Tuba – Getting in Playing Shape (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)

by ethankind on July 15, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Tuba 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 tuba 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.

GETTING IN SHAPE ON THE TUBA IS THE ENDS NOT THE MEANS. What do I mean?

IF YOU FOCUS ON HOW YOU PLAY WHAT YOU’RE PLAYING ON THE TUBA, RATHER THAN ON TRYING TO ACQUIRE GREATER STAMINA, THEN YOU WILL NOT COMPROMISE THE QUALITY OF YOUR PLAYING, AND YOU WILL END UP IN SHAPE ANYWAY. What do I mean you will end up in shape anyway?

If you put in the practice time, you will get in shape. That’s a given. But if you raise the level of tension in your body in an attempt to build up your stamina on the tuba, you will compromise your technique.

In fact you will change your technique in a negative way, if you spend hours and hours of practice time with the intention of getting in playing shape by hunkering down and trying harder and harder to build your stamina on the tuba.

Getting in shape on the tuba and learning a difficult piece can create similar circumstances for the tuba player. What do I mean? If you are focused on getting in shape or getting the piece learned, then you may not be paying attention to the quality of your technique as you play. It’s like a runner who wants to get to the end of his run, no matter how poorly he runs.

When you focus only on the quality of your technique as you practice scales, arpeggios, and/or difficult pieces on the tuba to increase your stamina on the tuba, then you are doing two loving things. You’re getting in shape and you’re reinforcing the valid technique that you’ve chosen for the tuba. In the southern part of the United States where I’m from, we call this a twofer (two for one).

When you get in shape on the tuba not compromising your technique, you are really giving yourself an amazing gift. It means when you play for long periods and/or play difficult pieces, that you can count on your technique not to degrade. This means that you have established a powerful habit of placing yourself first, so you don’t just hunker down and do whatever it takes to get to the end of a piece or concert.

Making music is not an athletic event, where winning may be enough. Making music is about offering a gift to yourself and the listeners, and sacrificing your body is unnecessary.

IF YOU ARE SACRIFICING YOUR BODY NEEDLESSLY TO PERFORM, THEN YOU WILL NOT BE OFFERING YOURSELF AND THE LISTENERS THE SAME QUALITY GIFT PHYSICALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY, THAT YOU WOULD BE OFFERING IF YOU TOOK CARE OF YOURSELF MOMENT TO MOMENT ON THE TUBA.

What I just wrote is core to how I teach the Alexander Technique, and how I write about the Alexander Technique in my ebook on the tuba.

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