9 Mindset Adjustments That Unlock Your Best Musical Performance

Mastering music requires more than just skill and practice—it also demands confidence and focus. While technique is crucial, your mindset plays a significant role in unleashing your full potential as a musician. Your thoughts can either propel you forward or hold you back. So, let's explore nine attitude tweaks that will set you on the path to your best performance.

  1. 1
    Embrace playing freely. Instead of fixating on avoiding mistakes, strike a balance between going for it and playing recklessly. Don't rob your performance of creative potential by being overly concerned about not playing badly. While some sections may require playing within your abilities strategically, remember to make a conscious choice to pursue boldness when the time is right. Let go of fear and focus on playing great.
  2. 2

    Love the challenges. In the practice room, you control the conditions, but in real-world performances, imperfections are inevitable. Instead of wishing things were different, embrace the challenges and learn to appreciate the opportunity they present for growth. Accept the conditions, adapt, and measure your success by how well you respond to them. The excitement of a live show lies in witnessing artists overcome obstacles.
  3. 3
    Accept what happens. Avoid getting frustrated or upset during your performance. Judging your playing or dwelling on past mistakes takes your focus away from the present moment, hindering your performance. Instead, accept whatever happens during your performance and keep moving forward. Observe the objective results without labeling them as good or bad. This act of acceptance strengthens your mental resilience and contributes to your best performance.
  1. 4

    Don't care too much. While caring about your musical goals is essential, fixating on individual outcomes can create unnecessary tension. Detach yourself from each specific result and focus on the cumulative effect of your practice. Approach each step of the process with curiosity and detachment, allowing yourself to learn from feedback without being emotionally attached to it. By adopting a dispassionate focus on the process, you can achieve your goals with more enjoyment.
  2. 5

    Trust in yourself. Confidence is a key factor in delivering a great performance. Focus on what you want to happen rather than what you don't want to happen. Confidence helps your body execute movements with grace and precision. When two musicians possess equal technical skills, the one with greater confidence consistently performs better. Cultivate confidence in your abilities and trust your capacity to deliver outstanding performances.
  3. 6

    Visualize each note clearly. Before playing a note, imagine it vividly in your mind. The clearer your mental picture of how you want a phrase to sound, the greater the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome. By concentrating on the overall sound, you allow your subconscious mind to handle the physical details. This practice engages your subconscious as an automatic guidance system, increasing the chances of executing your musical intentions accurately.
  1. 7

    Be decisive and committed. Uncertainty and hesitation disrupt rhythm and weaken performances. As a musician, you must be decisive about your musical choices and commit fully to every phrase. Even playing the wrong notes with conviction and excellent rhythm can still sound good, while hesitancy with correct notes diminishes the impact. Trust your intense practice and allow your subconscious to control your playing by maintaining a clear target.
  2. 8

    Relax about nerves. Performance anxiety affects most musicians to some extent, but it can be beneficial if managed properly. Recognize that feeling nervous indicates your engagement with the performance and your desire to excel. Instead of panicking, keep your mind calm and focused on the present moment. Embrace the sensations as a positive manifestation of excitement rather than fear. Clear-mindedness reduces the impact of nerves and allows you to perform at your best.
  3. 9

    Focus on the process, not the outcome.Throughout our discussion, we've delved into the significance of staying present, accepting the circumstances, and avoiding excessive concern. To truly embody these principles, it's crucial to shift your focus onto the process itself rather than fixating on the end result. To achieve this, you can employ a practical technique that involves identifying one or two process goals to concentrate on during your performances. Think of them as your personal "to-do lists" on the path to excellence.


Some of these goals can be inspired by the tips we've explored so far:

  • I remain fully present, refraining from judging or analyzing my past performance. My attention will solely be directed towards the present moment.
  • I trust my instincts, making decisive and committed choices.
  • My aim will be to play exceptionally, rather than playing cautiously to avoid mistakes.

You can create process goals to fit your individual situation and performance goals.:

  • I maintain unwavering focus on the rhythm and groove throughout.
  • I cultivate a calm state of mind and ensure my muscles remain relaxed.
  • I devote my complete attention to collaborating with the other musicians.

To determine which goals work best for you, experimentation is key. It's a matter of preference and identifying the areas where you typically face challenges. By selecting process goals that address these areas, you can make significant strides in your performance. However, it's important not to overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Focus on one or two at a time.

Trust that once you commit to prioritizing the most crucial aspect—the process—everything else will naturally fall into place


Want to Get to The Next Level? 

Unlock the hidden potential within your practice and performances by embracing 9 key mindsets. These powerful principles are the gateway to taking your abilities to the next level. Get my ebook with tips to help you incorporate these mindsets into your routine.

By delving into this valuable resource, you will:

  1. Gain a deep understanding of the mindsets that drive improvement.
  2. Learn practical techniques for implementing these mindsets in your practice sessions.
  3. Discover strategies for applying these mindsets during performances for outstanding results.

Embark on a journey of growth and excellence by accessing our free ebook and easy-to-follow tips. Unleash your full potential and witness remarkable progress in your musical endeavors. Take the first step towards becoming the best version of yourself!

MASTER THE STAGE

9 Key Mindsets for Overcoming Nerves and Achieving Peak Performance. Access a Free-Ebook and Easy-to-Follow Tips.



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performance, stage nerves


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