Guitar Visualization – Something from Nothing
When you visualize, you appear to be doing nothing at all, but your thought process is as intense as if you’re physically performing the action.
We often speak of repetition as being the key to speed and accuracy. A slogan that I’ve used in the past is, “Practice until your fingers bleed.” But then what? You can accomplish much by vividly visualizing a part without playing anything at all.
I had a conversation about guitar visualization with my wife Leanna this morning. She’s a professional vocalist. She explained that vocalists don’t have the ability to do endless repetition due to the physical limits of the vocal chords. She demonstrated that if she wanted to learn a scale, for example, that she would sing it three times (which she did), then she thought about it two more times, looked at me and said, “There, I’ve practiced the scale five times.”
“When you visualize, you appear to be doing nothing at all, but your thought process is as intense as if you’re physically performing the action.”
Much of what we’re able to accomplish on guitar happens without an instrument in our hands. As we’re learning parts, we continue to visualize the action and sounds as we live our lives away from our practice routine. That’s one reason why I ask students to play parts before going to bed. Not only will your subconscious continue to work on the part through the night but you’ll also wake up during the night and consciously think about the process.
We all have goals with our music. Your music and interacting with others through a performance is necessary to move forward. Playing music shouldn’t be a selfish act. Music is a gift not just for our own pleasure but also as a gift for others. You can share through a YouTube video; plan to bring out your guitar at a family get together; or actually do a public performance in front of strangers. All of these things will move you forward faster than going it alone.
To Succeed, Visualize Success
Some say, “I could never picture myself playing in these situations.” Hmm, could that be the problem? Sound like you’ve already done some serious, self-limiting visualization. To succeed, it’s important to visualize success.
Once you begin picturing yourself in any of these situations it’s the first and most important step towards actually succeeding at the task. Still, if I were to use a spy cam to watch you during this visualization process you would appear to be doing nothing at all. Truth is, you would be moving toward your true potential in a way that hasn’t been possible until this moment. Get started right now.
Guitar Visualization is a Key to Success
If you’re studying my course, it will certainly help you to succeed by visualizing completion. If you vividly visualize success you stand a pretty good chance at succeeding. It’s not a given; things happen. On the other hand, if you visualize the possibility of failure, you can pull that off too. You have a choice.
Doug Marks is the author of The Complete Rock Guitar Course