Monday, August 24, 2009

Music is 90% Mental & 10% Physical

Or another way of saying the title is that there are two types of technique - mental & physical. The physical side of practicing could basically be compared to weight-lifting - you need a certain minimum physical strength & dexterity in order to to play the instrument - things like finger independence, finger speed, being able to produce a loud sound, proper posture. Those things are incredibly important. The rest is mental. One must first have a concept of what they want something to sound like (whether you do that through visual, textural, aural adjectives/metaphors, doesn't matter - you just have to have some goal) & then the rest of practice becomes about 2 things: trying to create that sound & trying to find the least demanding (most-tension free) way of consistently doing it.

That revelation/realization seems incredibly significant and fundamental to me at this point and addresses progression on any instrument. You can do all the technique in the world, but it has to have a purpose.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of musicians tend to discount other musicians who can play very fast ... I think this is pointless - it is simply one aspect of technique (and an important one)

On another note, a musician friend recently pointed out to me that English has very little adjectives to describe sound, and consequently, we use a lot of visual imagery - I thought that was an interesting point.

I'd write more, but I think that hits the heart of it, and I'm not feeling so well at the moment...


Nancy said...

Are you really only in your 20's? You have the wisdom of one much older! You are so on target with this post. You have to know what you want and the easiest (ok, least demanding) way of doing it. ALSO loved the fact that we can't describe what we want. We speak about coloring the music. It just doesn't define it for me. Thanks for your writing. It is really appreciated. (Also loved your Elgar!)

Mike Lunapiena said...

Nancy, I turn 22 in November & thank you so much! I've been very philosophical from a young age & try very hard to read a lot & constantly learn from those around me.

The idea about not having enough words in English to describe sound is actually something I got from Jenny Pine - a flutist friend.

Re: The Elgar - Thanks! Were you at my Senior Recital, or did you catch it from YouTube?

Nancy said...

Hi Mike. I saw you on YouTube and was so impressed (I DO love the Elgar!) I sent it on to my teacher who was VERY complimentary as well! Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I find it so encouraging to know others share these ideas.

Randy Fromme said...


keep on celling! Playing does require much, but the rewards are great-

Mike Lunapiena said...

Randy thanks!

A lot has been going on in my world (musically and otherwise) since I wrote this post up ... I'm going to post about it soon I think. - whenever the time feels write...

I will always keep on with the cello. I don't think I could stop if I tried ...

How did you come across my blog?

Also, are your videos on youtube by any chance? I like the way their page works better than myspace & have been meaning to check your vids out (I just need a day where I have time to get to the library so I can use a more reliable internet connection!)

Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


[url=]cheap cigarettes buy can [/url]
pink cigarettes buy remove cigarette order from a home buy ukrainian cigarettes
[url=]dad buys my cigarettes [/url]
apo buy cigarette money order 20 buy cigarettes with check account buy cigarettes for cheap
[url=]buy discount cigarette [/url]
is buying cigarettes online legal buying cigarettes on ebay buy cigarettes online from discount store
[url=]discount mail order cigarettes [/url]
buy cheap cigarettes in ireland buy plastic cigarette holder carton cigarette marlboro order
[url=]where to buy crown 7 cigarettes [/url]
buy tobacco on internet cigarettes buy electronic cigarettes apo buy cigarette money order 20
[url=]buy wholesale dse901 e cigarettes [/url]
buy discount cigarettes in money order cigarette purchases order clove cigarettes online
[url=]basic cigarette order [/url]
buy coca cigarettes buy cheap cigarettes usa buy sport cigarettes
[url=]where can i buy nicortte cigarettes [/url]
buy cigarettes credit card buy cheap wave cigarettes buying tax free native cigarettes on line
[url=]buy barclay cigarettes europe [/url]
buying cigarettes online from indian reservation place to buy cigarettes 11 buy cigarette marlboro
[url=]buy wholesale cigarettes money order [/url]
buy usa gold cigarettes online smokeless cigarettes where to buy buy fantasia cigarettes