I still have not figured out exactly why but even maestros who are often referred to as "Great", hold on to the little tips and secrets which would definitely open up new horizons and hopes to our playing-performing efforts. Selfishness, and insecurity are definitely part of the equation. In a way, some of these teachers, hold on to these tips as magicians hold on to their illusions. Well, I decided to break up with all this nonsense!
There is actually a lot of illusion involved in mastering an instrument, and just like a great magician will point our attention to the obvious --the way he/she holds the guitar, plucks the strings etc-- the maestros will voluntarialy-involuntarialy keep our focus away from the core. These technical tips are often mentioned but it is not emphasized how important a role they play. I am still in the process of digging out more of these but I will list here the ones I picked-up through the years. My sources are observation, reading --especially what pianists and violinists have written-- the seldom generous give-away of teachers, and countless hours of my own trial and error practice sessions.
Be brave and break every conventional rule if your intelligence is there to back you up. Eventually, you will be using the so hardly sought after technique that best works for you: Your technique. As you read through the master playing commandments below, you will come to realize that they all make perfect sense. That is the signature of truth.
Following are my 25 guitar playing Commandments. They are all essential
1. Learn to incorporate the word breathing in the score, actually write it down and make it part of the memorizing process. Make sure the breathing comes just before technically challenging parts. Good breathing makes for 40 percent of effortless (if such a thing exists) playing and relaxation especially during public performances. A good way to breath is inhale counting 1, 2 slowly, holding on to the breath for about 4 seconds and exhale counting 1, 2. This is tricky to master at first but comes naturally and instinctive with time. During performance, a simpler breathing technique may be used: exhale counting 1-2. Exhaling means to expel the CO2 from our system. It is harder to do than inhale. Formula: The less CO2 in your blood, the better your playing.
2. Keep the left hand thumb with as little pressure as possible and with no pressure at all very often and whenever you can. We tend to press hard with bars because we think that pressure is the key. False, finger 1 position and guitar holding position are. The left hand thumb is hidden behind the fret board and it is difficult to glimpse its action both in concerts and video. Still, it is often here where the real magic of effortless playing rests. Most players use 3 times more left hand fingers pressure than necessary. Masters use just enough.
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