Thursday, January 17, 2013

Laying Down the Visualization

Another nap after work this evening to rejuvenate my ailing body.  Delicious homemade soup with pumpernickel bread for dinner, followed by more resting while working the crossword puzzle.  Then I hit the floor for an Alexander technique lie-down.  After a few minutes with my back settling into the floor and my right arm relishing letting go, I decided to work with visualizing the piece Senseless Loss.  This may have been the first time that I've ever worked with visualizing a piece during a lie-down.  With freedom in my body I could see my fingers moving on the fretboard in my mind's eye.  My right arm remaining relaxed, my right elbow free,  my neck happily resting on the paperback books.

Towards the end of the piece, my visualization faltered as I was uncertain of one of the fingerings.  Yet in the prone position on the floor, I was able to remain focused and free about what I was undertaking.  When I moved to play my guitar, I decided to begin with Senseless Loss.  But first I just held my guitar between my legs and inhibited my desire to play.  I gave myself the Alexander Technique directions to free my neck and spine, my back, my legs, my shoulders and my arms.  Then after I moved my arms to the guitar, I paused again, quickly running through the directions.

After playing a few bars I paused to turn on the recorder.  As I began to play my tone was soft and even, the notes flowing from my fingers.  I began to think how I might write this up for the blog.  And yes my playing deteriorated rapidly.  As the Guitar Craft aphorism aptly states - We begin again constantly.  And so I did.  First taking time to find my breath; to work with the Alexander Technique directions; and to just be in the moment with my guitar, with myself. With the recording device running, I played through the piece again.  Then I moved on to improvising with chords based on fourths.

After a short break I returned to the guitar.  Taking time to reconnect with my body and my guitar through breathing and the Alexander Technique,  I then turn on the recorder.  Playing through Senseless Loss one more time.  As much as possible keeping my attention directed, my body free.  Though I have not listened to this run through, I suspect this is the best that I've ever played this piece.  I will not listen to the recording tonight.  The process is what matters most, not the end result.  Perhaps I'll play a bit more, perhaps I'll rest.  I'll make that decision in a moment.

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