Thursday, May 19, 2011
Lengthening the Passage
Beginning with an AT lie down, I noticed a tightness in a muscle in my left arm close to the shoulder. This is not new information, I usually notice this particular tension, as well as some in my left forearm. I suspect this has arisen from how I have played the guitar. The great news is that the major issues I used to have with my left shoulder and wrist have not manifested in a very long time. During the lie down, I spent most of the time contemplating my left arm. Looking to release these muscles to their full length. Just thinking thoughts of lengthening, and not "doing" anything with the arm.
Deciding to begin my practice where I left off last night, I played the first three chords of the passage and then inhibited the move to the next chord. Pausing to direct, and then another play through. Part of me wanted to see if I could introduce the next chord, but I continued to inhibit. Then beginning with the chord in the sixteenth position I did transition to the next chord but while I was making the changes with my left hand I was only strumming the strings with my right. Pausing and playing, I was looking to see if I got in my way. When the left hand motion was flowing, I let go and took a short break. No need to push forward at this point.
When I returned to the guitar, I began playing the two chords with the right hand arpeggios. Continuing to pause and give myself the time and space to be free via the AT directions. When these changes were comfortable I began at the beginning of this passage. An ease of playing was now present and this part of the passage was being played well at tempo. Then I began the transition for the descending line of this passage. This next chord was easily added and then I moved onto other guitar work. Tomorrow I'll resume with the descending line.
I took a break and thought about the set list for my upcoming gig. I've made a few attempts with a list for this gig, but none of them have felt right. I discussed this with my wife who also happens to be my number one fan. I've had a first piece, last piece, and three pieces that have to be included. After our discussion, I jotted down a list, and then played it through. Felt good while I was playing through, and I am grateful I had the recorder on. I'll listen on my way to work tomorrow and see what I think about the flow. Of course the Alexander work I had been doing, nourished me as I played the set. A few conscious directions were made and when I began playing the piece with the difficult passage I've been working on, I had a sense of my shoulders widening.