EXTREMELY important.

 

 
The mechanics of how you play has to do with your hand positioning, the movements you make when tapping, how you tap with your fingers, do you use your wrists/arm to help tap; etc. 
 

I believe there ought to be an objectively correct way to physically tap the notes and an objectively incorrect way. I do not, however, know what these ways are.

 

 
I know people have a lot of varied opinions on hand position, how you tap, and things like that. I know that most people believe that it’s all down to preference. And while I do agree that to a point that is true, if we are TRULY trying to min/max our play there should be a point where it isn’t true, too. There is almost certainly a way to have our physical movements be the “most” efficient and effective. 
 

I have not experimented with all the styles, so I haven’t a clue what this is. But I do think that because theoretically there ought to be a “better” way to play mechanically, it is very important as individual players that weactivelyexperiment and focus on our “form” while playing to find the most efficient way to conserve energy for increased stamina and increased speed. AGAIN, THIS IS A VERY ADVANCED “TECHNIQUE”. IT IS NOT WORTH WORRYING YOURSELF WITH THIS IF YOU ARE NOT AN ADVANCED PLAYER.

 

 
Beyond that, it may not even be worth worrying about as an advanced player. I do, however, think there is a break point where this should become important. This is something that is truly for the min/maxers in us. 
 
For reference, I have found that the more clenched my fingers are – that is, the less splayed and the closer they are together – the harder time I have getting speed. I make an active effort to splay my fingers when I play, keep them as “straight” as possible, tap with the bottoms of my fingers instead of the tips (it forces my fingers to stay more straight) and to keep my hands above my keyboard. By keeping my hands at a height above my keyboard, I allow myself to more easily tap downward with a wrist movement to help with speed during jacks/streams. Keeping my fingers as splayed and straight as possible helps me stay relaxed and tap as fast as possible. I do not know if this is the most efficient way to play, but it could be a useful reference for players interested in learning this. 
 

By Puzzle

This is all for Quaver Learning to coach yourself – Basic Guide For New Players hope you enjoy the post. If you believe we forget or we should update the post please let us know via comment, we will try our best to fix how fast is possible! Have a great day!


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