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The Final Resting Place of Tension (Read 1856 times)

Offline mrcreosote

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The Final Resting Place of Tension
« on: April 29, 2018, 05:28:04 PM »
I have had two accomplished performers tell me that the only place tension should exist is at the "First Chakra" - I use that term to identify the location.  I also think that it is no coincidence that this area coincides with the First Chakra or Root Chakra.  NOTE: I am not into meditation, Chakras, Eastern religion etc. but acknowledge the merit of their teachings.

I cannot comprehend how tension could exist there and what its purpose would be.  The only thing I can add, is that as I have been "working" on tension alleviated by arm weight (neck/shoulders), it is now progressing down my back when it occurs - the lowest it as gotten is mid-back. 

I believe it can move lower (mid-back tension is most likely related to posture), but not below the Root Chakra - below that are the let thighs - and tension there, if it existed, should be eliminated.

Perhaps Tension at one's "Root" is the basic exertion required to counteract gravity.  Because without a continuous tension to counteract continuous gravity, we would collapse.  (And I'm betting the lowest potential energy state might very well be the fetal position.

Guru Tom (haha - I joke, but I honestly wish I had mind/body mastery a la Eastern disciplines.)

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 07:18:01 PM »
UPDATE:  May have gained some insight.

The one thing that cannot be balanced with the body is the positioning of the back such as leaning to the right to play high notes.  This lean will produce tension which is ultimate reacted on the bench or butt if you will.


Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #2 on: July 05, 2018, 03:44:57 PM »
You need to learn to write with more sense, this all sounds like a ramblings of a schizophrenic.
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Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #3 on: July 15, 2018, 02:22:16 PM »
You need to learn to write with more sense, this all sounds like a ramblings of a schizophrenic.
No, it does not.  Look, if two people get together who are trained in the same field, they will have a shared vocabulary so that with one or two words they can sketch out a concept that they have both learned.  That includes a student who has had several years of real study with a decent teacher, so that if he is asking or reaching for something, he has a way of expressing it.

Over a decade ago I was reduced to "ramblings" because I did not have vocabulary or taught concepts, and had to hunt - grope around - for things I sensed.  Since that time I know a lot more; where my instincts led me were correct; I could express it in conventional terms.  But not then.  I much appreciated the kind of teacher who could listen with the knowledge they possessed, get some clues, and say "You know, I think you're looking for such and such." and lead me closer to where I needed to go.  Such a teacher has to have deep knowledge, and be able to listen beyond the words.  What I would not appreciate is a put-down. That does not help anyone.

Another time that I've been left groping for words is when I actually sensed things that went beyond present convention.  This happened when trying to regain fitness as an older adult,  and the instructions of the personal trainer left me feeling something was missing.  He allowed me to ask "stupid questions", which he answered one by one, and was intrigued that I ended up with good form and unusual progress - he didn't dismiss my stupid weird questions.  Later I ran into the likes of Dr. Evan Osar, who is pioneering things in personal training and physiotherapy and such; he is trying to turn around some things - and what he is pushing are the things that I was hunting for but could not name or describe.  The few times I had tried, my words also sounded like "ramblings" while Dr. O has the vocab and whole picture to set it all out.

Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #4 on: July 15, 2018, 02:42:21 PM »
Responding to Mcreosote:

First off: I'm a student.  As a child I self-taught, returned 35 years later with a mess of a background, and have been sorting and untangling with a main teacher and occasionally other resources ever since.  I'm not expert.  But it has left me exploring quite a few things.  These are explorations:

* The chakras themselves: they involve energies, flow of energy from and to them, and I imagine there is also like a river along the them.  I think that in the principle of playing any instrument incl. piano, you don't want any "seat of tension" or blockage anywhere.  One principle I learned is "nothing should be locked up anywhere - everything must be free to move at least a little bit."  How I played originally violated that principle, and I'm still refining this.  This is one thing you are probably addressing.

* Forget about the root chakra or any chakra for the moment.  I think that the way many of us start is ramrod straight, feet planted, what moves are the the arms from the shoulders if even that with music staying in the center of the piano for 2 octaves and we're all "arms and hands".  As soon as the music moves far to the right or left of the piano, you have to stretch out awkwardly from that planted rod (your torso) unless you lean to the left, right, or forward.  That's the first time you get a chance to start sensing your body as having a role; but often we're still stuck with "arms on a pillar that must be 'held' upright."  You might indeed end up holding a lot of tension at the "root chakra" if you are desperately trying to stay upright.

