This morning I woke up with a very stiff neck, so I spent a lot of time working on Alexander Technique, and read through a bit more of the book my AT teacher recommended. Even simply reading the words in the book helped remind my body of a more efficient way to sit and I felt my neck releasing tension as I sat there.
Core exercise, and PT for knees and muscles under and around back of shoulder blades.
Warmup – improvised on theme from Love Story (don’t ask why…). I also spent some time playing target practice at the extreme ends of the marimba, with thoughtful attention to the center and length of my spine (all the way up through my neck). I did not feel the pain or tension return!
Problem spots- mm. 80-86 at 90bpm; mm. 97-99 at 100bpm; mm. 130-134 at 100bpm; mm. 138-142 at 100bpm; mm. 158-165 at 95bpm; mm. 168-170 at 95bpm. Feels pretty good, wrists moving very smoothly, tension feels minimal, am able to play notes and maintain focus on relaxed movement (not notes)… reading patterns and moving around to notes almost feeling involuntary. I think this will be more difficult when taking larger sections (especially running the whole piece), rather than just working on spots. So here goes…
run all at 150bpm (hands separate) – left hand forgets to use wrist for up/down axis sometimes, and gets tense; right hand does this too, but not as much… the issue is when moving through fast patterns that require a lot of quick arm motion back and forth between the black and white keys. However, during the patterns that are more linear, or have multiple notes in a row on either black or white keys, I can reset myself to the more minimal arm motion…. I don’t think this is going to make sense to anyone but me… I know what I mean, so I am going to stop here. 😉
100bpm (hands together) – a lot of wrong notes; issues above actually not as bad with hands together (and much slower tempo). I think maybe the opposition of the two hands together actually equalizes the arm motion (again, I am sure this makes zero sense to anyone not in my head).