If You’re a Guitarist, You Might be Able to Mind Meld

If you’ve ever been in a band. you’ll know of those moments where everyone and everything is in sync. The whole band is connected on some kind of metaphysical level where no one has to speak or even look up as the music flows perfectly.  It’s like every member is psychically connected.

This is not far from the truth, especially when it comes to guitarists. Michael points us to this FastCo article on how guitarists can enter something of a mind meld state. Damn, could you imagine what it would be like as a Vulcan guitarist?

Guitarists perform a kind of mind-meld when they play together, syncing their brainwaves to the extent that they can anticipate each other’s moves. They also switch off the outside world while playing, leaving them in a tiny universe of them and their music.

A study by researchers Johanna Sänger, Viktor Müller, and Ulman Lindenberger used guitarists to investigate joint action, or “tasks that require the close alignment (coordination) of one’s own and the other’s action in real time.” Tasks like playing in a band or in a duet.

By measuring the brain activity of the players while they performed together, the studyfound that their brainwaves locked in sync. To preclude the possibility that just playing the same music would induce the same brain patterns in both players, the study used songs with two parts. Further, a leader and follower were assigned, one setting time and the other following.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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