In fact, standing or sitting are a balancing act.  If you stand motionless, there are constant adjustments, little sways (Mary Bond).  At the piano as we "sit", and lean to the left or right, there will be adjustments in the hips.  You may be on only one "sit bone" and rock to the other "sit bone" and your whole spine is a fluid but stable thing working with that.  Louis Podesta has referred to one now deceased teacher who addresses this.  It's a kind of continual motion of adjustment; if you "clamp down" you'll have this "seat of tension".

Quote
I believe it can move lower (mid-back tension is most likely related to posture), but not below the Root Chakra - below that are the let thighs - and tension there, if it existed, should be eliminated.
I think that in fact you have to look at the feet and legs too.  If you lean far to the right, you'll see pianists counterbalance with one leg.  The legs are not just "hanging down" - they  are part of this whole balancing act, and it seems to be a subtle thing.  We're also limited by the fact of the pedal. This was a weak area personally, and I ended up watching a lot of hips, legs, and feet to see what people were doing.

So those are the explorations of someone who is a student, fwiw.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 04:36:59 PM »
No, it does not.
Maybe not to you... that's no surprise though surely.

Look, if two people get together who are trained in the same field, they will have a shared vocabulary so that with one or two words they can sketch out a concept that they have both learned.  That includes a student who has had several years of real study with a decent teacher, so that if he is asking or reaching for something, he has a way of expressing it.
Im sorry talking about Chakras Root or first lol, are these such great descriptions and undertsandable to you, surely you are a guru who understands it!

Over a decade ago I was reduced to "ramblings" because I did not have vocabulary or taught concepts, and had to hunt - grope around - for things I sensed.  Since that time I know a lot more; where my instincts led me were correct; I could express it in conventional terms.  But not then.  I much appreciated the kind of teacher who could listen with the knowledge they possessed, get some clues, and say "You know, I think you're looking for such and such." and lead me closer to where I needed to go.  Such a teacher has to have deep knowledge, and be able to listen beyond the words.  What I would not appreciate is a put-down. That does not help anyone.

Another time that I've been left groping for words is when I actually sensed things that went beyond present convention.  This happened when trying to regain fitness as an older adult,  and the instructions of the personal trainer left me feeling something was missing.  He allowed me to ask "stupid questions", which he answered one by one, and was intrigued that I ended up with good form and unusual progress - he didn't dismiss my stupid weird questions.  Later I ran into the likes of Dr. Evan Osar, who is pioneering things in personal training and physiotherapy and such; he is trying to turn around some things - and what he is pushing are the things that I was hunting for but could not name or describe.  The few times I had tried, my words also sounded like "ramblings" while Dr. O has the vocab and whole picture to set it all out.
v
Wow you can say such much but really it's all irrelevant. Explain his chakras already. OH wait here you go you trying...

* The chakras themselves: they involve energies, flow of energy from and to them, and I imagine there is also like a river along the them. 
Wow a river now, im so intrigued lets see what this has to do about piano.

I think that in the principle of playing any instrument incl. piano, you don't want any "seat of tension" or blockage anywhere. 
What does this exactly mean? It is actually quite meaningless, what are you exactly talking about? Its like saying, oh..... to mountain climb there must be no points at which you cannot grab the ledge so you fall, so long you avoid that you will be ok. Well.... duh.

One principle I learned is "nothing should be locked up anywhere - everything must be free to move at least a little bit."  How I played originally violated that principle, and I'm still refining this.  This is one thing you are probably addressing.
This is again saying there should be no "blockage" but now you use "locked up" and "free to move" but what does this all really mean? It is rather shallow. 

* Forget about the root chakra or any chakra for the moment.  I think that the way many of us start is ramrod straight, feet planted, what moves are the the arms from the shoulders if even that with music staying in the center of the piano for 2 octaves and we're all "arms and hands".  As soon as the music moves far to the right or left of the piano, you have to stretch out awkwardly from that planted rod (your torso) unless you lean to the left, right, or forward.  That's the first time you get a chance to start sensing your body as having a role; but often we're still stuck with "arms on a pillar that must be 'held' upright."  You might indeed end up holding a lot of tension at the "root chakra" if you are desperately trying to stay upright.
If people are worried about tension they feel by moving up and down the piano in places that have little to do with playing (back, legs, ass cheeks etc) and not be worried about the tensions in the playing mechanisms within SPECIFIC FINGERING IN SPECIFIC PIECES, then you are just talking about very shallow ideas.

