Monday, September 6, 2010

Listening for Guidance

The third day of a three day weekend. One where I was home and no guests; pretty much a luxury for me. I have had more time to relax, play guitar, and to take care of other life projects. Today I was awakened  early by the newspaper delivery person riding around with his car stereo on loud. Unfortunate on a night when most people had their windows open.  Must be my karma catching up to me for the ungodly hours I blasted music in my youth.

Plenty of time to practice Qi Gong, sit, and have time to reflect in the back yard on a very beautiful cool morning. Even had a leisurely breakfast with my wife as I listened to see if the birds would return today that I heard yesterday. They had a particularly high pitched melody, and  both their timbre and their song were new to me. Alas they did not return, perhaps a transitory evenings rest in the local trees.

Last night as I ended my practice I played a set of seven pieces straight through with the tape running. I do this often lately, but rarely have the time to listen back. Today I needed to bring some order to my practice space. I decided to play the tape while doing this. I knew this might not be the best listening circumstances but would still be useful to guide my practice. Sure enough I found three sections in three different pieces that have recurring issues. Now I had my practice session mapped out.

But first an Alexander Technique lie down. Then relaxed and ready with my plan I tuned my guitar. I spent 20 minutes on the first problematic section in Dancin' Free, took a brief break, and then played through the piece in it's entirety to place the section in context. I then used this same strategy for Kinnara and Lost Balloon. Then it was time to visit with friends, enjoy a workout, and have lunch. Smiling I told Joann that I could get used to this lifestyle.

Returning home I decided to play through these three pieces as the beginning of a set. I then added four more pieces to the set and taped the session. Dancin' Free and Kinnara both felt better played after this mornings work. Lost Balloon while improved still needs some work in the higher positions.
Perhaps I can listen for more guidance with this recent taping before the day is done. But for now I feel a nap is in my immediate future.

Photo Collage by Ignacio Gracian

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