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Video 12: Practicing Ready Aim Fire

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The zen of archery applied to the art of plucking a guitar string.

This exercise should be done as you warm up, or any time you notice your fingers are feeling unsure of themselves, getting out of focus—–and have time to focus in on them for a few moments before you do more playing.

The point of exercises like this is to to refine movements by observing and feeling, and to relax into them until they become more easy. It’s to get more and more consciously aware of what you’re doing and how it feels to do it. Breathe a bit more deeply and gently, feel the sensations in your hands, fingers, and the tips of your fingers. Pay attention to the sensations of the fingers contacting the strings, pay attention to the sounds they create together and to how those sounds make you feel. Scan the sensations in your arms and in your entire body as your body and arms support your hands. Pay attention to everything that you’re doing and feel for what feels good, notice what feels awkward. Relax into everything that feels awkward right now—–with the intention that it will become easy as you get more and more comfortable with the movement, with the position, with the poise, as you let go of tension that is not needed.

The purpose of exercises like this is not helped at all by repeating endlessly and unconsciously. If that’s your idea of practicing then this exercise and others like it will seem silly.