Guitar Craft Monographs

by Robert Fripp

1. An Introduction to Guitar Craft (2004)
Guitar Craft is three things:

A way to develop a relationship with the guitar;
A way to develop a relationship with music;
A way to develop a relationship with oneself.
2. A Preface to Guitar Craft
The musician acquires craft in order to operate in the world.

Part I: It is the patterning of information, function and feeling which brings together the

world of music and sound, and enables the musician to perform to an audience. These
patterns can be expressed in a series of instructions, manuals, techniques and
principles of working.

• Part II: The requirement to enter a craft is that we allow the craft to enter us. To enter
the musical life, we allow the music to enter us.

• Part III: The musician has two concerns. Firstly, being available and open to music
when the musical current turns on. Secondly, having sufficient skill to place at the
service of the musical impulse.

• Part IV: Availability is in the moment, and openness occurs when we let go of the
unnecessary. Skill is holding onto the necessary. To learn necessary skills we need
specialised help and seek a qualified instructor. Specialised help is only available from
someone with access to a tradition of craft. A bona fide instructor will connect the
apprentice with the craft.

• Part V: The Principle of Balance. In a craft practice how we do what we do is primary,
and what we do is secondary. Our concern is with process rather than result.

• Part VI: The Problem of Balance. The relationship between the body and the guitar is
governed by this principle: The guitar moves to the body. There are two main sources
of trouble honoring this principle. Firstly, the guitar, and secondly, the guitarist.

• Part VII: If we have an easy access to information, it is very easy not to exert
ourselves to make the information our own.

3. Inaugural Letter to the Second (US) Guitar Craft Level Three
Just below the surface of what we call our day-to-day world lie riches. The "surface" is how we see
the world and believe it to be. If in a moment this overlay, this veneer of interpretation, lifts we find

a new world. Not a new world of clever intentions, political theorising and utopian devising, but a
new world - the real world. We may like it, or not, but it is not a fiction. If we dislike it, then we at
least we have something real to dislike, if we may.

An Introduction to Guitar Craft (2004)
by Robert Fripp

I
Guitar Craft is three things:
A way to develop a relationship with the guitar;
A way to develop a relationship with music;
A way to develop a relationship with oneself.
The exact details of Guitar Craft courses are left open so each may find its own level and discover
its own character. During courses we commonly work both individually and in groups, with
personal meetings to focus on individual needs. We address the fundamentals of playing the guitar
with a pick, rather than discussing music theory.
Courses are as intensive as the student wishes them to be and is able to accept.
Music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all, but we are not constantly and
readily available to music. Where there is a certain intensity of application our state can change, and
at this point we may find music waiting. So, how to reach this point? The direction of attention is
fundamental: little is possible without attention. Relaxation is fundamental: little is possible when
we are tense. In a relaxed state with our attention engaged we begin to be sensitive to the needs of
the moment. Work with attention is related to the cultivation of a sense of our personal presence, in
a relaxed and alert condition.
The Introduction To Guitar Craft is open to all levels of experience, even none at all: the
requirement is commitment. We ask that participants come with a clear aim, and the commitment to
honor that aim. Emphasis is on how to play, rather than what to play. We address the principles
underlying our practice. These principles are applicable in other areas of our lives.
The Alexander Technique has proven to be very helpful and is a feature of most Guitar Craft
courses.
II
In the early years of Guitar Craft, a Level One course was itself An Introduction To Guitar Craft.
The development of New Standard Tuning Weekends demonstrated Guitar Craft elements to anyone
interested, and effectively served as an introduction to the Introduction. We now have distinct
courses formally presented as An Introduction To Guitar Craft which serve as preparation for Level
One. The recent NST Weekend in Mexico therefore served as an introduction to an Introduction to
Level One. The result of these developments is a much higher standard Level One than before.

Students arrive better prepared to work on the exercises, rather than to merely become acquainted
with them.
Originally, we accepted everyone who arrived and were willing to accept the House Rules. Courses
of 16-25 participants, all beginners, were standard. As Guitar Craft developed, students on extended
courses and kitchen work joined newcomers. Major courses have now grown to 60-100 people,
many of them mature and experienced.
The formal Introduction acts also as a filter. This became necessary following a number of students
acting in bad faith, mainly a result of drug use. We have no problem with clueless new students (we
are all relatively clueless, after all) but the drug-addled clueless are not acceptable, while prior
usage is not a bar to participation in courses.
III
The first Guitar Craft course began on March 25th. 1985. There have since been well over one
hundred Guitar Craft, or Guitar Craft related, courses on both coasts of the United States, England,
France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina, Chile and
Spain. Hundreds of students of many nationalities, ages and a diversity of cultural backgrounds
have attended.
Extended residential courses are held in various countries for those who make an extended
commitment, and on occasions a House is acquired for a period of time. The first of these was Red
Lion House in Dorset, England.
Level Three and Four Courses will be held in Germany during 2004 (directed by Hernan
Nunez).These follow a Level Three Course in Atlanta, USA (directed by Curt Golden) in the
Autumn of 2003.
The primary centres of Guitar Craft are currently Germany, the US and Argentina, with several
secondary centres of Guitar Craft and Guitar Circle activity.
IV
The League of Crafty Guitarists has been Guitar Craft's main performance ensemble since
December 1985, when it toured extensively until April 1991. The LCG returned to active service in
January 2002 and has both American and European formations.
The work of The LCG is to present Guitar Craft to the world and has performed throughout North
America, Europe and South America, appeared on television in America, England, Spain and
Argentina, and contributed to several records. A current project is to release an album drawn from
live recordings of European and South American tours of 2002 and 2003. Members of the ensemble
vary, but have usually been drawn from students familiar with the repertoire and who can respond
to a performance challenge at short notice.
Several offshoots of The LCG and GC courses have formed performance groups that work under
their own names.

A Preface to Guitar Craft
by Robert Fripp

II
The musician acquires craft in order to operate in the world. The requirement to enter a craft is that
we allow the craft to enter us. To enter the musical life, we allow the music to enter us.
We have two immediate concerns. Firstly, being available and open to music when the musical
current turns on. Secondly, having sufficient skill to place at the service of the musical impulse. If
we meet both these concerns, we may realise the aim of the musician, which is to be an instrument
directly played by music. There are three factors involved in this: the musician, the music, and the
musician's craft. The craft is the means of bringing the music and musician together.
The first concern, availability and openness, is a measure of our alertness. This state brings with it
in-touchness, and a contact with the moment. This first concern is the responsibility of the musician.
Music is well able to take care of itself. Music is always present, but we are not. The second
concern, the craft, is also the musician's responsibility to acquire. Fortunately, help is available from
the craft itself.
A craft is a source of techniques, experience and information which is available to the musician. A
living tradition of craft is a source of power which supports us in our efforts. Some traditions of
musical craft are more apparent than others. Some are in Turkey, and very hard to find. Some are
next door, even though they may have come from Turkey. When we begin to look for help from a
school of craft we may be surprised to find how close to the school we already were, but failed to
recognise it. Generally, one has a personal introduction to someone involved in a particular
tradition. This may or may not be the tradition for us. If not, it will lead to another introduction and
another tradition. When we find the craft which is right for us, we know. We resonate. The
experience of this is unmistakable. Surprisingly, it seems that the craft has been waiting for us, even
anticipating our arrival.
At a certain point all crafts are the same craft, but up to that point each craft has its own identity and
specialised work to undertake. The visibility of any particular school of craft depends upon the
nature of its work and the conditions of the culture it works within. The aim of each craft is to help
the aspirant reach the point of unity within crafts. At this point where craft and crafts are
inseparable, musician and craft are inseparable. Also, all musicians are one musician. This is the
creative world.
If we are very fortunate we receive instruction from a craftsman who embodies their tradition. This
is not necessary, only good fortune. All that is necessary is that our instructor has greater experience
than us. If we place ourselves at the direction of a craft instructor, the instruction we receive may
surprise us. A Sufi drummer playing with the Whirling Dervishes of Konya told me, over breakfast
in New York, of his beginning in craft. He prepared himself for three years to play his drum. Then,
after three years of preparation, he took up his drum and began to play. One Guitar Craft student has
been practising a right hand exercise for 1,000 days in preparation to taking up their guitar at the

In time. we approach our second concern. We observe. We find alertness in the moment. we will experience their presence as tension and the release of them as relaxation. A craft demands of us alertness and openness to the moment. and it has its own techniques. The challenges of developing skill make demands of us which generate an alert state. we discover the tensions which lock us into this discomfort. Necessarily. environmentally low-impact. * When one enters the process of craft. After ten minutes we will notice our body twitching gently. moving its position. we learn what is necessary. If we persevere and look at our points of discomfort. and openness by letting go of the unnecessary. or personal characteristics.To develop skill. and discover novel points of tension and discomfort. we watch ourselves doing nothing. our second concern. We gather information about this creature we inhabit. Skill is holding onto the necessary. doing nothing. what we are feeling while our hands are doing what they are doing. As we sit. The same technique. what it is that our hands are doing. Attention is the tool in developing the efficient operation of both hands. synthesised mood enhancement. and in whose life we are becoming increasingly involved. that we may respond to the promptings of music. we discover particular attitudes locked into these points of tension. is fundamental to all work in craft. one begins by doing nothing. which we find unsatisfactory. This is an error. but approached by different techniques. so why should I bother? Doing nothing is very hard. Our feet will be asleep. before we begin these various techniques we begin where we are and as we are. This is a sound approach. what we are thinking about while our hands are doing what they are doing. we do nothing to the best of our ability. To learn we must be alert and open. we are too dull to hear when music calls. If they are unnecessary to us. So. the aspiring musician is too busy impressing themself with hot licks and fiery sprays of modest invention to hear our friend music knocking gently at the door. We tour the world and return to discover our irritation with this silly exercise. Or. Of course I can do nothing for half an hour. But. It is unlikely to be found in a commercial teaching practice. A common fault is to try and change aspects of our playing. When we give our points of tension permission to leave. through our first concern. We engage our attention and discover for ourselves how much is actually going on. . A good beginning to the practice of doing nothing is to sit for half an hour. the acquisition of craft. Alertness and openness are closely related. we give the corresponding attitudes and emotional experiences permission to leave as well. impartially and without criticism. lulled by our New Age minimalistic.New York course in August 1989. Often. Instead. nothing is lost. All manner of interests and concerns will present themselves to the mind. but not for all. the lower back throb with discomfort. the neck lock into a worthy effort to do nothing. of engaging the attention. and essential to our nature. If these are part of who we are. Then. Certain postures the body adopts may hold emotionally charged events of long ago. we may approach our first concern through our second concern. Then. as we become more experienced in this.

Welet go of our adolescent image of what constituted a groovy dude. These commitments are to be honored without exception. Dropping them clears the channel. but it can introduce some small guarantees to the hands of the musician. If we are fortunate. Where did it go? Despair. changes nothing.Impartial observation. but now we know for ourselves what it means to have the channel open. such as they are. hopelessness. the life would not be creative. with sympathy. In return. Looking at this wild thing. but everthing has changed. We have moved from a world of impartiality to a world of subjective involvement. without judging its fantasies or excitement. and one begins by training the body to accept and respond to direction. The exagerrated motions of the right hand came from a rock video featuring a groovy. when the current turns on the power of the experience may be overwhelming. We abandon our imaginary notions of what we want to be. with a little more experience we allow it to flow and follow where it leads. our many inventions of ourself built up over time. But there are few guarantees in the creative life. Discipline is the capacity to be effectual in time. One gradually acquires discipline through the practice of commitment. leg pumping the ground in a semblance of rhythm. Maybe not today. openness is dropping where we are not. Nothing has changed. This training of the body begins with the practice of doing nothing. at the service of music. The channel is open. we were a creature locked into an habitual manner of playing: flying fingers. If we wish to meet the first concern. The work of some schools of craft is to disseminate craft ideas through the media. abject depression. we were this creature. We have been sucked into the state of thrilldom. we get excited. We simply look at this creature in the movies. This is not always exciting. music is blasting through and . . we have to give up the movies. and in different ways. A craft discipline cannot guarantee that music will fly by and take charge of our hands. Then. We give up our want of excitement. but it is very satisfying. wild facial grimaces. The hot licks put us immediately within an imaginary world of cheering and loving fans. The fingers flail because at age twelve we believed this indicated achievement. we discover elements of why it behaves in this peculiar manner. but maybe next week or next month. Before. We watch it. Or maybe today. Now. It may keep us in the music business for up to seven years. just like the movies. This is craft information. we get more of ourself. one day the current turns on again. dude. assumptions and attitudes being enacted upon an innocent guitar. Alertness is being where we are. Then. A moment ago. We are no longer available to place our skills. Our imaginary notions block the channel between ourself and music. it continues to flow. In the early years of our musical life. We learn that if we let go of flowing music. This takes years of practice. locked into a mass of opinions. despite all the horrors of the professional life. of alertness and openness. It changes everything. but inept. but widely available to the public. If there were. we look at this remarkable animal.the current turns off. Silt will build up again. without seeking to change anything. What is left behind is who we are.

the craft may speak directly to the apprentice. techniques. If our aim is unclear. Attention is the prime tool of any line of craft. There are a number of craft techniques and exercises to bring about alertness which are based upon this. Perhaps we begin by stating our aim. While doing nothing. we allow the music to enter us. In this case. If the connection is made. This is of far greater importance than a body of techniques. whether physical. Sometimes the craftsman works on their own.A Preface to Guitar Craft by Robert Fripp III The musician acquires craft in order to operate in the world. Whether this connection is established or not depends largely upon the apprentice's willingness and capacity to be instructed. we observe ourself doing nothing. will change our state. mainly from hallucinogenics. The direction of attention. Any disturbance of an established pattern. There are two kinds of disturbances we train ourselves to use: those which come from the outside. Before we do anything. because they have too much to drop. we are on the way to achieving it. The aim of the musician is to be played by music. recreational drug use is incompatible with involvement in any craft tradition. we begin where we are. Experienced students are often unwilling to learn. having sufficient skill to place at the service of the musical impulse. mental or emotional. Alertness is generated by the intentional disturbance or interruption of habitual behavior. The first concern is to be alert and open. The requirement to enter a craft is that we allow the craft to enter us. we have begun to cultivate the attention. experience and information are only available from someone with access to a tradition of craft. But. Alertness and openness are closely related. Skill is holding onto the necessary. If we have a clear aim. A bona fide instructor will connect the apprentice with the craft. and those which come from the inside. A car horn makes us jump and we acknowledge that we were in a haze of rock . and sometimes as part of a team. we do nothing. they may return to the world of commerce. We find alertness in the moment. and co-ordination of functioning. Firstly. Some students in Guitar Craft have suffered irrevocable damage. Even quasi-legal and socially accepted soft drugs are disruptive. the musician has two concerns. are seriously affected by drug use. To enter the musical life. * When we enter the process of craft. we are on the way to achieving that as well. The acquisition of skill has its own techniques. If this is so. While observing ourself doing nothing. Secondly. A craftsman becomes an instructor when they respond to a request for help by someone with less experience. but approached by different techniques. like sudden noises. can be very helpful if we are trained to use them. Specialised help. being available and open to music when the musical current turns on. An enormous problem in our culture is the prevalence of drug use. In other cases the practice of attention has provided considerable help in restoring the faculties. and openness by letting go of the unnecessary. To learn necessary skills we need specialised help and seek a qualified instructor. Arbitrary disturbances in our environment.

They need adequate and suitable preparation. then move gradually towards the impossible. At home or work our surroundings may be very comfortable. This is being written in a low attic at the second French Guitar Craft course near Vassiuex in the French Alps. They are specialised and best undertaken with supervision. In practice. we discover what is our own. they are unreliable. there are varying degrees of blockage. and offer oneself violence. like our hot licks. So. Our personal states may fluctuate considerably when we begin to work with these exercises. we may use this clearer moment to remember our aim. Upon subsequent impacts I became irritated again. Perhaps I will take a cold shower instead of a hot one. What remains behind is ours. This involves no violence towards ourself or our rubbish: we simply let it go. To make room for music to enter we clear out unnecessary rubbish. and we need access to greater experience and guidance until we are familiar with what is involved for ourself. and provide us with few surprises. If we were in a relaxed and collected state the car horn may have irritated us. we intentionally introduce small points of discomfort to alert ourselves. For example. It is rare for the channel between music and musician to be open. There are other techniques. A third technique is abstinence from things which I like. we get used to our surroundings very quickly. ** The second part of our first concern is openness.videoland. A challenge stretches our capacity. the habituation is efficient and in accordance with an aim. Challenge is one technique. execution and review. Then. Secondly. we are on the way to developing a flexible skill. The second time I was irritated. If I am able to practice an hour a day. But gently. but the development of capacity is not the prime aim. or dessert after dinner. Firstly. if intention and guidance is involved. At this farm house near Vassiuex there are no car horns. This may be a small piece of work which is constantly overlooked. I may set myself to practice for an hour and ten minutes. A fourth technique is to undertake a job for the house. the car horn presents us an opportunity to measure our state. eclectic erudition and amusing anecdotes of the famous we have known and met. If this is so. bright ideas and impressive opinions on serialism. but it would not reach us in quite the same way. Then. bright clusters of alarming chords and bursts of extended and exotic modes. A common fault is to go too far. This is where we undertake to meet a task which is impossible when we run on automatic. Then. We habituate very easily. . We prepare intentional disturbances from the inside ahead of time. The following four times I have been grateful for the reminders. There are two main disadvantages to relying upon environmental conditions. refraining from coffee. The first time I hit my head I was angry. The rule is to begin with the possible. A second technique is physical discomfort of a small order. This normal human capacity is of great use in developing new skills. When an efficient habit is combined with alertness.

They'll see the emperor has no clothes". and the attempt to pin it down or bring it back pulls us into a world of time and imprisonment. A performer in the public eye is revealed for what they are. And the reverse is true. is humiliation. a musician is unable to know whether the performance was good or not. Subjectively. Often a show that we found really exciting to play is messy and untogether on the desk recording. is no excuse for failing to meet our responsibilities. The moment has gone. and puts this to use. and the demands which we make of music. I replied: "But the emperor has no clothes". Our personal state is irrelevant. In time this goes deeper. the musician had a great time. The recognition of who we are. although exceptionally hard and easily misunderstood. When the current is switched on one has the feeling that nothing can go wrong. the channel is blocked. They have the power to change the course of our lives. as if to another group playing. it is a shock when for a moment we actually relax. We move from the body to anxieties. find the blockage. by definition. Eventually. We undertake to meet our obligations despite who we are. We begin with the body. are unmistakable. as well as because of who we are. We may be tone deaf and have no sense of rhythm. with hard experience. As a way of musicianship this is very hard and not very popular. and the frailty of our nature and capacities. But. or not. we release ourselves from the limited moment and open ourselves to the eternal moment. If the musician believes that the musician invents music. we rarely have the distance from a performance to make an impartial assessment. These are moments when music bends over and takes charge. If the performer undertakes this intentionally. A main block is absorption in our personal state. We are so habitually tense and fixed. The wrong use of humiliation produces a false sense of humility. Neither is it an obstacle. Relaxation is so fundamental that we overlook its value. and whether or not they enjoyed playing. and the personality gives up its authority. Generally. A manager once said to me: "You can't do that. If we let go of that one eternal moment which flew by. The experience of an exceptional performance has this power because the moment we entered was eternal. Listening. and they are rare. necessary and essential. This is a key to allow the current to flow. In performance nothing can be hidden. attempting to pin down the moment. Humiliation helps to clear the channel. They can only say whether they liked it or not. and clear it. In the practice of letting go. Who and what we are is obvious. they embrace the inevitable humiliation of being recognised. we learn that the moment is impossible to recapture. recurrent mental patterns. but rather an opportunity to discover what gifted others take for granted. and negative emotional states. Relaxation is the prime technique in letting go of our personal states. even the attempt to hide. And then. we come to a different relationship with our personality. Our life has changed. And the eternal moment. This is no obstacle to becoming a musician. Exceptional performances. the gig was a mess. the channel to music opens. physical relaxation is primary. . All that goes away is us. and strengthens the personality.The concern of the musician who experiences disturbances in the flow of music is to discover the channel. When our initiative moves from the personality. never goes away. is unimportant. A powerful technique. the moment has gone. Whether we particularly feel like playing. Music invents the musician. What can we do to recapture the moment? In time.

and satisfactory to all. Large commercial success brings greater limitations to the musical life than it brings freedoms. road managers and large numbers of genuinely adoring fans. The aim of the musician is to be played by music. Any movement by the musician to move outside this framework of demands will be met with apathy. we have begun to cultivate attention. vibrant and clean. * We discriminate between what we hold on to and what we abandon. Then. record company. To enter the musical life. life is hard. The requirement to enter a craft is that we allow the craft to enter us. This is a mistake: we play the music we wish to play whenever we play the music we wish to play. we begin where we are. It is rare for the musician to be open to music. To make room for music to enter we clear out unnecessary rubbish. suspicion and even hostility. we discover what is our own. Voluntary attention begins with alertness. Probably. the resonance of rightness as the musical channel opens. Skill is holding onto the necessary. The music business is concerned with business. We learn to distinguish between wanting and wishing. We may wish to be a musician. the musician has two concerns. agency. Firstly. While observing ourself doing nothing. While doing nothing. Before we do anything. will . in the midst of success. we allow the music to enter us. If the musician's concerns are also with business the situation is straightforward. This involves no violence towards ourself or our rubbish: we simply let it go. bright ideas. all look to the musician to continue to supply something that they want for themselves. When we enter the process of craft.A Preface to Guitar Craft by Robert Fripp IV The musician acquires craft in order to operate in the world. and openness occurs when we let go of the unnecessary. If this is so. Specialised help is only available from someone with access to a tradition of craft. fellow group members. A bona fide instructor will connect the apprentice with the craft. If the musician's concerns are with music. Attention is the prime tool of any line of craft. they will experience the flow of music drying up. impressive opinions and career strategies. A common fallacy is wanting fame in order to have time and money to play real music. like hot licks. we observe ourself doing nothing. but want to be a rock star. Secondly. This is a considerable pressure. The power of feeling alive. we do nothing. Alertness is generated by the intentional disturbance or interruption of habitual behavior. Management. To learn necessary skills we need specialised help and seek a qualified instructor. having sufficient skill to place at the service of the musical impulse. What remains behind is ours. Availability is in the moment. being available and open to music when the musical current turns on.

