Should you always play and practice with your body in physical motion?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by SuperSilverHaze, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. SuperSilverHaze

    SuperSilverHaze Member

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    I am starting to believe so. my rhythm and syncopation has improved drastically since I started doing this. standing up is best for because I can rock and round and have total movement in my body. it relaxes me and puts me in a groove. when sitting I like to rock and back forth (sometimes to the extent that I almost tilt my chair all the way back).

    months ago I didn't practice like this. I focused on technique and getting it "perfect". For me personally this was a huge mistake. i have never been able to get the feel for the music down until i began to play in motion.

    this obviously isn't "the way" for everybody and there are many examples of very still musicians who are incredible, but i thought id share this very easy thing to do since it has helped me out in many ways. discuss.
     
  2. blueworm

    blueworm Member

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    I don't know... maybe not for everything...

    But I dig that video from the late Ross Bolton :
     
  3. Pick'n'strum

    Pick'n'strum Member

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    I don't exactly have answer to your question. I think I typically am in motion (foot tapping at the very least) - even when practicing - and find myself rocking back and forth in my chair (like you mentioned).

    When I was really starting to learn rhythm and how to feel the song, I had an instructor tell me to stop moving my body so much (presumably b/c I was much less accurate when I was picking at that point and I don't think the body rocking was helping). But if I stopped rocking, I couldn't really feel the rhythm through just a toe tap (at that point in my learning). It's maybe a bit different for everyone but I like to move with the beat and/or tap my foot.
     
  4. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I'm a firm believer in moving with the music.
    Also helps to stand with your git on a strap when you practice.
    Guitar is in a different position when you're sitting, so unless you play on stage sitting in a chair hunched over your guitar, stand up.
     
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  5. j.s.tonehound

    j.s.tonehound Member

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    I play more precisely sat down and find it easier to get lost in what I'm playing as there's more control and thought. Standing up and playing is entirely different and becomes more of a performance. But in terms of physical motion, I don't think there's ever a time where it's only my fingers/hands/arms moving. At least have to have a foot tapping, head nodding etc
     
  6. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    There is a reason why Mr. Brooks made everybody not tap their feet in band class. Unless you work on your foot tapping....maybe with Uwe's Getting In Time book, with a metronome, the moving and grooving might lead you astray.
     
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  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Not according to Professor Galper (referencing the other thread):


    That may be a good rule for jazz pianists, but for folk like us who stand up to play, some kind of movement is natural, IMO. That is, I think it would be a mistake to inhibit any groove-based movement you feel like making; but at the same time you shouldn't make yourself move if it feels unnatural. Some people play better stood stock still, some can't resist moving all round the stage.

    Even so, I think Galper's counter-intuitive injunction is worth taking seriously. Some movement may be good, but some - even if feels natural - can get in the way of the music.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
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  8. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Top British pianist, composer and educator Django Bates would agree with that. I found this video the other day:

    I love his opening audience exercise (which turns out not to be his), but the part relative to this thread is at 10:50.

    You'll also enjoy his anecdote at 4:55, about why he abandoned a degree course in composition at the RCM after just two weeks.
     
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  9. massacre

    massacre Silver Supporting Member

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    I find it much more comfortable to play standing with guitar on strap.
    Acoustics I can play sitting down but not comfortable for electrics. Then again I play small body electrics and a Flying V which are not really "sitting" guitars. Maybe a 335 or a big hollowbady would be better?
     
  10. BriSol

    BriSol Member

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    I find it much more comfortable to play sitting, and I think I objectively play better when sitting. My body is relaxed that way, and my reach on the neck is close. When it comes to playing a non-solo gig though, I stand and move around a bit - with my guitar strap on the high end. But the comfort level and playing is never as good as when I'm sitting. I could never understand how these guys who play standing with their guitar strap super low expect to be able to comfortably play anything. You're never going to reach nice chord voicings or play lines in the most efficient manner that way.
     
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  11. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Wait till you get old. Gig stool is my best friend.
     
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  12. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Brilliant!
     
  13. Paleolith54

    Paleolith54 Member

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    This is probably a big part of why many of us avoided band class and took up the guitar ;)
     
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  14. lostpoet2

    lostpoet2 Supporting Member

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    I'm going to replace the stool in my music room with a unicycle on a treadmill.
     
  15. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    Cmon people, for goodness sake......

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Do what feels right...
    That said when something becomes a crutch it works be good to fix the issue.
    I.E. having to tap for ble time to feel 16th syncopation means that you don't know where things to be marked in time.

    As for standing vs sitting...whatever puts the less strain on back and neck...since everything in the body is interconnected and affect performance.
     
  17. Bussman

    Bussman Member

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    For me it isn't
     
  18. SuperSilverHaze

    SuperSilverHaze Member

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    Brilliant.
     
  19. Pick'n'strum

    Pick'n'strum Member

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    I always wonder how people can play like that also - I try to have my strap set to where it feels like the guitar would be when I'm sitting. I feel most comfortable and accurate while playing like that. I suppose if you are always playing with your strap loose, you get used to it and are able to coordinate for more accuracy...
     
  20. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    Most people have very disjointed body movement. Studying with a world champion level dance coach can teach about full body integration and help to avoid things like breaking your body line, dead zones, bad posture, and asynchronous movement. Most people I've seen playing guitar don't really have their movement coming from an improvisational musical space but rather a mechanical sort of oscillation that would ultimately inhibit rhythmic improvisation.

    The best advice anyone can get regarding movement is to practice in front of a mirror and allow your eye to guide you. However, kinesthetic gifting isn't always associated with musical gifting.
     
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