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The key is being relaxed, but how?

Christian Schulze

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Whaddup Synners!
I was just having a go at my obsession planets and after listening to some podcast with Andy James and Rick Graham...one thing they pointed out is how hard sometimes it is to play relaxed.

Because some of friends of mine practice martial arts, I noticed how similar the both are ( etudes and katas for example).

One thing that bugs me is the relaxation. How in order to play well you need to be relaxed. And I got there sometimes but how do I actively achieve a level of physical relaxation that allows me to play well...without having to drink half a bottle of whiskey...

Anyhow that's my question.

Thanks in advance!!!
 

Ids Schiere

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Ooh boy, this is a question and a halve really. Relaxation for me came when I started being confident with my instrument and more importantly BREATH. If you hold your breath you can't possibly be relax and you'll tense up like crazy.
 

Christian Schulze

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Ooh boy, this is a question and a halve really. Relaxation for me came when I started being confident with my instrument and more importantly BREATH. If you hold your breath you can't possibly be relax and you'll tense up like crazy.
Yess the breathing....Sometimes I need to remind myself of breathing...and then I fail XD.
 
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Radu-Cristian Perde

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Well I practiced martial art so from my point of view, it comes from your thoughts vs your body.

What I mean by that is mostly muscle memory. See, when you learn something, thats when you need to really think and focus about it and think about what you are doing and how to place your fingers and such. Practice until you know it by heart at a comfortable speed.

Once you know it by heart, you have to then learn to stop thinking about it and let your body (so fingers) do the job. The body will remember what you have been doing. And once you exit your train or thoughts or focus about something else, the body will relax by itself and carry on. and then slowly you will be able to raise the speed as the fingers consolidate each steps you give them.

That's at least my approach for both guitar and katas since you mentionned it! When I learn something new, I really focus on it and learn it by heart at a comfortable speed and then once its done, I just put a backing track or a metronome in the background and just watch Tv while I focus a bit on timing my solo or etude or exercise right to the track or bpm, and after that I zone out and let my fingers do the trick!

I hope what I said makes sense hahaha 😂
 

Christian Schulze

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Nov 11, 2019
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Well I practiced martial art so from my point of view, it comes from your thoughts vs your body.

What I mean by that is mostly muscle memory. See, when you learn something, thats when you need to really think and focus about it and think about what you are doing and how to place your fingers and such. Practice until you know it by heart at a comfortable speed.

Once you know it by heart, you have to then learn to stop thinking about it and let your body (so fingers) do the job. The body will remember what you have been doing. And once you exit your train or thoughts or focus about something else, the body will relax by itself and carry on. and then slowly you will be able to raise the speed as the fingers consolidate each steps you give them.

That's at least my approach for both guitar and katas since you mentionned it! When I learn something new, I really focus on it and learn it by heart at a comfortable speed and then once its done, I just put a backing track or a metronome in the background and just watch Tv while I focus a bit on timing my solo or etude or exercise right to the track or bpm, and after that I zone out and let my fingers do the trick!

I hope what I said makes sense hahaha 😂
Thanks man I will give that a shot right now!!!!
 

Jamie London

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    Oh man, I’m definitely going to watch this thread 😂 Its weird because some days I can be so relaxed playing that I’ll find myself almost being careless and have to focus more, other days (a lot of times in front of the camera tbh) I tense up and play almost robotically.

    I do a lot of meditation and breathing exercises in my spare time, and some of those things can really help, but not always.
     
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    Dominik Gräber

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    I have no clue how to really achieve it. I just know that breath isn't really my problem. It's being too tense and stiff when playing.
    The times I achieved relaxation while playing something I consider difficult is really when not thinking about it. When thinking about something else while playing, even sometimes while watching TV. And sometimes you just have a really good day and it just works out.
    I guess sometimes your muscle memory is fit but is not activated cause you focus too much.
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    It really helped! Im gonna really be more mindfull.
    Did my 25 min exercise and it helped me relax throughout it. Did not hurt as much as it usually does.
    Awesome man!! im really happy to hear you already get some results!

    Its a one day at a time process and really go slowly. Understand and trust your body. you will see how rewarding it can get!
     
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