and five are professional. The commercial life demands reliability. One becomes playful. Holding on to what we want holds us in a world where it is out of reach. and often include drugs. If we give up our concern with the result . Superbly delivered. The product may be professionally superb.speed . we learn to reach for it. but we can undertake the professional. One recognises this in sound by the degree of compression. The negative side of music commerce is that one goes off course. what we need is absent. we enter a world where it becomes within our reach.have gone. limiting. the music business. tours and lectures. and engagement in the process forced. All that is missing is flavour and nourishment. booze. we abandon how we want to realise it.and concern ourselves with the process. The positive side of this is the musician learns to act without regard for their personal likes and dislikes. If we wish to have digital equality in the left hand. whether for other musicians or styles in music. Responses by musicians to this blocking of the musical flow vary. but without imposing conditions upon the realisation of the aim. In its place loud acclamation and a list of demographics will demonstrate why this empty. As soon as we let go of that. Then.we may be surprised to discover the speed which our left hand acquires. The professional's playing becomes out of tune with their nature. ** One enters the sabbatical with an aim. but not the music. reliable product: a guaranteed result. and musical certainties. Most musicians encounter a blockage at some point in this life. This is what one asks of professionals. sessions.of acquiring capacity and competence . is to meet one's responsibilities and then to take a sabbatical. One becomes engaged in a process. In a week's performances my experience is that two shows are exceptional. or taste in personal comforts. We cannot guarantee the exceptional. and becomes a part of it. If the process is vital the record will reflect it. and cynicism. and misses the musical mark. It is very hard to abandon success and place oneself at the promptings of the musical impulse. but only if we have a measure of freedom inside our professionalism. If we wish to achieve our aim. over-eating. The greater our competence the greater we become available to the exceptional. Abandoning what we want is the opposite of how we do things in the day-to-world world. . There is little room for music to enter in a busy schedule of playing anything and everything. One feels lighter and looks younger to others. This assumes a measure of skill which we can place at the service of the musical impulse. The professional musician works in the world of commerce. the record will reflect that too. This carries no guarantees but the state has its own certainties. What we want is present. which is traditional. gigs. But. and unconcerned about results. we must be present and available. rather than manufacturing a product. Professionalism is only part of the skill we make available to the musical impulse. The notes are easily to hand. hollow feeling is a profitable place to be. Another approach. if we wish to present ourselves to music and make ourselves available to the eternal moment. A record is a representation of a process. we give up wanting to have the fastest left hand in the West. This is a principle of such great power and simplicity that we miss its impact: we only have what we give up. If the process is simulated. sequencers and drum machines employed during the "process" of recording. use of synthesisers. Like fast food. where we choose what we want and go after it.

music begins to flow unexpectedly. and in turn our efforts within the tradition contribute to its resources. If someone else has spent most of their life sifting the necessary from the unnecessary. save time and go see them. The application of craft principles in our personal life supports our work in a line of craft. and not merely something we do when the red light goes on. If the contribution of the students is not sufficient. Firstly. When the quality of the student's work is low. For example. that is. we approach someone with greater experience. If they have integrity they will present themself as nothing more than they are. If our instructor is part of a tradition they have access to privileged knowledge and techniques developed over a period of time. not the letter. As our various impulses come within the same orbit. with nothing . This provides a resource which we can draw upon. and the principles which we honor in our musical life may be applied in our personal lives. The school may have been broadcasting to us for a long time. So. and acquire a common center of gravity. Perhaps the process we are entering has spent years being prepared for our arrival. acknowledging that the only real contribution which can be made is the quality of one's work. the school will disappear. what brought us here? Secondly. recognises the quality of the information and passes it to their students. Actually there are no rules. There are many forms of implementing a principle. When the quality is high. A commercial teacher teaches for money. This may involve swallowing pride: how could I need help? If we have a little wit we have already learnt that life is too short to figure everything out for ourselves.Where possible. The spread effect of this in our practice is profound. It is useful to discover what lead us to this point. the tour bus arrives. or washing the dishes when we have finished a meal. Even a good worker from outside the school will not be able to provide this charge. as we enter our tradition of craft we have two questions. The schools anticipate this. But something is missing. A conclusion is the honorable winding up of this particular process. We ask them for help. but we were deaf. This may be a good worker who. Our musical life becomes inseparable from our living. making our bed when we get up in the morning. and very few of obeying a rule. When we arrive at our tradition. are both examples of honoring the principle of completion. or we walk on stage. In a school of craft all contribute in various ways. The work of some schools of craft is to disseminate craft ideas through the media. even expecting us. but as we look the beginning eludes us. and where possible recommend their students to a bona fide craft tradition. We can never quite find our beginning. We acquire integrity. although they may accept payment. through the quality of their own work. what is our aim in being here? When we enter the world of craft we enter a world where the rules are different. the school asks high prices. One honors the spirit of the principle. we find the school waiting for us. Information given directly from a craft school to a student carries with it a charge. A craft instructor does not undertake their work for money. An end is a finish: this particular process is all over. only principles. We become who we are. often the school maintains the student. There is a conflict of interest between the needs of the student and the teacher's financial interests. a togetherness of all our parts. A principle is universally applicable. a conclusion and a completion. Widely available craft information is sometimes used and taught by someone from outside a tradition. The principle of completion states that there are three ways of concluding a process: an end. according to their ability. which enables the student to apply the information.

regardless of cultural and linguistic differences. A completion is a new beginning. we concern ourselves with process and allow process to determine outcome. and what we do is secondary. This is where the process that we have entered becomes organic. Looking at themself. they find music just behind the back of their head. and moves to the assimilation of the craft. The process invents itself as it unfolds. the outcome is given. our concern is with Right Doing. In this living process. In the early stages of the craft process. Principle is universal.being lost. When the assimilation is complete the craft and craftsman merge. from the sixth to the first strings. and discharge the particular challenge which comes with each stage of any process. whispering in their ear. rules and instructions are given which exemplify. we begin by doing nothing. whichever school of training they may have. Perhaps. music is present. These common faults are also universal. Right Doing is based on Right Practice. This is why the principle has so much power: if we complete all the stages of a process. So. If we enter a process. A bona fide craft asks its students to question the information . and regardless of the number of processes we have intentionally undertaken. When each subsequent stage appears it is always fresh. The acquisition of craft is the responsibility of the musician. When we enter the process of craft. Our concern is with process rather than result. as if revealing itself for the first time. Craftspersons from different fields and specialities are able to talk to each other of the same concerns. When we move to doing something. By entering a life process the musician enters the world in which music is available. If this is approached honorably. So. where D is common to the old standard tuning. Instead of running around looking for music. This is when the musician abandons the acquisition of the craft. when a certain stage of the craft training has been completed the craft acquires a musician. Those of us who would rather have the (imagined) security of guaranteed results can find hope in this. vital and satisfying: we are alive. Then. we become part of a new process. the process of the musical life. anyone with some experience in Right Doing shares a common experience and vocabulary with others in practice. the musician sits down and looks at themself. Common faults occur whenever principle is violated or ignored. Right Practice is based on principle. it is as true to say that the craftsman has craft as it is to say that the craft has a craftsman. There is always a sense of surprise which accompanies this. *** The Guitar Craft Standard Tuning is C-G-D-A-E-G. typify and embody the principles of the craft. A Preface to Guitar Craft by Robert Fripp V The Principle of Balance In a craft practice how we do what we do is primary.

merely not the line for the student. in some cases. rules and instructions until Right Practice is part of who we are. the student becomes part of the life of the craft. The technique of intentional error requires care. updating earlier information or techniques. We honor the principles. A common fault among students is to design exercises for themselves before they have a sufficient understanding of the principles involved in Right Practice. If not. not until Right Practice is part of who we are. The practice of discrimination is necessary to the process because it brings the student inside the event. and makes their own mistakes. There comes a point in our playing when Constant Release is a principle to be applied to ascending fingerings. find if the craft is true for them. they have their own instructor who recognises and corrects their errors. they fail to connect themself to the process of the craft. But. Applying the principles of one to the other causes unnecessary difficulties. Sometimes this is because craft techniques become refined and more efficient. and discover whether the principles presented apply throughout their lives. When we have established Right Practice. If we are sensitive. The primary aim of testing is to bring the student within the craft process. Then. and without the alertness which comes with discrimination the process goes off course. Instructions may have been given to an individual or particular group working under certain conditions. But mistakes are inevitable. information given within the craft school is inaccurate or misleading. That is. the exercises are based on partial knowledge. which may not hold true for everyone. in extended and speed fingerings the application of Constant Release takes precedence over the principle of Succession. If discrimination is practised. save one: the failure to learn from a mistake. An instructor is also a student in their own field. . and confusion. If the craft becomes part of the student's life. But generally there will be errors. the craft becomes real. Discrimination is a secondary aim. mistakes are made. But. Principles are generally applicable. they may employ intentional mistakes until the student recognises things are not as they should be. and taking nothing for granted. If fortunate. the process itself will often tell us what is needed. For example. If an instructor sees a student not practising discrimination. Ascending fingerings are based on the principle of Succession. then the craft is either not what it claims for itself. For example. or. The student develops discrimination by examining the craft's presentations. In some cases. and descending fingerings on Constant Release. and discovering facets of our playing by modifying Primary Exercises can be useful. extended and speed fingerings remain outside our reach. we honor the principles while modifying rules and instructions in the light of specific challenges. Using our intelligence in the application of exercises is fine. The Guitar Craft principle is this: There are no mistakes. Sometimes. but cultural conditions vary and people are different. To use this technique safely the instructor anticipates the repercussions of their "mistake" and restores the situation. not all the rules necessary at our beginning are helpful. the craft becomes part of the student's life.they are given. ascending fingerings are quite different in their nature to descending fingerings. If craft principles are tested in daily living. But unless the principles are applied practically by the student. as well as in craft activity. Mistakes fall into two categories: unintentional and intentional. Then. but not until we have the mastered the Primaries and understand the distinction. unintentional errors will be discovered and their repercussions counteracted. unless the principle of Succession has been established in the fingers.

this is found firstly in the body. The Position of Readiness for both hands is where their centres of gravity are in the centre of their main areas of application. This is how craft activity may be recognised.Honor sufficiency. especially if we wish to practice for several hours a day. T'ai Chi and yoga are all valuable.The characteristic of Right Practice is effortlessness. The hand rises from the elbow to the neck of the guitar. The left elbow falls into the side of the body. For the right hand. or balance between centres of gravity. we practice standing up. and this is true of many electric instruments. Our practising position is fundamental to our practising. comes from the elbows. in the playing position. Most playing in rock music is done standing. Bad practice occurs whenever a principle fails to be honored. The thumb of the left hand is placed in the middle of the neck. relies upon the relationship between feet. the player is at the nearest point to anywhere their hands may move. The centre of gravity for the body is determined by the position of the spine. head. This is not ideal. The centre of gravity of the arms. This is the Rule of Quality. In this Position of Readiness. Before we practice guitar while sitting down. In both cases the feet ground the body. acting from principle is the basis of balance. and 4th. strings. in a relaxed and easy manner. strings. Most practising is done sitting. This is probably because the sexual centre is freer. If the guitar is too small. hovering just above a point between the 3rd. is determined by the thumbs. and 4th. ** These are principles referred to in the column: Our concern is process. The thumb of the right (picking) hand is placed on the side of the first digit of the first finger. not result. even though it may be motionless. For the guitarist. this is where the pick is also hovering just above a point between the 3rd. This is the Rule of Quantity. The key to effortlessness in practice is finding one's centre of gravity. the point of support comes several inches below the elbow. in the playing position. arms and hands. secondly in the arms. Alexander Technique. . Different players incline towards different schools of help. Common faults occur whenever principles are violated. whether we are standing or sitting. For the left hand this the Seventh Position with fingers arching over the strings. in keeping with the nature of the music. The two fundamental principles are these: Honor necessity. and the spine maintains the body's uprightness. So. The detailed operation of both hands will be discussed more fully later. The centre of gravity of both hands. So. Very few players find their centre of gravity without help. The right arm is supported at the elbow by the guitar. we practice sitting. because of the length of time involved. and no other. Our centre of gravity is not fixed or locked. * Our equilibrium. before we play standing up. spine. The principle which is fundamental to equilibrium is this: Each part does the work of that part. and thirdly in the hands. Equilibrium is upset by bad practice.

the guitar. are all wide-body and require compromise in orthodox technique. Honor sufficiency. This allows optimum movement of both forearm and wrist. whether electric or acoustic. . This can alter the position of the guitar on the body. The weight of the guitar can be easily unbalanced by attachments to the guitar body. Classic acoustic designs. Honor necessity. and leads to arching in the right wrist. The electric guitar has two classic models which widely influence design: the Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster. stemming from the classical instrument. The exception is the celebrity model.There are no mistakes. The main reason for this is the rarity of orthodox players. not for guitarists. Each part does the work of that part. personal technique or access to a player who has. Firstly. Orthodox considerations of playability dictate that the right arm is supported at the elbow by the guitar. The Les Paul is too small for this. save one: the failure to learn from a mistake. Generally. such as a tremelo arm. designed to meet the idiosyncracies of famous performers. There are two main sources of trouble honoring this principle. balanced. The relationship between the body and the guitar is governed by this principle: The guitar moves to the body. The wide-body is uncomfortable to play over long periods. as their instrument can hardly be denied. and secondly. It may take years to rectify defects in technique developed on a poorly designed. This is reasonable. to establish a standard for the maker. such as Martin and Gibson. and no other. the guitarist. Design is based largely on sound. There is no consensus on plectrum technique. A Preface to Guitar Craft by Robert Fripp VI The Problem of Balance. or constructed. The Stratocaster provides more support for the right arm. But few famous performers have standard or orthodox techniques. and most pick players are idiosyncratic and pragmatic. instrument. and unsettle the equilibrium between the two arms. There is some consensus on left hand technique. nor widely accepted contemporary school of playing. although for rock and jazz players this is honored mainly in the breach. guitars are made for guitar makers. Plectrum guitar design takes little account of the orthodox player. Firstly. but is a poor basis for establishing a practice. with its larger body and shaped edge. The guitar maker has little information to serve the needs of a proper player without a sound. players accommodate their playing to suit their guitar. and the compromise is to rest the forearm on the guitar.

will be above the are of the lower breast. or soundhole of an acoustic. This central position is in accord with the spine. In this ideal position the fingerboard pickup of an electric guitar. Each has advantages and disadvantages. rather than the elbow. The first advantage of a strap is to hold the guitar central to the body. The following are common problems resulting from the guitar being too low. The disadvantage in resting a guitar. We put the guitar in the wrong place and then move to meet it. on one leg or the other is that the balance . The height of the guitar is governed by the Position of Readiness. which is the closest point to anywhere they may be called to move. and is a mistake. the hand squeezes to apply pressure to the fingers stopping the notes and movement of the fingers is greatly restricted. we establish our personal equilibrium and then bring the guitar to the guitarist. and the fingers hovering just above a point between the third and fourth strings. This puts the instrument before the player. The left hand rises naturally from the elbow to the seventh position. mainly in the right arm. In these cases. The height of the guitar body is governed by the support for the right arm at the elbow. if we have no sense of our bodily equilibrium we won't be aware of our dis-equilibrium. Our choice is simple: our playing. For the left hand: The angle of the wrist is extreme. Firstly. depriving the wrist of its full flexibility. This pressure on the wrist is restricting and uncomfortable. The second advantage is mobility. arms and hands. The disadvantage is the weight on the neck and shoulder muscles. central. either electric or acoustic. straining the wrist and reducing its effectiveness. the angle of the wrist will be pulled back severely to allow the fingers to fall vertically onto the strings. The guitar is supported either by a strap or the legs. In Right Practice. whether we play seated or standing. If the thumb is held in the middle of the neck. particularly if we play an electric with attachments. or looking like a groovy dude from rock history. Some accommodations are generally inevitable. the principle is: We honor the principles as best we may. This pinches the flesh and restricts the flow of blood. with or without footstool. that is.So. guitar design provides major problems for guitarists keen to establish an efficient practice. There are two main reasons for this. Secondly. The disadvantages are a lack of mobility and loosing the middle position. For the right hand: The guitar supports the forearm. A common fault in placing the guitar on the body is to wear it too low. Then. The second source of trouble is guitarists. The only acoustic guitar I have found which supports my orthodox technique is the Ovation super-shallow rounded body. groovy photos of rockin' dudes for three decades have influenced our sense of placement. The picking arc of the elbow is reduced and the wrist compensates for this. Both hands are available to move to wherever they are needed from this middle position. The advantage of using the legs is the support they give to the weight of the guitar and the right elbow. with the pick just above a point between the third and fourth strings. The centre of gravity of the spine is erect. with the thumb in the middle of the back of the neck under the first finger tip. Otherwise the left thumb moves up the side of the guitar neck and over the edge of the fingerboard.

between the arms is upset. as in an exercise. A Preface to Guitar Craft by Robert Fripp VII If we have an easy access to information. we begin to experience the instructions. If we wish to understand information. and a crossed leg is uncomfortable to hold for very long. as well as its limitations. resonate in the feelings. the right arm is at the disadvantage. The classical approach. The dance contained instructions for the music it needed. When we do the exercises. Information of value is based on principle. much of our information is verbal although symbolic and figurative forms are also widespread and often much richer. . This is the qualitative dimension of an exercise. on the left leg. which enables the person practising it to enter a relationship with it. The principles of an exercise. Some forms of dance present subtle ideas which can only be grasped in a more alert state than our normal day-to-day condition. Learning by rote has its value. it is very easy not to exert ourselves to make the information our own. or the feeling of the exercise. Our gestural vocabulary is poor. the gestures being those of the dance itself. Then. An exercise is based on the fact that a quality spreads. That is. One beginning is to repeat an instruction word-for-word. experiencing our body in movement. Then. and we remain at the level of a sophisticated recording device. The key here is that the dancer makes an effort to acquire the information. each of which has a different quality. There is a value in having necessary information available for us to draw upon directly. so the idea speaks directly to the inside of the dancer's body. we begin to know it. but this puts the left arm at a disadvantage. the musical notation for the music of the dance was gestural. The same holds true for verbal information. This is the quantitative dimension of an exercise. If an exercise transmits a quality to the student. The visual pattern of the behavior can be held in the mind's eye. For height. The words move inwardly to instruct the body. A complete system of instruction will have a balanced series of exercises. The gestures expressing these ideas can change the state of the dancer adopting them. The principle behind this is that a quality is not bound by number: a small piece of quality is as big as a big piece of quality. the more power becomes available to others who adopt the exercise. We must make a move towards it. Knowing an exercise is not knowing the doing of the exercise. A real exercise has a power within it. feel the exercises. In our culture. which are the foundations of the words of instruction. The more people that practise an exercise. The reverse holds for the metal strung acoustic. Traditionally on the right leg. we must be active. although it limits our mobility. For example. we either use a footstool or cross one leg. in Egypt there was a form of dance in which the gestures of the dance instructed the musicians in the music to play. we begin to know what we are reading. is the standard. A footstool is preferable. The limitation is if our experience goes no further than this. We bring our attention within the visualisation of the bodily action. only the experiencing of the words. and know the exercises. it will move within them.

Or. For that. and an exercise introducing itself can be quite surprising when it occurs. we may consider music appearing and presenting itself to our finest musicians. This may be quite specific.* At the front of my house. we will meet personally. and convey to them some sense of it. This is the dimension of intensity in an exercise. you would have to meet the tree and say hello. they present themselves as gifts. . In personal contact the experience of the exercise moves from the instructor to the alert student. the student comes within the field of experience which is part of who the instructor is. lives an 150 year old beech tree. exercises introduce themselves. none of this. and move gradually towards the impossible. and making an effort to move to the inside of our practising. Until then. Most Guitar Craft students. In exceptional cases. and the direct experiencing of both.If we are fortunate. its botanical name. When the two experiences resonate. If we find this idea surprising. if we make an effort and approach the exercise with integrity. even how to climb it. The detailed information will only be of help if we have some experience of working with the exercises. Then. what is now a lot of words will become clearer and simpler. have not acquired the detailed level of verbal instruction which will enable them to take their practice further. it may reveal itself to us. quiet strength and confidence of the tree. apply it to their experience and discover where their practice is lacking. the exercise is introduced in person by someone who has made the exercise their own. the words will get in the way of our hands and our practice. That is. would be able to convey the sense of benevolent presence. In both cases the principle is the same: the unfolding of the creative impulse. and draws upon it. Perhaps they will now read the detailed instructions below. If we are passive with an exercise. height. to put it another way. including those who have acquired some experience of their own. with the power that normally accompanies the introduction by a qualified instructor. either picture or words. 20 feet from where I am writing this. appeal for help to someone whose experience is greater than our own. consult the experience in their hands rather than their opinions. If any of you feel seriously drawn towards Guitar Craft. Then the student may access and hold their teacher's experience as a template to their own efforts. A good teacher will bring their student within the sphere of their experience. The principle is this: Establish the possible. whether improvisers or composers. Then. Similarly. we are not in the place where its power can reach us. The student is able to draw upon the instructor's experience to the same degree that they are able to make efforts. But. the student recognises that they are close to rightness. Otherwise. they have experienced the exercise for themself and pass on its charge. Where possible. or you may meet another Guitar Craft instructor. the information below will not enable you to play the exercises correctly unless you make a considerable effort. If this column included a picture of it. this is the best we can do. or general. That is. and whose hands contain direct experience.

adolescent. Imaginary .drunk. in preparing for a performance.closed. stadium. Then. Positively expressed. Many of us have unfortunate or inappropriate experiences as children. “Critical adults” may stay with us into adulthood and undermine our current activities. musician.performance. This gives us. is this: We externalise the internalised negative message by writing the history of the child. disregard of courtesy & manners. burlesque. The question has come up in personal meetings: how to deal with nervousness in performance? Conventionally. Layout (for traffic flows). Then. North and South America). I have not tuned my instrument. sober. as if this were a child we wish to know better and to love more deeply.personal (internal and functional).open air. I have not checked my equipment (even then. is the advertising honest? Does the promotion generate inappropriate expectations? Attract the “wrong” audience? Commercially mediated event or charity performance? Overall: the suitability-match between music. The industry. recital. Audience “rights” . Genuine (internal) personal concerns relate to our overall state and condition: emotional. performance space & industry. drugged. mature. we have data and information to . I collect myself and appeal to the Muse. Genuine . Imaginary Personal Concerns. rock club. trained. sports hall. Children are exceptionally sensitive and internalise (especially negative) events. There are imaginary and genuine issues to address. all the above are bottom-line requirements if I am to walk onstage with confidence. Promotion and publicity: if the event is mediated by commerce. rock & roll. How to deal with this? An approach. you are a show-off. entertainment. The audience: state . Although any one performance takes place within a relatively short time period. smoking. Europe. Backstage – is practising/preparation possible? Cultural traditions and conventions (eg Japan. before I walk on. Performance conventions and traditions: concert. I have no beginning-strategies to employ as beginning points if imagination and/or inspiration fail. passive. and put this situation outside of ourselves. celebratory. audience. both performance-personal and performance-external. Genuine Personal Concerns. expectant. We offer no judgement and approach the history with impartiality. concert or burlesque theatre. Examples of negative messages: you can’t do anything right.photography and recording. recommended several times on this course. Imaginary .performance. some of which continue to have effect and to haunt us into adult life. and the reliability/intensity of our practice. four areas to consider: Genuine . sometimes equipment fails). we discover and externalise the situation that has had a traumatising effect. open . I have not practised the repertoire. Genuine Performance Concerns. Vegas. historic resonances and anticipation have powerful effect. Acoustics. as adults.personal (internal and functional). hoe-down and hootenanny. outgoing. Stage (flat or with a rake/slope). you have no talent. Sightlines. These are genuine (functional) personal concerns. you can’t make decisions. psychological and physical health. As we grow to know this child more deeply. this comes under the heading of stage fright. myself. I am. The performance space: kind and size .A Brief Approach To Nervousness In Performance. bar. nervous before a performance if… I have not practised my instrument. you are a failure. initially. if improvising.

