Besides doing my guitar practice tonight I had a good deal of personal matters to also attend to. Tonight I set out to blend my guitar work and practical work to support one another. The way I used tonight was by using the Alexander Technique. The past few days I have been working with a practice out of Pedro de Alcantara's excellent book Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique (Clarendon Paperbacks) More on this at another time.
One thing I have learned that I need is to break my guitar practice up into smaller chunks of time. This helps my use of the self. I can maintain my mental focus and my bodily presence by noticing when I am beginning to strain myself. Many times I use the AT lie down at this point or Qi Gong or just sitting quietly. Today I worked with maintaining a sense of the AT work while folding laundry during breaks. Thinking up, allowing my arms to lengthen while folding tee shirts. Then when I sat with the guitar I was ready. During my next break I took notes on what I had been doing to write up for the blog. While making the notes I worked with keep a sense of "up."
I returned to the guitar and let go of the two piece I had been working with and turned to a new piece I began at the beach Sand & Shadows. I've been using AT as I learn the opening to this piece. Tonight I decided to extend the melody in one phrase. Catching myself end-gaining a few moments ago I took a break to write this.
Where are you right now?