Violin – Do Less and Less Work (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on June 5, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Violin 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 violin 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.

When I was an aspiring concert guitarist at the Royal College of Music in London, I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I went to an Alexander Technique teacher, and realized for the first time that I was ruining my left wrist, because I was pressing the strings incredibly hard to create the cleanest guitar playing possible. I also had poor posture.

If I had continued to do what I was doing to create clean playing on the guitar, I would have permanently damaged my wrist. So, what is the Alexander Technique solution for a violinist who plays with too much tension, potentially causing physical problems?

PLAY THE VIOLIN WITH FULLY UPRIGHT BALANCED FLOWING POSTURE, AND DO THE LEAST AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL WORK TO GET THE JOB DONE WITH THE HIGHEST DYNAMIC (ENERGY). YOU CAN ALWAYS DO LESS THAN YOU’RE DOING ON THE VIOLIN TO CREATE THE PERFORMANCE YOU WANT. What do I mean?

First, if you have poor posture on the violin, your body HAS to do more muscular work to hold you up on the violin, because your whole body is off balance. Simply, when you play the violin with a misaligned posture, your musculature has to compensate for your skeleton stacking up poorly, and you CAN’T do the least amount of work possible as you sit or stand.

Second, if you play the violin with excess tension, then your whole body is working too hard to create an accurate performance, and you can’t do the least amount work necessary to create the physically most effortless performance. You are playing the violin with fear – trying to avoid mistakes, rather than trusting your hands.

What does it mean to play the violin doing less work? It is about what your whole body is doing as you play the violin. It is about you starting a practice session consciously asking your whole body to do less and less work, as you play a scale. When you do this, then playing a scale is not an unconscious ritual you do at the beginning of your practice session daily.

As you play the scale on the violin, do a very slow internal inventory of what is happening in your whole body. This means that you observe and ask your thighs to do less work as you play. You observe and ask your neck to release as you play. You observe and ask your hands to do less as you play. You observe and ask your shoulders to float on your torso as you play.

This places your warm up on the violin in the service of you being in loving conscious control of your whole body, and doing less daily is cumulative. This means that every day on the violin, if you monitor and release the amount of work you are doing from head to toe, you will continue to do less and less muscular work.

You will do less and less work on the violin to create a superior performance. The psychological and spiritual implications are profound. In other words, as you do less and less work to create the violin performance you want, you will begin to experience playing the violin as something that does itself truly effortlessly.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2011 All Rights Reserved