Neuroplasticity and playing guitar

Research has shown that gradual mastery of a repeated exercise results in corresponding changes in brain density and connectivity. It also suggests that musicians have a capacity to synchronize their brainwaves when playing together. The scientific explanation for this capability is simply that through practice, exploration and improvisation, musicians effectively sharpen their intuitive senses. Through repeated rehearsals, musicians pique their attention in expectation of the next note(s) and the perfect timing for execution.

Brain scans recorded during guitar solos also showed that musicians practically take the conscious mind out of the driver’s seat, so to speak. During the solo the intuitive sense, powered by the unconscious mind, takes control, and this results in a more creative and effortless flow. Monitoring the brain waves of these individuals shows a dramatically different picture from what is observed in less advanced soloists. The master shredders seem to just let it happen, to pour it gracefully from their fingertips with ease, while others show clear signs of conscious effort and intensive labor in their neural activity.

For more information about this example of neuroplasticity in action, let’s take a look at just one of many resources on the subject.