Classical Guitar – A Free Neck as Part of Technique (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on June 12, 2013

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Classical Guitar 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 guitar 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.

What if you bring as much awareness to your neck being free as you play the classical guitar, as you do to how you use your arms and fingers? What I’m talking about here is central, absolutely core to how the Alexander Technique approaches playing the guitar.

The Alexander Technique believes that an unlocked neck in playing the classical guitar is central to playing the guitar with the ultimate coordination and PREVENTS INJURY.

How does a free neck prevent injuries on the classical guitar? It allows you to play the guitar with a released lengthening spine, and this released lengthening spine allows the body to play with its finest coordination. When you play the classical guitar with your finest released coordination, then you are much less likely to FORCE the body to play well, because you are already allowing your body to play well.

What is a free neck? Think about what this means. It is such an obvious statement to say play the classical guitar with a free neck, but I can’t count the times that I’ve asked a new Alexander Technique guitar student to play with a free neck, and he or she looks at me not knowing what I’m talking about.

HERE IS A DESCRIPTION OF PLAYING THE CLASSICAL GUITAR WITH A FREE NECK. It means that as you play the guitar, and I place my hands gently on both sides of your head, that I can easily turn your head and/or move it from side to side.

If I place my hands on sides of the head of a performing classical guitarist, and say let me move your head, usually one of two things usually happens. I can’t move the head, or the guitarist moves his or her head for me.

In the Alexander Technique we talk about allowing the head to be available for movement as you play the classical guitar. What does this mean? IT MEANS YOU ARE USING THE MINIMAL AMOUNT OF NECK MUSCULATURE TO SUPPORT THE HEAD WITH HIGH DYNAMIC. HIGH DYNAMIC MEANS THE HEAD IS SUPPORTED WITH THE MINIMUM OF MUSCULATURE SUPPORT, BUT NOT FLOPPY AND THE HEAD IS FLOWING UPWARD.

YOUR HEAD AVAILABLE TO BE MOVED WITH AN UPWARD FLOW, IS WHAT INVITES THE SPINE TO LENGTHEN AND CREATES A FREE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM THAT ORGANIZES THE WHOLE BODY ON THE CLASSICAL GUITAR. WE CALL THIS ORGANIZED UPWARD FLOW “DIRECTION”.

How do you invite your neck to be free as you play the classical guitar? You gently order it to be free! Just before you play a simple note pattern, you say to yourself, “My neck is free leading my spine into lengthening”, and then you play.

What if this doesn’t work? Let me restate the question. What if you can’t tell if this is working? Sit without the guitar, so that you let go of any intention to play the guitar. Now, let your head drop forward resting on your chest with no support. Experiment with how little neck muscle it takes to bring your head to fully upright and balancing on your unlocked free neck.

There is also another way to connect to how much tension you have in your neck. Tense your neck as much as you can and then release it. This is an excellent way to bring to your consciousness how much tension you live with in your neck. Simply, there is almost never any reason to do anything with a rigid immobile neck, from classical guitar playing to lifting weights.

One last point, as you play the classical guitar and you become aware of how part of your guitar technique a held neck has been, realize that an immobilized neck and head ISN’T necessary to play the classical guitar. MAKE PLAYING WITH AN UNLOCKED NECK PART OF YOUR GUITAR TECHNIQUE.

THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE PRINCIPLE OF NOT DOING SOMETHING AS PART OF YOUR CLASSICAL GUITAR TECHNIQUE IS THE GENIUS OF THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE.

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