Mental Rehearsal

JJKK

Member
I've been using visualization as a motivator prior to my practice time. I don't have a method or anything, I just see myself nailing a part and successfully playing a song.

How many of you use visualization, and do you think it works?
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Mental rehearsing has been something I have always & still do :)
 

UpandIn

Member
Visualization absolutely works as long as you put in the work along with it. The mind is powerful thing.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
all of my life...usually when i first learn a song, I envision my self playing it from above the kit before I attempt it for real. I will do this for days....while driving, while trying to fall asleep etc....I grew up in the era waaaay before Youtube, so I had to make my own "play along" videos in my head.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Absolutely works, although I'm still limited by what my lack of technique allows me to do. So while I can visualize myself doing blast-beats, I can't do them up to speed. Then again, nobody has ever asked me to do that!

Bermuda
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
Mental practice is used in many activities and sports. You will see gymnasts and divers, with closed eyes, going through their routine prior to performance. I used to use it in swimming, by seeing the start, stroke, turns, acceleration and finish in my events. If you feel it works, it is certainly useful when sitting at the kit is not doable.
 
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Hewitt2

Senior Member
Any specific tips on how to actually do this effectively?
Am I just closing my eyes and feeling myself play the parts for x minutes?
Is there more to it than that?
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
It varies with individuals. You can just visualize, or you can act out to some degree. You can play the music and think along with it. whatever works for you is fine.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
I don't visualize my body doing things but I mentally rehearse a song by auditory memory of songs-after awhile I can "hear it" my head. Then I got it. And sometimes a hard part is easier if I vocalize it-seems to get my limbs going. Sometimes visualizing can be harmful if you get a brain block with a part and then keep visualizing how you're gonna screw it up at a big concert LOL. Oh wait that's a nightmare.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I have a hard time with off 1/16ths on the bass drum. i can do them just fine when the R hand is keeping 1/16ths going but it gets ugly with 1/4 or 1/8 on R.
Since reading this, I been visualizing the foot movement as the R hand keeps 1/16ths going and i think this may help.
Keep you posted
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
100% To make a movement, your brain has to signal things to happen, the more rehearsed that action is the less you have to think about the specifics. Some of the same pathways in your brain are triggered mentally rehearsing as when you actually do it!

Hell, I've literally woken up from dreams with weird epiphanies about how to do certain things I've had on my mind!
 

UpandIn

Member
I think the most effective way is to put intense focus on what the activity feels like. Such as visualizing the specific details such as the sticks in your hands and how it feels when you're hitting the cymbals, etc. Of course this would apply to other activities as well (sports, acting, public speaking, etc.). The brain isn't able to decipher the difference between a thought and something that is actually "real." I listened to a podcast recently with Matt Starr and he mentioned that he visualizes himself playing every song of the gig as part of his preparation. Good stuff.
 

moxman

Silver Member
I don't visualize exactly, but I practice mentally prior to rehearsals or gigs by listening to songs in my car. I've gotten so good at learning songs this way lately I've started feeling guilty that I'm not putting in enough physical practice! I tend to show up mentally prepared to play new material.. and sometimes just nail it on the first take (not always!).. but the mental preperation gets me 90% there.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Sure, I do this often, not just to rehearse songs, but to create my drum parts for my band's songs as well.

I start by opening my music notation software and transcribing my drum part while visualizing the bass, guitar and vocals (maybe not all of the lyrics, but at least the melody and the phrasing). When I come to a trouble spot where I'm not sure what to play, I'll start the drum transcription from the beginning and listen to it through speakers while visualizing the bass, guitar and vocals. When I come back to the trouble spot (ie. where the drum transcription leaves off), I'll try to visualize the song and "hear" what I should be playing. It may take a few tries to get through one trouble spot, but it works a lot more often than it doesn't.

Once I've finished transcribing a drum part for a song, I'll "rehearse" it my head as if I were sitting behind my kit with my feet on the pedals and my sticks in my hand.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I don't visualize exactly, but I practice mentally prior to rehearsals or gigs by listening to songs in my car. I've gotten so good at learning songs this way lately I've started feeling guilty that I'm not putting in enough physical practice! I tend to show up mentally prepared to play new material.. and sometimes just nail it on the first take (not always!).. but the mental preperation gets me 90% there.

this is my "first step" in learning songs for my cow-punk band...I do a lot of driving for my job, so these tunes are always on while driving. I do play along with them at home though to make sure....
 
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