Sunday, March 13, 2011


A bit adrift this morning, no better way to describe where I am. Various routines disrupted of late, most for good reasons; but those routines are in place for good reasons and the occasional reminder of their necessity in my life keeps me on track.  While checking the stats on this blog, I saw someone had read a post from July of 2009, titled Answering My Own Question, so I decided to read this also.  And there was my immediate way back in - go pick up my guitar, mindfully of course. 

Just the act of tuning began to moor me to the present moment.  Hearing my granddaughter upstairs, I played through Here We Are, a piece she inspired years ago.  I had a couple ideas of what else I wanted to look at, but then moved onto the new tremolo piece.  I began playing through it and hit a snag, after beginning again the same issue arose.  I already know this particular transition is troublesome so I decided to focus my work here.

I began from the two bars preceding this transition and played it through a three times.  Noticing that the transition derailed in different spots each time, I realized that I do not thoroughly understand what I am asking my hands to do here.  And this is a great opportunity for me to apply the Alexander Technique.  Giving myself the AT directions, I decided I would practice inhibition by just playing the two bars preceding the transition and then pausing.  Am I doing anything at this point to my head/neck relationship just before moving my left hand to the new sequence?  Beginning on an outbreath, and patiently playing these two bars and then again the pause.  My relationship with my body deepening with each pause, my breathing calming, my thinking focused.

From here I decided to play just the bass notes of the transition, while again working with allowing my body to lengthen & widen.  Pausing and directing, playing, and then again pausing & directing.  I added in the tremolo and played from the two bars and added in the next one.  Directing, playing, and watching to see if I began to misuse myself.  Continuing in this fashion, I then added in the next three bars, one at a time.   After playing through this section three times, I allowed myself to continue through the end of this piece.  I'm always pleasantly surprised how detailed work on one section, improves my performance of a piece overall.  Noticing that my left hand was a bit fatigued, I took  break to write this.

I returned to play through this and my granddaughter came with me.  I played through the transition seamlessly, though I did notice a tightening in my neck as I approached the end of the piece.  More work for a later time.  For now we're off to enjoy this beautiful spring day.

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