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Can YOU multi-task?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by McHack, May 24, 2005.

  1. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Just curious, If I'm alone in this. When I'm focused on doing something, whether its practicing, or playing a stupid game, or whatever, I have a very difficult time multitasking. ie listening if someone is talking to you, or maintianing a conversation.

    For the life of me, I can't play & maintain a converasation at all.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I'm with you on the music part of it. I either play, or talk. Not both.

    I think I do much better when I focus on one thing. I prefer to give all my attention to one project than to be spread out over several. I feel like I do a better job that way.

  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Depends on the medium. With AIM I can talk to 10 people at once while still dividing my attention equally to 'real life'. On the phone, I'm pretty much trapped on the phone and can't really do much else. In person, I can maintain a conversation while doing many other things, but it's usually not as 'personal' a conversation as it could be. Additionally I'm fairly proficient at two hand tapping techniques, playing 2 lines independently, that's kinda like multitasking.

    Speaking of that 'stupid game', Back when I was playing WoW, I remember one night I played for like 2 or 3 hours straight, and the whole time I was talking to my (ex) girlfriend on AIM(utilizing 2 computers). The big reason I was playing was because it was the first time all my friends and I were questing at the same time, but honestly, I really just wanted to talk to my girl. ( :bawl: )

    So, yea, I can multi task pretty efficiently in most scenarios, but there are some things that snag me up every time.
  4. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Playing and singing together (well) is exponentially more difficult than doing either alone.
  5. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    It depends on the tasks in question for me. Since Im not a great bassists, I certainly have to concentrate too much on the one task to carry on another. That is I cant really talk, and cant sing while playing well yet either.

    However, there are many things I do at my job that require massive multi-tasking. As well as with games, when I used to play online games I often did whats known as multi-boxing, that is playing more than one character at a time. I've played as many as 3 characters at a time, by myself, and was more than able to handle it, as well as having no problems with my workload requiring this type of multi-tasking. I played those games well over 3 years, and have been at my job almost 6 years, so familiarity to the point of not needing to really focus so much is what I think allows this activity.

    So to sum up, tasks I've done many many times and am very comfortable with, adding in more of the same types (ones Im confortable with) of tasks poses no problems. Attempting a task Im not very comfortable with requires my full attention and doesn't work when other tasks are added. I think its simply a matter of off-loading the thought process to a sub-conscience level. Im still able to perform as well as if I did the task alone, so the thought is still happeneing, its just not in the foreground of my thinking.
  6. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Nope, can't do it.
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I listen to music on my computer, while talking to friends on MSN, while playing bass along with the music, while doing my homework. But if I'm on the phone, I can't do anything else.
  8. I can listen fine while playing (provided its not too loud :p) but I can only reply in nods and shakes of the head. Unless its literally continuous single notes, then I can have a perfectly normal conversation.
    With most other things, video games, talking on the phone, operating a checkout at the supermarket... I can do other things at the same time provided I don't run out of resources like limbs to hold things in. There just seems to be something with playing bass
  9. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Stupid ADD... *L* I can barely concentrate on one task...

    at work, I'll be on the phone and on hold, so I'll go through some of the crap on my desk.. I find that often times, I can't do it 'cause I've still got half an ear on the phone to make sure I don't miss the phone...

    One of my co-workers can check voice mail and process her incoming bills, reports, and letters (including documentation in the database) at the same time... it's rather disgusting...
  10. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I can do limited multitasking while playing at times like get my drummer or guitarists attention or adjust settings on the fly by just using hammer-ons for some notes or start droning but I can't do complex things multi-tasking.

    On the phone and doing other things...no way I have to turn my music off otherwise I zone out.
  11. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I can't NOT Multi-task, If I try to just do one thing at a time I find myself wandering, daydreaming, spacing out, or sleeping. I have 3 PCs at my desk at work and regularly have them all occupied and doing things at the same time. I CAN concentrate on ONE thing and work REALLY hard at it, but I still do the other things at the same time, just with a bit less a % of my overall time.

    It REALLY Pisses my wife off when we're talking cause I'll wander the house doing things, Playing Scales, check my e-mail, TB, read, and have an important conversation with her (we're in the middle of buidling an addition to the house) and she just can't believe that I'm paying attention and listening.
  12. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I'm kinda outspoken about Political Party...

    One time in Tutorial (study hall) I was listening to Metallica, reading the Anthony Kiedes Biography, and debating with some liberal at the same time. I'd say I won the debate.


    Talking and playing is hard. I feel retarded when I try to talk and play because I stop like mid-word and all sorts of other goofy crap.
  13. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I can feed a baby while typing and surfing, and pay careful attention to a CD or the TV while listening for any one of 213 distinct noises my 3-year-old might make as he's getting into trouble. Oh yeah, and do all this while talking on the phone. I can sing and play at the same time. But if I try to talk and play, my brain snaps and I start drooling on myself (again.)
  14. +1

    And I'm a woman. :confused:
  15. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I can talk and play at the same time just fine... However, I cannot sing and play at the same time.

  16. And I'm the opposite - I can sing and play, but cannot for the life of me hold a conversation whilst playing....
  17. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    The human brain's "multitasking" can be viewed in at least two different ways, one of which is similar to what goes on in digital computers, and one of which is not. The digital analogy involves the "rapid switching of attention", so for instance I regularly do three or four tasks at once, by switching between them. I can engineer a recording, watch TV, and post here on TB, "all at once" in the sense that at the end of an hour, all three tasks have been accomplished. This method depends on the number of things one can hold in one's short-term memory, and the degree to which one can rapidly switch attention in and out of those frameworks. The limit for most humans seems to be the magic number seven (plus or minus two).

    "Simultaneous" multitasking is something different though. It's more akin to coordination of the limbs, perhaps similar to something a drummer might do when he's getting his arms and legs to move at different tempos (but all - hopefully - conforming to a central "idea" of the beat). This kind of coordination requires more practice than task-switching, it usually has to be impressed on the brain over a much longer period of time. The singing-and-playing thing is in this category, and my guess is that an extended period of practice (six months?) would produce some significant results in areas like this. "Simultaneous" multitasking is impossible for a single digital computer, although it can be accomplished by multiple processors working on the same task (which is basically the situation in the brain). The trick is to get those individual processors "coordinated", to get to function "in concert", so to speak. Practice is the only solution, IMO. :)
  18. I can write a paper, masterbate, watch tv, eat dinner, and talk on the phone ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
  19. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    That's nice to know for people who talk on the phone with you :meh: :D

    As for myself; Playing+Talking doesn't work..I go horribly wrong on the music, or I say things that don't make sense..
  20. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I'm a born multitasker. Right now I'm reading TB while putting on my shoes and listening to Joe Pass.

    As for the playing thing, I can hold several tracks in my mind going while playing, and even fall into a state of semi-sleep. A few months ago, a blues band I was in at school for a focus program was rehearsing for a session, and while most of the songs had really basic, groovy blues lines, there was one that was pretty fast and technically complex fingerstyle funk. I had almost no sleep the night before OR the night before that, so I was COMPLETELY exhausted. I slowly graduated from playing slumped over, looking down at the floor, to leaning back, eyes closed, breathing very slowly and evenly, and having no concious awareness of the room around me. Didn't miss a note -- and I was playing fretless ;). Multi-tasking is just what I do. I've always got to have two or three things going on at once, much like LajoieT.

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