Double Bass – Repetition Without Stress (Musicians, Psychology, Pain, Strain, Injuries, Posture, Alexander Technique)

by ethankind on October 12, 2014

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Double Bass 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 bass 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.

Here is a definition of what I mean by “repetition without stress”.

AS YOU’RE LEARNING A NEW TECHNIQUE ON YOUR INSTRUMENT OR IN CONDUCTING, WHICH MEANS REPLACING AN OLD TECHNIQUE THAT DOESN’T SERVE YOU ANYMORE, YOU DO SO WITHOUT TESTING WHETHER YOU’RE GETTING IT OR NOT. THIS MEANS YOU DO THE REPETITIONS OF A SPECIFIC EXERCISE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH NO CONCERN FOR WHETHER IT’S WORKING OR NOT.

What does this mean? If you’re revamping parts of you technique, you don’t concern yourself with whether what you’re doing will work or not in your difficult repertoire. So, for days you might spend hours each day working out a new posture, a new way of using your arms and hands, a new way of using your embouchure, a new way of using your diaphragm, or a new way to conduct, without checking to see if what you’re doing helps you play, sing, or conduct your repertoire.

Why would you do this? BECAUSE IF YOU PUT PRESSURE ON YOURSELF TO INCORPORATE A NEW TECHNIQUE, THEN THE PRESSURE YOU PUT ON YOURSELF WILL COMPROMISE THE NEW TECHNIQUE WITH THE TENSION OF THE PRESSURE.

Simply, you cannot put yourself “under the gun” to prove to yourself that you’re getting the new technique without raising tension throughput the body and mind. And this pressure cannot be truly lowered with the Alexander Technique tool of “Inhibition”. Inhibition is the conscious choice to NOT tense at the moment you’re about to perform and to do something different that works.

If you demand that you incorporate the new technique as soon as possible by constantly trying out the changes in your repertoire and at the same time attempt to inhibit tension, you’re pulling in two contradictory directions. This is not a kind way to learn.

The Alexander Technique does not in its purest truest form deal with psychology or underlying motives. Simply, the technique shows you what you need to do to inhibit an inefficient way of playing an instrument, singing, or conducting, and to replace it with a technique that is efficient.

To give yourself the luxury of days of untested repetition to incorporate a new technique is an ACT OF FAITH. What do I mean? It means, as you put in the daily hours of not testing whether what you’re doing is working or not, then to do so without tension means you trust that what you’re doing will work when you return to your major repertoire.

This is an extraordinarily loving thing to do for yourself, because it means as you practice only paying attention to HOW you’re doing what you’re doing, you get to truly enjoy what you’re doing. You’re not striving to get to somewhere new in your playing, singing, or conducting.

By definition, to strive is to not be at peace with what you’re doing in the moment. You’re in the future where you hopefully can do what you’re striving for. IF YOU’RE PUTTING IN THE “REPETITION WITH FAITH”, AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS VALID, THEN YOU WILL GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GET TO IN YOUR PERFORMING OR CONDUCTING GUARANTEED. Why?

If you repeat something over and over, it is being learned, whether you pressure yourself to learn or not. Why would you pressure yourself? To guarantee that you integrate what you’re repeating using fear as motivation.

Think about it. If repeating something over and over daily will be learned no matter the emotional/psychological means you’re using, then pressuring yourself is an act of fear, which means you aren’t trusting the process of repetition.

I can’t think of a better way to slow learning, than NOT trusting that you’re learning what you’re repeating over and over.

When I was working with an Alexander Technique teacher in the UK to revamp my whole guitar technique and posture to heal carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand, I had to learn to trust that what I was doing was working. In my case, I had so much to unlearn and replace on the guitar, that I was overwhelmed whenever I tried to test all of the changes I was making to my body’s total posture and to specific guitar technique in a difficult piece of music.

Ultimately I had to take a semester off so I could make the changes, because the guitar teacher was asking me to come to a lesson with a prepared piece, when I KNEW I needed to focus on me and not repertoire.

Ultimately, by revamping my posture and guitar technique, I learned to play with ease and pain free when I returned to the guitar repertoire, since I had given myself the luxury of learning without constantly testing if I was getting it or not.

YOUR GOAL OF REPAIRING YOUR TECHNIQUE IS GUARANTEED, IF YOU TRUST THE DAILY REPETITION PROCESS. SO, PROMISE YOURSELF THAT YOU’LL TRY OUT THE NEW WAYS OF PLAYING, SINGING, OR CONDUCTING IN YOUR CONCERT REPERTOIRE ONLY WHEN YOU’RE TRULY READY.

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