Audience. and reflect upon our adult experience as a competent decision-maker. What is singularity? It is to know for a certainty that. Fan mentality and unrealistic wants. A Singularity A primary aim in developing a discipline is to establish a singularity. we might today decline to accept this as accurate. that we forgive those who gave it to us. For example. . but remove the injunction from our grown-up lives. delusions of personal charisma. Sympathetic resonance from the audience to the demeanour of the performer: if the performer looks nervous.process. issues of power-play and control strategies. Other Legitimate Concerns. This is a very brief overview of “stage fright” and legitimate performance concerns. the effects of touring and constant travelling on performance. Stalkers and loonies who appear and re-appear over a period of many years. and to act accordingly. even though the situation and context are now very different. These include concerns that relate to the wider present moment of performance. until we can be with ourself. reliable and/or relevant information in our adult lives. Legitimate and practical concerns include… Musicians. the belief that the world has not fully recognised their worth and contribution. 2005. deep rooted emotional and psychological problems. Management. and/or the want to be rich and famous. Imaginary Performance Concerns. agents and promoters. The question . particularly where they have substance problems. can be relied upon to act as one. a failure to listen. to lessen the hold of the “command”. the degree to which the performer is manipulated by management and/or industry as a control strategy. all the various parts which comprise the totality of who & what I am. Guitar Craft has been described as a way of developing relationships with the guitar.is then answered simply: by establishing a personal discipline. These wider factors all have resonance within the single performance-moment. Monday 30th. Other players we are working with. who control the band’s business interests. we may/may not accept this as valid information for the child (depending upon the specific circumstances). resentment and jealousy of other band members. Reflecting upon this information. There are often conflicts of interest and contrary aims between performer and industry. if the child were repeatedly told between the age of five and seven that they “couldn’t do anything right”. for example. and redeem the consequences of the event/s that remains powerfully present. This is a longer process. It is not possible to be with others. has substance abuse issues. It is necessary. For example.how to establish a singularity? . use the performance as a means of attracting sexual partners. and point to an established career and ongoing success in our particular field as a grown-up person. and record company. Inexperienced: where the inexperienced performer has no reality-base to form reliable judgements. when I say I will. I have made no mention here of. in any real sense. one well qualified to know what is in our own best interests. we can take adult decisions and make adult choices. believes their own press. then the audience will probably get nervous too. with music and with ourself. demands and expectations. May. if we were told as a child that we could/should not make decisions for ourselves. Industry. Experienced: where the experienced performer lives close to/in fantasy and delusion: an increasing distance from daily life resulting from fame and celebrity. which go beyond the specific single event under consideration.

this experience is not only possible. rather than discussing music theory. but as readily available to us as we are to the Circle. in a relaxed and alert condition. A way to develop a relationship with music. we accepted everyone who arrived and were willing to accept the House Rules.So. a Level One course was itself An Introduction To Guitar Craft. to enter the Guitar Circle a degree of singularity is necessary. We now have distinct courses formally presented as An Introduction To Guitar Craft which serve as preparation for Level One. Work in the Guitar Circle has been described as a way of working with others. that is. Courses of 16-25 participants. Major courses have now grown to 60-100 people. while prior usage is not a bar to participation . the Circle itself becomes a singularity. and the commitment to honor that aim. even none at all: the requirement is commitment. rather than what to play. The Introduction To Guitar Craft is open to all levels of experience. one way of looking at the work of Guitar Craft is to see it as a way of preparing us to be. As Guitar Craft developed. were standard. with others. We ask that participants come with a clear aim. It is probably not possible to convey in words a sense of this quality. (2009) An Introduction to Guitar Craft (2004) I Guitar Craft is three things: A way to develop a relationship with the guitar. when a multiplicity becomes one. mainly a result of drug use. of when the Circle comes to life. The exact details of Guitar Craft courses are left open so each may find its own level and discover its own character. We address the principles underlying our practice. while also a multiplicity of singularities. Where there is a certain intensity of application our state can change. A way to develop a relationship with oneself. many of them mature and experienced. with personal meetings to focus on individual needs. and effectively served as an introduction to the Introduction. after all) but the drug-addled clueless are not acceptable. We have no problem with clueless new students (we are all relatively clueless. II In the early years of Guitar Craft. Relaxation is fundamental: little is possible when we are tense. The result of these developments is a much higher standard Level One than before. The development of New Standard Tuning Weekends demonstrated Guitar Craft elements to anyone interested. Work with attention is related to the cultivation of a sense of our personal presence. During courses we commonly work both individually and in groups. working with others within the Circle is itself a way of developing singularity. Students arrive better prepared to work on the exercises. We address the fundamentals of playing the guitar with a pick. and at this point we may find music waiting. At a certain point. but we are not constantly and readily available to music. of when One embraces a multiplicity. This became necessary following a number of students acting in bad faith. Courses are as intensive as the student wishes them to be and is able to accept. Originally. The recent NST Weekend in Mexico therefore served as an introduction to an Introduction to Level One. The formal Introduction acts also as a filter. in a real sense. Emphasis is on how to play. So. with and among other singularities. Also fortunately. how to reach this point? The direction of attention is fundamental: little is possible without attention. rather than to merely become acquainted with them. Fortunately. The Alexander Technique has proven to be very helpful and is a feature of most Guitar Craft courses. Music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all. students on extended courses and kitchen work joined newcomers. In a relaxed state with our attention engaged we begin to be sensitive to the needs of the moment. These principles are applicable in other areas of our lives. all beginners. So.

III The first Guitar Craft course began on March 25th. Italy. as much as possible. be polite. England. Application Accommodation is adequate. when it toured extensively until April 1991. Honour the role. but not necessarily comfortable. but have usually been drawn from students familiar with the repertoire and who can respond to a performance challenge at short notice. Chile and Spain. or Guitar Craft related. Argentina. We use acoustic guitars with steel strings and Guitar Craft Standard Tuning. and contributed to several records. others not. Students should bring an acoustic instrument. 2004. directly by those who wish to attend: this is a valuable preparation for the course and. and on occasions a House is acquired for a period of time. Extended residential courses are held in various countries for those who make an extended commitment. The first of these was Red Lion House in Dorset. . Several offshoots of The LCG and GC courses have formed performance groups that work under their own names. USA (directed by Curt Golden) in the Autumn of 2003. if compatible with their prior commitments. metronome. otherwise. with several secondary centres of Guitar Craft and Guitar Circle activity. No judgements are made: we accept you as you arrive. Europe and South America. respect the person. in a sense. appeared on television in America. the failure to learn from a mistake. The primary centres of Guitar Craft are currently Germany. No blame! You will also be irritating them. Norway. The work of The LCG is to present Guitar Craft to the world and has performed throughout North America. New Zealand. ages and a diversity of cultural backgrounds have attended.January. Guitar Craft House Rules Honour necessity. There have since been well over one hundred Guitar Craft. and watch or clock.in courses. Nothing is compulsory. Holland.These follow a Level Three Course in Atlanta. Germany. guitar strap or footstool. Hundreds of students of many nationalities. The recommended guitar is the Ovation Shallow Body Cutaway (model no. Switzerland. part of it. We recommend that the fee is raised. Spain and Argentina. France. Some people here you will like. Japan.* An Introductory Course is usually a week. 1985. The LCG returned to active service in January 2002 and has both American and European formations. There is no mistake save one. • And afterwards also the handmade Beaudoux Guitar Craft model. but some things are necessary. Robert Fripp Wednesday 28th. the US and Argentina. 1867). honour sufficiency. The minimum age is eighteen. Some people will irritate you. A current project is to release an album drawn from live recordings of European and South American tours of 2002 and 2003. Please act towards others with goodwill and with courtesy. Freedom from like and dislike is our first major freedom. IV The League of Crafty Guitarists has been Guitar Craft's main performance ensemble since December 1985. It is advised that students not play for the week preceding the course. courses on both coasts of the United States. Members of the ensemble vary. England. England. Level Three and Four Courses will be held in Germany during 2004 (directed by Hernan Nunez).

If you smoke. or not. Rather. Be on the course to the degree you are able to honourably bear. I Inaugural Letter August 29th. avoid listening to. or not. An aim of the Level Three course is to establish a personal practice sufficient to bring ourselves and the real world into closer relationship and accord. please ask the House Manager. West Virginia. and our individual lives. If in a moment this overlay. Accept responsibility for your personal space. of the hands. The "surface" is how we see the world and believe it to be. and reading. Recording during the course is discouraged. and to adopt a position of healthy scepticism while participating in a spirit of critical goodwill. our state changes. Charles Town. Most of us have had some sense of this at a Level One course. if we may. this is necessary. and lose an opportunity. If we dislike it. we make the wrong kind of effort.the real world. If you decide to stay. Not a new world of clever intentions. this veneer of interpretation. for example. the head and the heart. When we have an opportunity. Please stay outside the kitchen. any non-course material. When we bring intention to bear upon an habitual or mechanical activity. 1989 Just below the surface of what we call our day-to-day world lie riches. this assumes the virtue: to act from conscience is a considerable freedom. Otherwise. but it is not a fiction. or when useful. we have an opportunity.You are not asked to accept any direction that violates conscience. Please stay within the boundary of the House for the duration of the course. you are asked to stay for the duration. Each of us is unbalanced in our . and has some sense of what is behind it. Actually they are not apart. please do so outside the buildings. and it is necessary that we learn to distinguish between them. and each of us finds greater ease or difficulty with a different kind of effort. February 19h. or the course as a whole. and that part of the public space which you inhabit. for yourself. you are encouraged to test ideas you find surprising. we have another opportunity. Drug use is incompatible with participation in Guitar Craft and the Guitar Circle. If the course Director considers that any person’s continuing participation is detrimental to either that person. listen to music generated within the course. Although nothing is compulsory. There are different kinds of efforts. lifts we find a new world. then we at least we have something real to dislike. everyone here has experienced a lifting of the veil of everyday perception. You are not asked to passively accept any idea presented to you. Although we are asked to act from conscience. If you require something from outside. but a new world . This is what is meant by the expression that a musician has three disciplines. We may like it. but in our normal state we are not present to it. There are three areas within which we make these efforts of different kinds: physical. When our state changes. Each day we should place some demand upon each of these faculties. the Director may ask that person to leave. Probably. If any of this is unacceptable. mental and emotional. unless you have work there. you are free to leave with a full refund prior to the beginning of the course. telephone and access the internet when necessary. political theorising and utopian devising. We are different kinds of people. Our work at Level Three is to practice the making of efforts. 2011 Letters to the Second Guitar Craft (US) Level Three Claymont Court. and this is an aim of the Level One: to enable a direct experience of what is real within the musical life. to establish the veracity of those ideas.

There are two kinds of Guitar Craft communities: the community where Crafties live and work together. If Crafties wish to work together they will move together. we begin by doing nothing. and we have our own experience from three years at Red Lion House. 1989 Sunday All Over The World have changed their status from being a touring band to becoming a studio band. and the power behind Guitar Craft's appearance in the world. This may well become the GC office in Europe. This is probably outside the two-year period we are considering. but we have yet not found a place for children in courses. and the Guitar Craft community. The visit to New Zealand will involve Guitar Craft in a new hemisphere which will involve Australia and Japan.save one: the failure to remain impartial. We may call this power the power of music. But when we stand face to face with music. and it is up to the Crafties who have that need to respond to it. we also have a responsibility to what lies behind music. Guitar Craft works by inclusion. It goes like this: there is a need. There is no one way to organise a community. and observing this creature within whom we live. or to begin to respond to it. so that we can establish a medium term plan for courses. II Second Letter September 29th. the property and the community of which it is a part. we accept ourselves as we are. those with lesser are the visitors. It is crucial that this observation of ourselves is impartial. and not just a bright idea. I am writing to our registrars around the world and asking them for their needs and requirements during the next two years. in this finer sense. We see ourselves as we would a well-loved friend. the three responsibilities are the same responsibility. But. Guitar Craft involves all the people that have a measure of commitment to this project. we watch ourselves doing nothing. one addresses the need. one recognises the need. 1989 Here is a question: what do you do when you have no enthusiasm. In time we may need a property in this area. for those who wish to work closely with me on an extended basis. which can handle mail order and all the other excitements of office life. This frees up much of the time which I was holding for touring. At Red Lion House we did have young visitors occasionally. and the harmony of their operation. My sense is the answer will develop organically. and to you all. I am very happen to be closely involved with this. If serious Crafties wish to support each other. A new factor in America within the next two years will be the beginning of communities of Crafties. When this is a real idea. As long as we maintain our impartiality we are outside. but if anyone really wanted to work with Robert they would buy a house in this village and not wait until he announces a new scheme. III Third Letter November 1st. and our personal work. the centre for a European League Of Crafty Guitaristsundertaking regular performances. and means that I have as much time for Guitar Craft as is likely to be needed. if they wish to participate? The Claymont experiment provides a lot of information and experience of what is involved in community. centered on Germany. The international nature of Guitar Craft is to be encouraged. The second one may or may not happen in my lifetime. and there were problems and disruptions. When we have seen this for ourselves. Also. Otherwise. Those with greater commitment are the residents. While we are doing nothing. we have three areas of responsibility: i) Ourselves. or the operation of the Muse. rather than exclusion. How may we design a situation which includes our families in Guitar Craft. We make courses available to partners where possible. As participants within this course. let them take the initiative and find the building. which is official. we become enmeshed within the creature and its concerns. Perhaps one of these will become a permanent Guitar Craft centre. but there is one fundamental necessity: the commitment to a common aim. A new factor which will arise is the presence of a strong European contingent. We make no judgements. iii) Guitar Craft. but the first can happen tomorrow. particularly from 1991 onwards. My best wishes to the touring team for their performances. and no mistakes are made . In Guitar Craft we refer to this responsibility in the principle: honour necessity. we see for ourselves what lies behind this particular quality. ii) The house. So. no interest.development of these faculties. and no energy? The answer is .

for the house. it is no good falling apart en route. The Great Divide is a necessary and inevitable part of any and every process. And here is a small beginning to this practice. without complaint. but it takes a real hero to cook lunch without demur. before we go to bed we consider if we have executed our small task and consider the job for the following day. If we wish to participate within the loving. The Level Three gives you a taste of what is actually involved in basing one's life on craft principles. it can lead further. creative unfolding of our world. Or the toilet may have run out of paper. run the office. we place ourselves at the service of this unfolding. Our friend love gets dumped in the mud. In a word. this creative action which is quite necessary. for several reasons. practice silence. We will only notice these small things if we are alert. and cook dinner. but generally we can escape from it. During the day we notice something in the house which could be improved or remedied by a simple action. Play is spontaneous. the power of making whole. Like cook lunch. Consider them again for yourselves. Or the window may be dirty. The Creation is creating itself all the time. And we are part of this ongoing creation if we wish to be. love is quite real. and exerts a demand upon what we are. and our pal healing action gets helped into the ditch. The principle is this: suffer cheerfully.simple. There are three areas in which jobs may be done: 1. You cook lunch. look and see one small action which is possible. To be present in the world it must be borne and carried by loving agents. and cook dinner. because it is not a power which can be constrained by existence. The Great Divide is with us in many small processes throughout our day. But over a period of three months it hits hard. for ouselves. Is this real for me or just fine words? Commitment is to be practised daily. Commitment comes from who we are. The creative power is also a power which is beyond existence. in the moment and seeks no outcome. It is the point where processes break down and go off course. techniques. and later in the day we discharge it. The passenger gets thrown out. whether . It is where we are too far from the beginning to go back. when nothing seems possible. as we all know. The one greatest single thing that I have learnt from Guitar Craft. The particular challenge of a Level Three course is crossing The Great Divide. If we are clear that this is really what we wish. I suggest that all of us have some sense of this. The play of craftsmen and artists is in the moment. Before we go to bed we consider tomorrow's job for the day. Commitment carries us through The Great Divide. this is part of our practice in alertness and presence. 2. we test this wish. At the end of our morning sitting we remind ourselves of our job. This is not a finite event. The practice is simple. most of us need instruction. For example. And then you wash it up. clean the bathrooms. Because this is so much at variance with what we would call "a normal way of living". It is ongoing. exercises and help. And then cleaning your teeth. But. there may be cobwebs around a window. Any fool can change the world. Or the flower bed by the kitchen may need weeding. The principle which I find helpful when confronting The Great Divide is this: Establish the possible. wash it up. 3. which invents Guitar Craft as it goes. of making holy that which is already holy but fragmented. is the inexpressible benevolence of the creative impulse. acts through agents. practice guitar. we must introduce a small point of certainty. This is commitment. whatever words we may use to express it. So. If this exercise is taken seriously. If we wish to be vehicles for the creative impulse. no result. run the office. The healing power. this remarkable and unfolding action of which we are all privileged to be a part. practice guitar. You do what has to be done. clean the bathrooms. Love does not exist. To be present in the world it must be expressed through play. Guitar Craft is only one example of the remarkable emergence of a major action of healing within our troubled world. and too far from the end to go forward. It is an exercise called The Job For The Day. and if we wish to place ourselves at the service of the creative impulse. It may be as heroic as getting out of bed. You are now being asked to deliver on your commitment to the course. I suggest that for now you address jobs for the house. I have just read again the aims declared at the beginning of the course. This point of reliability is the basis of the spiritual life. The creative impulse. but moves from intention and seeks to generate repercussions. So. is itself a vehicle for a far greater power. Here is another question: what do you do when you can't do anything? The answer is simple. practice silence. for the community. So. And then discharge it. Then. the power which maintains the Creation. and then move gradually towards the impossible. and with a smile. love.

and the operations of that role. the right to pay to work. The local performance team is presenting itself to the world in a gentle way. having only minimal interface with the music business. If anyone has been there for extended periods. Firstly. In commerce there is a legitimate level of coercion which is accepted as fair and ongoing. Disagreements and disputes are inevitable whenever people work together. This means. But if subjective opinion is brought within a role. something is spoilt. We all have our own opinions and bright ideas. Good time is being in step with ourselves. and therefore Guitar Craft. Wayne Forte at ITG and the current plans for touring next Spring. Secondly. Fourthly. but allowed to develop organically. in practice. My very best wishes to all you heroes. They are less rarely excusable on the road. IV Fourth Letter November 10th. The best example for us is the way in which Guitar Craft has grown and developed in nearly five years. they remain unacceptable. This is because of the high level of dishonesty and wastage which is assumed by participants. The situation is redeemable. finding local performances for the Home Boys will not be easy. 3. It is not a life based on rationality. At Level Four we say this: In Guitar Craft we have three obligations: 1. and probably not immediate. The situation is good. This team needs our support and goodwill. Our failures in living up to our declared principles are generally forgivable. the obligation to work. must leave their prejudices behind. clear and direct relationship. the current Level Three course was set up in such a way that the Level Three and Six Projects would mutually support each other. This is a very difficult position to be in. The performance team are acting on behalf of The League of Crafty Guitarists. but at a price. Two relevant guitar Craft aphorisms are: Offer no violence. 2. or not. the right to work. the obligation to pay to work. they know the alienation and distress. but rarely excusable. The presence of the combined experience of the long-term Crafties was necessary given my physical absence. In Guitar Craft we have three rights: 1. In this way my personal wastage factor is at a minimum.we have any interest in playing guitar or not. Some of you have expressed interest in Level Four. Thirdly. that gigs will be slow in coming in. because it lacks the particular kind of power which is necessary to coerce and force the commercial world. 2. Please make these as available as you consider appropriate. For example. but they are subjective. Our rule of life is this: act on principle. But. 1989 Herewith several comments for your attention which may have some relevance to the courses. . the Claymont community was damaged by gossip and carelessly-made negative comments. Guitar Craft Services operates within both worlds. It is not possible to gossip and be in a role. I am very happy that there are four of the L6 team available to respond to the needs of the Level Three as they arise. At Level Three we practice making a commitment for three months. and the standards are particularly high. Anyone within a role. In this privileged position one is able to see and be with others in a clean. move from intention. My own way of working within commerce is to put my hat on something when I can deliver. the right to inherit the consequences of our work. and often need to be addressed. But. and when I make a call to someone important they pick up the 'phone to me. Accepting the life is a measure of the musician's commitment to play music. 3. we are not yet ready for this. life on the road is too hard to easily describe. which is objective. This should not be forced. the obligation to accept the consequences of our work. In the world of craft one presents oneself to the world and is recognised and acknowledged.