In fact, standing or sitting are a balancing act.  If you stand motionless.... the piano as we "sit", and lean to the left or right, there will be adjustments in the hips.  You may be on only one "sit bone" and rock to the other "sit bone" and your whole spine is a fluid but stable thing working with that... continual motion of adjustment; if you "clamp down" you'll have this "seat of tension".
Are you right into your pilates and yoga? Maybe gymnastics? Mountain climbing? lol

I think that in fact you have to look at the feet and legs too.  If you lean far to the right, you'll see pianists counterbalance with one leg.  The legs are not just "hanging down" - they  are part of this whole balancing act, and it seems to be a subtle thing.  We're also limited by the fact of the pedal. This was a weak area personally, and I ended up watching a lot of hips, legs, and feet to see what people were doing.
If you are worried about these things you are either totally inept at learning the piano or such a master at it that you need something to consider and improve upon that hasn't anything to do with your playing mechanism which is totally mastered. I can play the piano with mastery with no feet touching the ground, or sitting in the lotus position... horse stance? whatever....
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Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 06:01:03 PM »
Quote
... and not be worried about the tensions in the playing mechanisms within SPECIFIC FINGERING IN SPECIFIC PIECES, then you are just talking about very shallow ideas. ...
Yes,when students are lost, they'll hunt around in all kinds of weird places.  So what do you do as a teacher.  Call them stupid or crazy, and that is helping them?  Or maybe try to intimidate and ridicule?  All of which you are doing here.  And did do with the student who came in looking for help. 

Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 06:49:02 PM »
We need to hear from Mcreosote.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #8 on: July 17, 2018, 05:33:21 AM »
Yes,when students are lost, they'll hunt around in all kinds of weird places.  So what do you do as a teacher.  Call them stupid or crazy, and that is helping them?  Or maybe try to intimidate and ridicule?  All of which you are doing here.  And did do with the student who came in looking for help.  
Yes I will provoke them to be more specific in their questioning and also question whether what they are asking really is important in the greater scheme of their learning. You are doing more of a disservice encouraging discussion over severely shallow generalisations pretending it to be important as I highlighted in my previous post, you are encouraging one to waste their time where they have more important issues to deal with.
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Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #9 on: July 17, 2018, 03:57:02 PM »
Quote
If you are worried about these things you are either totally inept at learning the piano or such a master at it that you need something to consider and improve upon that hasn't anything to do with your playing mechanism which is totally mastered.
Of course I'm inept.  That's why I'm a student.   Here I defer to my teacher, and he is anything but inept at teaching.   These were issues identified in my own playing, and when addressed, my playing improved.  Now, I worded things as I did in order to connect to the OP.  However, the actual principles are taught by more than one person and can be found out there.  Leaning to the left and right for distant keys rather than awkwardly stretching your arms out, shifting in the hips, not clamping in some part of the body, a quasi continuous motion rather than stop-and-start.  Your own students are taught well from the very beginning --- I get that from all your posts --- and they're not likely to develop issues.  These kinds of things may just form naturally through what and how you teach.  But folks showing up here will not be as lucky.  They can be coming from weird places, and their questions can seem odd --- but there can be a pertinent point lurking underneath.  Intimidating someone through ridicule does not make them "think more sensibly" --- it just scares them into silence, and they remain stuck.  These are not your students being guided.  They may be receiving no guidance, or misguidance.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #10 on: July 19, 2018, 02:18:27 AM »
Of course I'm inept.  That's why I'm a student.......
"Call them stupid or crazy, and that is helping them?  Or maybe try to intimidate and ridicule?  All of which you are doing here."
You are a student yet you feel the need to impart your "student" ideologies on my comments? But of course when I explain you talk past it all.

Here I defer to my teacher, and he is anything but inept at teaching.   
Talk much about chakras do they? Wow.

These were issues identified in my own playing, and when addressed, my playing improved.
What issues were identified, you can be talking about anything at all. The OP is specifically talking about irrelevant issues which are far detached from much more important issues in playing the piano.

Now, I worded things as I did in order to connect to the OP. 
But you made things even more vague and generalized non-specific issues.

