Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thinking About Thinking About Guitars

I am currently reading How the Body Knows its Mind by Sian Beilock which is about how the body impacts the mind as well as how the physical environment influences how we think & feel.  Some of this material has been touched on in other works I've read and some has a new twist on this.  There's also new information which is always a delight for me.  Over the years I've worked extensively with how my thinking can affect my body via the Alexander Technique and will continue to do so.  One of the reasons I picked up this book is that it was mentioned in an Alexander Technique group I'm in.  She devotes part of a chapter to the Alexander Technique.  Meditation has also greatly impacted how my mind and body relate to my emotions.  Qi Gong has introduced a greater harmony & awareness of my body in motion and how this impacts my being.

Today as I read this book on the beach after a swim in the Atlantic Ocean Beilock touched on how children learn by observing others.  Certainly over the years I've picked up subtle and straight forward information related to playing the guitar by observing other guitarists.  I've also affected my playing by directing my thinking with the Alexander Technique, usually with guitar in hand or certainly close at hand.

But what if I just visualized myself playing, not related to a specific piece, but just about how to play?  Thinking purely about the act of playing in a free and open manner.  My guitar elicits a strong response in me, sometimes even a reaction that can get in my way.  I want to hear her sound, sometimes need to hear her sound.  Hell I live to hear her sound.  But what if I took time each day to just think about playing.  Not thinking before playing and then playing, just thinking about playing. Preferably on a  beach or close to Sligo Creek or maybe in a temple or church.  Unburdened by the act of bringing my hands to the guitar.  Observing the motion of the Ocean and thinking of myself in motion.

Physics tells us that a body in motion tends to remain in motion.  Can I allow my whole body to move & support the playing, not be fixed in my hips or locked in my right elbow or have my feet grasping the floor?  Can I think of my arms moving light as feathers though the air and alighting on the guitar with ease and grace? I did today.  Dare I think of my spine as the support of my body which supports my brain, all in harmony in the here and now?  Can I not think about thinking about how to play guitar?  May the learning continue.

No comments:

Post a Comment