This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Viola da Gamba (Viol) Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is a very practical guide to viola da gamba playing. It is written to help viola da gamba player’s fine tune his or her posture and technique, without contradicting what the viola da gamba player already does technically.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
It is my goal to make playing and performing pain free. The goal is to find the most effortless way to apply this to the viola da gambist’s technique, so that the player doesn’t pay a physical price when practicing or performing for long periods.
An example: I describe in the article how to sit fully upright without straining the back by over-arching or slumping as you play. You can truly sit fully upright and not immobilize the torso. This really gives a powerful flexible base for the arms to move freely from. Many of the viola da gamba player’s physical problems are caused by not supporting the arms with the torso in a way that frees the arms up to move easily around the instrument without pain and strain.
In this article I also look at each arm individually, and I help you discover how to move each arm with ease – without tension and compression in the joints. I describe how to hold the bow without exhausting the right hand. I describe how to press the strings without straining the left shoulder. I explain how the shoulder blades need to be free on the back, if you don’t want to strain the arms as you play the instrument.
I also talk about playing with free neck, and how to play faster and/or louder without tensing the neck and the body. There is truly no need to lock a single muscle anywhere in the body as you play the viola da gamba. Think about it, when you play the viola da gamba you are in continuous movement when you perform! If you try to hold a static position, you will cause your neck, back, and shoulders to hurt.
By using this article to find a way to make your technique continuously flow on a torso that is upright and available for playing in any position, then the pain and injuries will begin to disappear. You’ll finally realize that you don’t have a pay a physical price to be a wonderful viola da gamba player.
I write from a background as a concert guitarist and as an Alexander Technique teacher of 20 years. When I went to an Alexander Technique teacher with carpal tunnel syndrome on the guitar, I wanted to get out of physical trouble as soon as I could. And I did! It is this experience as a hurting guitarist that I never forgot. After I finished my Alexander Technique training, it is this remembered pain and fear of having to stop playing and performing that I bring to my writing and teaching. It makes it possible for me to write clearly about the main physical problems that the viola da gamba player creates in his or her body.
This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Viola da Gamba (Viol) Technique, is very concise and detailed about how to approach the viola da gamba in a way that makes playing kind to the body. I do not hold back any information that you could only get from an Alexander Technique teacher.
This article stands alone as a guide to healing your pain and strain and injuries, and it also enhances any work you do with an Alexander Technique teacher.