To start off I just wanted to say it is an honor to be able to be even allowed to post an article on this website for this contest. With all of the great players posting as well, I will try my best to provide some insight with you all. Because Konami does not pay its players, even the greatest players cannot only survive on Yu-Gi-Oh! So we are forced to put ourselves in the real world!! We must know about something else at a very high level, so we can function viably in the real world. In my case, I am a tuba performance major at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and hoping to play tuba for a living. Now you may be asking, how does this relate to Yu-Gi-Oh? The truth is that for every person there is the ability to apply knowledge from one field you are an expert (or an aspiring one) on to another. I am using music as the source for comparison because I spend a lot of my time playing either Yu-Gi-Oh or tuba and inherently have found parallels. For instance, both Yu-Gi-Oh and music require a near perfect accuracy of great plays/great notes to be a great player. Unlike sports, which glorifies people for hitting 1/3 of the balls thrown at them or 60% of the passes thrown by them, it takes a great deal of precision and concentration to be a great player for both music and Yu-Gi-Oh. It is these kinds of connections that intrigued me to make this article about Yu-Gi-Oh and music.
To be a great musician, you must practice, practice, practice. This application goes for Yu-Gi-Oh as well. Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success, tells us that you need 10,000 hours of practice in order to be truly successful in any field. I live by this rule for both Yu-Gi-Oh and Music. Not only do I have to spend the time learning the theory and ear training or the card effects and rulings, but I have to be able to apply that information to the game/tuba. No musician can simply use his knowledge of music to be able to perform. That ability to perform comes from a lot of rehearsal and preparation. It is the same for Yu-Gi-Oh. You cannot simply go to your locals every week and expect to win even though you don't play the game all week long. One really difficult thing about practice is that you rarely see short term improvement. By that, I mean it is very difficult to see how well you play on a day-to-day basis. It is much easier to look back two months and see improvement than it is to look to yesterday and see it. The point is to make long term goals about playing and following through with them.
Another rule of thumb for musicians is to perform very often and as much as possible. For instance, this past month I have performed at 2 recitals, 10 concerts, and many 3 hour rehearsals. Not to mention the 4 hours a day I am expected to practice. At a regionals or YCS, you will not perform well if you don't follow this same policy. You need to go to events in order to be the best player you can be. You will eventually get "numb" from nervousness and pressure and that will allow you to become a better player. Not to mention the fact that you can play against some of the best players and learn from them. Why do you think that every great player travels to every event they can?
Even though I have never been to a YCS, I go to every Regionals close enough to go to (which is two since I have been back in the game) and keep up with every single YCS's coverage. Which gets me into my next topic of "listening". In order to play like Arnold Jacobs, John Fletcher, or Gene Pokorny, I must listen to those players to hear what kind of sound I what. Concept of sound is very important in music. Yu-Gi-Oh is very much like this in the respect you need to see (or read) good players playing. They have more experience and they win for a reason. They know the game very well and no matter how good of a player you are watching them gives you perspective on the different kinds of reads and plays you can make. Also, it is always good to hear another player talk about the game. They may share a lot of your views and they can probably manifest some thoughts you have, into words. Watching why the best players make certain decisions over others can increase your "concept of sound" or concept of plays for Yu-Gi-Oh. Gaining this perspective allows every player to improve just by acknowledging the options.
There are obviously a number of different parallels between different areas of life and Yu-Gi-Oh. Understanding these parallels has helped me become a better player overall and see how great the game of Yu-Gi-Oh really is. I wish every other contestant good luck and if I don't continue to write articles, you can reach me by my YouTube user name: GreatFailsMontana. I make videos on there avidly and will reply if you comment on them. Thank you guys very much for sticking through this article with me!
Great Falls, Montana
Action Card and Comics