Have you ever jammed with someone and felt the music come out without much thought?
That’s the feeling of flow and you can train yourself to produce it.
Before we start, I want to note that this is a more elaborate explanation about the state of flow than the 5 stages of beatbox expertise article. I thought the description might’ve been too short and not everyone completely understood what it meant, so today we’ll do a deep-dive into what it actually means and talk about ways we can achieve it.
What is the flow state?
Flow is a hyperfocused mental state, where you are fully invested in the task at hand without any distractions. It’s a feeling where you’re almost on autopilot, but your focus and involvement in your beatbox is at 100%.
This is a concept developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who describes it as “being in the zone” through an optimal amount of challenge and skill.
In a study conducted by Örjan de Manzano, researchers concluded that piano players who entered a state of flow showed lower blood pressure and relaxed muscles in the body and in the face, ultimately concluding that a state of flow was “effortless attention.”
When drummers are in the state of flow with other drummers and bass players and have collective synergy, they call it “being in the pocket.” Being together on the downbeat is a huge contributor to this.
Factors that affect flow state
- Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- Merging of action and awareness
- A loss of reflective self-consciousness
- A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
- A distortion of temporal experience; one's subjective experience of time is altered
- Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience
- "Immediate feedback”
- Feeling that you have the potential to succeed
- Feeling so engrossed in the experience that other needs become negligible
Achieving this in beatbox
- Be clear minded and take away any distractions like your phone and computer
- Put yourself in some level of stress, whether you’re continually beatboxing with a timer on or you’re performing in front of an audience
- Make your music mean something to you
- Take ownership of your music and don’t worry about copying. Just do what comes to you!
- Be aware of the state of flow and continue to practice achieving it
Being in the state of flow is more natural for some than others. If you haven’t experienced it, you can achieve it with the right amount of mindful practice. If you have any questions or comments, please share it with us below in the comments!
Thanks for reading!