Watch the 3-Step Manifestation online guitar lesson by Steve Vai from Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare
When I look back at my career, there's some real stand out moments. One of the things that I've recognized is that there's some things that never change, and one of those things is my excitement for the instrument. When you have the interest or passion to play the instrument - and it doesn't have to be a wild passion, it can just be an interest in playing it - it really is your best friend.
When I was young and discovered the guitar, I knew that it was an infinite instrument in that I was never going to tap it out or reach the end of its ability to be unique or creative. You may believe in your head that you've taken things to a certain point, but there's always room to grow. If the universe is infinite, then so is everything in it! The most exciting thing to me when I was young was the realization that I could have an idea, work on it, and then suddenly it could be there and happen. This is the pay-off. This is really what you're doing.
To manifest anything is basically a three step procedure. This applies to the guitar, and really anything you'll do in your career: Whether you're writing a song, wanting to learn a particular riff, looking for the right guys to be in your band, or whatever your goals are, I would encourage you to consider this technique.
The first step of the process, with which you can achieve virtually the manifestation of anything, is wanting something or knowing what you want. It can be anything. As far as what we're discussing here on the guitar, you can have a simple desire to want to play the instrument a particular way. Maybe you want to be in a band that plays contemporary jazz or blues, maybe your desire is just to play chord changes on a beach, or perhaps you'd rather sound like a classical guitarist; that's fine!
Whatever your desire is, it's really important to be able to be sincere with it. A lot of times what we think we want is really just an "egoic" desire, meaning that we want to be great so people recognize us, so we get respect, so that we're successful in the eyes of the world. And there's nothing wrong with any of that, but anyone I know who has that is just a byproduct of their passion for the work that they do. The worldly success is just a consequence of focusing on your passion. So, when I say knowing what you want, what I really mean is can you sit, think (without thinking about what others think you should be doing, what the trends are, or what goes into making a well-rounded musician), and identify your pull? If I had a magic wand that allowed you to play anything you want on the guitar, regardless of what anybody thinks, what would that be?
The way you know that you're moving towards it is when you start feeling enthusiasm within yourself - that's the goal, or the honey so to speak. And when you're able to start honing in on what it is that you like, that sense of enthusiasm will grow.
The second step is very powerful in the manifestation of anything you desire. It's something you can work on that actually doesn't have anything to do with the physical instrument, but is actually at the core of anything you're going to accomplish. What it is, is your ability to visualize. So what does that mean? You can only achieve what you can believe you can achieve, and your ability to visualize yourself playing something is extraordinarily powerful. Matter of fact, even in Quantum Physics (in which I'm no expert) it's part of the process of manifestation - first there's a thought, and then there's the visualization of the thought. Whenever I'm talking to musicians who have a particular thing they'd like to achieve, I tell them to practice visualizing themselves doing it - actually visualizing in their mind's eye, creating a picture of themselves doing it. The more you are able to see yourself playing something, much more proficiently than you can now, the stronger your guide to getting to where you want to go.
I didn't realize it, but this is what I was doing when I was 10 years old. I would put on my headphones and steal my sister's Led Zeppelin or Alice Cooper records and lay in bed, imagining this guy (me) playing the guitar in an effortless, elegant, beautiful, profound, organic, "wizardly" way, just uplifting the audience and delivering something that was amazing, cool, and unique. So, you become what you think about. Whatever is in your mind, that's the predominant vibration that's going to manifest in your life. I'm still working on it, as you can do by continuing to refine the picture in your head of what it is that you want to be. It's a powerful practice, because without the visualization of something you're just meandering really, just waiting for something to happen.
The third step in this process is perhaps the most difficult, as it's the stage where you have to allow things to happen: You have to allow your visualization to manifest. Well, what does that mean? You need to align yourself with your vision. And when I say that, I mean that it has everything to do with the quality of your attitude and perspective. Aligning yourself with your vision means finding that enthusiasm and cultivating it in almost anything you see. In anything you're doing on the instrument, find the victory and rejoice in any little achievement. Even when you can just start connecting the notes on the guitar, treat it like a victory. That's how you align with your vision. When you get the enthusiastic ball rolling, nothing in the universe can stop it; in fact the universe will work with you in making it grow.
This three step technique we're doing all the time anyway, it's not something that's new. Anything you see around you was manifested because (1) somebody thought of it, (2) somebody visualized it, and (3) somebody aligned themselves with bringing it into the world with some sort of enthusiasm. It's a very powerful technique, and whatever the quality or vibration of your attitude is towards the accomplishment, that's what will manifest. If you're feeling very good about it, and you're enjoying the process, that's a good sign! But if you're criticizing yourself, telling yourself "I suck", or "everybody else is better", or if you have fear of not being good enough, then that's what will manifest. Whatever you really, really want, you'll get; and what you really, really don't want, you'll get. That's not my theory or philosophy, it's just the law of the universe.