theatre of your mind

One of the most frustrating things about learning guitar is not the learning…

…but it’s the forgetting!


Over the years, I have thought deeply about why some of my students struggle with forgetting more so than others…

And why some students tend to remember much more easily than others.

Well, there are multiple reasons, and I’ll share more…

One thing that made a big difference is visualisation.

This is incredibly powerful.


Is visualisation a boring topic?

Maybe for some.

After all, we all just want to play the guitar and not think about it too much.

Visualisation is super powerful though and a little can go a long way.

I often say to students:

“If you can’t play a piece of music in your mind, you’ll struggle to play it on the guitar”.


When it comes to memory, it’s like your mind and fingers are doing a dance.

It must be your mind that leads the dance and not your fingers.


In other words, if you cannot clearly see your fingers moving from point A to point B in your mind when you come to play the guitar, there will be hesitations.

…And you’ll often try to remember the movements from your finger’s muscle memory and not your mind’s far superior mental memory.

You could spend 100% of your practice time trying to play a piece of music on your guitar.

…Or you take 10% of that time, put your guitar down, and use visualisation.


For example:

  • Take a small chunk of a piece of music (look at the notation to help refresh it if you need to).
  • In your mind, vividly see your fingers moving to where they should move.
  • Repeat the above in as much mental detail as possible.

I call this the “Theatre of Your Mind” because your mind is indeed like a theatre.


I realised the power of this when I was about 18.

I was working a warehouse job and doing about 45 hours per week.

My spare time was spent socialising and with my girlfriend (young love, eh).

…Because of this, I would barely get a chance to do much guitar practice.

Visualisation really helped.

I’d lie in bed at night just before going to sleep and play through a song I was learning.

I’d get the bus to my girlfriend’s house and play through the notes in my mind.

I’d walk to work and daydream about the notes I was playing.

None of this was something I had to force myself to do.

It was something I couldn’t help but do.


…And yet I think this was one of the most powerful things I did back then.

Because it led me to remember more and play with more fluidity when I did get a chance to play my guitar.


If you’re struggling to remember how to play a piece of music or the notes just don’t flow, then I urge you to try a little visualisation.

It’s a skill that takes practice, but the more vividly you can play through a piece in your mind…

…The easier you will find you can remember it when you grab your guitar.

There are many more things I can share on this topic and I will soon.


I hope you found that helpful and if you want some more tips and help, check this out.

Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle



Keep on rockin’ that guitar

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.

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