I’ve recently had the pleasure of teaching the Alexander Technique to a marvelous young professional bassoonist here in the Los Angeles area. In general, musicians pick up on the principles of the Technique fairly quickly, as most have a well-developed capacity to pay attention (not to mention tenacity). But this young woman (I’ll call her […]
In playing any musical instrument there are certain undeniable principles that need to be recognized. When you use your instrument to make sound, what you are creating is a phenomenon in nature called vibration. To create vibration you must set something into motion. If it is a brass instrument, you have to vibrate your lips. […]
Without a doubt the most remarkable drummer I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing perform live was the late Art Blakey. I saw him when he was in his 60’s. His band was made up of players mostly in their 20’s (“young lions”, as the jazz media were calling them), but Art was the prime […]
What does it mean to warm up before a performance or practice session? What does it entail? What is your primary objective when you warm up? How crucial is your warmup to the success of your performance or practice session? What happens when you don’t warm up sufficiently?
Paying Attention As You Practice: Think Globally Instead Of LocallyOne of the first things I ask a musician who comes to me to study the Alexander Technique is, “What are you thinking about as you’re playing music?” I get a variety of answers, bust most of the answers have one thing in common: