I have been thinking about feeling awkward on stage. Do you ever feel this way? I notice it most often in two ways. The first ,is when my sound or technique feels out of control. The second, is when I find myself moving in awkward ways, twisting or lurching in unnatural patterns. Sometimes I don’t even realize this, but I see it in a picture or video. What to do???
I want to help you Move Beyond Awkward to Awesome on stage!
I find that how we relate to the ground and chair has a lot to do with the awkward movement that emerges in playing. These two surfaces are foundations to all our playing movement. How we relate to them directly impacts technique, expression and general comfort.
Two things that can help you move beyond awkward as you play…
release into the ground or chair
moving from the ground or chair
In this article we are going to explore how to release into ground/chair.
Releasing into the ground…
Find the bony connections between the bones of both feet and the ground through your shoe. (Or if you are lucky, you can play barefoot.) (BTW This works if you are sitting too!)
The foot is comprised of 26 bones which create arches that run from front to back and left to right. Look for your tripod: ball behind the big toe, ball behind the fourth toe and middle of heel. It can be helpful to touch these points on the bottom of your feet in order to develop a better sense of their locations.
Release the sole of your foot into the ground, equalize the tripod. What is it like to play as you feel these connections?
Release into the chair…
If you are sitting, find the connection between your sitting bones and the chair.
The sitting bones are the rounded portion of the bottom of your pelvis. Notice in the picture how they are not only rounded, they are angled from front to back. The lowest point of most people’s sitting bones are located in the middle of the body from front to back. Find the connection between your sitting bones and the chair.
One way to your awareness of the sitting bones is to shift your weight into one side then move to the opposite side. You can also shift the weight back, tucking the tailbone and then forward, untucking the tailbone. This helps you map your sitting bones. You can also sit on the palms of your hands, when you feel the most weight in your palm., this is the balance place of your sitting bones. Think of it as a place to move from and return to over and over as you play.
Practice feeling the connection to the chair and floor. What is it like to make sound as you notice the connection? Are there any changes in your playing? sound, technique, effort?
Next up, moving from the ground and chair to get beyond awkward!