Predicting the Future: 3 Simple Visualization Strategies

GuitarHere at TakeLessons, we’re big fans of visualization. It’s great for helping you reach your musical goals (or any kind of goal, at that!), as well as a method of practicing without actually needing your instrument (See: 5 Ways to Practice Without Your Guitar).

On the other hand, for some musicians it’s all too common to mistake visualizing for… well, daydreaming.  If you sit down and close your eyes, intending to memorize a piece of music, make sure to catch yourself if you start thinking of other things – other (unrelated) goals, your concert tickets this weekend, or what you’re going to have for dinner tonight, for a few examples.

In order to really help you succeed with your visualization strategies, we found these 3 great tips over on the Classical Guitar blog that are right on the money.  Check out these strategies and focus on one at a time.  Spend a good chunk of time on the technique, and who knows – you might find yourself a visualization convert:

1. Visualize the Piece
This is the most basic of visualization techniques. Simply find a quiet place and visualize the piece you wish to mentally rehearse. See your fingers moving and hear the piece in your mind’s ear. At first it’s okay to move your fingers a bit while visualizing, but try to ween yourself off of that habit as soon as possible.  Since you’re not allowing your fingers to go on auto pilot and finish the piece for you, this sort of visualization will greatly enhance memorization.

2. Visualize the Performance
For those of us don’t play a concert every week, stepping on stage can be terrifying. Another mental rehearsal technique is to imagine yourself on stage. More importantly, imagine yourself after the performance. Imagine the feeling of success. See yourself walking on confidently and walking off after the successful performance. Capturing these feelings of success before the concert can play a critical role in building your confidence before even setting foot on stage. (This is an excellent strategy for overcoming stage fright!)

3. Think Ahead of Your Hands
The final method is so effective you’ll wonder if you accidentally sold your soul for more guitar skills. This method should be done while playing or practicing, and is essentially thinking and looking ahead of your hands.

After your left hand plays a note, your eyes should shift to the location(s) where the finger(s) will be placed next. Imagine your left hand in this new position–see it there with your mind’s eye. Unlike the physical preparation of your fingers, this practice method deals with mental preparation.

For more tips, continue reading the article here.

Your turn: what visualization techniques help you the most?  Share your own experiences – head on over to our Facebook page and join the discussion!

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