we have our part to play in redeeming the situation. It is unwise to dispute when one is caught in a negative state: everything said is tainted. This does not mean we have no opinions. and acquire. pursuing the concerns of the professional musician . In front of me was a well kept secret: the budding flowers of a winter blossoming cactus. 3. What freedom when we let go of our legitimate-in-the-normal-world grievances! This is not the everyday person in us who is forgiving. We are training ourselves to respond to the promptings of music. My own recommendation is this: if we have emotional heat. Nor does it mean that we should deny their presence in our lives. Three of the primary knowings are these: 1. Out of each tip of this little creature the delicate white of emerging flowers were appearing. Then. This may or may not be so. For this we must be both reliable and responsible. much of this is hidden from us in our normal condition. likes and dislikes. we find that our “normal condition” is actually quite abnormal. Almost certainly I will irritate all of them at some time.money and business. Our blindness and deafness are a measure of our dullness and our blunt acuities. Then. Three of the primary freedoms in establishing reliability in our lives are these: 1. While on the telephone in my little wife's studio apartment. 2. we must know them. I may have a profound question about the power of koans to distress the mind.Guitar Craft is not an encounter group. likes and dislikes. A real question comes from experience. How does it appear. the poverty of our knowledge. we may hear or not. but have I spent a night in meditation on a koan? A question which comes from opinion limits its answer to a world where real answers are hard to find. freedom from the opinions of others. It is important that we do not try to change them. necessary knowledge. Opinion is not experience. we may see or not. 1989 The action of craft is mysterious. But before this. freedom from like and dislike. where does it come from. Some of these I will like and some I will dislike. 3. This beautiful. During our Level Three we must experience at least the first two of these: the knowledge of our ignorance. Hopefully we will also begin to recognise. What seems hidden is often in full view. My very best wishes to you all. all of them will irritate me at some time. and that this has some intrinsic merit. shaming my absorption in the morass of business. Much of our blindness and deafness is a result of holding opinions. If our eyes are open. they were invisible. Our capacity to forgive others is paramount. and been hurt by the carelessness of another person. It simply means that we must have freedom from their hold over us. We begin by looking at our opinions and prejudices. Probably. and why does it call to me? Much of this is hidden from us. When our state changes. V Fifth Letter November 22nd. less is hidden. be clean and direct in what one has to say. freedom from our opinions. Neither does it mean that we should have no opinions. Opinions trap our attention in a world where perception is impossible. If we have suffered umbrage. living creature spoke to me across the room. Last week I was in London. particularly by a person with greater seeming experience. the knowledge of our ignorance. Before I noticed them. If our ears are open. concealed only by our blindness. I looked up. But why should we live together in this unlikely and irritating manner? It is easy to believe we are making pioneering attempts at community living. and the poverty of our knowledge. but it is not our . the state we have to be in is considerable. When we are alert. This implies a measure of freedom in our capacity to respond. I believe that to really forgive. noticing appeared. 2. The Lord's Prayer is so commonplace that we overlook it as an unbelievably high instruction manual in the practicalities of how to get into the kingdom of heaven. giving me hope. Our lives are too short to acquire these three knowings by accident. Forgiveness is a major key in leaving our everyday prison. In Guitar Craft we are becoming vehicles for the creative impulse to express itself through music. That is. let it go before addressing someone. At Level Three we share a house with a number of other people. the recognition of necessary knowledge.

undertakes to suffer. A true question comes from our experience. we need a kitchen. If we need a kitchen. Let us restate our question: how may I behave in the kitchen when the person in charge knows less than I do? I ask myself these questions: Is my knowing knowledge. From our position in role we allow the pattern to emerge. access to one point brings access to the whole. This everyday self is an instrument which responds to the direction of an eternal action. Necessary knowledge is very easy to find. This kind of knowing has its value and its place. This is because the knowledge comes from a world that is other than the everyday. But. 2. the instructor may have less knowledge than us. In other words. So. that is. If the pattern is to emerge. One point within a pattern has access to all other points within the pattern. we need a kitchen supervisor. A role is a necessary point within an archetypical pattern. If the role is discharged. If we are accepting direction. Eating is necessary.main reason. Our problem is that we acquire both necessary knowledge and huge amounts of unnecessary knowledge. knowing what is involved. The acquisition of necessary knowledge occurs when knowing moves from what-we-are and speaks to who-we-are. We already have enough necessary knowledge to guide and direct us for the rest of our lives. whether kitchen. When we begin to have some sense of the difference between necessary and unnecessary knowledge. an energy. it is necessary that we undertake this for a period of time. a person has access to the larger pattern. In what area is my knowing superior? Is the supervisor instructing me in what to do. the sacrificing of life that life may continue. it is within our experience. If we have been present within an action. We are the only animals that override this recognition of good food and replace it by opinion. or is it opinion? My opinions on food are called a "food trip". upon which we may draw. or why to do my task? Only a supervisor at Level Ten and above will be able to instruct me in all three. The assistant cook has the job of discharging the task which is given to them by the supervisor. Anyone who undertakes to fulfil a role. an eternal pattern is given an opportunity to unfold within our world. The responsibility of the supervisor is to discharge the whole. The intensive manner of living-with-others which we practice is a sure and effective way of discovering what we are. On a personal level. Here is an example of a practical question which may arise on a Level Three: how may I behave in the kitchen when the person in charge knows less than I do? This is a question which can arise easily in many areas of our activities. our experience is present within us. and not our essential nature. The aim is to acquire a large amount of information about ourselves. they will have a sense of the whole to which they are contributing. This does not imply omniscience. This knowing carries with it a charge. If the assistant is acting in role. Necessary knowledge is very little. we may re-enter our experience and question it. This task is partial. This is a role. it is an everyday question. we accept direction. The first principle in accepting instruction is honor the role. When a person plays a role. their initiative moves to that part of them which resonates in conformity to the role. If this is so. The third principle in accepting instruction is discharge the function. If all the parts are discharged. In this state one may experience insights and knowings which are hidden from our everyday eyes. and in a sense is the whole. and the pattern may speak directly through the person. how to do. The second principle in accepting instruction is respect the person. the whole is honoured. It is not necessary for us to live in a house with a lot of people for the rest of our lives. and this creature we inhabit. but its place is subordinate. and in this sense also have access to the whole. or performance circle. It is not the everyday part of us which recognises necessary knowledge. and one discharges the role as best one may. The recognition of necessary knowledge is direct. and contains its own answer. It is also a very sophisticated question. Within a role. we begin to recognise the difference between necessary and unnecessary questions. The responsibility of the assistant is to discharge the whole of their part. The person is partial. not our opinions. but contributes to the whole. we are ourselves fulfilling a role. office. The instinctive perception by animals of food which is healthy for them is a direct knowing of the body. This is because at least one person must have a complete picture of what is involved in our temple of life and death. If we are to honour the eternal event of communion. Guitar Craft principles are all instructions in qualitative endeavour. If we are present within our experience. Their everyday self acts on behalf of that part of them which is eternal. The kitchen supervisor accepts the responsibility of holding an overview of all that occurs within the kitchen. Necessary questions are practical. So far our kitchen supervisors in Guitar Craft have given instructions in what to . The distance between the worlds of potential and actual is never so wide as when one is between them. the instructor has access to the complete picture. A role is part of the whole. within a relatively short period of time. On the level of role. but to recognise it as such needs discrimination. This is a knowing which comes from personality.

3. This is action outside role. This is more than holding an overview of the functions of the kitchen. ii) If the spirit moves. and what the kitchen represents in the pattern of living. ii) Respect the person. If this does not meet with my approval. Knowing how to eat. follow. for example macrobiotic. the supervisor is able to organise the kitchen as a microcosm. outside the kitchen. I shall: i) Acknowledge the authority of the role of supervisor. If I have expert knowledge and am aware that an operation in the kitchen is less that it might be. Where one of us has a level of self opinionation. do I know the results of my eating? The repercussions of this one are considerable. in the sense that everyone eats vegetables (with the possible exception of eskimos). clearly and directly. its cooking and eating? My very best wishes to gourmets and gourmands all. When this is so. If I notice that food is rotten. I act immediately. iii) Discharge the function. If I am prepared to follow these principles. 5. If I am warming up yesterday's soup. that role may be more fully discharged. The way the expert eats is inseparable from how they live. I have three principles to follow: i) Honour the role. Often the best way to do this is outside of role. involves the whole of the person. Otherwise. I may draw this to the attention of the supervisor. Knowing what to eat. Does the operation of the kitchen violate commonsense? Here are two Guitar Craft principles which apply: i) Honour necessity. 4. Is the operation of the kitchen at variance with my moral or ethical beliefs? This is unlikely. That is. but not prejudicial to general well being. and an incompetent assistant would be wise to ask for help from someone with more experience.do. If I am instructed to continue. I state cleanly. ii) Accept that the person in the role is doing the best they can in balancing all the different factors involved in maintaining the kitchen. Knowing why to eat. If during my work in the kitchen I notice something which is obviously wrong. I notice that the soup is not fresh. How to do is a matter of technique. A question: how much do we know about food. In an emergency. including keeping a budget and the Rule of Quantity: honor sufficiency. I bring this to the attention of the supervisor. a specific diet. Three primaries of necessary knowing in the matter of food are these: 1. Where one of us has a level of experience or expertise. It involves knowing what the functions represent in the pattern of the kitchen. this level of expertise takes twenty-one years to acquire. this will generally be recognised and called upon. unless I have expert knowledge. I tell the supervisor. 2. Expertise in a particular school of diet. this will generally be recognised and overridden. I may draw this to the attention of the kitchen supervisor. In the normal unfolding of process. and occasionally how to do. or a belief system which is being violated. 3. Then. the supervisor may give instruction in the whys of the kitchen. iii) Warm up the soup. that I am unable to follow the instructions of the kitchen supervisor and I leave the kitchen. . and on a personal basis. Is the kitchen at variance with my honouring the strictures of a particular diet? A vegetarian kitchen is a common denominator among diets.

nominally upon my behalf. We may be happy. In the dark we can't see other people. One day I visit the second floor. without blame. although exceptionally painful. Probably the most difficult personal work I have ever undertaken is to bear what I am. I know that I am not my body. To move upstairs. I realised that I was not my thinking. This is a place where I would really like to live. In time. Eric Burdon was in the audience. Our motivations are unpleasant. Fripp was disturbed to see that he did not exist. and we can see other people. Actually. feel and do. perhaps we know where we are not. and our capacity for action uncertain at best. feel and do. When I visit the second floor. our minds a windfill of prattle. Is it possible for us to maintain a clear sense of who we are. I know that whoever I am it is not this creature I inhabit. while in the tape store which had become my responsibility. I had a relationship with these instruments that operated and functioned. and looking down on the first floor and basement. The degree to which I can help them. doing nothing? It is necessary. This was an illusion. So. and what we are. impulses and capacity for action. who I am has a relationship with what I am. our centre of gravity changes. to see what we are. while pushing a wheelbarrow of compost past the woodworking shop. I have to know where I am. I saw that Robert Fripp did not exist. I see that these other people are members of my own family. there was a clear separation between who I am. This clear experience of being apart from the human animal. is the degree to which I am able to help them. it is an unpleasant surprise. but there isn't enough room for my baggage. and what I think. despite what we are. This insight probably lasted about half a second. If I am able to find forgivingness for others. The Guitar Craft principle is this: we begin where we are. A considerable cause of personal distress was the degree to which the whirring noise of my mind caught and held my attention. I may find forgiveness of myself. is the degree to which I can help myself. and on that evening The League of Crafty Guitarists and myself are playing at the Whiskey A GoGo in Los Angeles. moving in the pram to try and cover itself.VI Sixth Letter November 27th. 1989 This is my final letter to the course. If I am able to find forgiveness for myself. Hope lies in this: music is possible. was my debut in the world. we have dropped some illusions. this was a great relief. Then. I had no fear. en route for Italy where some of us will meet again. probably about 6 to 9 months old. The degree to which I am able to help myself. and he booed us. but only to the degree that I am able to help myself. who I am should have a relationship with what I am. we have to know where we are. in the bitter cold of February 1976. Life in the cellar is dark. selfish. On the 7th. we develop the relationship. my perspective is quite different. I remember the experience of being in my pram when a 'plane went overhead and made a noise. This is a limitation and restriction upon my freedom of action. while having a left hand. with a sense of both who I am and what I am. The relationship is distant and unreliable. Perhaps we can do nothing and look. nor my doing. But. but we no longer live in the same place as the concerns and worries. Sherborne House. and because of this is lonely. Twenty years ago this week I was playing this same club as a member of King Crimson. I can visit upstairs. and what I think. neither is it the accretion of habitual behaviours called Robert Fripp. This experience has remained with me since. Here. So. But. I didn't hear him: I was told of this afterwards. and to separate the two? Some 28 years later. That is. If we can do nothing with a left hand. Neither was I my feeling. but live inside this human animal. our course in Los Angeles will complete. we will probably have dropped some illusions of community life and our personal capacities. When we meet ourselves face to face. On December 6th. When we visit upstairs there is more light. if one measured it on a clock. After three months. That is. in a flash. Please send to us your best wishes. A little time later. It was a terrifying and frightening experience. While I lived in the basement and cellar I believed that I lived on ground level. and the little creature I was living in. I spent ten months at Mr. and then the two merging. Perhaps they can help me? This is true. At this point. If this distance is of real concern to us. We have a clearer sense of our reliabilities. I also know how easy it is for my animal matters to involve me in its concerns. and have another perspective from the vantage point of being above. The first moment in which I was present to myself in this life was very early. I may find forgivingness of others. even enthusiastic. One day. Our everyday concerns and worries remain the same. excuse and apology. The two are inseparable. unkind. we are on the way to doing something with a left hand. we look. In a sense. about the prospect of changing the world. Members of a family are the . The Fripp baby was disturbed. I see the distance between myself and Robert Fripp and his concerns. and with practice. Nevertheless. So. I go back downstairs. Our final day is December 5th. But are we able every morning to practise sitting for 30 minutes. Bennett's school in England. we do nothing and while we're doing nothing. but the Fripp baby was disturbed and sucked me into its concerns. pursuing similar concerns. I see things in a different way. After three months of living together. and I live on the (American) first floor (English ground floor). They live in the basement and the cellar.I shall fly to London. And this is where we find pain and suffering.

we are unable to meet the requests for help which are made of us. one moment after the other. giving four different qualities of noticing… Creative Professional Conscious Automatic Automatic noticing: what we notice confirms our existing prejudices and opinions. or survive at all. they are the same person. The process. this does not occur by accident. and change in the Spring of 1991. Despite what we are. We enter a privileged situation. Attracted noticing: our attention is attracted. It involves our co-operation. an event is instantaneous. all the rules change. while actually. if we are ready. mark and record our noticing. they will be made available to us. That is. come together in our experience. These three months have only been a small indication of what is involved. we don't have a home. we experience an extended Present Moment. At the present moment we are struggling. That is. Of those among us. ii) We direct our attention to see what is there. in potential. but we are not. a new current will appear and carry us with it. in a sense. Despite who we are. Cf George B’s comment when presenting the theme on Monday: there is a kind of noticing when the ordinary becomes extraordinary. i) We direct our attention to engage with what has been noticed. But. Noticing is also an activity and can be described by the tetrad. This is an aspect of egotism. There are exercises which we can practise to develop our capacity for cooperation with the eternal moment. This implies that it is possible for us to experiencethe complete event of Guitar Craft. But. is the inexpressible benevolence of the Creative Impulse. It is necessary that the creative impulse enters the world. The event’s appearance in the phenomenal world is restricted. in a flash. within the overall Guitar Craft process the future reaches back to invent the present and repair the past. This instantaneous moment. within the creative moment. In a sense. it already is. eternal and unfolding moments can.family. who is able to make a commitment to this next year of preparation? My very best wishes to you all. they occur all-atonce. (If we recall the performance by The League Of Crafty Guitarists on the Level Two weekend. This is a moment where we are not apart from the subject / object of our noticing. of failing to see beyond our nose. In our everyday world. The creative. perhaps even for the rest of our lives. until we have some idea of what it means to be alive within our left hand. in depth & content. it unfolds in time. and do. The one greatest lesson of Guitar Craft. our co-operation is necessary. and when we experience this interface. (Revised January 2011) Noticing. we notice what we already know and cannot notice anything other than this. our co-operation is also necessary. Help is always available. help is always available. It is a common error to believe that we are on our own. we may recall the visit by a substantial presence). So. This is also true of Guitar Craft as a whole. Although any public speaker aiming at success knows to never use the word hyparxis. One example of this is professional noticing. We notice what we already know. There is nothing that leads to this moment. Another way of putting this: noticing is a creative moment. Then. In the creative world. the pattern of the event. of something seen or speaking directly to us. In my view. little else is possible. If Guitar Craft is to become what. The office is underfunded. The most powerful kind of noticing is where something comes to us from nothing and out of nowhere: it is a creative moment. redemption is always possible. continues to resonate. When necessary. and we experience the repercussions from it as a succession of different moments unfolding sequentially in time. That is. iii) We notice. we establish in our practice a default . This will continue throughout next year. But there are no guarantees that Guitar Craft will stay on course. When we make a commitment to enter this sphere of co-operation. this course has been operating under an umbrella of protection. in an instant. constrained and limited by the necessary conditions of operating in the everyday world. and when we are ready for them. A creative event is instantaneous. is eternal. for me. but we have an opportunity to engage with it intentionally. nevertheless noticing is an hyparchic event. although perhaps a second in clock-time.

This completes the circle. we were not there. Without noticing. although there may be necessity. we are called to address it. Noticing engages the attention.procedure to make the most of this opportunity. We have a practice that facilitates and supports moments of noticing. without limit. Noticing is a gift. before we say Goodnight God! (whatever God may be for us) and our head hits the pillow. there is no compulsion. escaping our efforts to retrieve lost moments where our life is hiding from us. again. Prolegomena I Any living practice is creative in its nature. we were not present. July 9th. properly. Before we end the day. January. Where were we? Clearly. alive. when we look backwards through the day. certainty. How do we resolve these seeming contradictions within a tradition of established practice? Perhaps. II Where our attention is. 2010 Ordering The Day. We see a pattern and connections. Conscious noticing. We begin our day with definition. clarity and certainty. before our head hits the pillow. 2007. Moments such as this direct the course of our lives. So. we salute the day and say Hello God! (whatever God may be for us). recapitulating the day’s events and our living of the day. by being present in the moment and participating in its unfolding. These provide additional points of definition. we notice. Creative events reach back from the future and draw us towards them. we move our attention backwards through the day. How. we find a series of connecting moments waiting for us. we were not. When our feet hit the floor. we put part of our attention forward to when our feet hit the floor and we begin our day. why would a Creative Benevolence without end. So. with definition. how to increase our remembering. lean over and take us into its confidence? If we notice that something is needed. It is impossible to understand this. But. clarity and certainty that. We may find periods of time that elude us. We are digesting our experience that our experience may better nourish us. Which comes first? We notice discontinuities. Sunday 28th. mark & record. and halfway committed to doing so. recollection. And. there is no self-observation. II . a repercussion and an outcome. clarity. although noticing goes beyond this. Any undertaking that has its origins in past practice is determined. Creative noticing: we notice what we don’t know. and not a creative undertaking at all. what do we do when we notice? Good to have a default strategy in place for when we notice: the process is notice. recall? One recommendation is to place signposts on the hour.

for a period of forty days. pain. and fail to support what we wish for ourselves and hope to become. undertake to engage with the material and apply it. and provide a dwellingplace for them within it. one who has paid the price of admission and been given something in return. and comes to us. good to address them. our thinking and feeling patterns locked within them. If our habits are the result of trauma. come from past experiences. misdirected intention. V A bona fide practitioner engages with their tradition. distress. We may trust that. This is both long enough and short enough. This gift remains in motion. bad education.Once we develop an understanding of our particular practice. How to discriminate? Perhaps. accidental and arbitrary arisings. the practice changes: it has grown. invested by the tradition in its practitioner. Such is the benevolence of the Creative Impulse that creative insights. accredited and recognized practitioner. Sometimes what we need. Conveniently. efficient and support our aspirations in life. Our thinking and feeling lives are connected to our physical lives. A bona fide tradition. reaches over and takes the practitioner into its confidence. Introduction to Sandra Bain Cushman’s Mind Body 40 Days Friday 21st. January. Intention Presence . as best we are able. So. we are each equipped to recognize what we need. but substantial. good to begin. but we begin today. is our particular way in life. is this book / the Alexander technique / any practice or tradition. Then. are shaped to marry the individual and their Individuality to their tradition. This requires a beginning. Sometimes. So. The practitioner is also unique. and continues to grow. a tradition is creatively renewed by its practitioners. even in the noise and confusions of daily living. IV Whatever our aspiration. we may honourably put the book aside with the taste of undertaking a modest. We begin where we are. level or capacity. III The habits of our bodies and physical behaviour. in turn. 2011 Seven Assumptions For Work In The Circle. They are historic. it is on the way to our way. this book covers a period of forty days and invites a gentle engagement between the reader and author. of use to us? The good news is. if this is not for us. commitment. then they are likely the result of training. necessity speaks to us. an available skill-set. The tradition is unique. Poor use in any one area has negative reactions and effects in the others. with and through our engagement in it. those who exemplify the unique quality of Creative endeavour which the tradition broadcasts and makes available through their practice. to the degree that they are able to bear. Sandra Bain Cushman is an acknowledged. If our habits are useful. give us discomfort.

outside the room. Our attendance is not by accident. This is determined and governed by the quality of our volitional attention. the scale of C major / A natural minor. circulating. Goodwill. 5. better to be quiet. If we are absent from our speaking. how much more of music? The Eighth Assumption: The Assumption of Virtue. and enter holding goodwill towards the others in the Circle: without judgment. 4. tuning. Playing in time. 6. The quality of our feeling lives is revealed in the quality of sound we produce from our instrument: the depth and richness of timbre. this is very hard. we’re not quite present with what we are saying. So. such as the Primaries: NB the GC repertoire is useful but not necessary. Intention. One practical example: punctuality. (This is part of the practice of Necessary Speaking employed in the GC Kitchen). practical example: when entering the room. This is indicative of our station. We assume familiarity and a sufficiency of competence in the elements of a common practice: the morning sitting and Doing Nothing. moving within and leaving the Circle. without hostility. We cultivate a sense and awareness of our personal presence.Goodwill Common Practice Playing In Tune Playing In Time Listening 1. the GC House Rules. 2. if we don’t listen to ourselves while speaking. nor is our participation arbitrary. crossing the liminal threshold into the sacred space of the Circle. This is indicative of our personal harmony. Common Practice. 7. We leave any negativity at the door. specific guitar techniques. ie our level of Being. better to say nothing. our words are empty: there is nothing to be said. Our entry to the Circle is intentional. This is indicative of our personal state. October. One simple. Presence. If we have nothing to say. If we can’t listen to ourselves while speaking. C pentatonic major. entering. Saturday 2nd. we pay attention to our first footfall. without criticism. This implies that we have an aim. We participate in a spirit of goodwill. the Guitar Craft. 3. If this is true of words. of the Circle and our place within it. Listening. 2010 . Playing in tune. For some. This is the personal correspondence to playing in tone.

In this sense. a practice begins with exercises. and not quite a musician. boring. We move from making unnecessary efforts. head and heart. Practice is also what we do. So. or the music is playing the musician. then this musician is functioning creatively. The quality of our functioning. when we are unable to tell whether the disciplined musician is playing or being played by music. what we do in order to be a musician. practice is a way of transformation. We ask: 1. When we consider our functioning as a musician. What we need to do is often less than what we want to do. our heart with head. A reasonable question is. Why practise? Generally. Practising means exercises. but no more. The musician has three instruments of operation: the hands. we are on the way to becoming effectual: a trained.The Art of Craft I Practice is a process of uniting the world of qualities and the world of existences. Practice is also wretched. as dozy lump. The nature of our functioning: that is. all three together in a rare. What are we practising? 2. unlikely. If we are able to make a commitment in time. practice addresses: 1. capable of responding musically despite the constraints. So. So. and in a perfect world. situation and inclination of the moment. When the musician is goofing off with a load of riffs. practice does as well. of our hands. riffing by the necessity of the situation but in contact with that necessity. This gives us a better chance of responding to an opportunity in the moment. already has a measure of discipline. the head and the heart. then the musician is functioning as a dozy lump. in contact with the necessity of the situation but able to move outside the riffing. we find we are considering more than just the operation of our hands. An exercise is a simulated situation from real life which prepares us beforehand for the real thing. . 2. the transformation of sound is inseparable from a transformation of self. the musician has three disciplines: the disciplines of the hands. The musician. Probably. exercises aren’t the real thing. An attentive audience in the presence of a musician of this caliber will be unable to hear whether the musician is playing the music. 3. Ultimately. So. is our capacity to make a commitment in time. and exercises are a drag: music is real. responsive and reliable instrument at the service of music. we attract silence by being silent. at least in part. For example. and each has its own discipline. to guarantee that we will honor this commitment regardless of convenience. is alert. The co-ordination of our functioning: that is our hands with head. The musician. When we give up playing our licks in order to practice. the exertions of force. restricting and constricting. The musician. What is our present condition from which we begin our practising? Practice is a way of transforming the quality of our functioning. so let’s play music. these are one discipline: discipline. the direction of effortlessness. exercises deal with preparation and. how we do it. to making necessary efforts. is a bore. Actually. and why we do it. but possible harmony. and true. primarily. In this the prime maxim is: honor necessity. what is practice? Practice is an ordered activity directed towards the service of an aim. comfort. So. When we are younger these lesser freedoms have a considerable hold upon us. a refining of what we are. Why are we practising this? 3. we exchange a whole range of lesser freedoms for a larger freedom. The practice of a craft is the way. the head and the heart. what we do is inseparable from how and why we do what we do. a nuisance and to be avoided. We do what we must do. but as we grow older we find that these freedoms are not so much liberation as forms of restraint. we should be careful in defining our aim. our hands with heart. How are we practising? 4. of blending the world of silence and the world of sound. the practising the means. For example. or a clearer insight into missing that opportunity. Another reasonable question: what is discipline? Discipline. what opportunity? Another reasonable question is. Doing what we want to do takes up a lot of time and energy. they bore themselves.

The creative musician is inseparable from music. The pattern may change from being merely a pattern held in the mind’s eye. Seeing my body as an instrument of function. even very shortly. No attention. I am nothing. whichever note we are playing with this space of twenty beats. I will learn what my body requires to be a reliable. And I become aware of the condition of my body. After all. volitional. recognising that I am noticing. the discipline of the whole of the body. possibly. When I become aware of my hands. Before. When I have no attention. from moment to moment. The practicing guitarist may notice that the little finger or their left hand waves about to an alarming degree. What do I notice in the area of my thinking? Within this grey organ. Now. This mighty and accomplished being. twenty beats. by extension. a maddening noise of contrary voices. 3. and recall that last night this body had a large amount of alcohol poured into it. I make contact with my body. But. But shortly. my freedom is governed by the quality of my attention. I learn. what hope is there for clarity in the middle of this din? From time to time I notice one of these voices. The discipline of the hands becomes. responsive instrument? The answer is simple: by . 2. and in time. Perhaps. say four bars of five. or attracted attention. Perhaps I notice that my hands are sluggish today. If my little finger was recalcitrant in accepting direction. They will never be silent. whichever part of this section we are playing. The master practices the craft of art. Directed. sooner or later. The master musician is disciplined. The bad news is. what is happening? Maybe. But the good news is. However. by noticing and listening over a period of years. nowhere. The voice continues. Probably. I will forget that I have hands and my little finger will continue to describe celestial motions. driven by glucose and with an output of 25 watts. voluntary attention. I shall notice again. in the discharging of a simple manoeuvre. This is good news. If I can listen to it by directing my attention towards it. to my hands. Our function is governed by the quality of our attention. a moment expanded beyond the duration which is customary for me. This is bad news. it won’t shut up. Then. I see my mind as an instrument of function also. our attention is stretched in time to. our attention was limited to the one note which we were playing. what is the function of the mind to the musician? How does the musician practice the discipline of the mind? The mind is the seat of the imagination. that I have some power of direction over my mind. and rises with alacrity from sufficiency. Perhaps I notice that it rises slowly from eating huge amounts of food. The mind is the seat of thinking. to being a moment within which I am present and engaged. Perhaps my hands are gently shaking. the visual imagination: the production of images. Assuming the virtue.The craft–level musician is alert. from place to place. If I bring my attention. The craftsman practices the art of craft. we have a form of contact with all the other parts within this section of twenty beats. the clear implication of practice is that we are multiplying these situations by generating them for ourselves. How does the musician train the mind to be an efficient. A prime concern for us is the mind’s ability to hold patterns. this may be a measure of bars. We train the mind to hold in front of us a pattern which has relevance to our needs. a result of the nine cappuccini and French confectionery which I have just pumped into this swelling body. The quality of this contact will improve with practice. this is the animal I inhabit. functioning instrument. Then. I have noticed. as the word suggests. II Although in the normal course of our lives we find ourselves in situations where different kinds of functioning are called upon. If I take the condition of my hands seriously. the mind can also reproduce other sensory information besides the visual and auditory. they will be murmuring. but without an audience. I can listen to it. as an intentional act. that the voices never cease: if not shouting. That is bad news. My freedom lies in this: I do not have to listen to them. three pounds in weight. and there are three kinds of attention: 1. Engaged. I recognise that my attention is engaged. It can also move us in space. or that it was kept up very late watching the latest hit videos on MTV. The genius is artless. The apprentice practices the craft of craft. This is good news. perhaps I shall also take seriously – but not solemnly – the condition of my body. I begin to notice. has no control over a small digit. When this next noticing occurs. This is. even points to the heavens. When my attention is engaged. I have an opportunity. but with a different field of operation. perhaps by directing my attention away from it I will cease to hear it. For example. I begin to be a human being. the guitarist.

maybe we do not wish for it sufficiently. If any school of practice is to have any weight. This is a good test of the validity of any way: does it nourish me? There are techniques and nourishment of varying quality. This way. And every time that we notice that we haven’t been noticing. growing. even send them good thoughts. we begin again. The techniques of our craft should answer these questions: 1. We begin again. The presence of this tradition becomes available to support those who approach it. The actuality is also simple. credence or usefulness. a bona fide practice is one thing: a way. even generally acceptable. There is no separation between these approaches. This is where my freedom lies. It may be too hard. A way of developing a relationship with music. Techniques of value are efficient. a personal teacher. I may discover that the friends I like are every bit a restricting as the friends I dislike: I am locked in expectations and the demands of friendship. Perhaps. we persist. we will develop a healthy respect for our practice. or with music. In time. Practice is not just what we do with our hands. how can I avoid someone in the same band? Can I find a way of working with them despite my dislike of them? It may be that this fellow musician is a person I will never like. which we learn to recognize. The ideas should be reasonable and coherent. 3. it will provide a body of techniques. If we change our practice. How could I not remember my aim. untrustworthy. What am I to do? 2. If this is a true way it will confer a taste of what it means to be a player. I may wish them well. This may be an established institution. play music without having a relationship with myself and my guitar. A technique simulates . Practice is how we are. only an apparent separation. unnecessarily. If we accept the implications of this. And then I will have lost an opportunity: every time the creep irritated me I had been reminded of my aim. we persist. of developing a relationship. can we regard the heart as an instrument of function? What might we say of the operation of the heart? It may seem reasonable. This provides us with a measure of our commitment to our aim. of music and of being a person. and there is the art of craft. we change our lives. I may have no freedom in my liking and disliking. music and what it means to be a human being. a musician and a human being: even to be all three at once. Bringing my attention to the region of my breast. but I do not have to act with hostility. perhaps a member of my group. and can become a craft. nor just how we do what we do with our hands. Then. to suggest that the highest quality of the heart’s function is to love. and seek help. A way of developing a relationship with ourselves. I discover myself within the application. Either way. But can we love someone we dislike? A real creep. it becomes a tradition of practice.practice. created especially to come into the world and irritate me? I have the right to avoid them. just very hard. But. the art of art is artlessness. and neither do I have to think hostile thoughts. Maybe the aim is set too high. useful. ideas and a way to simply experience what it is. I may find that how I regard them changes surprisingly. or a school of practice. we will become aware of our ignorance. III It is absurd to think practising our instrument is separate from the rest of our life. I cannot play guitar without having a relationship with myself. There is craft to craft. Maybe they don’t like themselves. we persist. The ideas of the craft are ideas about playing the instrument. Playing a musical instrument is a skill. Then. And. by applying myself to the guitar and to music. when playing music in the same room as Creepo Face? They were a better friend to me than I knew. Maybe our condition is not so far from our aim. for myself. If this way is real. music and ourselves. Loathing them as I do it. How we hold our pick is how we organise our life. A practice of any value will be three things: 1. 2. If the little finger is uncontrollable. Why should I do this? These techniques are in three fields: of playing the instrument. maybe we do not have the resources at our disposal to realise our aim. the mind evasive. again. A way of developing a relationship with the instrument. At this point. maybe our condition is so far from the aim that it is wildly unrealistic. How should I do this? 3. There is also the craft of art. as a guitarist. ungovernable and noisy. The way of the performing musician is a way of craft. So. I cannot. I may act charitably towards a person. is applied to the instrument. Fortunately I do not have to look far for someone else to irritate me: they are only a reflection of the irritation I hold.

like cleaning bathrooms. This is in the nature of a quality. iii) Why these elements are put together in this way: this is form. What is my aim? Which exercise will further this? How will I practice this exercise. of our practice. Then. ii) How these elements are put together: this is syntax. They are born in fragmentation and are misleading. the unnecessary. the craft reveals itself through us. We practice presence by extending the care we apply to the playing of our instrument to the day-to-day affairs of ordinary life. one small act of quality is as big as one big act of quality. for an hour. whether a larger goal of the musician or a simple exercise. we need a metamusics. I am closer to achieving it. allegorically. If I am to practice. we come closer to knowing the quality of the idea. Any true way will be able to describe itself through its craftsmen. Ideas are of varying quality. 2. less than necessary tension and we fall over. secondly the optional. The explanation of how and why a craft is what it is requires a presentation of the complete pattern: that is. For example. we’ll probably get there. and prepares a space for the technique to become what it represents. This cultivates discrimination. perhaps we will settle for the exercises. commitment and presence. is the idea it represents. the craft lives in us. the manner in which I live my life is my way of practicing to be alive. The technique will: 1. Demonstrate: i) The pattern of elements from which the information is constructed: this is vocabulary and its constituents. If this quality is present with us. Relaxation is necessary tension. . But how and why it is present. The rule is: better to be present with a bad note than absent from a good note. All the small parts of our life is our life. Some ideas are arbitrary: in Guitar Craft we call these bright ideas. Intention must be quite clear. and thirdly the useful parts. IV A craft technique will instruct us in execution. So. If we are able to make one small act of quality. We move gradually towards the necessary by discarding firstly. and may be presented descriptively. the presentation of its unity. A quality is ungovernable by the rules of quantity: a quality is not ruled by number. it brings us to life. Some ideas come from a creative insight. We may ask: i) What is this quality? ii) How is this quality present? iii) Why is this quality present? Once a quality is within our experience. So. If I am content to drift. will my posture be able to bear me for this period of time? If not. how and why guitar playing is. we can apply this quality of effort in the other areas of our life. and capable of being simply expressed. why and how music is. If we live in the way of craft. my practicing will fail. This applies equally to small and large aims. the technique becomes what it prepares us to be. on this chair. washing windows and working in the kitchen. the sound will suffer. But if I can define my aim. How we practice is how we live our lives. In the way of describing what.what it represents. Metaphysics attempts to explain whoa and why we are. An act of quality carries intention. Unnecessary tension and we become tight. If we approach our instrument in a state of anxiety and tension. what. it will spread throughout the larger act of living. Any way of craft has exercises and ideas specific to that way. In the way of describing who. My life is too short for this to be acceptable. as we describe this way. better to have an easier life and not bother at all. and an essential quality which is easily recognizable. Once we have an experience of making an effort of this kind. There is no distance between how I live my life and how I practice being alive. or in analogy. is rather harder to describe. we relax. If we can discover the pattern. V The quality we bring to one small part of our life is the quality we bring to all the small parts of our life. present us with information. An uncertain aim and a hesitant commitment will achieve hesitant uncertainty and certain hesitancy. and convey a quality of energy which will facilitate our execution. constantly and intentionally. If we don’t know where we’re going. Instruct us in what to do. we have access to it and may allow its action to take place upon us. and how and why to do it. and for how long? Whit is this exercise directed towards achieving? An exercise is part of our total practice. metaphorically. and is never accidental. If the idea is true. description becomes easier: we describe the world in which we live. and by asking its direction we question its relevance to our larger practice. and conveys the quality which it is preparing us to recognize. The quality will be present and recognizable. Any idea has a pattern. 3.

The musician places a trained. It is helpful to establish benchmarks in execution. Nearly all our activity is habitual. The difference between play. Then. Habit is historical. Both are concerned with an economy of effort. attention. Then. and mechanically helpful. If the music is not so good. I must have contact with my automatism: awareness of my body and how it moves. to be played directly by the creative impulse. If the music is good. the musician is playing the music. This sounds fine. all the rules change. The principle of practicing function is this: each part does the work of that part. with quality present. This may be mastering a particular exercise. with contradiction. the music is playing the musician. without demands or the expectation of results. how do I know? Do I have any awareness of the flow of blood in the fingers. we learn by observation how we do things. an alert sensitivity and intentional activity. even good habit. will my hands still be there? If so. Regular and constant repetition of the essentials becomes essentially who we are: we move towards an integrity. developing co-ordination. refusing to accept an inadequacy in our technique. or dividing attention. and also my surroundings. spontaneous and fun. can I bring my attention to my hands? If I close my eyes. the gently throb of my pulse. perspective. When practicing ceases to be fun. a sense of the contact between the tips of my fingers and the strings? Is there a sufficient amount of pressure between my thumb and first finger to hold the pick? Am I able to play without looking in a mirror. alert and in contact with the moment. Good habits serve the efficient functioning of our organism. the organic sensation of the presence of life within me. my attraction to what I like and avoidance of what I dislike. Choosing one small part of our playing. with persistence. what else am I doing with my life? And with good fortune. for example. The work of the mature artist is also play in the moment. we execute superbly. after fourteen years I may have something which has become my own. united within the creative act of music. Noticing is the outcome of an alert and engaged attention. I am close to having discipline. But whatever we choose. VII The keys to a successful practice are regularity and repetition. It is difficult to exaggerate the power of habit. spontaneous and joyful activity. while the musician is in a moment of intentional play. even if only a very small piece of quality. contact with my automatism confers flexibility. themselves. but I am mechanical. But contact with skill is not authority over it. We are an amalgam of automatic responses and series of reactions. we execute this small part superbly. If the music is bad. where we’re going is how we get there: we have . The genius goes beyond their own person. and lose the possibility of acquiring discipline. Bad habit damages the organism. If I can find this authority. some resolve. the musician is playing the musician. The practice of becoming a musician is almost the same practice as becoming a human being. this may have become established in me. and no other. alert and relaxed. noticing thoughts flowing continuously and associatively. And discipline is a vehicle for joy. tuned and responsive instrument. The development of skill is the training of efficient habits directed in service of the creative impulse. Many of the necessities of becoming a musician can be practiced away from the instrument: relaxation. They are their own person. we will be easily revealed. When we are beginning to establish our practice. If all I am is habit. but how long will this take? Well. A particular posture gives rise to an emotional impulse connected to that posture. and in serving an aim.If I am sitting. and speak for themselves with their own voice. Whether faster or slower. Authority will speak to my training with a single voice. hold a unified overview of what is involved. and judgment. and when linked with attention become skill. Habit is inevitable and also necessary. with the intention of generating creative repercussions. each habit reinforcing each other. if it took forever. however small. And after twenty-one years. To discover our habits the rule is: change the tempo of our operation. and possess the capacity for judgment. The disciplined artist. music flies by. is in intention. at the service of music. I may be mechanically useful. and speaks to all of us in our own voice. One day. Automatism is rigidity. Invention is as necessary in our practice as in real life. This is intentional play in the service of an aim: the artist plays. appropriate instruction and the application of intelligence. flies with the music. and the creative efforts of the mature artist. The master musician is a musician with discipline. I am a machine. competence at different speeds. we will intentionally or unintentionally turn away from it. or my mood is reflected in my thinking and bodily movement. I am in contact with myself. When our practice becomes a way of life. This brings quality to our playing. clever words easily used. When I am in this state. Anyone who practices regularly can talk to anyone else who practices regularly: both approach craft. There is good habit. Play is in the moment. a remembered image triggers an associated posture. but harnessed to a disciplined and alert mechanism of trained response to the promptings of the creative moment. we may monitor our development. One musician of genius is all musicians. or watching my hands? What happens when someone takes my mirror or the lights go off? VI Practice will become stale unless our exercising is playful. and bad habit. and craft is a universal language.

To continue is an irrevocable act. and the quality of the craftsman/s work will attract the labourer. If we begin well. clarified. on presents one’s competence to the world. rather than upon our environment. What does the world demand of me? What is necessary for me to discharge my obligations? In the process of craft. and the leader’s responsibility to establish a good beginning. The middle of the middle is where enthusiasm runs out and our commitment is tested. but something of value can come to the musician. The final stage in a process is where our concern is with the quality of our endeavour. we must make an intentional effort to remain within the process. and fail to make a certain kind of demand of ourselves. At one level. the middle and the end. Our presence is a measure of our practice. the practice of the craft becomes a part of the craftsman and the craftsman become a part of the craft. if we can recall it. If society never pays its expected debts to us we remain at this stage. and presented in a coherent form accessible to others. The key to this stage is obedience to our instructor. This apprentice becomes connected to the craft they practice. the world will recognise us. we will become famous: the characteristic of this stage is recognition by the world. and the quality of the craftsman’s work will support the artist. If the craftsman is able to transmit the essential quality of their way of craft. in the recognition that nothing of value can come from the musician. Work of quality goes farther than the individual. If we complete this refinement. This is in the process of practising. in response to necessity. Where the craft is necessary. This is a direct appeal to the creative level for help. don’t do anything. and so we address the demands of the world outside ourselves. If we abandon . Our beginning moves farther from us the more we seize upon it. Here we refine our competence within our craft. and personaL success. Artists do no grow at the speed of craftsmen: craftsmen do not grow at the speed of labourers. This stage is the middle of the end. this carries us to the mid-point of the process. The Guitar Craft aphorism is this: When you’re tired. Inevitably we will lose interest in our practice. The stages of a process may be divided into three: the beginning. So. However.nowhere to go. is bound necessarily and inevitably by the tempo of that process. the origination. The end of the end may be a finish. this is a finish for ourselves and this particular process of our craft. and can’t do anything. Then. and then the giving-it-away. There is a tradition that at the beginning of a performance the leader of a group calls on the Muse. and set ourselves to work from our own initiative. it eludes us. occurs when the craftsman attempts to pass on to others their own practice. the middle and the end. we might as well be here. whether in craft or in life. the work of one will help the work of all. VIII Practice is also a process of unfolding stages in which the practicing connects the practicer with their practice. The beginning of the middle is where we address our capacity to make personal efforts. And while you’re not doing anything. Our legitimate concerns at this stage are with what we do. When we are underway and look back to discover our beginning. In process. The key to this stage is obedience to ourselves. the length of time spent learning anything particular decreases with the number of people that learn this new anything-in-particular. too tired to do anything. you’ve had enough. In the process of craft. If the process is to remain true to itself. The refinement and absorption of experience. regardless of personal likes and dislikes. Each of these three stages has three stages: the beginning. and where it is most likely to go off-course or break down. The true beginning. the end of the middle becomes the beginning of the end. the craftsman acts as a representative of their craft. The craftsman only has what is theirs to give away: the quality of experience and experiencing within their presence. This is the Great Divide: we are too far from the beginning to go back. and end or a completion. This is a measure of our commitment to the aim. At the middle of the beginning we make demands upon our surroundings: we feel we are deserving by virtue or our talents. and the quality of our functioning. practice. in its turn. and begins to acquire craftsmanship. But. This is immaturity. too far from the end to go forward. and the competence sufficient. If we deceive ourselves and believe the acknowledgement given to us by the world is a reflection of personal merit. the quality of the labourer’s work will help the craftsman. is a necessary final step in the process of practice. This is the point of maximum hazard. This stage. It is the musicians’ responsibility to be prepared for this moment. The quality of our beginning establishes the momentum of the process. and forget that the duration of an organic process is determined by the necessary time inherent in that particular process. the commitment to continue is where we undertake apprenticeship. The process of acquiring maturity. We are distracted by the increasing tempo of the changes in our culture and surroundings. drawn upon. Craftsmanship. We make demands upon ourselves. although without the innocence characteristic of a true beginning. We demand a certain kind of attention from our environment. leads to the mastery of practice. and largely determines its character. We remain at the beginning. regardless of where it may take us. too exposed to do nothing: we have no interest in our aim. This is an inevitable part of any process. of a process is invisible. The quality of the artist’s work will lead the craftsman. or have rights owed to us by society and this situation in which we find ourselves. the completion of craftsmanship and the beginning of mastery.

