Alexander Technique approach to Classical Guitar Technique

Ethan Kind, an Alexander Technique teacher with extensive experience of the Classical Guitar.

Ethan Kind: "Between 1971 and 1974 I attended the Royal College of Music in London, where I studied guitar with John Williams and Carlos Bonell. I also studied the Alexander Technique privately with Jean Gibson, who is well known for being Sally Swift's teacher. Ms. Swift wrote Centered Riding, which is a beautiful book on Alexander Technique applied to dressage. In those three years I joined the technique of these extraordinary players with Alexander Technique to heal carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand and have never had wrist problems since."

The article contains:

  • Alexander Technique Approach to Classical Guitar Technique
  • Goal of the Alexander Tech
  • History of the Alexander Technique
  • Orders and Inhibition in the Alexander Technique
  • Two Necessary Conditions
  • The Teacher's role
  • Guitar Technique: Right Hand
  • Fingertips
  • Guitar Technique: Left Hand
  • Left Hand: The fingers
  • Posture
  • Shoulders
  • Fingers lengthen

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Further Reading

  • Alcantara, Pedro de. Indirect Procedures. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1997.
  • Alexander, F.M. Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual. E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1923 (Longbeach, CA: Centerline Press, 1985).
  • Alexander, F.M. Man's Supreme Inheritance. E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1942 (Long beach, CA: Centerline Press, 1988).
  • Alexander, F.M. The Universal Constant of Living. E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1941 (Long beach CA: Centerline Press, 1986).
  • Alexander, F.M. The Use of the Self. E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1932 (Long beach, CA: Centerline Press, 1984).
  • Bonpensiere, Luigi. New Pathways to Piano Technique. New York, NY: Philosophical Library, 1953.
  • Caplan, Deborah. Back Trouble. Gainesville, FL: Triad Publishing Company, 1987.
  • Conable, Barbara. What Every Musician Needs To Know About The Body. Portland, OR: Andover Press, 2000.
  • Gelb, Michael. Body Learning. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1987.
  • Kind, Ethan. Inspiring Musical Performance. AmSAT News, Issue No. 76, 2008.
  • Kind, Ethan. The Hurting Musician. American Music Teacher, Vol. 56, No. 6 June/July, 2007.
  • Ortmann, O. The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique. New York, NY: E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1929.
  • Stein, Charles. To Schlep or Not to Schlep: Guidelines for Music Performance Teachers. American Music Teacher, Vol. 45, No. 5, April/May, 1996.

Article © 2008 Ethan Kind. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of the author.