Meditation and Guitar

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
heyjc011
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Meditation and Guitar

Post by heyjc011 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:00 pm

I have taken up meditation and have been practicing it faithfully for about 4 years now. According to my Insight Time (which I highly recommend if you're interested in finding it in the app store), my average daily meditation time is 1 hour 25 minutes. One of the wonderful by-products of practicing mindfulness is improving one's single-minded focus; AKA concentration. Through the steady practice of meditation, I have found that my guitar playing has improved significantly. It's a little difficult to explain, but having better clarity and focus while I'm playing (as well as not playing) not only makes me a better classical guitar player, but I find I enjoy it immensely (not that I didn't before beginning meditation).
So I just wanted to share this observation for those who might want to consider yet another benefit of becoming mindful.
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SteveL123
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Re: Mediation and Guitar

Post by SteveL123 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:30 pm

Are you a lawyer? I think you meant meditation?

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oski79
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by oski79 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:55 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:30 pm
Are you a lawyer? I think you meant meditation?
Assuming you're right, I went ahead and corrected the post.
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Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:24 pm

I can agree. My classroom instructor meditates and advocates meditation for learning classical guitar. I have meditated for many decades and I can say with assurance that the clarity and calmness of thought it brings are not possible by other methods. And it doesn't have to be anything strange like growing a beard then sitting on the floor in robes. I meditate on the BART train, while on my cycling trainer, Saturday mornings before coffee ...

Theta waves are produced by the brain when you are alert. Scientists have measured really large Theta waves in people who have practiced meditation for a long time. I don't know of any studies of Theta waves in classical guitarists who also meditate, but it would be fun to measure! :D
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oski79
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by oski79 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:26 pm

I learned many years ago that any time I can sit quietly and concentrate on breathing, even if for just a few minutes, it just plain makes me feel better.
“People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” --Florence Foster Jenkins

bauersachs82
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by bauersachs82 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:27 pm

I have been practicing meditation for a few years now too. It is definitely helpful for anytime focus is needed. I also have really enjoyed doing sensory deprivation tanks. That is like meditation on steroids.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:51 pm

There's wonderful book called "Zen guitar" by Philip Toshio Sudo that talks about meditation to some extend, meaningful practicing, understanding music (not through the usual academic and theoretical approach but rather "spiritual") and more. He had a different view to music. I think it's a must read for all musicians especially guitarists.
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Christopher Langley
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by Christopher Langley » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:25 pm

meditation has improved all aspects of my life.

i never meditate at a certain time or for any certain length.

Often it is a good tool for calming and re-centering myself if I have lost my cool.
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twang
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by twang » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:45 pm

I been exploring what you might call "meditation" for a couple of years now. Last year I added yoga which I find helps put me in the right frame-of-mind for playing guitar. My guitar practice usually begins with 30-40 minutes of yoga. Increasingly, my guitar practice feels like my yoga practice-- bringing full attention and awareness to the activity. Playing guitar is now a full-body experience. For example, I find that tension in my foot, or a facial twitch is a warning sign. I've realized that if I can't play a passage without such unwanted/unnecessary tension then I haven't mastered the passage yet. As I play I'm increasingly aware of bad posture and form creeping in. I've come to know the mental state I need to be in while I'm playing/performing; my practice involves getting and staying there.

Some people don't "get" meditation; they don't see the point. I didn't for years. I couldn't (and still can't) stand to sit and watch my breathing. That's not what meditation is about even though that always seems to be they start when they teaching it. I came to understand it when I set about purposely and purposefully watching my mind at work. As you come to understand the mind's workings you start seeing how it works against you and how to make it work for you.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by edcat7 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:53 pm

I consider learning CG and meditation very similar as before I started music tuition I meditated regularly for a year. Have you noticed children who study music at an advanced level have a certain calmness and maturity way beyond their years?
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PeteJ
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by PeteJ » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:24 am

Another benefit would be being able to drop the ego out of the equation. This is a great benefit when performing. Avoiding end-gaining may also be a useful by-product. Of course, the effects on our playing are trivial set against the greater benefits of meditation. The 'mindfulness' method mentioned here seems to be limited approach focused on 'self-help' but we needn't stop there. Eventually the guitar may disappear and the player with it...

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:51 am

You have to ask, if you require meditation to enhance practice, did your practice need to be better from the outset?
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twang
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by twang » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:44 pm

Without question my practice needed to be better from the outset; and it still does. :-)

One key difference is that at the outset I knew it could be better but didn't know in what ways.

To PeteJ's point, dropping the ego is a big part of it. Having concrete techniques to accomplish that makes a huge difference.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:09 pm

My first piano teacher was a major in the tank corps. She wouldn't have stood for this Zen nonsense. She taught me to listen to what I was doing.

And she'd have stuffed a metronome up your jacksy blunt end first.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

PeteJ
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Re: Meditation and Guitar

Post by PeteJ » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:56 am

Well, pianists, you know...

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