Attention. . Suffering is an inevitable part of a process. So. When we forgive ourselves. Letting go of what we have wanted for ourselves is a remarkable freedom. IX Practice brings an aim within reach. but in a different way. Music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all. the degree of our resolve. and even of the legs. Strangely. A little experience. Without interest we are unable to continue. but we are not constantly and readily available to music. I am able to accept music. In this clear perception of the helplessness and wretchedness of myself and others. and to move through the process of practising we accept this necessary suffering voluntarily. what can I do? We discover our limits. selfish. perhaps even graceful. In a relaxed state with our attention engaged we begin to be sensitive to the needs of the moment. We are now at the second stage. The third stage of suffering is in recognition of who we are: unpleasant. we rush. Guitar Craft is three things: 1. although forgiven and forgiving. 3. recognising that the music makes the musician. twitching lips. we are unable to forgive ourselves. In the third stage we learn that all we have is what we can give away. breeding and politeness. and a completion is a new beginning. We abandon the force of our endeavour. and when we are in this state we may find music waiting. In the belief that results follow more speedily by speeding. In the second stage we learn enthusiasm is not enough. smiling winningly beneath a veneer of manners. no sense of the right wrist. forcing fingers onto strings by extravagant gestures of the arm. accepting the tempo of the process of which we are now a part. this is not where the problem lies: we have no contact with the fingers of the left hand. to the directing of the craft. 2. These are the three fundamentals of practice: 1. without being told what to do. wherever it may lead and whatever it may demand of us. This is an honorable status. experience. whether this practice is real for us or just an imaginary notion. For others. and a way we could not have anticipated. which in turn is related to the cultivation of a relaxed and sensitive state within our own volition. A way to develop a relationship with oneself. but not so exciting and certainly not as interesting as the unnecessary. recognising it briNgs violence to our activity. Necessity is honored. The advantages of an efficient practice include: i) Intrinsic value: there is an economy of effort. our expectations and ambitions. If our suffering is of quality it will never be apparent to others. although the musculature of the hands is not developed. This letting go of what we have acquired is the completion of our process. Sensitivity. The nature of the necessary suffering changes with the stages. Relaxation is fundamental: little is possible when we are tense. The rule of necessary suffering is: suffer cheerfully. This is the beginning of the beginning of mastery of music. The fundamentals of practice within Guitar Craft reflect the nature and aims of Guitar Craft. Some choose to maintain the world by remaining here. Our state can change with a certain intensity of application. without recrimination. some necessary. A way to develop a relationship with music. The key to this third stage is obedience to necessity. we achieve the status of craftsman in the process of music. I inherit the repercussion of my errors. The second stage of suffering is in the recognition of how little we can work from our own initiative. But. we work too hard: an enormous amount of effort goes into facial grimaces. how to practice application? The direction of attention is fundamental: without attention we are nothing. the abandonment is a completion: the abandonment is complete. This may be worldly success. we exert ourselves heroically. and we slow down. and without reservation. Nothing is wasted. The practice of relaxation and an alert sense of presence is connect to the practice of attention. we forgive others. unkind. Relaxation. A way to develop a relationship with the guitar. in its acceptance of myself and others. 3. One enters the service of the craft. 2. and we practice commitment.the call of personal success and acknowledgement. little awareness of what it means to live inside our bodies. the letting go creates a condition which permits the return of what we had hoped for. In the belief that skill follows effort. how much we can ask of ourselves. The first stage of suffering is in the recognition of our inept functioning: how badly we play our guitars. we abandon the criticism of others. Until we are able to accept this poverty of being without excuse and without criticism. Necessary efforts are sufficient. Then. In the first stage we discover that. When we abandon criticism of ourselves. Some suffering is unnecessary.

The hand is brought to the neck of the guitar and the thumb place in the middle of the neck. This is the beginning of personal freedom. and of becoming a human being. the had is placed to rest on the leg. so does our response. What next? These are some of the things we may consider in our practising. The only point of contact between the left hand and the guitar is the first digit of the thumb. When the two experiences resonate. When they are resting. The importance of this is considerable: it is the beginning of effectuality. and the tips of the fingers. Both hands are available to move to wherever they are needed from a middle position. When we see rightness we may not have the capacity to respond to the demand it makes of us. but light contact with the neck being maintained during the shift. they will place meaningless information between our hands. I. iii) The alertness generated by intention-applied-to-automatism brings us into the moment. at the seventh position. In the moment we are in contact with ourselves and our environment: in the moment. Position changing is effected in two ways: i) for small position changes: by the pressure of the thumb being released. The thumb is drawn back. but without force. As the hand travels up the neck toward the body. or general. we adopt the Position of Readiness. Then. with one reservation: the detailed information will only be of help if we have some prior experience of working with the exercises . A good teacher will bring their student with the sphere of their experience. Once the student has access to this experience within their own sphere of experience. The arm is allowed to fall from the hand. that is it is central. the student recognises that they are close to rightness. The centre of gravity of the right hand is a point between the third and fourth strings. they may hold their teacher’s experience as a template against their own efforts. and in whose hands the experience of these exercises reside. The principle is. iv) Working from intention brings us closer to the creative impulse. discharging commitments made in time. once established to a degree with our hands and bodies.ii) A result of intention applied to our automatism is the generation of a state of alertness. We are sitting in a relaxed fashion on our hard and unyielding chairs. with the fingers hovering just above the strings. To begin. how do I begin? I may drift towards practising. but as our power of effectuality increases. the guitar comes to the body. Alternatively. we prepare the beginning. we can see what is necessary. which is gently established at the side of the body. When not playing. the elbow naturally moving in towards the body. Left Hand 1) The Position. I may start. This practising of intentional application to our habitual way of doing things. and recognise rightness. This may be quite specific. can be applied in turn to the automatic functioning of our minds and emotional reactions. The rule is: when the hands are on the guitar they are working. The hand is arched. The thumb is generally at an angle of about 45 degrees to the neck. The placing of the guitar on the body is determined by the height needed to support the right arm at the elbow. The centre of gravity of the spine is erect. Otherwise. the fingers falling from above to touch the strings. Where possible. How do we prepare? Let us assume that: 1. The centre of gravity of the left hand is a point between the third and fourth strings. or knee. they are at rest. and making an effort to move to the inside of our practising. Now. returning to contact as soon as the new position has been established. consult the experience in their hands rather than their opinions of that experience. and allow the left hand to rise naturally from the elbow to the seventh position. the angle of the thumb moves gradually into line with the neck. ii) for larger position changes: the thumb is swiftly and lightly removed from contact with the neck. with: 3. our reasonable and clearly defined aim. the closest point to all possibilities. the rigour of which reminds us of: 2. appeal for help to someone whose experience is greater than ours. awareness of the sensation of being alive within our hands. but not with their capacity to generate from their own volition. and gently locked. It is recommended that the finger nails are files to the quick. or I may begin. and our direct experiencing of both. there is no movement within the thumb. and the thumb moves farther from the fingers. and convey to them some sense of their experience. If the quality of beginning our practice establishes how the process will continue. of working from ourselves and our own initiative. Common Faults: . our practice. and roughly beneath the second finger while in the lower positions. the hand is allowed to rise from the elbow. When playing.

whether the finger combination is of two. the flow of the sequence is interrupted. and bring force to both. the centre of gravity of the left hand is poorly established. iii) Release. Then we let go. ii) Completed Flow. Often this is because the guitar is too low from our shoulder. This restricts the fingers’ even access to all the strings. completed flow. the hand will have to squeeze. their centre of gravity a point between the third and fourth strings. Preparing for. maintaining the application of pressure. b) Taking the finger off the string. In the experience of release. iii) Excessive bending of the wrist. we experience the lightness which characterises the quality of letting go. and address the two concerns of: a. Otherwise. or our left arm is resting along the leg iv) Thumb away from the middle of the neck: that is. i) Succession. While playing. 2) The Fingers. the next motion. and anticipating. The leading finger. In the traditional approach. The fingers fall from immediately above the strings. We discover how we avoid the necessary. The principle is: when ascending. stopping the string closely behind the fret with the tip of the finger. These concerns are particularly noticeable at speed in the ascending combinations of two . dropping the unneeded second action. the pressure applied by each of the fingers to the string is maintained until the finger combination is completed. We labour where a little work is sufficient. b. Each finger is assigned to a successive fret within the position. We discover we can let go of our anxiety about letting go. leave the fingers down. simultaneous release will occur with a two or three finger combination where a finger outside the combination leads to the next phrase. The Rule of Quality is: Honor necessity. we let go of our anxiety about not letting go. invest in the unnecessary. The second action is unnecessary: all that is required is the release of pressure. The principle is: complete the motion undertaken. This compromises the most effective use of the pressure between the fingers and thumb. iv) Simultaneous Release. simultaneous release and constant release. We adopt the posture of readiness. release.” Simultaneous release and completed flow are closely related. and only in a four finger combination which does lead to a new phrase would be “a little more simultaneous than the others. with the four fingers hovering slightly above the relevant position. This is an important principle in approaching an effortless practice. When two or more fingers are stopping any one string in an ascending sequence. Any preceding finger in a sequence is left in contact with the string. Often the rationalisation for this position is string bending. to honor the principle of succession. The operation of the fingers honor the five principles of succession. This quality of lightness can be applied to the other parts of our lives: as a quality. This is applicable where no finger in an ascending combination leads in the following combination of fingers: that is. the shape of the hand remains constant. Then. Completing a motion undertaken. The regular application of this principle brings us from labour to work. stopping the strings with the left hand involves two actions: a) Placing the finger on the string and applying pressure. the fingers moving across the fingerboard to the particular strings to be played. if involved in an ascending combination. This principle is addressed to the practical problem of when to release the leading finger from the combination of fingers to begin the next fingering combination. it will inevitably spread. This completes the first action without initiating a second: release. not remove. The principle is: letting go. then. three or four fingers. applying sufficient pressure for the note to sound cleanly when struck by the pick. v) The hand supports the weight of the guitar. will not move to the next phrase until the ascending sequential combination of which it is a part has been completed.i) Bent thumb. ii) Movement of the elbow. The Rule of Quantity is: Honor sufficiency.

for example. rather than releasing them. iv) Stretch between the second and third fingers. ii) Looking at the arm from above. The exercise of Simultaneous Release incorporates a direct experience of this principle in the hand. and does not contradict succession. and then a little further. iii) Combinations involving both ascending and descending fingerings.2 and 4 will be released simultaneously. fingers 1. but only when 2. This can be rapidly acquired be practice and the direction of attention. v) Removing fingers from the strings. but only when 2 and 4 have been applied to the string c.3. The wrist works by releasing the hand downwards and allowing it to return.4. ii) Combinations involving the little finger. fingers 2. This suspended position is dependent upon a sense of balance within the hand and the arm. 2. then move towards the impossible. b. the completion of flow and simultaneous release. The only point of contact between the right hand.3 and 4.3. where 1 takes the next note. from the elbow through the second finger.2. We go as far as we can. Visual determination . The right arm is supported at the elbow by the guitar. vii) Equality of Combination.3. Where 1 takes the next note. How much further is moderated by the application of intelligence and the demands of the situation. where 3 takes the next note.2. the forearm and the guitar is at the elbow. These may be of any two. In a three-finger combination. This principle is most obvious in descending sequences on the same string. vi) Digital Equality. 1. particularly of the little finger. 1.4. three or all four fingers combinations of ascending and descending fingerings are particularly difficult. from the elbow through the thumb. An example of each will make this clearer.fingers (1. We establish the motion and apply the motion to the string. we may begin a stretch exercise in a higher position. The principle is: establish the possible. In a two-finger combination. This is applied throughout our practice where I observes the duration of notes. Common Faults: i) Weakness of the little finger. completed flow and simultaneous release. say 1.3. which can often be rapidly rectified by specific exercises. This is of primary importance.2.3 and 4 have been applied to the string. ascending combinations of three fingers (1. In a four-string combination.3. it will only be released after 2 has been applied to the string but the release will be slightly ahead of the release of 2. a. the movement coming from the wrist. 1. Most guitarists have a weakness in the little finger. All the fingers of the left hand are to have equal capacity in strength. 3. Assuming equal strength among the fingers.4). 1 and 2 will be released simultaneously. 2. where either 3 or 4 play the next note on another string.2 and 4. The elbow brings the hand to where the wrist will work. 1.3.4).4). This often involves considerable movement away from the strings. The centre of gravity of the hand may be visually determined by a straight line through two planes: i) Looking at the arm from in front. some combinations of fingering are more reliable than others. honoring the principles of succession. In this position there is no unnecessary tension in the musculature of the writs. v) Constant Release. II. Where 1 takes the next note. and in sequences of notes of equal duration played across strings. with no concern for the string: our concern is the quality of motion. This principle reinforces the principle of release: we are constantly letting go of unneeded effort. There is no movement in the hand. 2.3 and 4 will be released simultaneously and 1 will be released slightly ahead of them. and the only ascending combination of four fingers (1. release and stamina. say 1 and 2. say 1. gradually.4. an move towers a lower.2. Right Hand 1) The operation of the hand and arm.2. viii) Stretch.4. 2 and 4 will be released simultaneously and 1 will be release slightly ahead of them.

so the thumb applies more pressure to hold the pick on the side of the first digit of the first finger. and no other. There are three parts of the thumb which concern us: the ball of the thumb. The ball of the thumb may pivot gently on the lower strings or the bridge for additional support in picking at high speeds. Common faults occur where the principle that each part does the work of that part. v) The function of the second. pointing back towards the elbow along the line of the arm. This is referred to as pivotal picking. Where a series of down strokes are best suited to the music. The motion of release and return is in the same plane as the strings: i. the wrist applies a momentary vigour to the release. The disadvantage or referring to the motion or release-and-return as down and up picking is that a kind of effort is implied which is not actually made. downwards is called a down stroke. the assumption of the position is automatic. and the pick. and the joint at the base of the thumb. is called an up stroke. even tone at higher flume. The release of the hand. the pick is vertical to the string and strikes the string straight on. Slight variations in the shape and pressure of the thumb have considerable influence over the application of the pick. i) The ball of the thumb is erect. Common Faults: i) The wrist locks. and perhaps return. and directing the angle and strength with which it hits the string. Then. i) The function of the elbow is to establish the centre of gravity of the hand: that is. The experience of the hand’s position from within the hand itself is our most reliable template in finding the position for ourselves. in holding vi) The function of the thumb is to produce volume and tone. but no other. and the pick. is violated. . c) Applying pressure to the pick. third and fourth fingers is to provide support to the first finger the pick. Additional pressure is applied by the joint at the base of the thumb. the elbow brings the pick to a point between the third and fourth strings. The angle of the pick is established by the thumb. b) To work with the thumb in the production of volume. for example. The return of the hand. The release and return are called down and up strokes. iii) The function of the thumb and first finger is to hold the pick. iv) The function of the pick is to strike the string. iii) The first digit of the thumb moves towards the side of the first digit of the first finger from the joint at the base of the thumb. to bring the wrist to where the wrist applies the motion to the string.should be abandoned as soon as the position of the hand and arm has begun to be established. The principle in all of this is: each part does the work of that part. the pick strikes the string at 45 degrees. The Position of Readiness for the right hand is where the centre of gravity of the right hand is in the middle of the strings. the completed stroke bringing the plectrum to rest on the string below. b) Calibrating the angle at which the pick strikes the string. ii) The functions of the wrist are: a) To establish the motion to be applied to the string. strong. although this implies a kind of effort which is not actually made. The first finger moves towards the thumb. and the forearm moves from the elbow (the elbow does the work of the wrist). and the other fingers follow beneath the first in support. The pick is held between the first digit of the thumb.e. It does this by: a) Holding the pick on the side of the first digit of the first finger. and for damping. In alternate picking. that is. The wrist does this by releasing the hand downwards and allowing it to return. All four fingers are held gently together. there is no rocking in the forearm. ii) The thumb is gently locked backwards. and the side of the first digit of the first finger. Once the arm knows this in itself. the thumb itself. of the hand.

a) Release. deprive the first finger and pick of their support. rather than allowing eh elbow to shift the centre of gravity). and the pick is held on the first finger by the joint in the middle of the thumb (the thumb does the work of the ball of the thumb). and restricts movement of the centre of gravity). The beginning stroke. xiii) Hand fallen downwards prior to picking (the centre of gravity is too high). iii) The ball of the thumb collapses. The support for the hand is our sense of equipoise and internal balance. The motion established by the release of the hand allows the pick to make contact with the string. or second digit of the first finger (the joint or second digit does the work of the first digit). b) Consecutive down strokes. This is the way of effortless effort: it is the way of the artist. within the accented picking. The return of the hand allows the pick to make contact with the string. there is no such thing as an up stroke: rather. We establish the motion and apply the motion to the string. Similarly. undermine the sense of balance. and restricts movement of the centre of gravity). we allow the action to occur. it is the release of the hand holding the pick. which can be modified in response to the demands of the music. with compromising the motion. picking. where prime accents are given down strokes. There is no such thing as a down stroke: rather. This resembles the startle reflex. i) Alternate picking. and restricts the rapid shifting of the centre of gravity).” 2) Picking. In establishing the picking. This is a principle of working: we release unnecessary effort. consecutive down strokes are generally preferable to alternate picking. but squeezes the muscles and restricts the supply of blood in the forearm). x) Reliance upon visual contact (the eyes do the work of the hands). This is where the right arm is only in contact with the guitar at the elbow. A down stroke is assigned to the down beat and an up stroke is assigned to the up beat. xii) Hand pulled upwards prior to picking (the centre of gravity is too low).ii) The thumb bends in the middle. or suspended. usually on the bridge or lower strings. This is sometimes referred to as “rock ‘n’ roll wrist. This is the system of picking in which a down stroke is followed by an up stroke and an up stroke is followed by a down stroke in a series of consecutive notes of equal duration. xi) The thumb holds the pick on the joint. the return of the hand holding the pick from its position following the release. alternate picking continues as normal. This is where the right hand pivots lightly from the ball of the thumb. v) The motion. ii) The two main modifications: a) Accented picking. v) The hand is anchored by fingers resting on the soundboard(the fingers do the work of the sense of balance along the arm. iv) The pick is moved by raped motion of the joint in the middle of the thumb (the thumb does the work of the wrist). iv) Pivoted hand. vii) The forearm rests on the front of the guitar (the forearm does the work of the elbow. This is useful when picking at high speeds in a restricted compass. and the wrist twists upwards to compensate for the changed angle of the pick (the wrist does the work of the thumb). . is therefore determined by whether the first note is a strong or weak beat This method establishes a coherent and reliable approach to picking. At a slow tempo. undermines the sense of balance. iii) Free hand. But. viii) The forearm rests on the edge of the guitar (as above. whether down or up. vi) The hand is anchored by the ball of the thumb resting on the bridge or lower strings (the ball of the thumb does the work of the sense of balance. The hand returns to the same position as prior to the release. ix) Excessive movement up and down in the wrist (the wrist does the work of the elbow.

to: i) Adopt an efficient configuration of the hand. of graduated extension for the right hand. where notes held by the left hand are of different values. . release andsimultaneous release within the operation of the fingers. iii) Extend the principles of the first primary towards music. IV. 3) The Third Primary. for the left hand. of combined ascending and descending fingerings. But this approach makes possible a clarity of execution on electric guitar which would otherwise be unlikely. 2) The Second Secondary. 2) The Second Primary. 1) The First Secondary. and electricity does much of the right hand’s work. the quality of our sound on acoustic guitar reveals the degree of our skill. The Secondary Exercises. the completion of flow. and pivoting slightly either side of this placement to stop notes on these adjacent strings. v) Establish the method of alternate picking. to: i) Develop a sense of equipoise along the right hand from the elbow to the fingers. 7) The Seventh Primary (the Finger Pivot): where one finger of the left hand is placed between two adjacent strings. for the left hand. for the left hand. for example by hammer-ons and pull-offs. for the right hand. Technology does most of the work of tone and volume production. ii) Establish the hand’s centre of gravity. to i) Develop vertical fingering ii) Acquire familiarity with the vocabulary of the fingerboard along the length of the neck. But. vi) The electric guitar is power driven. and bring this knowledge within the hand. to: i) Develop lateral fingering ii) Acquire familiarity with the vocabulary of the fingerboard throughout the positions. to extend the field of alternate picking across the strings. the tremelo. 5) The Fifth Secondary. ii) Develop the independence. Sounding notes may be given to the left hand. where one or two fingers of the left hand are gently applied to a string which the remaining fingers execute a combination. iii) Extend the principles of the first primary towards music. strength and efficiency of the fingers. iv) Acquire familiarity with pivotal picking. for the right hand. 3) The Third Secondary. The Seven Primaries 1) The First Primary. III. 6) The Sixth Primary (the Anchor). of varied duration. The inevitable and necessary response to release: having gone nowhere. to: i) Cultivate release by restraining removal. and bring this knowledge within the hand. 5) The Fifth Primary. ii) The cultivation of accuracy. for: i) The economy of motion between adjacent strings. of extended vertical fingering. of extended lateral fingering. iii) Acquire familiarity with suspended arm picking. 6) The Sixth Secondary. vertically form above the fingerboard. 4) The Fourth Primary (cross picking). ii) Incorporate the principles of succession.b) Return. 4) The Fourth Secondary. we return to where we were.

