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This message was contributed by Richard Sandland on 10/4/02.
It was in reply to this message: Help!
posted by Paula Russell on 6/4/02.

1 Breathing is the basis of everything, its so easy to do and its so difficult to GET people to do. Enough breath gives sound quality and control, and all you have to do is control and think about - do to order - the activity that you've done the most of throughout your life. Its so simple, yet its so often ignored! John Jenkins (Philharmonia) used to talk about little else in my lessons. Dead boring after a bit, but I got into the habit of breathing properley just to shut him up.....

2 I've never been a fan of exercises really. I think specific exercises tend to magnify a slight fault into a problem. Just breathe deeply enough until just before it ceases to be comfortable. Then get rid of it and get some more. Why should this need exercises if you give a tenth of a second's thought before you play? Its dead simple, breathing...have I said this yet? Mountain, molehill, you know?

3 Everyone gets nervous. If you can't handle it, go be a dustman. Why nervous? Its only a job. Do Bus drivers get nervous? I don't think why should we? Its just a job.. Nerves are a result of fear of failure. Ian Botham (cricketer) used to say "don't waste energy xxxxing about thinking of failure - get out there and WIN IT!" Quite right too. Fear contracts expression. Fear leads to safety in playing, and safety means you might as well not be out there in the first place.

4 Losers do drugs. Drugs treat symptoms, not causes and so are at best a bit of elastoplast.

Greene King IPA is different, as is Timmy Taylor's Landlord Ale.

5 Nope.But I would imagine that if you have an injury that stops you playing naturally - in terms of posture and technique - then forget it until you're well enough to play naturally. Technique doesn't like being forced.

6 No. Helps some folks but I've never needed it. And as such, I can't see the point, of course, because other folks's problems don't exist, do they? Ask me when I'm 64....

7 NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Long notes after a bit of time off, but then I tend to get into a rehearsal and blow the arse off it until it sounds better. I hate practise to get back to square 1. I guess try not to get back there in the first place.

8 Not really - I used to swim a lot, but I don't think it did much for my playing. Sleep, I think, is the best preparation, for all aspects of playing. Try and get on there reasonably fresh and you're in with a chance. Just try to be practical and don't think about mechanics too much in general.


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