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To Practice Guitar
As we've already discussed, mastering
the guitar requires tremendous discipline. However, just being blindly
determined to work very hard at it may not be enough. What is really important
is knowing how to approach your practice. This is where people with lots
of previous experience can help. We've all been down many blind alleys,
and looking back, we wish we could've had someone to tell us how to approach
it from a more efficient angle. This is why I'd like to share some of my
I don't really believe there is only one
valid way to do anything. We all differ in our physical constitution as
well as in our mental makeup. It would be preposterous, then, to insist
that everyone must fix a square peg through a round hole. There is nothing
wrong with trying to accommodate to the prescribed posture, but if it makes
us feel real uncomfortable, we should move on.
So, in a technical sense, I'd say that
we should be free to use any posture that feels comfortable. But from an
esthetic sense, it is important to try and assume a majestic, magnanimous
posture when playing our guitar. In other words, we should always strive
to approach the guitar with a magnificent, calm and humble mind.
Now, at first this may look a bit poseur-like,
because here we are assuming our most pompous posture, and yet the music
we are capable of producing may be quite feeble. Never mind, just be persistent.
I've discovered that there is a close correlation between the quality of
my playing and the physical and mental posture that I assume while playing.
Why this correlation, I really don't know, but it's there most of the time.
2. Relaxed Attitude
We are all aware that mastering the guitar
requires tremendous physical strength. Naturally, we think that we should
press real hard and exercise our muscles to the utmost if we are to achieve
the required stamina. This is wrong! Oddly enough, we will achieve much
more strength in much shorter time if we systematically practise with a
very relaxed, supple attitude.
Never allow yourself to feel the pain
or the cramps in your hands while you practise! As soon as you feel the
slightest discomfort in your hands, back off. Practise in such a way that
you are at all times aware of the totally relaxed muscles of your hands,
arms, neck, back, your whole body. This will not make any sense for a while,
because it would look like you are making no progress at all, just wasting
your time sitting there, caressing the strings, being relaxed. Believe
me, the subtle workings of such practice will surprise you one day.