we have slow slow. accept nothing less than what is right. 2) Repertoire. or exercise. With commitment. Where we are failing in our task we stop. this will be widely based. so what is the right tempo? This will vary with different times of day. A quality repertoire is often measured by how much good material has been dropped from it. flexible and adaptable. grounded in music. slow medium. But. A basic vocabulary will include frequently used scales. and backward. This is not to deny the intelligent and playful application of the principles to our personal needs. There are three speeds: fast. medium slow. although the content of the expression is not inevitably more subtle. can I play presto? We begin by establishing a benchmark tempo with the metronome. Offer no violence. My playing will move through time: what is the right speed for this playing? My personal speed relates to the tempo of the playing. but not solemnly. Begin where you are. The vocabulary of the modern musician is far more sophisticated than a generation ago. Then. and begin again. These moments are precious. Common Fault: We devise a personal exercise. Each has its own recognizable flavour. 1) Vocabulary. For my playing. How to approach the many weaknesses and imbalances in our playing? A recommendation is to choose one small part of our playing. of music: our concerns are semantic. medium medium and fast medium. I must have the vocabulary at my disposal. IV. slow fast regular fast and extremely fast indeed. even though it may take years to come to them. Ideally. Soon. Perhaps we set ourselves this task for one week. Sometimes. and fast slow. chords and rhythms. In performance we do not have the time to consider the vocabulary and grammar. and to improvise. Once we have chosen this one small aspect we monitor it continually and frequently. On the other hand. Rather than imposing a false and forced pace of life upon myself. perhaps even the syntax. Ten Principles: Act from principle. We will instinctively be drawn more towards some than others: this is an instinct to be trusted. a foundation for further growth. it may mean that I drop my fast licks. in this one small area no compromise is to be accepted at all. with all the consequent disruptions to my equilibrium. our speed is mainly constrained by knowing what we are doing and where we are going. and each speed has its own three speeds. and the capacity to execute a passage accurately. Our practising in this way is not only a waste of time. So. slow and medium. Honor necessity. 3) Speed. The principle is. all the rules change.7) The Seventh Secondary. Take our work seriously. when the tempo of the exercise and my personal tempo come together. we extend the parameters of our competence by moving the metronome forward. clearly. playing faster. General Practice. This is a coherent and established vocabulary. Define your aim simply. If I wish to speak with my own voice. Assume the virtue. Once we have the appropriate speed. Establish the possible and move gradually towards the impossible. Each of these has its own distinctive quality. and to set ourselves to discharge this one small part superbly. choosing a tempo reliably within our competence. correct ourselves. that is. Benchmarks address our manual capacity for . we will acquire a sense of the principles involved and cant begin the practice proper. they are available immediately if we care to drop our demands on time. we choose one more small part of our playing and continue in the same fashion. having established this to an honorable degree. freeing the attention for other concerns within the performance. of combination. I get a hint of what it means to live my life at the right speed. Although one may accept compromises in areas other than the one we have chosen. Suffer cheerfully. briefly. Then. for ourself before we have understood the fundamental principles. and within my practice period. variable. but its effects will take time to repair. I become a creature in time with myself. sometimes I am in a hurry: so. The constituents of the musical language will be within the hands. playing slower.

ii) Often musical training is unbalanced. whether from nervousness. durations and tempos. the fine edge of my performance will be blunted. iv) Playing in time is the synchronisation of the pulse of the music and the pulse of the musician. iii) Tempo is the rate of pulse of the music. This is primarily an emotional response to the needs and demands of the moment. fear. “Good time” is being in step with ourselves. 5) Accuracy. It makes a demand upon us. The key to accuracy is to discover the tempo of our accuracy. But there is one condition: if the musician taps their foot.” to lock our playing into an effective tempo. Good time includes and combines these elements: i. and can hold the complete sequence at any moment. Common Faults: A musician with poor time is always suspect: they are out of touch with something fundamental within themselves. the pulse of music. This becomes obvious when playing with others: we may no wish to be part of a group. from outside ourself. or moves the body. although this is a capacity within the craft of the musician. and in group time. in tune and in town. Pulse is the time in the body. Exhilaration is qualitatively different. Less than one hour a day and I cease to be a guitarist. The aim is to hit the right note at the right time. and then extend its parameters. Efficiency is a measure of the relationship between the quantity of my labour and the quality of my work. or to accept group time. have an overview of what is being played. ii) Timing is the stressing of significances in the moment. the number of bars of the piece. establish this as a benchmark. or necessary effort. I will struggle and force my playing. a and a clear aim. Playing in time is not necessarily metronomic time. where we are going. and a resulting lack of connection with the body and ones personal pulse. and allow their personal tempo to race. This is held by the mind.speed. If I am out of practice. Poor time reflects a lack of personal connection to. This requires that we be competent. The tempo of performance will reflect this. vocabulary addresses knowing what we are doing. This is the discovery of effortlessness. developing the duration of our present moment addresses the knowing of where we come from. of emphasizing continuities and discontinuities within the sequential unfolding of the music. 7) Economy. Metronomic time is not good time. 6) Facility. and any audience has its own personal tempo. and the overview of what we are playing. We consult the body to play “in time. with an exaggerated development of the cerebral side of musicianship. Orchestral players are trained to inhibit the movement of the body. and be idiosyncratic to that performance. i) Poor time is often an indication of a fundamental egotism: we are unable to move outside ourselves. and my .The pattern of the music unfolding in time. or strict tempo. The trained mind can see the complete unfolding of a piece. and so out of touch with others. This is also true of the audience. A satisfying performance will synchronise the pulse of music. it must be in time. we impose our own sense of time upon the group. and so refuse to hear them. and is the integral and overall horizontal organisation of the music expressed in terms of musical time elements: the time signature. to which we must respond. it will take three days of consistent practising before I become limber. or concern for. Our personal sense of time changes during performance. but the metronome is an impartial arbiter of our accuracy at any particular speed. Otherwise. Common Faults: i) Playing too fast. 4) Time. With an inefficient practice I will run out of energy. iii) Ambition. in the moment. Within the Guitar Craft performance circle there is no denial of the natural and joyous response of the body to music. in my practising. or perhaps from conceit. Instead. iii) The clumsy musician will surrender to excitement. ii) Lack of familiarity with the material being played. musician and audience. in response to the changing hear-beat and pulse of the body. and accept the time of the conductor.

generate and invest this energy. can be useful to me. In relaxing the body. This is a subtle study. is where I am. as a necessity? Is this note arbitrary. The music we play is a true reflection of who we are. and that I only change. so I provide them for myself. what is present is my attention. it is an indication of the presence of music with the musician. professionally adequate or singing with rightness? How may I discriminate between sufficiency and adequacy? 10) Presence. There are opportunities in my surroundings which. Am I able to relax while practising? Can I maintain my posture for an extended period? Is my breathing free.capacity restricted. If music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all. as far as I can tell. If I ask my body to sit quietly for half an hour and do nothing. I present myself with small challenges. Absence is when I am not. I have noticed that comfort makes me dull. of substantiality. to take note. 7) Economy is not. rarely excusable and never acceptable. Sudden sounds which might irritate me. and as far as I can tell. if my quality of attention varies. When the current turns on. I trade in my comfort for an opportunity to be present when music flies by. other than noticing discomfort. In time this leads me to examine the quality and quantity of energy available to me. I will forget to notice. which make a demand upon me. conserve. When releasing muscular patterns. This acknowledges the Rule of Quantity: honor sufficiency. It is the “when” and the “how long” of who I am. has found a resonance in me. a moment in which my attention is engaged. This experience can be very powerful. the right amount is enough. we find . But soon I become accustomed to these no longer surprising sounds. 11) Persistence. although always different. but the quality of sound involves more than this. So. to be part of the world around me. 9) Tone. this implies that we are present to ourselves. the right hand is responsible for tone production. A present moment is the measure of my presence in time. if I apply my intelligence. but my noticing remains the same: it is noticing. So. letting go unnecessary tension. how can we be constantly and readily available to music? If we are present to music. 8) Relaxation is the presence of necessary tension. So. So. I become a qualitatively different person. The characters in the forefront of action change as the drama of living unfolds. This moment is always the same. If my life is comfortable. emotional and psychological. The response is direct: there is no argument. rather. Am I present with this note? Is this note floating about on the outside of who I am. small points of discontinuity. and it is unable to respond. Where my attention is. When we begin to practise persistence. tension is the presence of unnecessary tension. I learn a technique: points of discontinuity alert me. we must be present to disagree. forced. and I will notice: i) Where my attention goes. soon I grow to like those I formerly disliked. to notice. or does it come from inside men. Does my note sound good? Does it have resonance? Superficially. and so I find others. we also let go of unnecessary attitudes and feelings. We discover experiences. or people I dislike. and our musical instrument shows us where we are. Perhaps. and the sound emerging from our instrument comes to life. So the question remains: how can we be present? This leads to the question: who is present: perhaps the best I can say is. This is always forgivable. or what is adequate? Tone is a measure of my presence with the note. and how I waste. Persistence is a measure of our wish. justification or explanation for a bad note. I have a choice: comfort of substantiality. Release is an important principle in relaxation. yes. can remind me of my aim to be present. a different person completely. The long answer is. we know our life will never be quite the same again. less is more. or constrained? Relaxation is never accidental: it always carries intention. We were not present. ii) My noticing of where my attention goes. Presence is being where I am. These points will inevitably become blunted by usage. and sometimes no one at all. If this is enough. Our question is: where did that come from? If this moment of amplified presence. our state changes. yes. collapse is the absence of necessary tension. If I wish to be present. perhaps. how? If we disagree with the proposition that music is a benevolent presence. These characters are related by one common factor: my noticing of them. it is who I am. and unsettling. I will notice that often more than two people play upon the stage of my life: many relatives in a large family of disparate characters appear and perform. Neither will I bother to exert myself to notice. Neither can I rely on my surroundings to provide me with discontinuities. life is settled. experiences associated with them sometimes reappear. Have I become two people? The quick answer is. Will I accept what is sufficient. carried in our postures. But when music flies by. my practice will involve noticing my attention. there is little chance I can ask it to sit quietly for an hour while I practise.

that wanting is no a sufficiently strong force to take us past the Great Divide. The Great Divide is the
stage in any process when we are too far from the beginning to go back, and too far from the end to go
forward. We have run out of enthusiasm and interest, and have nothing to keep us moving. Wish is
stronger than want, but even wish is not enough to guarantee our effectuality, and carry us towards our
aim. For this, commitment is necessary to hold us within the process until the end is close enough to
reach back and pull us towards it. But, to make a commitment implies that we can act form a point of
unity within our diversity.
12) Stamina. Stamina is what we can bring to bear to support our persistence.
13) Endurance. Endurance is a measure of our capacity to persist. This is where effortlessness
becomes apparent and is critical.
14) Commitment. Commitment is a measure of our unity, our personal integrity. A commitment is
honored by all that we are, and binds all that we are to a unity. A commitment broken violates this
integrity, and is exceptionally difficult to repair.
15) Attention. We have seen above that there are three kinds of attention:
i) Directed, or volitional, attention. This attention is always intentional, and is close to freedom.
This can be practised simply, in may small ways. Paying attention to something which holds no
interest for me, or which I dislike, is very helpful.
ii) Attracted attention. This is where my attention is engaged by discontinuity, or some form of
interest, perhaps of liking, or even disliking. Profession listening, for the musician, is within this
category. At least we are present, but we are present whether we wish to be or not.
iii) No attention at all. This is automatic attention. We only realise we have been here when we
have left.
16) Divided attention. This is an aspect of directed attention, and can be practised in specific exercises.
Am I able to divide my attention between what I am doing and what I am thinking? This addresses the
coordinated functioning of the mind and the hands. Can I think and play guitar at the same time? Can I
hold the pattern of what I am playing in my mind’s eye while playing?
17) Memory. A memory is an experience to which we have access. Memory is a reflection of the quality
of our attention. As there are different qualities of attention, so there are different qualities of memory. A
memory is only available to us when we are in a qualitatively equivalent state.
A guitarist has memory in the hands, and hands can remember very quickly, but this memory is
sequential. My mind can remember the pattern of the piece in a way that my hands will never
accomplish. It is a mistake to ask the mind to do the work of the hands, as it is a mistake to ask the
hands to do the work of the mind. But there is a close relationship: the mind prepares the way for the
hands, and the hands work faster and more reliably than the mind.
The feel of the music is a different kind of experience again. If we access and hold our experience of
the characteristic feel of a particular piece, we can compare the feel of the current performance and
bring it towards a consonant spirit.
VI. Special Exercises.
Some exercises present themselves unexpectedly when needed, seemingly as a gift from themselves. These
probably would not have been devised purely by the application of intelligence, but some exercises are devised
by the application of intelligence when appropriate. These are in the gift of those who have devised them, those
who have bee given authority to show them, and those who have made them their own.
1) The Division of Attention exercise. This is an introduction to the practice of co-ordinated functioning.
2) The Extended Present Moment; to extend the duration of the moment in which our attention is
engaged. There are several forms of this, but the essence is to train the mind to hold a pattern. That is,
we train the mind to see integrally. Once established, this enables us to be in contact with all the notes
in any piece of music whichever particular note we are playing. With practice, this can go further.
3) Bodily Presence. Are we alive inside our left hand? If so, how doe we know? This is not thinking
about being inside our left hand, but being aware of the life within the hand. Is this a distinct
experience? If so, what is the nature of this distinct experience? Then, can we maintain a sense of our
bodily presence while in motion? If not, why not? How can we move with no sense of ourselves? Do we
have a body in motion? If so, how so? In Guitar Craft we practice the cultivation of organic sensation;
that is, a direct experience of what it means to be alive inside our left and right hands, and, in time, the
whole of the body. In time, we invest this in our overall sense of ourselves.

4) The Assumption of Virtue. To bring within the phenomenal world the presence of a quality, by
assuming a form compatible with the expression of that quality. For example, we may not listen to the
musicians we play with, but if we behave as if we were listening to them, perhaps in time we will hear
them. Eventually, we may actually listen to them. We may not like the musicians we play with, or want
to be with them. If we act towards them in a loving way, as if we love them, perhaps in time the loving
act will become and act of love.
5) The Transmission of Qualities. Any person of experience has that experience within the field of their
being. If we approach this person, we approach their being and come closer to their experience.
Experience is qualitative, and can be shared. A teacher can give their pupil a sense of this qualitative
experience, introducing the pupil to a place where the experience lives. Once this introduction has been
made, the pupil has access to this place from their own initiative, and on their own acquaintance. Even
breathing the air around a bona fide teacher brings the energy of their experience within our reach.
And instructor can give instructions, but cannot make the introduction. Neither can the introduction be
made by post. This is why more sophisticated and subtle techniques can only properly be introduced in
person.
6) Contact At A Distance. Physical distance need be no impairment to a group’s functioning. The
conditions necessary to override geography are:
i) A common aim;
ii) Commitment to that aim;
iii) The will to work together with others in service of that aim.
Where these conditions are honored, it is possible for this group to become one person, with one will, in
many bodies and places simultaneously. Each Is part of the whole, has access to the experience of the
whole, and in a sense, is the whole. Any on individual has their particular speciality, and personal
talents. Some excel in function, some in knowledge, and some in the quality of their presence. A group
is one person with all these talents. In this way it is possible for one poor individual to know exceptional
states through their participation in the group. Participation within a group does not undermine the
integrity of an individual. But, a real group is not accidental.
X
An exercise is a simulation from real life to prepare us for an opportunity which may present itself in the
moment. This opportunity may take the form of being in a particular place, at a particular time, that gives us a
break in our career; agents, or record producers are in the house, or musicians we wish to work with. But the
real opportunity is this: to respond to the spirit of music as it flies by
If music is a quality organised in sound, for music to be musical in the full sense of the word, all three elements
must be present. Much music that we hear is musical only in a limited sense: we may hear sound organised
along musical lines, played on musical instruments, even perhaps well established pieces from the repertoire of
any particular genre that we may know well, but something is missing. And we may hear a piece, badly
conceived and poorly played which comes alive, buzzing and vibrant. Which is really musical?
If, in developing the craft of musician, we learn the rules of transforming sound into music, or, attracting music
into sound, we may discover what it takes to upgrade the human animal to the human being. Or, bring the being
to the human. Perhaps the craft of being a musician and the craft of being a person are the same: a craft.
The rules of on craft are the rules of all crafts. If this is so, we may apply analogy.
In tuning a note we are tuning ourselves. In establishing a harmony, we are bringing all the disparate and
fragmented parts of who we are into a simultaneous relationship. In developing a melody, we are developing
our one note through time. In establishing the right tempo, we are relating our personal sense of time to society
in which we are present. In the inflexion of timing, we bend fixity to make sense of the moment: our living
acquires nuance. There is a right time to go sharp, and flat, and be on top of the beat. Rhythm can be based in
stability, in even metre, or organic and vital: we will know the measure of the time, and the tempo and the
timing. Perhaps our life is an improvisation. Or it may be developing from a given theme, with variations
proceding according to the rules. We may go solo, or learn to play with others. Perhaps we will be composed
and leave it at that.
When we are tuning a string, what are we tuning? If we have difficulty with tuning the string, where is the
problem? In the string? Well, occasionally perhaps, but in tuning the string we are tuning ourselves. Does the
tone of the string sound good? If not, why not? Is it the fault of the instrument? Sometimes, perhaps. How is our
tempo of playing? Does it match the moment? How is our timing?
We establish our centre of gravity for both hands on the instrument; when we take our hands from the
instrument; when we take our hands from the instrument, what changes? Do we have a centre of gravity which

remains with us?
XI
If we aspire to craftsmanship, we will seek a craftsman to introduce us to their craft. In their presence we will be
in the presence of the craft. If we are fortunate enough to find a craftsman who will undertake our instruction,
we continue a process which leads to apprenticeship. When the apprenticeship has been served, the centre of
gravity of the former apprentice’s life is at the level of craftsman. In time, a craftsman is generally called upon to
teach. The wise craftsman will say no. Often they will have given some informal instruction to occasional
individuals, and if this has served any end it is in showing the craftsman the tenuous nature of their
responsibility, those wishing for a comfortable life, or in their right mind will say no. but the acceptance of
teaching, of giving instruction, is not a rational decision. Those that have the folly, presumption, or recognise the
necessity, begin an apprenticeship to mastery.
The craftsman teaches by what they do.
The master teaches by who they are.
The first thing a teacher learns is the impossibility of teaching. So, the teacher is immediately a student, their
own apprentice. Except, in learning a craft, they have learnt the laws of learning, and these they can apply to
themselves in the craft of teaching a craft. The craftsman knows that, in a sense, they are their craft: they are
the embodiment of the particular forces and qualities which make the craft recognizable. A craft brings together
two incompatible worlds: the life of the craftsman reconciles the impossibility. If they move themselves out of the
way of the craft, perhaps the craft can speak directly to the apprentice. So, the role of the teacher is one of
acceptance. The aspiring apprentice embodies the quality of affirmation: I seek music, help me. The craft itself
is the agent of reconciliation. The teacher is mother to the craft, and its emergence in the world; the apprentice,
perhaps strangely, is father. Each play a role so that a pattern may unfold, and this unfolding pattern is part of a
creative act: teacher and student are parents to their craft. The child is a craftsmanship which gives body to the
craft itself. The craftsman learns that this is a child which has chosen its parents.
In the craft of guitar playing the guitar is not about playing the guitar: it is about playing the guitarist. But, who is
playing the guitarist? Making music is not about making music, it is about making the musician: when a
musician is made, so also is music. Nevertheless, music is never absent.
At this point, the teacher will be dealing with the erroneous notions of the apprentice. The apprentice musician,
for example, has many bright ideas about the life of the musician, perhaps, even, how to make the world a
better place with music.
The teacher will give clear instructions to the student, so that the pattern within the craft is clearly presented in a
practical, coherent and satisfying manner. Then, the teacher will confuse the student. The mind holds the
pattern in front of us, guides us towards where we are going from where we are going, and shows us our place
in this pattern at any moment. This is valuable, and if we intend to fully participate within a process, even
necessary. But part of the mind will identify the craft with a set of rules, as if the craft itself is merely a method.
The keen, dedicated apprentice will display their knowledge and broadcast their adherence to their craft,
proclaiming the details of their instructions: clear, intelligible and coherent. Swelling with their rich insights
gained in the presence of authority, they misrepresent their craft. The apprentice believes they have
understood, that an idea has come to live in them. They have forgotten that the teacher is also an apprentice,
an making the same mistakes on behalf of the craft as they. Hopefully, the quality of the mistakes is higher:
even, that no mistakes are being made. And the may not understand that their teacher has been tricking them.
Part of this trickery is in presenting the craft as a rational, coherent and intelligible method. Then, having
granted the apprentice the security of allowing their mind to fix upon this true pattern, the mind is disturbed. The
mind may never become an honest or trusted servant, but if it is robbed of its seeming intelligibility, its
pretensions are easier to dispute.
The craft can be known, and reduced to a series of formulations, or descriptions. It has a pattern which can be
learnt, held and absorbed, and then described. But this is not understanding. When one attempts to penetrate a
craft by knowing, it eludes us. This is where we approach the mystery within a craft: it is closer to us than we
are to ourselves, but what can we do about it? So, the teacher disturbs the mind of the apprentice, that its hold
upon them weakens. In the moment of release, the apprentice has an experience of what it means to be a
master: a state of letting go, constantly; a state of application, constantly; and innocence within the
contradiction of acting and not acting. This is artistry: acting with the assumption of innocence within the field of
experience. Knowing this in the moment of abandoning reliance upon the infallibility of the mind, the student
knows within their own experience the quality of abandonment. This quality can now always be consulted, and
drawn upon. The apprentice has had an insight into the world of the master. Then, they fall to earth.
The teacher will recognise the bruises: they have many of their own in the same places, as well as elsewhere.
Whether they offer the apprentice a salve or a hard seat will depend upon the nature of the student and the
situation governing them both. Until now the teacher has been tricking the apprentice until the point of falling to

