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I'm following this project of your with interest. I say this
seriously, I think it will prove to be a valuable contribution here.
I hope so. I could use the money.
Seriously, this is a no-lose situation for me. Even if I don't achieve
my goal, it'll certainly improve my right hand technique. But I hope I
succeed. When you consider how many people play classical guitar, a
surprisingly low portion of them can really do i and m alternation
well. So the guitar is stuck in a Catch-22 situation: those who can do
it, can't describe how to get it--those who could describe it, can't
do it. This is an oversimplification, of course. But we need people
who can do it, and are good at explaining how they got it. I'm good at
explaining things. Now I just need to be able to do it.
The obvious objection is that some just don't have what it takes. I'll
accept that if one is talking about the willingness to work for it.
Some people aren't willing to do the work, so they don't have what it
takes. Okay, granted. But if one says that some people will never get
it no matter how hard they work, then I don't buy it. At least not
yet. We assume too much when it comes to who has it and who hasn't.
The vast majority of us barely scratch our potential. To excel takes
time and commitment that few are willing to give. Certainly I've never
done it. So how do I really know that I don't have what it takes?
If there's a real ceiling up there that blocks me from further
progress, then I don't mind hitting it. But I do mind sitting on the
floor and not trying because I imagine there's a ceiling in my way.
South Euclid, OH
it is also my opinion that there is nothing physical stopping you (or
students) from reaching your goals. I believe there are mental
barriers which we must overcome, some of which can be quite high, and
even worse, invisible. This fellow, Miguel Rodriguez, gave me a clue
at a gig we did last June.
Check out 0:36 or so. He told me, "I'm good because of the kind of
person I am." I interpreted this as meaning that the difference
between good and not-good players was in their fundamental approaches
to the materials. When you said that you tend to hit the soda machine
too hard, that, to me, is kind of what he was talking about. Maybe
why we hit the soda machine too hard is what we should be trying to
examine! It has often been bandied about that the good rest-stroke
players are evident from about the very start. That's an aggressively
depressing thought to any non-good rest-stroke player. But it might
also indicate that it is an element in the fundamental approach,
rather than raw volume of work, that is the difference.