Friday, June 5, 2015


Magnify the most difficult details. 
Oblique Strategy

Working on Slip, another demanding work-in-progress. Once again fingers of my left hand are anchored throughout the piece. Several odd rhythmic changes require my constant attention.  As I am developing the possibilities of the piece I am also working with the space around me.  I wish to maintain my freedom by incorporating the principles of the Alexander Technique and practice good use.  I'd like to say maintain good use, but that is a dream at this point for me.

When this Oblique Strategy popped up today I wondered which difficulty might I magnify.  The shapes my left hand must assume and hold, the changing rhythms, or practicing good use?  Can I keep a sense of the space around me and within me?  Why within?  By noticing the movement of my chest as I breathe I notice two things. One is if I am holding my breath as a "system of control."  While the other aspect I've been noticing is that when I sense my inner space is confined, I notice I am collapsing down and in from my neck and shoulder blades.  The collapsing limits my freedom to play, is a detriment to my long time ability to play, and tires me out.

As I pondered this Oblique Strategy during a break, I saw once again the importance of minding my use.  With good use, I increase the freedom in my left hand, I lessen the tendency to collapse about the guitar and though this does require additional attention I am in a sense growing my attention muscle.  With this growth my future musical pursuits will prosper along with the rest of my life.  By decreasing the strain on my system, I might be better able to hear the additional possibilities hidden within Slip.

Returning to the guitar, I decided focus on my use instead of Slip.  I played through two pieces not as demanding on my hands while working with the AT directions to foster freedom in my neck, back and spine.  Noticing the fatigue from the past two hours of practice I decided that taking a longer break from practice was in order.  Though the possibilities of the Slip continue to pull at me even now I inhibit my desire to jump back in there.  Time to work with the Musician and allow a rest.  After all does not Music reside in the space between the notes?

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