Can You See Yourself As A Better Guitar Player?
By Allen Hopgood
It’s a given that you want to be a better guitarist. You want to have fun and jam with your friends.Maybe perform live in front of a receptive audience. Ultimately, to play as good as your musical heroes and have the musical freedom and unlimited expression, to play what ever you want, the way you want to play it.
However, that can seem a long way off. Especially if other life commitments prevent you from being able to dedicate as much time to learning and practising your guitar as you’d like. These conditions affect many aspiring guitar players and even professional musicians are not immune to the circumstances of life all the time.
So how can you get better at playing your guitar? With all the limited time you have to improve your craft? What can be done, so you can see improvement week in and week out? There is one easy thing you can do everyday, guaranteeing you very quick results, to become the guitar player you aspire to be. And that is – to see it!
What does that mean, to see it? It means you actually practice creating images of yourself playing your guitar, confidently and effortlessly. Creating scenes in your imagination of the guitar player you want to be and see yourself playing this way.
To do this, requires up to 15 minutes of where you don’t actually play your guitar. You simply create images in your mind seeing yourself playing your guitar the way you ultimately want to play it. This technique is called visualization and is actually easier to do than playing a single chord. It requires no hard work, or effort, except for you to do it consistently most days. Everyday is preferred. So it is up to you how quickly you want to advance your guitar playing.
To get started, write out a description of the guitarist you want to become. This could be a few sentences, a couple of paragraphs or more. Be as vivid as possible with what you write. You can use famous guitar players to draw inspiration from of course. It could be a composite of different musicians. Also jot down in your description how it feels to be playing your guitar when you are the better version of yourself.
This description of you as a better guitarist is now going to turn into a mini-movie that you direct yourself. You set the scene. You star in it. If you want to be on stage with fans, cheering you as you play, how interactive are you with them? How good does it sound? How confident are you playing your guitar in front of the audience?
Maybe you see yourself acting and being as a solo performer playing your own original songs, or in a studio laying down some tracks for a jingle or something similar. Try to put as much detail and feeling into your movie as you can. Make it how you want to – the guitar player you want to be. The more vivid the detail and colourful it is, the faster it will become a reality.
Once you have written the description of you as the better guitar player, find a quite spot where you won’t be disturbed for 10-15mins or so. Read your description. Really feel the emotions as you read it. Then close your eyes and imagine and play out that scene as if it is happening right now.
Recreate the scene, or scenes, in your imagination over and over until it becomes so clear it is like you are literally watching it play on a movie screen – with you as the main actor. Notice how easier you’re playing and how much more confidence you have at playing your guitar in your movie.
When you first begin this practice session, don’t give up if you can’t see it clearly to begin with. Like anything you learn on the guitar, it gets easier the more times you do it. So relax, and don’t force it. If you do this for a minimum of 21 days, you’ll be surprised how easier, how much more fun and how much great music you will soon be creating with your guitar.
You probably won’t find this practice technique in any guitar method book. However, you have already used this process for many other accomplishments in your life to date. So you already have all the tools you need. Have fun with it. Imagine how you would feel if you were already the type of guitar player you want to be. Start seeing yourself as that better guitar player today.
Having been born and raised on the Gold Coast of Australia, and played alongside many national musical acts, Allen Hopgood is the Director of Gold Coast School of Guitar. If you are ever in the area and you’re after guitar lessons, you can contact him through the website.