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Tense to Tenacity

Posted by MOFiddlin on Monday, December 17, 2012

I remember when I first began I was so tense and it seemed it took me forever to loosen up and I'm still not there yet.  In my last blog I talked about frustration.  I think that is the problem, when I'm doing well I'm loose, but when I am frustrated I tense up worse than a steel beam in frozen Alaska.

Also if I think about it too much I become tense. I'm thinking of doing some kind of Fiddle Yoga before I play everyday. I have no idea what fiddle yoga would even be, but clearing my mind would be a start.  Thinking I'm not good enough, or ever will be or thinking I play like garbage doesn't help me loosen up.  I need the tenacity to keep those thoughts out of my head.

Must stay positive...



7 comments on “Tense to Tenacity”

IdleHands Says:
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @6:42:20 AM

The mantra "I am a bright sun radiating pure love" i find stimulates the body's parasympathetic nervous system, the source of relaxation and healing.

nancymae Says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 @11:00:04 AM

Oh, I so agree..those thoughts....I hate them..and try to ignore them. I try and practice, but when I'm not getting something, I go to music I already know..and play, just for fun...that seems to loosen me up too. Remember..this isn't brain surgery...no one's life is at stake! I find when I play with a better attitude (of fun), I play better...because I am looser and not stressed.

Yes, stretching should be a good exercise to loosen up your muscles...the same stretches that you would use before exercise--stretching the arm, shoulder and even back muscles. Don't get discouraged...it's perfectly normal...at least that's what my teacher tells me, so I try not stress about my progress/unprogress...and try and play as well as I can at this moment in time!! Merry Christmas!

lawrence lamear Says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 @12:21:39 PM

John, I've read all your blogs you've posted, and your frustration is something WE ALL experience from time to time...as are those nagging little voices that tell us "we're no good."

Two key points before playing are to:
1) Relax/stay loose
2) Clear the head of ALL thoughts, with the exception of maybe thinking how much you love playing this instrument.

Also noticed you've only been playing for a year or two. The fiddle takes years to learn, and a lifetime to master.

When you pick up your fiddle, think of it as dancing with the girl of your dreams, the love of your life. And nothing else really matters when you dance with HER, right?

Just take a couple of deep breaths, hold her gently-but-firmly, and "dance" with your fiddle. Enjoy being with that lovely lady...make sweet love to her. Coax and woo those lovely sounds from her.
Remember, you're not sawing wood, yer dancing with the Queen of all the instruments...she's a very special lady. Every minute you spend with her is a gift to be treasured.

MOFiddlin Says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 @3:29:54 PM

Good advice Nancy.

Never thought of it that way Lawrence. Thanks

lawrence lamear Says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 @5:15:40 PM

One last thing I would add, John, is to walk away from the fiddle for a bit if you're really frustrated with it. Not sure what your playing schedule is, but most advice I've heard mentions playing a little bit, take a break, then go back. Play all you want, just take a break every so often.

Best of luck John. I've listened to some of your music...definitely on the right path there.

carlb Says:
Sunday, January 6, 2013 @5:53:01 AM

Just listened to your Cluck Old Hen. I did give a lesson to a friend recently and tried to get him to think of how he would sing the tune and try to phrase it like one would sing it (that's just my way since I been singing songs just about from the time I learned to talk). You might try that approach on a few tunes and see if that works for you.

MOFiddlin Says:
Sunday, January 6, 2013 @8:16:17 AM

Only reason I played Cluck Old Hen like that is because pretty much every backing track has it just played straight through when I practice it. I could probably sing it too, but I was just did it for fun. I might make another one where I could play it and sing it. If I could fins a backing track where it breaks it up that would even be better.

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