THE SWIFT EQUATION – LEARNING CLIFFS OF DOVER IN ONE DAY
THE SWIFT EQUATION is a YouTube show designed, created and produced to demonstrate the use of accelerated learning techniques to solve problems. This page includes the pilot episode, two performance videos (after one day and one week of practice, respectively) and a comprehensive “how to” lesson video covering in detail the mental preparation and techniques used to acquire and perform Cliffs of Dover in a single day.
Creating free content takes time, energy, and money. Consider donating to Jon’s Patreon Campaign to help him maintain the time and budget to continue tackling and creating videos and lessons for content like Cliffs of Dover. Becoming a Patron comes with direct access to Jon for questions, a voice and vote in selecting what content comes next, and a community of serious artists working together to learn faster and play better.
HAVE AN EXTRA TEN THOUSAND HOURS?
Rapid skill acquisition reached pop culture prominence with Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule – the notion that world-class ability could be attained in any discipline with ten thousand hours of practice (Outliers, 2008).
Gladwell’s position is that a society can use sociology to reflect on its norms as a basis for improving the society. He argues we arbitrarily limit the potential of individuals by using poorly designed criteria and systems for selecting winners. In other words, it’s not simply the result that defines success; so to do the metrics we choose to use, and currently a number of these metrics and measurements are poorly defined or maladapted to the purpose of a broader societal improvement. In short, there are both better ways to learn, and better ways to define successful learning.
Rapid skill acquisition is (in Jon’s view) an outgrowth of the 10,000 Hour Rule based on two facts: One, that 10,000 hours is a massive commitment few people want to make, and two, such a sizable time commitment can only be practically made to a very small number of things. The gamified sense of the 10,000 hour theory is exciting, but rapid skill acquisition (accelerated learning) differs in that it is an attempt to both shorten the “game” and make it more accessible. Jon’s interest is in synergizing both approaches on a comprehensive scale – to create or modify society to revolve around learning in and of itself, and to use that redefined concept to facilitate the development of the best society imaginable. This starts, of course, with the individual. In Jon’s case, he chose to develop The Swift Equation.
FROM TEN THOUSAND HOURS DOWN TO TWENTY HOURS
In 2013 Josh Kaufman would refine Gladwell’s assertion with his book The First 20 Hours, in which he proposed that it is but this short segment of time – the first 20 hours of skill acquisition – that are the key to quickly developing expertise.
FROM TWENTY HOURS DOWN TO ONE DAY (OR LESS)
For a written description of Jon’s COD journey, click here.
With THE SWIFT EQUATION, Jon Michael Swift has further condensed the duration necessary for skill acquisition while expanding upon and expounding still more modern and often proprietary techniques. This process was captured in a pilot episode in which Jon tackles one of the most famous (infamous?) guitar pieces known to serious players – Eric Johnson’s Cliffs of Dover – moving from complete neophyte (having never attempted the song) to memorizing, arranging and performing it just sixteen hours later.
In other words, Jon learned to play Cliffs of Dover in one day.
The aftermath? Four videos – first, the pilot episode in which Jon reveals the in-the-moment grind and action of breaking down, absorbing, and conquering COD in sixteen hours; second, his performance take at the end of the focused one-day run, which left some clarity and fluidity to be desired; third, a performance after an addition week of thought and practice; and finally, a (completely free) lesson covering the techniques he used and how you too can conquer the guitarist’s nightmare that is Cliffs of Dover in this same short period of time.
In response to categorically similar questions – How exactly did you do it? What specific techniques did you use? How I can I do the same? – Jon put together a Cliffs of Dover lesson for those interested in using The Swift Equation to themselves conquer one of the most intimidating lead guitar pieces that exists.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The point of The Swift Equation is to help anyone (including those outside the realm of music) with rapid skill acquisition. You can help by providing feedback to the pilot episode, performance and lesson, particularly with comments on what worked for you and what didn’t, the good and the bad, or any particular areas of confusion or difficulty.