Recent studies are finding that guitarists actually have more in common than just simply being generally awesome and naturally the coolest people on the planet. What researchers are finding
is that guitarists have brain chemistries that are very similar to one another.
Everyone has been to a concert, a band practice, a jam session or have witnessed people playing music, even if it’s on YouTube, and said to themselves, “man they are really on the same page with each other.” Or, “Wow it’s like they can read each other’s minds.” Well, it turns out that when researchers tested this in 2012
, they found that the 12 guitarists who had their brains scanned while playing together, actually
would synchronize their neural networks not only while they played, but even just before they would start playing!
The area of the brain that synced within the musicians was the area of the brain responsible for music production and social cognition. Maybe this is why the The Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers Band, Radiohead, AC/DC and so many more “family bands” are so tight musically and have such great chemistry—aside from sitting next to one another at the dinner table growing up.
The ability to sync brains together while playing comes from a musician’s strong intuitive abilities. Hooked up to a brain scanning machine while shredding on a guitar, researchers found the guitarist would temporarily shut down the brain region that relates to “big picture goals,”
showing researchers that there was a shift from conscious to a more unconscious thought . Conversely, when a “non-guitarist” attempted a solo on a guitar while attached to the brain scanner, this same portion of the brain was not deactivated as it was with the musicians.
Now that I know musicians are able to “switch” their brains into this more “looser, creative” and “less practical thinking” mode…I think I know the best time to ask my brother for a favor…