The following post is about me using the physical aspects of TaiChi in music.
From the very first step I did in this martial arts form on, I realised how important and quite easy it is, to transfer the posture in TaiChi to playing an instrument, the sax and flute.
First of all TaiChi and QiGong are about relaxing your body to make the Qi (which can be translated as the energy of the body) flowing freely. This aspect is also very important when it comes to playing an instrument or singing. We need quite some energy to play our istsrument, don’t we? This is not about esotheric stuff of some spiritual thing. It’s just as down to earth as TaiChi, music and life is!
So this is what we’ll do now…an experiment with ourselves:
- stand firmly and straight. Imagine having a huge stick on your spine….very firm!
- head and chin straight ahead, your neck is straight….remember the strick in your spine?
- arms are tense, elbows straight and pressed tightly to your body
- legs and knees very staight and firm
- feet exactly parallel, they have to touch each other
Keep this position for two to three minutes. What’s happening during this time? Do you feel well?
After this period of about three minutes, relax. After that take the above mentionen position again and blow your horn.
….up next: RELAX! Shake your arms and legs, shake your whole body to really relax!
- stand straight (but relaxed), shoulders hang losely in a natural position
- head and chin straight, your neck is also straight. Imagine that the top of your head is bend to a string. This string pulls you up. Just imagine your body is that of a puppet on a string.
- arms are hanging losely, elbows are straight but not firm!
- legs and knes are straight but a little bent
- feet shoulderwidth apart.
Keep standing like this for about five minutes. How does that feel now? Take your horn and play.
Now compare the two postures you just experienced. You might also record the stuff you played using these postures. How did it feel playing? How did your playing sound? What was your tone like? Which playing sounded better, lighter, more fluent?
Well you don’t have to learn Taichi or QiGong to exprience these positive aspects. You might just do the latter of the above mentioned excersises. That’s it!
More about postures, breathing, practising can be found in my eBook SaxWorkout!