Clarinet – Thinking About the Clarinet (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on August 3, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Clarinet 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 the accurate clarinet technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

When you think about the clarinet away from the clarinet, what do you feel? Do you feel you can’t wait to play? Do you fear whether you’ll play well when you practice or have a performance? Do you usually assume you’ll play wonderfully whenever you think of playing the clarinet?

When I was still pursuing a concert career on the classical guitar and simultaneously working out emotional problems, I discovered New Pathways to Piano Technique by Luigi Bonpensiere, and I applied what Bonpensiere said to my guitar playing.

Bonpensiere said if you know what you want to play and trust your hands to play it, you can’t miss if you play with total abandon. I did this and I experienced the faith of the prodigy on the guitar from that point on.

I was able to trust my hands to play accurately effortlessly. I went from practicing the guitar trying not to make a mistake to expecting myself not to miss. And I didn’t, and when I did miss I expected myself not to miss the next time, and I didn’t.

As long as I was actually playing the guitar and withdrawing all effort to get the right notes, I experienced this extraordinary faith creating incredible accuracy on the guitar. But there was a problem that showed up away from the guitar.

Away from the guitar I would have these intense feelings of self-doubt, when I thought about playing the guitar. Even though I had experienced supreme accuracy on the instrument a few hours before, I began scaring myself in my thoughts feeling I couldn’t count on myself to play with effortless precision.

And I mean really feeling scared that I couldn’t replicate what I had done on the guitar again. You need to understand that when I was playing the guitar with faith and trust and getting out of the way of my hands, even when I missed, I had stopped attacking myself for making mistakes.

This was so profound, because in a very short time I went from being afraid of an instrument that I had a love/hate relationship with for 15 years, to I can’t wait to play. So, these incredibly painful doubts about whether I’d have to go back to beating myself up whenever I made a mistake were overwhelming.

What did I do? I realized how cruel I was being to myself with these doubts and overwhelming fears. Then I said to myself, “I have no choice, if I trust my hands, I can’t miss. Trusting my hands/self is the only choice I have that is loving”. It was the “I have no choice” part that flipped me out of my fear and doubts. It took away my insane choice to keep frightening myself, whenever I thought about not being able to do what I wanted on the guitar.

This has to become the same for you on the clarinet. Imagine never playing the clarinet again afraid of making mistakes, because you know you don’t have to make the same mistake the next time. And you won’t have to avoid the clarinet ever again.

I have a section in my clarinet technique ebook that addresses playing with effortless accuracy in detail.

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