However, the actual principles are taught by more than one person and can be found out there. 
Apply the information you have shared to specific situations in music examples, lets see how useful it really is.

Leaning to the left and right for distant keys rather than awkwardly stretching your arms out, shifting in the hips, not clamping in some part of the body, a quasi continuous motion rather than stop-and-start.
How exactly is this done, what musical examples will cause such a problem, why would this cause a problem so much greater than issues relating to specific playing mechanisms within the fingering technique?

Your own students are taught well from the very beginning --- I get that from all your posts --- and they're not likely to develop issues.  These kinds of things may just form naturally through what and how you teach.  But folks showing up here will not be as lucky. 
There is no degree of luck in teaching or education to know that talking about Chakras and tension in issues other than playing mechanisms has little to do with actual piano playing. If a student tells me that their butt and back feels tense, sweaty, chaffed, uncomfortable, whatever, what the hell am I supposed to tell them as a pianist? Maybe I should custom build them a back support brace? I'm no doctor and I would be an idiot to think that it had something to do with piano playing itself. I've taught a disabled student who had terrible posture and slouched in a wheelchair yet they could play piano fine, their main issue wasn't with the tension other than relating to actual playing mechanisms.

They can be coming from weird places, and their questions can seem odd --- but there can be a pertinent point lurking underneath.  Intimidating someone through ridicule does not make them "think more sensibly" --- it just scares them into silence, and they remain stuck.  These are not your students being guided.  They may be receiving no guidance, or misguidance.
Again you persist with your puny fists shaking at me calling my comments "ridiculing, imtimidating, scare into silence etc etc".  Let me copy paste my response which you ignored so you can repeat your boring complains:

Yes I will provoke them to be more specific in their questioning and also question whether what they are asking really is important in the greater scheme of their learning. You are doing more of a disservice encouraging discussion over severely shallow generalisations pretending it to be important as I highlighted in my previous post, you are encouraging one to waste their time where they have more important issues to deal with.
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Offline mjames

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #11 on: July 19, 2018, 03:25:52 AM »
yeah thats right boy work on your chakras and achieve enlightenment



Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 01:48:23 PM »
..... this all sounds like a ramblings of a schizophrenic.
That.

Offline keypeg

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #13 on: July 19, 2018, 01:49:03 PM »
Either the OP Mcreosote will show up again, or he won't.  There is no point in writing anything further until then.

Offline mjames

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 04:58:17 PM »
line up those chakras


Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #15 on: July 20, 2018, 04:36:04 AM »
That.
Is all you do complain and cry? Good on you for spreading misinformation then, good luck talking about chakras and piano and great job trying to make it into a serious discussion.

Can you provide a thesis discussing the OPs intriguing point that: "Perhaps Tension at one's "Root" [Chakra] is the basic exertion required to counteract gravity."



line up those chakras



Wow your chakras are at least level 10,000!!
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Offline mjames

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #16 on: July 20, 2018, 05:59:21 PM »
WRONG SHOW, DRAGONBALL HAS KI NOT CHAKRA.

damn grandpas trying to stay hip with the kids
Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #17 on: July 21, 2018, 02:45:09 AM »
WRONG SHOW, DRAGONBALL HAS KI NOT CHAKRA.

damn grandpas trying to stay hip with the kids
The glowing stuff is like Aura, Chakras, Ki, all the same thing :P
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Offline mjames

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #18 on: July 21, 2018, 03:25:12 PM »
!!!!!!!!!!! no it's not

How a story's battle system is constructed heavily depends on how the "energy" of the world behaves. The chakra in Avatar the Last airbender doesn't have the same goal as the chakra in naruto, nor does it behave like Nen in HunterxHunter or Ki in dragon ball. :( :(  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #19 on: July 22, 2018, 12:54:55 AM »
Maybe in your made up world :P In my made up world it is all the same and in the real world it doesn't have anything to do with piano playing. And they are all the same thing in the sense they are considered energy, so stop crying already.
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Offline mjames

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #20 on: July 22, 2018, 10:48:18 PM »
Wow you sir have 0 respect for comic books and cartoons....



Banned.
Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The Final Resting Place of Tension
«Reply #21 on: July 23, 2018, 03:31:41 AM »
Wow you sir have 0 respect for comic books and cartoons....
Oh I'm sorry trying to be "hip" and a "grandpa" as you put it.
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