Since the beginning of speed cubing, every cuber has had to go through some sort of struggle to memorize algorithms. From small turns to more challenging moves, cubers have tried to figure out a way to easily get the algorithms from paper to memory.

Whatever you may be working on, it can seem daunting and almost too overwhelming to even begin. PLL’s are large, OLL’s are about twice as large, and don’t even get started on the thought of learning ZBLL’s!

It goes without saying that there is a huge amount of algorithms that one must learn if they are to even compete against the greats, and it may cause you to want to throw in the towel, but there is a method to the madness. You can learn all of the algorithms in a timely manner, and it wouldn’t be all that difficult if you do it well.

Now I’m not going to just get out there and say that I have the process perfected and figured out, but this is what I use when I’m applying new algorithms to my collection, and it has really helped me keep a systematic approach. I would like to share that with you so it can help you as much as it helped me.

The Easiest Way To Memorize Algorithms

Step By Step

The first thing I want you to understand and realize is that the only way you can tackle a large group of algorithms is to start with one piece at a time. I learned very quickly that projects don’t get completed, but are finished through very many tasks that add up to the final product.

The same thing will apply with whatever algorithm list you have laid out before you. To really begin, you just have to start with the very first algorithm and work your way from there. It may sound extremely simple and practical, but I think it does well to remind ourselves how we get better overtime.

Another thing to note is that you don’t want to go too fast. I will forget everything if I attempt to memorize a bunch of them at a time. Some people might fare better than I, but you will need to find a pace that works perfectly with you. I like to do about one new one every other day. That gives me enough time to practice the algorithm in between my daily life with work and family.

Practice, Practice, Practice

If you think you can get away with memorizing algorithms without practicing constantly, then either you have superb memory skills or you are in for a big surprise. You HAVE to practice the same algorithm over and over and over again if you are to have it stick into memory.

The key is not so much to have it in your head, but that you convert the motions into muscle memory. Most, if not all speed cubers, will learn algorithms by applying it to muscle memory. They practice over and over again until their hands know the algorithms according to the case that the algorithm will solve.

You HAVE to practice the same algorithm over and over and over again if you are to have it stick into memory.

In order for this to happen, you will need to practice the same algorithm consistently. I suggest going over it several days after your initial memorizing process to ensure that you don’t forget the algorithm. I’ve made the mistake of getting too far ahead of myself without going back to the algorithms I memorized just a week ago. It’s no fun trying to memorize an algorithm you had known before. So practice, practice, practice!!!

Apply It

The next step is to add these new algorithms into your daily solves. Knowing the case is the big challenge, but to integrate them with the rest of your solves is what makes them become useful. When you are going through your daily solves, take the time to stop when you see the case and perform the algorithm you just learned.

It will definitely feel clunky and off rhythm when you do so, but it is what makes you used to using the algorithm to the case. As you use it more and more during your solves, you will find that it seamlessly adds itself into your collection of algorithms you use regularly.

To integrate them with the rest of your solves is what makes them become useful.

Don’t work on daily solves without adding the new algorithms. I know of several people (myself included) that would skip over a case they just learned all for that possible new personal record. It’s fine if you are going for fast solves, but the whole point of learning the new cases is to be faster. Take the time to solve the case before moving on and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re cutting your old times in half.

Be Patient

The one thing you need to know is that this won’t happen overnight, it won’t happen in a week, and it may not even happen in a month, but you will see results and you will get through your list of algorithms slowly but surely.

Even if you work really hard and go through the steps I shared, you may still forget one or two. That is okay! Don’t beat yourself up for not remembering a few. You have been trying to memorize a ton of algorithms, so cut yourself some slack if you miss a few. We’ve all done it, and we go back to relearn.

The end result is very much worth all the time and effort you put into memorizing all of the algorithms. You will find that your times are much faster and that your understanding of the cube is so much better. You’ll feel very accomplished (as you should) and you’ll be able to find a new list to tackle.

Overall, you just need to keep everything as simple as it can be. You don’t want to overdo it or you will go right back to feeling overwhelmed which is why we created a process in the first place. Don’t lose hope when you see all the work you have left, because you are continuing to become a better cuber than before. And that is all that matters.

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Let us know in the comments what process you use to memorize algorithms! Did this process help you? We’d love to hear about it!