…sorry, couldn’t resist that title.
The Periodic Table
For right handed guitarists, that hand is relatively straightforward. The left hand is the complex one due to the multiplicity of techniques required. Within the first few lessons, pupils will have come across the following techniques:
- Press (the string – to make a note)
- Release (the string – to access the open note)
- Relax (the pressure, staying on that string while playing another)
- Re-press (the original finger on its string)
- Plant – (a finger on a note before playing)
- Transfer (pressure to the planted note)
- Lean (on one note, so that another note can stop without all notes coming to an abrupt end)
There are many more to follow * and Continue reading Connect 4
Axis of Accuracy
A left hand position change on the guitar involves a horizontal shift – hopefully moving along the string*. Crossing strings involves a vertical move of one left hand finger. Often the two coincide – sometimes over quite a large distance.
To avoid dizzying uncertainty Continue reading Connect 2
I have always thought it essential to keep in tune with the beginner’s mind experienced by our pupils. This is not straightforward. Although I can claim to know what they are going through, I can’t truly feel it. I need another field in which to experience not being in control of the speed of things or being unable to see the underlying structure of the subject. A reminder of the unrest that such feelings can cause is not readily available to me on an instrument I have played for 35 years.
So, I have decided to try to learn to speak Polish. I know nothing of Slavic languages and so the beginner’s mind element should be present. It may also prove helpful one day as well as being an enjoyable challenge.
Anything that can be said, can be said clearly. Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951)
When pupils realise that the half-truths of their elementary lessons need to be expanded, life can begin to seem worryingly vague. Continue reading That Certain Something