Dusan Djukich on keeping it simple
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!
The five most damaging words you could be thinking right now are: “IT CAN’T BE THIS SIMPLE.”
We love to make things harder than they are. We love what a friend of mine calls “the plume of complexity”.When something is complex and elaborate and involved, we can rationalize not putting our full energy into it. It’s understandable to procrastinate or defer. We can say, “Well…, it’s complicated.”
And while music can be complex and complicated, practicing guitar doesn’t have to be.
First we do one thing, then we do the next. First we focus on this, then we focus on that.
Here’s a question: What if practicing felt easy? What if we sat down and played a tune or an exercise, and just paid attention to one thing? The rhythm, the sound of the guitar, how we move our fingers, anything.
Sure, there are a million other little things we could also pay attention to (making it complex). And if we wanted, we could play it again and focus on the next thing. Then the next. One at time so it always felt easy.
How nice would practice be then? No thoughts of “It should be better..” or “I should be…”. What if we just enjoyed focusing on one thing at a time and let that be enough?
Hi, I’m Allen Mathews.
I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers – one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.
This is the ideal starting position for me. As a relative beginner with no teacher this is helping me enormously in developing good technique and not falling into bad habits. I no longer feel (A) That it's a struggle to learn a new piece and (B) That I am alone in my endeavors. My advice is to try The Woodshed program. It is fantastic and will not only bring up your playing but his explanations of musical concepts as you go along put things into perspective.
Since a year ago with my subscription to CGS it has been for me a pleasurable adventure and a discovery of all the facets of the classical guitar.
Your dedication and enthusiasm, as well as your talent, in the tuition is quite contagious (well, lets hope also for your talent) and has made it fun and useful in my progression. Also the weekly tip that you mail us and the Facebook group is excellent.
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