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The balance of the musician

What does the balance of the musician mean? A healthy musician?

It is interesting to analyze the person-instrument relationship in its four aspects:

  • the physical
  • The intellectual
  • The emotional
  • The spiritual

To get a good relationship, we need to analyze them and develop them one by one as completely and correctly as possible.

If we give more importance to one of the four aspects mentioned above, our experience will not be balanced.

For example those who pay attention only to the physical aspect, to develop technical skills, may find that they know very well the theory about what music is; But may be unable to express it through an instrument.

By the same token, those who work only the physical aspect (ie, technical, etc.), could achieve a very good speed and technique of execution, which generally impresses the public, but without the emotional and spiritual elements, would be As a kind of “sports music”.

Musical instruments are often catalysts for personal growth, but unless we use them in a correct and efficient way, we run the risk of developing poor techniques that can lead to injuries (sore hands, blisters, tendon problems, Or worse). All this limits our expression, and can bring us problems in our health.

This does not mean that to enjoy our music it is necessary to acquire a high level of musical mastery.

On the contrary some musicians only fall into the error of worrying about the development of technique or emotion. A professional musician, when he transmits his music, may be concerned with how sound waves strike the body; But you also have to be interested in all other aspects, how we feel, both physically and emotionally.

The musician must develop as many aspects of his mastery as possible, must have musical interest and go beyond his perceived limitations.

For all this we will talk about the four aspects that allow us to achieve a melodiously complete musicians.

Physical appearance

Is the technique the key? Studying with the best teachers is important; These can put the student in a good musical path.
Good teachers show their students the most efficient way to make music, giving immediate correction (when necessary), to prevent bad habits from being created.

In a first job, it is important that the students develop a good technique; Working a good technique from the beginning, helps us not to have problems in the future, both physical and musical.

There are different ways of analyzing someone’s technique; One should be established as a mirror at the time of practice, this provides immediate correction as to the hand, arm and position of the body in general, and will allow the musician (student) to make the necessary modifications.

Another option is to videotape a practice session and review it later, preferably with a teacher who can advise you on improvement needs and offer technical advice on how to correct problems.

Listen to your body !! If not, we can do things that damage it, we could cause continuous problems and dangerous for our body !!

Relax your shoulders, jaw, wrists, etc … before the instrument!

Perhaps if the body reacts by sending some pain, we will understand that we must change our position, for example, we touch the timbales with too much tension in our hands; To change this, do we need a blister in our hand? Pain is the way the body has to alert you; The wound is an ultimatum; We can not argue with our body, it knows what we can and can not do.

We have to pay attention to our body when we play; Also remember that we are not all equal; Working in the same way is not always the best thing for all people, because we are all different; We have to look for the best working format for us and not generalize.

The essential thing is that our movements are natural, and with the least possible deviation from the correct position.

When we do not hear the warning signs, we get a special gift from our body: this is our jury.

Some of the remedies that we can use are:

  1. Rest: This looks like the joke in which the patient says , “Doctor, it hurts when I do this”; And the Doctor replies “stop it”; There is much wisdom in this simple answer; The “rest” is a good remedy.
  2. Ice: Ice helps get oxygen and nutrients to the damaged tissue, controlling the flow of blood in a specified area. This also reduces swelling; After a day or two, cold ice and heat do well alternating at 15-minute intervals.
  3. Homeopathic remedies: If we want to be topical at this point, a good remedy is an application of arnica. This gentle herb comes in lotion and gel, and can help us reduce pain and restore functionality in sore areas.
  4. Massage: In our body tensions occur when it focuses on an area, we have problems, pain, then if not we prevent a disease. Massages can help us to eliminate these tensions. Visit you nearest chiroprator.
  5. Protection: Sometimes you need ear plugs; Loss of auditory sense is the main concern for many musicians, such as percussionists, especially drummers.

The best thing to stay healthy, of course is not to hurt yourself first, even if there are ways and ways to reduce the pain. But one must learn to sit, to stand, and to move in the most efficient way to reduce muscle tension and increase the body’s natural energy.

Perhaps the Alexander technique (method developed by HF Alexander) for back, neck, etc … that works the correct position as a way to minimize tension can be useful.

Intellectual Aspect

It is important to have basic knowledge about our instrument, this helps us to enjoy our music more. Although our body is responsible for producing sound, and help us to get the best possible; We should work on the history, different and variations of our instruments. We should know how they are made, who makes them, how to make minor repairs, etc …

Another important aspect is to know the musical possibilities of our instrument; We must work the different written treatises on our instrument in order to understand it and advance our technique.

All this comes to say that we should listen to a lot of music, read, go to concerts, work with a teacher (if possible with an open mind), etc.

Reading a musical repertoire is another way of expanding knowledge about the instrument; In the intentions of a beginner must be, to continuously analyze the way we play, corrections, etc … so we can move forward and master an instrument.

Emotional Aspect

Without emotional content, music has little meaning; For an effective musician to develop a musical vocabulary that offers more than just notes and rhythms, “we must be able to evoke the change of the emotional state of the listener.”

In order to express oneself through music, one must not only touch those feelings in oneself, but also know how to communicate them, transmit them with an instrument.

Limitations are useful to learn and understand what other artists did to express themselves, but it is not enough to just stay there. We must use all our musical knowledge to find our own voice, experimenting with different sounds and discovering how they affect us.

We began to become musicians using elements of our experiences, using our imagination and creating things that did not exist before.

Writing music is a very good way to examine our emotional relationship with our world.

Spiritual Aspect

People have used music to complement spiritual practices for centuries.

All kinds of instruments can be associated with “spiritual” music, voice, drums, harp, etc. ….

Percussion instruments in particular have been used to accompany sacred practices, some examples are frame drums used by ancient Egyptian priestesses, Bata drums used by Afro-Cuban Santeros, tambourine used in gospel music through the USA. UU. All these percussions are related to the evocation of feelings and connection with a higher power and vice versa.

We can make great progress on a spiritual level when the physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of music are at a good level.

When all aspects of our practice are at a good level and balanced, we will find that we will also grow on the spiritual level.

In summary

The physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual goals that we pose can affect our health in many ways and each one of these areas can affect others.

Creating a solid building from scratch will help us ensure a good musical product.

We should be careful from the outset in these four areas mentioned, for a good development of each one equally, and not only in the physical (technical, etc …) aspects, which are the a priori, seem more important to musician.

Often the musician modifies his technique, position, when it is too late. We have to listen to the body when it suggests to us that we modify certain habits that are damaging us, and to learn as much as we can of the body, mind and spirit.