As drummers we need so many tools in order to sound good under any circumstances. Pressure, tension, insecurities, stage fright, are all very common elements of being musicians.
We are performers, and as such it’s normal to experience these scenarios when the stakes are high.
The first antidote to self-doubt is preparation. If we know we have done our homework, then we are less likely to feel any lack of confidence whatsoever.
That basically means we have done our years of diligent practice, our 10.000+ hours of study. And we also know the setlist inside out, and the band is well rehearsed.
But there are times when is spite of this we are still not 100% sure about our ability to perform well. That’s when tools like NLP can come in handy.
NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming, and it’s a part of psychology that, to put it simply, takes the methods naturally used by top performers, in a variety of disciplines, and turns them into effective techniques, ready for anybody to use.
What has been discovered is that all the best artists, athletes and musicians tend to spontaneously see themselves giving a perfect performance, and feeling the emotions of that outcome, before the actual situation happens.
This works because of the scientific fact that the brain, as it turns out, can’t distinguish between a real and a vividly imagined event.
By imagining it, they are telling their unconscious what to expect and how to feel in the real situation. And they are doing it in the only language it understands, the language of emotions.
When that message is rehearsed for long enough, that’s what comes up automatically when they are actually there in the middle of the experience.
What’s interesting is that we all are very good at this already: when we feel insecure it’s often because we used the exact same mechanism, but in a negative way.
We unconsciously rehearsed the worst case scenarios in our heads, and the associated emotions, and that’s why they come up. So the key is to learn to use it consciously and to our advantage.
In fact this simple idea can be extended with great results to routines, visualizations and mental rehearsals. Which can very easily be implemented in order to perform at our best and take our level up a notch.
Here we are going to focus on a simple visualization. This technique is only going to take one minute of your time and just a little effort and concentration.
It’s a mental rehearsal where we imagine our performance going perfectly, and we see ourselves being strong and confident and in the flow.
Here is the Booklet with the full article and the guided visualization:
The rules to make it work are simple. Yet, precision is very crucial when doing this kind of exercises.
Also, of course you can apply these techniques to any situation, even not musical.
A very important thing to say, is that it’s not about becoming obsessed with these techniques. It’s not about becoming perfect, and feeling always good – which is actually impossible.
It’s about the process of optimizing our chances of feeling good. And about gradually setting our inner thermostat a bit higher.
But there will be times when no matter what we do, we are not gonna feel our best. It’s ok! Don’t fight with it, surrender to those few times and enjoy all the times it works.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become the best version of yourself, check this out: