guit-box wrote: ↑
Sun May 27, 2018 10:53 pm
If we take the issue of sight reading out of the equation, then yes, you absolutely need to look at your hands to get the kind of feedback that is required to find errors and fix them. I'll never understand my students who insist on looking straight ahead while practicing, there's nothing straight ahead to look at, all the business is going on in the right or left hands. A mirror is good and also a small hand mirror is helpful, also setting up a laptop camera at various positions. To become a good classical guitarist, one needs to become an independent problem solver. Looking at the hand or finger and observing why the note is buzzing or muted or not getting to the string fast enough, etc., is critical aspect to correcting the issue. There may be some aspect to shutting your eyes and getting into a quiet zone where you can effectively make your practice environment feel like your performance environment, and then not looking could have some advantages, but most of the time you need to look, observe, listen, and problem solve.
I disagree. You can also solve it not looking at the hand, through feeling the inner tenions to reach the best position for less effort. The eyes cannot tell wether some position is really easier, they just search for predefined finger conformation based on what? A great player video, maybe. In my experience, aiming some predefined "good" positioning also tends to influence hand stiffening to "fix" some posture.
So I like to emphasize non-looking practice. Let the kinaesthetic perception serach for less effort, good positioning is a consequence and you won't just try to imitate other players or static pictures of hand position.
Certainly simply looking at nothing and letting the body in "auto mode" is not a good practice. We should feel what we are doing and I recommend closed eyes to avoid visual chattering.
I wouldn't dismiss visual correction at all. It might still catch some unnoticed tension or mistake, so the next time you pay more attention in the internal feeling for that passage. But the same way the eyes can catch one unnoticed mistake (unnoticed by "inner feelings"), the "inner feelings" can notice a lot of things that are uncatched by the eyes. So the big problem is that vision should be just another tool, and not the main one. Today people are too visual and they forget their breathing, their sound and even the music. That is the reason I would encourage forgeting the eyes a little bit, so one can build up all the other tools.
Nick Cutroneo wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:44 pm
I think the whole looking at the left hand thing depends on what level you're at. And also depends on what you're working on. For beginning students I rarely have them 'look' at their left hand while playing pieces, because they haven't built up the coordination to look away from the music and come back to the spot where they looked away. Mainly because they are still learning notes, so you want the concepts to be very cut and dry (do this, don't do that).
However, as you become more advanced, and as your practicing starts becoming better, looking and watching left hand movements is a must. Its the only want to confirm right movements vs. wrong movements. And doing it as quickly as possible (like when you starting to learn a new piece) will help you learn it faster, and help save time for more important things, like the music itself.
I also think the opposite for beginner vs pro. The very beginner, when still practicing to play a simple open string, require a lot of visualization to check hand is in place and to even avoid missing the string. A good practice to enhance feeling and avoid relying solely on visualization, is the so called prepared stroke. Some also recommend thumb laying over some unnused string when not used. Isn't it an important clue that feeling outperforms the eyes? I think that for the advanced pro, hand positioning is just the tip of the iceberg. The advanced pro develop a keen perception for the small tiny details that are hardly noticeable to the eyes. Also as I've said before, the eyes don't have the tension feedback, they don't know what is easier, they just can notice weird stuff (which a pro shouldn't do by default, or this is not still a pro).
I've seen your video #7 on Saudade practice. You are explaining the elbow movement. Who tell the eyes that not moving elbow is easier? You say not moving elbow too much is better, because there would be less tension on the back etc. Does the eyes tell this? Or is it another thing? Would a bit more wrist relaxation and mobility make things even easier? Can the eyes tell it?
Is it better to ask someone to follow some rules or to teach them how to build up the rules?