Friday, October 22, 2021

Outputs Versus Outcome


In a meeting with a group of alumni from a workshop I took, a statement was made concerning “output vs outcomes.” This phrase instantly encapsulated what I’ve been struggling with this week. I want to release Fences, Frames and Alleys. That is an output. But what is the outcome I want?

Music that touches peoples hearts. I can not rush this process. And this is not an act of hiding. I just have not yet mastered the material to the point where I am free while playing which allows something else to enter the music. I need to play with an audience for this music to truly come alive.

Photo by F

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Taking Flight


We had a wonderful walk along Sligo Creek and then a great meal with my sister-in-law and nephew today. Been too long since we have had so much time together. I thought I'd play the piece that arrived on the anniversary of my Father's passing in February. As the conversation steered and remained on him for some time I knew I had too.

I simply stood up and got my guitar to play Taking Flight. Emotion swelled as I checked my tuning. After two false starts, I calmed, had a solid beginning and played the piece on the edge. Passion was present but not overwhelming. They were deeply touched as was I. This is why I practice - to touch peoples hearts and to open my own. I'll never understand where these pieces come from, but I'll keep working to master them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Change One Thing

A vital part of guitar technique for the left hand is to release the fingers when the note is complete. The tendency is to pull them off. Subtle different approach that becomes more challenging when one is releasing 3 or 4 note chords and have the same or similar configuration a couple frets away.  Easier to slide the fingers, but then string noise is introduced. When playing acoustic guitars this is very noticeable.

As I was working with releasing chords in a particular passage, I found myself just thinking release, release.  Suddenly my right shoulder dropped. Unnecessary unnoticed tension was released. Once again verifying the Guitar Craft Aphorism - Change one small part and the whole is changed. Grateful that my thinking about my left hand had a systemic affect on my body. What else might have been released that I did not notice? What else needs to be released?

Photo by Graeme Drawes

Wednesday, October 6, 2021



What do I need to let go of to get to the next level?

What do you need to let go of?

How might we assist one another?

Photo by Dheepek Ra

Tuesday, October 5, 2021


As I was completing my meditation practice this morning a "performance cue" arrived - *Play With Silence*.  Since working with the book Performance Success by Don Greene again this year I've been experimenting with various "performance cues" and "emergency cues" as prompts to nurture the mental space I will thrive within. Using Play With Silence was intriguing as I practiced over the course of a couple hours. This may be a keeper.

Solid practice today. Nourised by my new performance cue I made progress on technique issues with 4 pieces. Made good progress with refreshing my familiarity with Anchor Fence Is Gone and even got in about 10 minutes of mental practice. The latter practice is difficult but so very useful. Had an appointment in the afternoon which took a couple hours and then needed to prepare our space for our first session of MoonLight Qi Gong via Zoom. As always happens I felt great after teaching and took a walk on this cool fall night. 

Practice was also energized by participating in the Cycle Study Group with Peter Legowski, Kim Cary and two other Alexander Technique teachers this morning.

Interbeing so informed my day. One practice affecting all the others while all the practices informed the one I was currently working with.  I am truly a fortunate person.

       Image by NASA.