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What is this feeling?


yfried
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I have been playing the Anglo concertina now for 5 years. In the last 8 months I have finally learned how to learn a piece by ear. Before that I always had to read the music and play the piece over and over again and eventually I would have it memorized.

 

I find that I am learning patterns of fingerings, little runs of notes that seem to exist in different tunes that I've learned.

 

I close my eyes and I'm able to play a set of 3 reels that I learned by ear. I hear the music as though I'm not actually the person playing the notes. Yet I can vary my phrasing and alter the sound of what I am hearing.

 

I am no longer struggling trying to find which button plays which note on the push or the pull.

 

So, is this feeling that I have, when I close my eyes and play the concertina, and it sounds like music and I can't believe that I'm the one making the music.....is this feeling that I have what it feels like to be at one with the instrument? To be a musician?

 

Yvonne

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I have been playing the Anglo concertina now for 5 years. In the last 8 months I have finally learned how to learn a piece by ear. Before that I always had to read the music and play the piece over and over again and eventually I would have it memorized.

 

I find that I am learning patterns of fingerings, little runs of notes that seem to exist in different tunes that I've learned.

 

I close my eyes and I'm able to play a set of 3 reels that I learned by ear. I hear the music as though I'm not actually the person playing the notes. Yet I can vary my phrasing and alter the sound of what I am hearing.

 

I am no longer struggling trying to find which button plays which note on the push or the pull.

 

So, is this feeling that I have, when I close my eyes and play the concertina, and it sounds like music and I can't believe that I'm the one making the music.....is this feeling that I have what it feels like to be at one with the instrument? To be a musician?

 

Yvonne

I think you are on to something Yvonne. That feeling of being one with the music and your instrument is a good one, yes? I also feel that "I'm not actually the person playing the notes" at times. I believe that my fingers have learned what to do on a deeper level than conscious thought, though like you, I can let my fingers have their way and still vary aspects of the music like articulation, dynamics, timing and phrasing.

 

I suggest that you try the next step... getting the same feeling with your eyes open. I have found that opening my eyes while playing and especially looking at the musicians I am playing with or the audience I am playing for has improved my playing quite a bit. Opening my eyes keeps me grounded in reality. Though it is tempting to close my eyes and get lost in the music, with my eyes open I keep myself available and in relation to my surroundings and play better in so many ways.

 

At first, opening my eyes was hard. It felt like I played better with them closed. However, with practice I came to appreciate the value of keeping them open and now I try to play that way when I want to be at my best... especially when performing or recording.

 

Regardless, congratulations on achieving your latest mastery.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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Yes, that's a great stage you've arrived at, Yvonne. Like you I've had that kind of 'out of body' experience when playing - it's the opposite situation from when you're concentrating too much on your fingers, and you get nervous and tighten up. What you're doing is not just playing the notes, but really making music.

 

As Jody says, when the fingering is becoming more automatic, you can start to express yourself more, by things like subtle bellows control etc.

 

Happy playing!

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Hi Yvonne,

 

Sounds like you've had a real breakthrough!

 

I had the same experience myself on the anglo a couple of years ago when it just started to feel like it was an extension of my mind and not something I had to play through a filter of thought.

 

Michael

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Thank you all for your comments.

The thought of opening my eyes while playing, especially in front of people, introduces a whole new level of distraction........makes me think of trying to do high jumps over the bar when I was in high school. Seems particularly difficult and challenging. But I definitely will challenge myself with that :-)

 

Yvonne

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Hello Yvonne,

 

This is a text that might be of interest to you:

 

EFFORTLESS MASTERY

Liberating the Master Musician Within

Kenny Werner

Copyright 1996

Jamey Abersold Jazz Publications

www.jazzbooks.com

ISBN: 1-56224-003-X

Printed text in softcover with companion CD

 

Be Well,

Dan

Edited by danersen
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Congratulations you are moving up from ledge to ledge to a comfortable place which will be of your own chosen zone.. Some of us never aspire to the peak but like the view they open up.

 

It seems to go from consciously incompetent , to consciously competent to unconsciously competent. A nice feeling when it flows. Practice seems to be the answer and getting to a comfortable head space . But don't do drugs or alcohol to help get there. It's a false consciousness., take it from one who knows;)

 

 

Playing in company with a few well practised sets of your own helps , open eyes can come later. And practice starting and stopping in the right place

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Yvonne.

Firstly, well done for getting to a comfortable place with your playing. Don't despair or indeed give up. Use the place where you are to step up to the next level.

I've been trying to climb that particular staircase for 35 years, I'm about half way!

I nearly always play with my eyes closed...(Because the audiences are normally ugly!)

Just keep on keeping on. Look forward to hearing the results.

Regards Ralphie

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