Home ill with the flu today. Second time this season. Seems like the viruses have it in for me. Is my immune system weak or is this an occupational hazard or do I drive myself too hard in general? Or a combination of all three, perhaps even with a genetic disposition to be infected by the flu. One thing is sure I do not feel like practicing. I was sitting in a chair and attempted visualizing the trouble spots in Dandelion Wish I described in my post Getting Honest. However I found out that I am not familiar enough with the right hand pattern to visualize the various combinations of dyads, arpeggios, strum, & artificial harmonics.
A thought emerged that perhaps in my weakened bodily state I might have an advantage over the muscle memory of my body. Combined with the desire to build off of Sundays progress and knowing that I will be weak for the next few days I decided to experiment with a brief practice to address learning the right hand functioning in order to practice visualizing this section. To the basement.
I began with a gentle run through of Gathered Hearts. Felt good to feel the vibrations of the guitar against my chest, to hear the music, to be momentarily uplifted. Then to work with the section of Dandelion Wish that I do not know well enough. Metronome was set at 56 bpm and I began the section. I immediately lost track of the metronome click, yet realized that I was executing the part well. I began again and lost the beat but again the execution was beautiful and I noticed that my breath was gentle. I found that in focusing on the right hand fingering to remember them I was drifting from the beat but this additional attention to the right hand changed my playing. This is not surprising in itself, but every time I rediscover this is a very fresh moment for me.
A few breaths as I visualized the right hand playing it's role and then I began again. The beat was in my body, I could hear the melody, and my hand knew what to do. I played the section gently and well many times through. This was very meditative and refreshing especially considering how my body has felt all day. I let go of the playing and played through just the right hand part. Allowing this to be separated from the left hand movements. I then incorporated the sections immediately preceding & following these measures. The playing was even and confident. I was tempted to speed up the metronome but decided to remain at 56 bpm. After 20 minutes my concentration was fading so I completed my practice. Better to allow the brain to consolidate a brief but thorough playing then to begin making mistakes and confusing the body and mind.