7 Powerful Psychological Tricks Top Guitarists Use to Nail Performances Every Single Time!

If you’ve ever been to a live concert or watched a skilled guitarist in action, you know that there’s a magnetic aura some performers exude. It’s not just about knowing chords and notes.

It’s about mastering the art of performance psychologically. So, what goes on in the minds of top guitarists that helps them give unforgettable performances? Let’s pull back the curtain and explore.

The Psychological Tricks Top Guitarists Use to Nail Performances

Visualization: The Power of Pre-performance Imagination

Top guitarists often use visualization techniques to imagine their performance even before stepping onto the stage. By mentally walking through each part of the performance, they condition their minds to anticipate potential challenges and ease any performance anxiety.

Anchoring: Tapping into Positive Memories

Anchoring refers to the practice of evoking positive past memories or feelings to bring about a desired state of mind. Before a performance, a guitarist might recall a past successful performance, ensuring they step on stage with confidence.

Positive Self-talk: Boosting Inner Morale

Negative self-talk can sabotage a performance before it even begins. Thus, renowned guitarists ensure they have a positive inner dialogue. This keeps doubts at bay and fosters a mindset conducive to a stellar performance.

Guitar player

Breathing Techniques: The Calm Before the Storm

Breathing, though automatic, has a profound effect on our mental state. Deep, controlled breathing not only oxygenates the brain for better focus but also acts as a tool to center oneself, especially when pre-show jitters strike.

Mental Rehearsal: Beyond Physical Practice

While practicing on the guitar is crucial, mental rehearsal complements physical practice. This involves not only playing the piece mentally but also dealing with unexpected stage events, ensuring adaptability during actual performances.

The Power of Rituals: Comfort in Consistency

Ever noticed how some guitarists have peculiar pre-show rituals? It might be drinking a specific tea or doing a particular warm-up. These rituals provide a sense of familiarity and comfort, especially when performing in unfamiliar venues.

Feedback Loop: Growing Through Reflection

Post-performance, top guitarists engage in introspection. They analyze their performances, not just technically, but emotionally and mentally. This helps them grow as artists and refine their psychological strategies.

Guitar player with band on stage

Tips for Aspiring Guitarists

  1. Understand Your Why: Knowing why you play the guitar can act as a strong motivator, especially during challenging times.
  2. Embrace Failures: They’re stepping stones to success. Every blunder on stage is a lesson in disguise.
  3. Connect with Your Audience: Remember, music is as much about those listening as it is about the one playing.

The Role of Passion and Persistence

Passion is the driving force behind any guitarist’s success. However, passion coupled with persistence ensures that a guitarist can overcome challenges and continually grow as an artist.

External Support: The Unsung Heroes Behind Great Performances

Behind every successful guitarist is a supportive network – be it family, friends, or mentors. Their encouragement and constructive feedback often play a pivotal role in shaping a guitarist’s career.


Why is psychology important in music performance?
Music isn’t just about notes and chords. It’s about connecting with the audience and conveying emotions. A guitarist’s psychological state plays a significant role in how effectively they can achieve this.

Do all guitarists use these psychological tricks?
While not all guitarists might consciously use these tricks, many naturally incorporate these strategies into their performance routine over time.

How can a beginner guitarist develop these psychological skills?
Like any skill, it takes practice. Start by implementing one or two of these tricks and gradually incorporate more as you become comfortable.

Is it normal to feel nervous before a performance?
Absolutely! Even seasoned guitarists feel a flutter of nerves before a show. The key is to harness that energy positively.

How can one overcome stage fright?
Combining several of the tricks mentioned, such as visualization, positive self-talk, and breathing techniques, can greatly help in overcoming stage fright.

Does passion play a role in a guitarist’s psychological approach to performance?
Indeed, it does! A passionate guitarist is more likely to push past mental barriers and connect deeply with their music and audience.


The road to becoming a top guitarist isn’t just about mastering the strings but also understanding and training the mind. The psychological tricks top guitarists use to nail performances highlight the intricate blend of mental preparedness and physical skill.

Whether you’re an aspiring guitarist or a seasoned performer, tapping into these psychological strategies can elevate your performances and deepen your connection with the audience.

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