Allow Music to Move You Physically – Part 1

Burning Note

Warning: Passion May Cause Excessive Heat

In a recent practice session, I decided to experiment with moving around more while playing. I got into physically connecting with the music and softening into purposeful relaxation. Being loose and moving spontaneously throughout my day is something I feel I need to work on, in general.

Moving freely helped me to get right inside the sound. To really feel it.

That session produced sounds and musical ideas that I have not heard myself play before.

It was very raw. Very real. Dirty. Painful. Every piece of hurt was squelched out of the strings.

I was sweating within a few short minutes. I usually don’t sweat much, even when I exercise. And it wasn’t because I was exerting myself physically. Something else was happening to cause the heat.

I didn’t record the session though.

And the next day when I tried to remember what I had played, and tried to reproduce the same state I had gotten into the night before, I wasn’t able to even come close to tapping into the same feeling, or playing style.

I lost it. It was gone. It’s the feeling and music I was more interested in than being able to record it. But still…Always have the “record” button on standby and ready to go when you’re jamming out ideas. You never know when a musical idea will happen that you will want to keep.

How can we encourage moving naturally when playing music?

Life is movement. We are designed to move. Holding ourselves too tight is not good for our playing, our bodies, or our creativity. Stiffness is lifelessness. Tension is usually created in the mind, in the ego. Created in the fantasies of who isn’t meeting our emotional needs, created in our waking dream-world.

Becoming more present and aware can help bring us back into our body, and into true relaxation.

Over the next 3 upcoming articles, we will explore how to reduce tension and encourage natural movement to help us explode creativity in our music and help us in our daily lives:

Allow Music to Move You Physically-Part 2: Silence the inner critic

Allow Music to Move You Physically-Part 3: Practicing intentional relaxation

Allow Music to Move You Physically-Part 4: Make time for exercise

Song: The Invasion

Click here to play the song if you are reading this post in email or RSS and can’t see the audio player above.

This improvised track uses volume swell throughout. I picked the notes while manipulating the volume knob on my guitar at the same time. Not so easy to do. And they say that guys can’t multitask.

This technique makes the guitar sound sometimes like a violin, and sometimes like a boat horn or a foghorn. Or like an alien spaceship.

The usual culprits (distortion, delay and reverb) were also applied in most parts of the track.

Nacho del Sol

I'm Nigel. A wandering minstrel at heart. Playing for other wandering souls. Love full sun. Been known to indulge in sonic experiments. If I ever fake my own death, I will flee to Costa Rica and re-name myself Nacho del Sol. I will travel only by donkey and befriend all the locals.

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