Saturday, January 29, 2011

Releasing the Relations


I had one of those moments where the value of thinking about my experience, while I am experiencing the act of playing, bears fruit.  Before picking up my guitar, I was working with Sandra Bain Cushman's Five Relations , a practical scheme for applying the Alexander Technique.  She particularly had me thinking about the "three directional release" of my elbows.  I worked with this away from the guitar first, and then with the guitar.  Then moving onto the relation of the ribs "releasing into the back."

While I had no idea what this release of the ribs into the back means, I trust the Alexander Technique enough to just allow the thought to be.  My guitar playing was gentle, yet accurate, and the music was flowing.  Our friend with whom we have been staying during the power outage arrived and I played Broken Wing for him.

Returning to the guitar later, I again worked with Sandra's Relations.  I was playing with bringing either hand to the guitar, or both, just mixing it up, staying with the AT work being my primary aim.  Somehow in this process, my right hand assumed the position of holding the plectrum.  When I brought it the guitar, I simply released the four fingers and thumb from this position, and found my hand was where I needed it to be with no arch in my wrist.  This was relaxed, natural, and a delight for me to find.   Information is available, from thinking while experiencing.  So simple and yet very powerful.

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