Guitarists' brainwaves synchronise when jamming

When Slash and Izzy Stradlin rocked out onstage together in Guns N' Roses, they were a genuine tour de force. Some call it synergy, but the duo where doing more than making their guitars sing in unison: their brains were actually synchronised…

The partnership wasn't a one-off, either. In fact, researchers at the Institute For Human Development in Berlin tested eight pairs of guitarists - each playing a short jazz fusion melody a whopping 60 times over - with unanimous results.

Here's the science bit

"Our findings show that interpersonally coordinated actions are preceded and accompanied by between-brain oscillatory couplings," says Ulman Lindenberger of the institute.

"This is the first time musicians have been measured jointly in concert"

"The results don't show whether this coupling occurs in response to the beat of the metronome and music, and as a result of watching each others' movements and listening to each others' music, or whether the brain synchronization takes place first and causes the coordinated performance."

"Although individual's brains have been observed getting tuning into music before, this is the first time musicians have been measured jointly in concert."

You can watch a video of the testing (and brainwaves) in progress if you're not convinced.

No excuse

So there you have it: next time your lead complains about "not sparking" with the rhythm guitarist, they're just not paying enough attention to each other. Watch, listen and synchronise. Easy.

Tom Porter worked on MusicRadar from its mid-2007 launch date to 2011, covering a range of music and music making topics, across features, gear news, reviews, interviews and more. A regular NAMM-goer back in the day, Tom now resides permanently in Los Angeles, where he's doing rather well at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).