Is Your Guitar Playing Missing A Key Ingredient?

Here’s a question…

Can you picture yourself as the player you really want to be?

What does that look like, exactly?
I mean, really look like.

Perhaps the most significant component of achieving your goals is developing the ability to visualize what you & your life will look like when you have finally reached the goal.  It has been scientifically proven that, when properly utilized, visualization can enable anyone to achieve almost anything.

This is nothing new… these kinds of methods have been applied in sports & business for quite some time. There are countless stories of people who share that they were able to clearly imagine themselves at the finish line, or building successful businesses.

But have you ever tried this for yourself?

I’m going to tell you upfront that, although a very simple process, visualization can being challenging at first. I must say, it makes sense that your brain is going to have a tendency focus on the difficulties you are encountering when learning guitar technique. If you are working on barre chords for the first time, it is likely that they will not sound clean & accurate right away.
So therein lies the challenge- how does one develop the ability to visualize an outcome when the present situation is so different from that of the intended outcome?

Well, that, my friend, is what you can choose to make your primary goal… develop the ability to visualize your desired outcome no matter what the present reality.

It is an ability that requires practice.
And what better place to practice this ability than when you are practicing a musical instrument?

Try this…

Your next practice session, write out a short list of goals that you have for that session.

Now, close your eyes, take a few slow deep breaths, and create an image in your mind of yourself performing any of the exercises or songs that you have on your list. Create little youtube videos of yourself playing accurately, cleanly & confidently. The key is to visualize in as much detail as possible.

Now, I know for myself, that I sometimes just want to get into it and play my guitar and not spend time on such things like this. But I now know from experience that whenever I am patient & apply these visualizing techniques, I get way better results from my efforts.

There is an enormous amount of material on this subject. You will be able to find many different approaches to visualization techniques… some are very new age-y, some are very simple & straight forward, some are designed specifically for musicians. I suggest you take some time to research what is out there on this subject and see if any books or videos resonate with you. Trust your instincts.

Here is a short list of a few books that address visualization techniques:

• Effortless Mastery – Kenny Werner

• Creative Visualization – Shakti Gawain

• The Success Principles – Jack Canfield

• Psycho-Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

In all of my career as a music instructor, I have had much success integrating these & other similar techniques to the student’s experience of studying the guitar. I strongly feel that visualizing is as important as learning any scale, or exercise, or riff, or song. I am also very aware that many people find these kinds of things to be silly & bogus, as did I in the beginning. Quite often, the material is focused on creating wealth & love & relationships, blah blah blah. Okay, those things are cool. But if you can play guitar really fast, won’t those things automatically come to you?

Seriously, most successful people who are dedicated to a path of self-realization & self-improvement often have studied some aspect of goal visualization.

But you know what really fascinates me?… the successful people who haven’t studied it. They just seem to naturally know how to create the outcome they desire. And if you read articles about these people, they often refer to some kind of picture they had in their minds of exactly what it was they were striving for  and that some part of their approach to creating it involved some kind of visualization of their end goal.

If you try these techniques out for yourself, you will then be able to come to your own conclusions.

Now, remember when I said up top that visualization can be difficult? Perhaps you can visualize yourself being really excellent at visualization.

What does that look like?


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