You may think that preparing in music simply translates to practising. While it’s true that mastering a song before you go out to play it is an effective method, there are elements of the psyche that need to undergo preparation as well. According to psychologists, mental preparation is one of the key aspects of performing under pressure.
In music and many other instances in life, there are high-pressure situations that place intense demands on us. When we’re in the proper state of mind, these demands are easily met. In order to get in this proper state, mental preparation is needed.
One easy way to practice preparation is through visualization. Don’t picture the negative outcomes of a given situation but, instead, picture yourself succeeding. Just picturing it won’t make it happen, but it’ll help ease anxiety and get you in the mood to perform.
Additionally, it helps many musicians to set up routines before performing. They don’t even have to be musical routines – just anything that keeps the mind in a certain zone. Maybe it’s counting pickles at the bar, going over scales, or running around the venue three times. Whatever routine your mind responds to the best will help you enter a state of preparation.
Of course, these psychological tips should never replace the act of practising music itself, but paired with them, they can help you become a better musician.