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Guitar Playing Tip – Visualize Your Way To Greatness

May 18th, 2011 by Jeff Vivrette

– Guitar Playing Tip – Visualize Your Way To Greatness –

I’ve recently found myself talking to my students more and more about using “visualization” techniques to help improve their guitar playing. This extremely powerful tool has been used by many of the greatest guitar players in the world to help them reach the level of guitar playing that most people only dream about. You too can use this powerful tool to help you play anything you want on your guitar. But what exactly is “visualization” and how does it relate to learning to play guitar?

Learning to play guitar, or improving your current guitar playing skills, is not only a physical action but also a mental action. In fact, most of what you do when playing guitar is more mental than physical. I know the following statement may seem obvious but it is important that you truly understand what I am about to say:
 
You cannot play anything (with the exception of jumbled garbage) without first thinking about what you are going to play.

Even if you let yourself go on auto pilot, playing lick after lick, you are still thinking about what you are doing, if only on a sub-conscious level. But just thinking about what you are playing is not enough to get you to where you want to be as a guitar player. Even if your attention is very focused.

What you are really going to need to do is visualize what you want to play. As a beginner you may be wondering how in the heck are you going to visualize yourself playing something you have no idea of how to play? Well, it’s easy; you just imagine yourself playing it! Even if you have no clue what notes you are supposed be playing, you just start by visualizing yourself with your guitar playing your favorite song, guitar solo or whatever it is you want to play.

I know this may sound like some kind of hocus pocus – stomp your foot and spin around three times and you become a guitar player but it’s not. It really works!

Visualization techniques are used by people to accomplish many goals, and not just in music. Athletes visualize themselves performing the physical task of whatever their goal is before they ever do it. A wide receiver will visualize the play he is going to run to outwit his opponent, catch the ball and score a touchdown even before the quarter back yells “hike”! An Olympic figure skater will visualize their entire routine before ever getting out on the ice. Why? Because it must happen in the mind before it happens in the physical.

You must see yourself doing it before you do it, if you want to reach a higher level than where you are.

Regardless of your skill level, you can also use visualization techniques to greatly improve your guitar playing

Have fun!

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