I was mailing a friend on FB today about a technique I use a lot - Positive visualisation & decided to copy what I wrote and post it here just in case anyone finds it useful. Cheers! Ewan "Hi! Yup - been meaning to write to you about the visualisation thing! It's basically a very simple technique. 1. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down. I prefer to close my eyes, but you can do it with your eyes open. 2. Think of a time when you felt very relaxed & happy, this can pretty much be anything in your past. (What we're doing here is trying to re-create the state in which your brain is most susceptible to positive dreaming.) 3. Once you feel that you're in a nice place, gradually switch from this memory, to imagining yourself playing in a situation. This can be anything from practising, to playing a solo in front of an audience etc., It doesn't have to be real or even remembered, but the more detail you can put into the environment, the better. 4. As you pick your trumpet up, visualise yourself playing confidently, with the most amazing sound you have ever heard. See the people around you look at you as the sound you are making is touching them. Imagine that you are executing a flawless performance, any issues that you had in the past are no longer issues. Any tricky passages you have had trouble playing in the past, just flow past and out of your trumpet without so much as a flutter. Imagine yourself playing the way you really want to hear yourself. Without mistakes or any form of negativity. Even if you are just imagining practising scales - hear them come out of your trumpet perfectly. 5. Spend as long as you want on stage 4. Your 'gig' or practise session can go on for as long or short as you like. 6. Slowly put your imaginary trumpet down & allow the lovely warm sensation of accomplishment to wash over you, as you gently wake up. Take a couple of slow deep breaths. That's about it! It's essentially a positive visualisation technique that is used in many professions. It's literally meant to de-hypnotise you from any false or negative thoughts/beliefs. If you repeat the technique on a daily basis, even if you can't get to your trumpet to physically practise, you will notice an improvement over time. I can highly recommend a great book I use all the time - it's called Psycho-cybernetics by Dr Maxwell Maltz. Whilst not related to music directly, pretty much all of his techniques can be used to stimulate positive responses."