BGS Meeting 2nd Feb 2019

A good turnout this evening despite the biting cold and lower temperatures forecast. Nevertheless, we were toasty warm in the hall! Tom led us in exploring the Pavanne de la Guerre and Gaillarde de la  Guerre, two of Eight Dances by Claude Gervaise.

Trevor provided nice refreshments in the interval which was slightly earlier than usual because we had a visiting speaker.

Joe Detnon is both a guitar player and a qualified and experienced Alexander Technique teacher. He explained how a hand problem led him to discover the value of learning the technique and as a result went on to train as a teacher. In a short talk he could not truly describe or explain the technique which needs to be taught over a series of one to one lessons until the pupil has learnt to make it part of their life.

Joe told us that all parts of our body are linked. For guitar playing, our sitting position needs to be balanced with each foot in good contact with the floor, and sitting on our ‘sitting bones’. As our head weighs up to 5 kg, putting it even slightly to one side puts great strain on many muscles. To illustrate the weight, Joe passed round a large water container. It was heavy!

He then instructed us to ‘look to the left, gently turn our head to the left, place our hand on the guitar, turn our head back to the centre, then play’. A simple movement designed to eliminate stress as far as possible.

The only other ‘aid’ to his demonstration was a piece of string. One person was to hold the string tight as if it were a guitar string. A second person was to place their hands on the string and experience where tensions were in their body.

Joe’s talk gave us all plenty to think about. Thank you Joe.

Tom’s solo was “Double” by J S Bach, from the Violin Partita in B minor.

The evening finished with some more ensemble playing.

Please visit the Current Ensemble Repertoire page to see the pieces we are currently working on.

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