Banjo – Playing with Effortless Accuracy and Applying This to Life (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Spirituality)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on May 28, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Banjo Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create an extraordinarily accurate and kind banjo performance.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

If you know which note you want to play on the banjo, and you trust your arm, hand, and finger to play it, YOU CAN’T MISS, and if you do miss, you won’t the next time. I learned to play this way on the classical guitar. When I read this truth in New Pathways to Piano Technique by Luigi Bonpensiere and tested it, I instantaneously got it, and I realized I would never play the guitar the same way again.

This way of playing the guitar made it possible for me to play the guitar fearlessly, without fear of the instrument and fear of myself getting angry at myself for messing up. There is a corollary to this statement of trust in the book. If you miss a note, withdraw even more effort to get it right and trust your finger to play the right note even more the next time, you will hit the mark.

There are banjo players out there playing with this kind of faith. My question is, as you can tell from the title of this article, are they living their lives the same way? In other words are they living moment to moment away from the banjo feeling like they can’t miss? I’m not so sure there are many enlightened beings/banjo players running around out there.

This is my goal and has been for over 30 years – to hit the mark in all things, if not the first time, the next time. I don’t play the guitar anymore, but my still vivid experience I have of absolute trust in my accuracy on the guitar placed me on a spiritual path in my mid-twenties, and I have been on the path ever sense.

It has been difficult at times, and now I realize why I haven’t done in my everyday life what I did on the guitar. I WOULD NOT LET MYSELF SEE THAT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN I CAN’T MISS ON THE GUITAR, AND I CAN’T MISS IN ALL OF MY OTHER INTERACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES.

As I write this, it is obvious, but it has taken this long for me realize my ego has kept me blind to the truth.

I believe this is what Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel is about. Hitting the bull’s eye with the arrow is guaranteed if you watch it happen. This is how I experienced incredible accuracy on the guitar. I watched it happen, and the reason it happened, is because I let it be done by the holy me, not the human acquired me.

It is now clear why I didn’t continue to pursue a concert career on the classical guitar. My ego couldn’t handle the implications of playing the guitar with infinite faith and love. So, it has taken me over 30 years to accept that life can be lived trusting myself not to miss, and if I do miss, I apply even more faith that I won’t miss the next time or encounter, and I won’t.

What this means, is that if you trust yourself not to miss on the banjo and in your everyday life, then you cannot live by the rules of an ego. An ego has a pre-programmed reaction for anyone and every situation because of your past. This means you can never really count on yourself to do the holy loving thing in the present, because you are still saving yourself based on the past and not who or what is in front of you right now.

What if you accepted that you have no choice, that you have to respond appropriately/lovingly all of the time. You have to trust yourself, BECAUSE YOU ARE ALWAYS POISED TO HIT THE MARK – do the loving thing.

So, play the banjo with absolute faith in your ability to hit the mark, and live your life with absolute faith in your inherent desire and ability to hit the mark.

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