Quick Lesson Recap with Gary

So this is not as glamourous as it might sound but it was none the less a great experience. My buddy and I left Kingston and drove about an hour to meet Mr. Peacock for lunch. It was a beautiful drive into the sticks of N.Y. We got to the Deli and had some lunch and chatted him up a bit. My friend and him go back just a bit so it was a really comfortable meeting. After some chatting and food we went up to his house and got out the instruments. His emphasis is very much on technique for avoiding injury and pain. I knew this and was very excited to learn more. We basically started out doing a yogaesque lesson – focusing on breathing, relaxation, and awareness of the body and what happens to all this while you are playing. This was great for me because I realised how jacked up my body is – even more than I initially found out when I started doing Yoga and stretching a couple of months ago. I experience great pain in my right shoulder and upper back. So basically we ran through different warmups to achieve the desired technique of relaxation. We started with finding the lightest amount of pressure to put on the string and then what happens to the body playing while different dynamics. One note with the fourth finger…over and over and over! Then to the second and then the third. Perfect because I was surprised at how little I knew about what was happening in my body as I played. I experienced overworking of certain muscles in my hand and tightness in the neck and shoulders; in the right hand I was tensing up the whole right side of my body. These are going to be difficult habits to break but Gary was sure that if I was diligent that I would quickly recover from them. Then we did some breathing and body awareness while playing arpeggios – learn to breathe while you play – I don’t really! So after that he showed me proper technique to avoid arthritis – he has it – in the thumb position.

Theory time

We went down stairs made some coffee and talked about how to hear music better – our own way. I know that a lot of guys do this but I never have and that is not using a realbook at all to learn tunes – every tune. I like this but I have never had time to do this having been thrown into playing it was just easier to read a book – I will still have to but the goal is to jettison it eventually. I am going to make time to learn them. We talked moveable tonic solfa for melody’s and finding your own way to hear them – what works best for you – how you hear a melody not somebody else. I.E. are you hearing ti to do? Mi to la?… that sort of thing and being honest with yourself on how you hear the interval in a scale. It was very enlightening to me and hard(hearing an interval as a diminished fourth was very mind boggling! Ha ha! – seriously(April in Paris)) We did this for a long time – it was great. We listened to some music and chatted a bit more and off I went. It was a perfect lesson and I hope that I can do it again soon. He gave me some things to do so we could correspond over email and he could get to know how I hear and go from there. I will include the assignments as I work through them. So to all who inquire and those that support and helped me get here thanks! I think I will keep this blog up. Peace. .

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