Thursday, January 29, 2015

When Habits Reassert Themselves

Choice dwells within the present moment.  Habit is the accumulation of our experiences, expressed generally as an unconscious pattern of behavior.  The struggle I faced tonight was habit reasserting its' domain when I was tired.  Today I practiced amplified in preparation for the gig on Saturday.  Switching to being amplified requires an adjustment on my part as the guitar sounds different and the energy of the music is a bit trickier to control.  Not to mention the amplification of either poor technique or mistakes.

This plays on my psyche and requires time and attention.  I had a 45 minute session in the morning working on a few different difficult sections.  After attending to other matters I returned to run the set before dinner.  I was tired, physically and mentally, and did not feel like playing.  Perfect I heard myself saying.  Quite likely the state I'll be in for the gig Saturday night.  Not that I normally project negative expectations, but I'll have to attend a funeral on Saturday that's an hour's drive away.  The physical, emotional, and mental toll of this is unforeseen.

But back to habit sneaking in when the guard is down.  I've been doing some Alexander Technique work with how I use my hands with great success this week.  But this evening I found myself, having a harder time to direct my thinking between pieces.  Again probably not unlike a state I could find myself in on stage.  In performance there are so many unknowns that arise in a venue. How I respond to these variables impact everything.  We prepare, we show up, and we play.  The fact that I noticed at all how I was using myself tonight merely needs to be amplified. And it will be. Constantly.

1 comment:

  1. You DID it, feelings or no feelings, fatigue or no fatigue. You are a performer.