earth. Now, the apprentice has seen what is necessary for them to continue, and can choose to continue or not.
Before, there was mostly imagination. The teacher’s trickery has been flattery, reassuring that part of the
student which is genuinely in search of the craft. Part of the trickery is free gifts; perhaps introducing the student
to live performances, or touring, even making records. The performance of music is a privilege, and the price for
acquiring this privilege is high. For the apprentice to be granted easy access is a gift, a free gift, the cost of
which is shared by the teacher and the craft. Some students will return for flatter, for the nourishment of their
imagination. The teacher will judge the situation nicely, perhaps continuing to flatter that which is less in them,
in hope. Perhaps not. Some students will return for free gifts, or even ask that they be notified when free gifts
are to be distributed. And some students will recognize the teacher’s bruises as their own, and offer salve.
The teacher has the protection of the role of teacher. The craftsman in this role will probably confuse
themselves with the teaching, and acquire fresh bruises. But, sitting squarely on the hard seat with bruises
smarting, will keenly remember their presumption and not entertain this conceit again. And this is their safety: in
letting go of the idea, the reality occurs, and the craft speaks through the craftsman. The craftsman remembers
this moment, and is their own apprentice at the same stage as their other apprentices. Within the role, the
teacher has nothing to teach, but responds to the promptings of necessity, guided by the craft. The apprentice
creates the teacher, by demanding entrance tot the craft. This brings about the appearance of the teacher to
enable this entrance to take place.
XII
The student discovers that the answers they receive are generally not the answers they need. Then, they
discover that the quality of the answers is governed by the quality of their questions. Sometimes, as a gift, they
are given an answer to the question they should have asked. Sometimes, they are given the gift of no answer
at all. Sometimes, they get silly answers.
The student discovers the value of analogy in the learning of the musical craft. What is melody, this sequential
unfolding of the properties of one note? What is harmony? If melody unfolds horizontally, is harmony a vertical
and simultaneous presence of this one note? What then is the harmonic series? One note generating a
hierarchy of increasingly within relationships? Rhythm? Timbre? Time, tempo and timing? Counterpoint? Tone?
Tonality? Modulation? Tuning? Do I tune my instrument? The string is fine, the instrument is fine. What am I
tuning? Concert Pitch? Which concert? Every concert? Or, some concerts? Why those concerts and not
others? What standard is this? Who determines the standard? It is helpful to combine analogy with the notion of
correspondence. The act of music is a creative act, and music is created according to certain principles. The
musician is created according to the same principles. In discovering music, the musician is discovering
themselves, which is as we should anticipate.
The apprentice, at first, sees the teacher as an Ideal Being, probably perfect. Certainly, almost perfect: this
acknowledges the unlikelihood of perfection, and the presence of small imperfections which are not however
discovered. Then, there come this point of letting go of unnecessary efforts, whether muscular, or passionate,
or in attitude. And the Ideal Being is released from their pedestal. In their place is the Imperfect Being, a
hypocrite mouthing profound notions, making bold claims and failing in their life, thought and feelings to match
many of them. The teacher is released from the humiliation of perfection to the humiliation of imperfection. The
alert student, seeing he teacher as an apprentice-teacher, sees an apprentice, the same as them, with the
same struggle, and then a deeper relationship is possible.
The teacher’s power to help is exceptionally limited. It is a mistake for the teacher to believe that they can help
the student. Nevertheless, although help does not come from the teacher, it can come through the teacher,
providing the teacher is not in the way of that help. The erroneous notion that the teacher teaches is one way of
blocking the help available from the craft.
The teacher has the protection of their role, the free admission of their ignorance, and their experience. The role
provides the connection with the craft; the admission of ignorance is unarguable; and experience is undeniable.
If in doubt, consult the hands: what do they do? What is the quality of sensation within them as the fingers
move in a delicate coordination? What do I feel at this moment? What pattern is in the mind? What am I
thinking about?
The craft is this distinctive quality, or recognisable force, within a tradition; all of the craftsmen within this craft
that have ever been and will ever be; and all their acts of craft. The act of crafting is the craft. At this point, there
is no distinction between traditions: all crafts are the same crafting, in the creative act of artistry.
XIII
If music is quality organised in sound, the musician has three approaches towards it: through sound, through
organisation, or through quality. The apprentice will approach the sound, the craftsman will approach the
organisation of sound. The master musician approaches music through its quality: that is, they work from
silence, organise the silence, and place sound in-between the silences.

and sometimes already one string too many. Rhythm becomes more apparent when we stop playing from time to time. we are surprised to find that it sounds very much like silence. Loud. and each member of the group has access to it. Dynamics are good. 2009 The Death Of Music If you know what you are going to play. or nothing at all. After all. or not. whether you like them or not. We only discover the quality in music if we discover the quality in ourself. While cultivating silence. The Centre has doorways in specific geographic locations. and only appears to be static. The Centre is present within an intentional group. relentlessly. why hit the right note when a lot more notes get in the way? One string is often sufficient. We approach music from silence by being silent. whether stationary or not: Stillness is dynamic. consider becoming a drummer. and more obvious when some notes are quieter than others. Are we in tune? Are we in time? Are we in tone? When our note is true. Good to listen to yourself. with whom we may equal in aspiration. July. repeatability and responsibility. The Centre is everywhere. constantly. You are playing with friends. Six Views We have our Centre. only a little louder. music knows itself better than we do and sometimes whispers in our ear. even in commitment. Remain in motion. Thursday 2nd. whether we know it or not.The master musician will also be able to organise sound. . Guitar Craft Monograph Two September 16. The Centre opens Itself to us. endless strumming = death. The Centre is vested in a member of the group by the other members. Breathing is permissible The criteria are reliability. but listening to others is necessary. play something else. Luckily. If you like to hit things loudly. 1988 (revised February 2011) The Centre Of The Circle. we approach sound. In Guitar Craft we assume the virtue of the master musician. whether they like you. and approach music from silence. and produce it.

The volitional attention is practised and strengthened. October.If none of these apply to you. the morning sitting leads us to a more sophisticated awareness of qualities and distinctions in our perceptions and experiencing: life gets richer. In this sense. quietly and in receptive mode: in this sense. these are comments presented at the beginning of the practice. trains the volitional attention. II Two Questions: Why practice the morning sitting? Why not practice guitar for half an hour instead? 1. But. The practice also supports us in responding to what life might ask of us. Friday 1st. The morning sitting is actively-active. What we do is inseparable from how and why we do what we do. For example. Music is a process of uniting the world of qualities and the world of existences. perhaps it will do something when we tell it to: such as. and there is no end to the depth of the practice while we draw breath. a career in artist management. Our personal history. October. music is a way of transformation. we begin by asking ourselves to do nothing. Sunday 3rd. For example. 2010. 2. integrating and co-ordinating specialised motor skills while playing a musical instrument. 4. of blending the world of silence and the world of sound. begin to increase and substantiate our personal presence. As relaxation develops and deepens over time. more a beginning to living a proper life for a human being. Although. When our body is prepared to do nothing when we ask it to. We gradually develop a relaxed and engaged sense of personal presence: life becomes a little more real. 3. The Road To Graceland. Effectively. these finer energies begin to cohere. The morning sitting is not meditation: meditation is active-receptivity. emotional states and memories fixed within muscular patterns and bodily postures lessen their hold on us. initially and primarily. the transformation of sound is inseparable from a transformation of self. the quality of our attention describes and defines who we are. to support us in achieving whatever we might hope for ourselves. we discover the distance between the background noise of monkey-mind. In time. 2010 The Morning Sitting I The morning sitting. and is pretty much all we can claim to own in life. Before we ask ourselves to do something. The morning sitting trains us to hold ourselves in place. When established. its associational rattling and automatic mental commentaries (conventionally referred to as thinking). We begin to distinguish between what-we-are and who-we-are. So. This is not an end in itself. it prepares us for meditation. A&R or drumming is waiting. over time. Our attention engages the finer energies of organic sensation. There are a series of morning exercises of increasing subtlety that. for nearly all practical concerns. . and who is listening to it. this much is already a considerable achievement: it is a foundation for living. while physically still and externally motionless. even as a beginning. begins to let us go. intellectually & emotionally. increasingly we move into the here-and-now. locked inside the body. we attract Silence by being silent. developing a subtle energetic vehicle which supports finer qualities of experiencing: physically. feeling and thinking.

There is no distance between how I live my life and how I practice being alive. So. practice addresses: 1. II When we consider our functioning as a musician. V A practice of any value will be three things: 1. and in a perfect world. Discipline confers the capacity to make a commitment in time. Practice is a way of transforming the quality of our functioning. by applying myself to the guitar and to music. nor just how we do what we do. honor sufficiency. our hands with heart. III So. I discover myself within the application. of our hands. responsive and reliable instrument at the service of music. A way of developing a relationship with the instrument. we change our lives. IV It is absurd to believe that practicing our instrument is separate from the rest of our life. that is. Practice is not just what we do with our hands. VI A technique simulates what it represents. but possible harmony. to guarantee that they will honor this commitment regardless of convenience. If we change our practice. A way of developing a relationship with ourselves. The musician has three instruments: the hands. all three together in a rare. the techniques of our musical craft are in three fields: of playing the instrument. as a guitarist. the manner in which I live my life is my way of practicing to be alive. what we do in order to be a musician. For example. and prepares a space for the technique to become what it represents. they are on the way to becoming effectual. these are one discipline: discipline. 2. a transformation of what we do. the head and the heart. we recognise its return and may allow its action to take place upon and within us. 3. or with music. that is our hands with head. that is. to making necessary efforts: the direction of effortlessness. 2. the musician has three disciplines: the disciplines of the hands. that is. of music and of being a person. VII Once a quality is within our experience. I cannot play guitar without having a relationship with myself. In this the prime maxim is: honor necessity. head and heart. the head and the heart. An effectual musician is a trained. nor why we do what we do. situation and inclination of the moment. play music without having a relationship with myself and my guitar. And. unlikely. . comfort. If the musician is able to make a commitment in time. 3. We move from making unnecessary efforts. Ultimately. our heart with head. The quality of our functioning. Practice is how we are. So. The co-ordination of our functioning. and each has its own discipline. the exertions of force. The nature of our functioning. we find we are considering more than just the operation of our hands. A way of developing a relationship with music. I cannot. this generally requires practice.In our culture.

the craftsperson will approach the organisation of sound. organises the silence. or comes to visit.the experientially long times when nothing seems to be happening at all. 1993: The Standard Required The standard of cleanliness and order asked of a Guitar Craft House is that it is fit to welcome a valued and respected guest.But how and why it is present. December 17th. XI Where we are going is how we get there. The rule is: better to be present with a bad note than absent from a good note.most difficult of all . XII Music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all. If we are able to make one small act of quality. If this quality is present with us. VIlI The quality we bring to one small part of our life is the quality we bring to all the small parts of our life. If where we are going is how we get there. the bad times . and is never accidental. When our note is true. is metaphorically and analogically more than a building within which Guitar Craft activities are conducted: it is a metaphor for the Crafty Lifer. This is in the nature of a quality . X If music is quality organised in sound. the craft lives in us. we may apply this quality of effort in the other areas of our life. So. An act of quality carries intention. and the master musician approaches music through its quality. the craft reveals itself through us. and through quality. This Guitar Craft House. one small act of quality is as big as one big act of quality. commitment and presence. and places sound between the Silence. . If we have nowhere to go. the musician has three approaches towards it: through sound. is rather harder to describe. good to be where we are. persistent and ongoing in the good times. IX Once we have an experience of making an effort of this kind. A Lifer is one whose commitment is persistent and ongoing. description becomes easier: we describe the world in which we live. the master musician works from silence.a quality is free of the rules of quantity: a quality is ungovernable my number. we are already where we are going. we have nowhere to go. If we are where we are going. May we trust the inexpressible benevolence of the Creative Impulse. only a little louder. through organization. The apprentice will approach the sound. it will spread throughout the larger act of living. As we describe this way. that is. All the small parts of our life is our life. If we live in the way of craft. Any true way will be able to describe itself through its practitioners. we are surprised to find that it sounds very much like Silence. clean and ordered. should they arrive unexpectedly and unannounced. That is.

we use the attention to scan the body in a particular sequence. and not react to its pressures. Our concern is not to drive out noise. our aim is to invite in Silence. we find we are better able to Do Nothing. January. also on an ongoing basis. In the introductory form of this exercise. Outside: nonsense. with the everyday-self doing very little. this is the point of the exercise: to develop volitional attention. In time. Accordingly. he has little attention. Without volitional attention. How can we force peace on a world in conflict? But inside is a place where peace has entered. Sometimes this is put on the board as: Do Nothing – as much as you can! Doing nothing is very hard: it requires us to be present. So. we have little presence. but not a freedom outside the bustle. May 25th. Today’s client has difficulty with this because. 2003 What Is The Challenge? For those engaged in the flows and flurries of contemporary living: what is the challenge? The challenge is to be present in the maelstrom and the nonsense. respond to its demands where necessary. At this stage in the practice. With the strengthening of presence. poise. Edit 25jan2011 Why practice the morning sitting? I One question addressed difficulties with The Practice Of Doing Nothing. grace. How can we force quiet on the exterior world? But inside is a place where quiet is present. DGM Diary. . the bustle continues. we practise directing the attention. August. the bustle has no purchase. Outside. 2006. Saturday 25th. Inside: purpose. we discover that an increasing sense of personal presence accompanies this. II A question has arisen: why practice the morning sitting? accompanied by: why not practice guitar for half an hour instead? 1.and which commitment is available to be tested and verified. The word for this is freedom. we have to do something. he reports. So. 2007. Before we ask ourselves to do something. how do we become present? Before Doing Nothing. he has done almost nothing rather than Doing Nothing. Inside. it is holding a still point withinthe bustle. Friday 11th. Then. we begin by asking ourselves to do nothing. an opportunity to Do Something might present itself.

integrity or Being. although. The connection . when effective. those parts of us that assume responsibility for overseeing the actions of the smaller persons. The primary modes of extemporizing: to initiate. For example. those parts of our personality. The different qualities of improvising might be referred to as… Spontaneous Composition Extemporisation Improvisation Developing Variations Riffing / Jamming … and correspond to the degrees of musicianship… Genius Professional / Craftsman Master / Mystery Happy Gigster / Journeyman … acknowledging the gendered language. and the totality of what we are will discharge that commitment: even God can count on this! The connection between the Professional and the Journeyman is flexibility. these are comments made very much at the beginning of the practice. even as a beginning. Examples of these: soloing. Forcing our tricks and licks and riffs onto the other members of an ensemble is a form of force. the distinguishing element of the connection between Master / Mystery and Journeyman is discipline. the practice leads to a more sophisticated awareness of qualities and distinctions within our personal energy field. tacit. ie practises the will (whatever we might understand by that). Wednesday 16th. a corresponding Present Moment and region of geographical influence that is appropriate to each degree of intensity of personal presence. The tetrad… Composer Section Leaders Conductor & Principal Rank & File This also applies to how we each comprise our own personal orchestra. the many smaller persons.2. to do nothing. The OCG and ourself. 4. accompanying. and for them amounts to musical imprisonment. The exercise develops relaxation and an engaged sense of personal presence. is sometimes referred to as radical neutrality: the doing nothing that enables doing everything. and the part of us that is represented by The Composer. the bringing of music into the world. as exemplified in the players. when the Master / MysteryPerson in us undertakes a commitment. But. the principal player among the section leaders. Strengthens volitional attention. and capacity to bear suffering. This particular role is generally overlooked and. rather than in the players (or stations) themselves. it is in the knowledge that all the smaller parts in us may be relied upon to follow direction. provides a necessary field within which the action takes place. 2006. The primary importance lies in the connections between these degrees of musicianship. These degrees of musicianship are characterized by the quality of volitional attention that is available to each. redressing this to some extent in recognising that mastery in musicianship confers a sense of the mystery which is involved in being part of the musical process. In time. Distinguishes what-we-are from who-we-are. A few words on the qualities of improvising… A few words on the qualities of improvising with reference to the tetrad of the participants in any orchestra. Doing nothing. this much is already a considerable achievement. for example. that are our own rank and file. In our own lives. the conductor of our life. 3. our background noise and who is listening to it. August. to respond. properly undertaken.

Affirmation Seven: Not even death can end the process of our becoming. This is more good news.But. but we were not able to accept Help. we recognise that we have fallen from paradise. Actually. roughly indicating the centre of gravity of the subject. Paradise is our natural condition. . each time I will rise again. but hope is unreasonable. Secondly. Our condition is unnatural. Affirmation Six: Although I stumble and fall. albeit possibly serving a functional utility. place and person: right judgement. if only we can listen. we are in paradise. This is the good news. help has always been with us. Firstly. a reasonable person might despair. Robert Fripp. we are not always available to paradise. for those prepared to persist in reclaiming what is (in a proper world) a natural state. Affirmation Four: Music is our friend. But. superfluous. 2006 Seven Affirmations Affirmation One: The benevolence of the Creative Impulse is inexpressible. which enables us to bear the world of the Real. we acknowledge our fall. This is terrible news. We cannot know this benevolence. Paradise regained. when we find ourselves once more in Paradise. we address the journey that is our returning to Paradise. Affirmation Five: The poverty of our nature is no limit to our aspiration. each note is necessary. Affirmation Three: In desperate times. our becoming more fully who & what we are.between what is represented as Professional and Genius is spontaneity. Thirdly. from a working player’s perspective. and Love is greater even than this. is to know Paradise as if for the first time. if only we might listen. And. while accepting that Benevolence knows us better than we know ourselves. we fall from paradise. One small example: in a piece of music at the Master / Mystery level. Fifthly. This is the bad news. as in continuous cross-picking to hold time. we may find Paradise itself only a beginning. This is more bad news. A few rough words. musically. Paradise is always available. This is even better news. we cannot bear Love. Fourthly. Sunday 30th. There is more good news: help is waiting for us. Affirmation Two: Love cannot bear that even one soul be denied its place in Paradise. At the Happy Gigster level (perhaps Level Two – Three in GC terminology) there are notes that are. and between Master / Mystery and Genius (the creative spark at the centre of who we are) is the capacity to see what is Right Action in any particular confluence of time. This is a condition of the Fall. Love cannot bear that even one soul be denied its place in paradise. April. Paradise – Paradise Lost – Paradise Regained.

. In a performance event. That the event happens is a given. and these forms.Sleevenotes: Love Cannot Bear: Soundscapes Live In The USA (2005) Six Principles of the Performance Event A principle is universal. Beyond this point. audience and music come together in a performance. I When people get together with music. the Benevolence that gives rise to Music brings together musicians and audience. and ears. in communion. something happens.defines the conditions of the performance: the where. or principles. when and what of the event. that is. depends upon the extent to which Musician & Audience & Music are able to enter into Communion as One. Our experiencing is on the inside. a measure of our Being. and better than we deserve. The Creation continues being created. What happens within the performance. When musician. a rule is inflexible. place and persons do not govern the quality of our experiencing of this performance. respond. II In a performance. whether the performance comes to life or not. Things come together. IV Any one performance is a multiplicity of performances. III A performance can take on a life and character of its own. is to be created and discovered.with these people. at this time . in this place. The degree to which we act as one. as a whole person. or might expect them to. Until this point. is a measure of our integration. and go better than we deserve. a law is invariable. mysteriously. the Whole Performance is every Performance: it is eternal. the performance event is as many performances as participants. Music so wishes to be heard that sometimes it calls on unlikely characters to give it voice. something remarkable happens. something happens. musician and audience may come together as one. things come together. and go better than we might anticipate. This communion has six different forms of being and experiencing itself (plus an invisible seventh). where music. The something remarkable is Music taking on a life of its own. If this is so. When people get together with music. The conditions of time. How we participate. the performance can take on a life and character of its own. Any particular performance event . that is. The degree to which the performance is a whole event. This wishing-to-be heard calls into existence the Performance Event. This is on the outside. this something remarkablehas a quality of its own. listen. When people get together. mysteriously. are simultaneously present within the Performance. is open and available.

We are able to be with others only to the degree that we are able to be ourselves. any one performance is a multiplicity of performances. So. and the possible becomes increasingly restricted. Each of us tends to be more functionally disposed towards one more than the others (and in some cases two of these. The Seventh Principle resides within Silence. really. This is the Null Event: nothing happens. The impossible becomes impossible. This being so. Tuesday 21st. what we are. in the knowledge that. and by extension their feelings. the performance event downgrades. it wasn’t. it doesn’t have to be like that. and. in which case the third centre is referred to as under-developed). that the possible becomes impossible. we are the same person. the possible is possible. the conditions and limitations of the world we work within. and some are located in the head: these are the more intellectual or cerebrally oriented players. Some players are more naturally centered in their hands. trusting that the Benevolence which gives rise to Music is never far away. The Six Principles assume a common aim. It is possible to be who we are. The musician has three disciplines: the hands. Our “norm” is what we “ought” to be. good will and a willingness to participate in good spirit within the event. The Null Event is a complete waste of time and energy. The worst is. and the capacity to do so. . and to do what we were born to do. But. So. as if it never was. the impossible is possible. no persistence. V The possible is possible. that the possible remains possible.The distinction between both is less than we might believe it to be. no present moment of its own. July. The best is then. 2009 A few words on time & relating to it.This is already asking too much: it is impossible Nevertheless. we begin with the possible and move gradually towards the impossible. VI The impossible is possible. and by extension their bodies. We begin with the possible. Normality is what we might achieve. A Null Event has no life span. The event disappears. given who we are. May we trust the inexpressible Benevolence of the Creative Impulse. Something is lost. some are more in their hearts. we can only be in the performance to the degree that we can be ourselves: to be who we are. In a sense the Six Principles are available when the highest in us comes together. So. This is what is asked of us: to be who we were born to be. and move gradually towards the impossible. the head and the heart. When the lowest takes charge... essentially.

where are we? Better. In that part of Western popular culture. The spacial extent of our attention is reflected in how far. is: not very much. with tempi characteristically faster. Those more seated in their emotions. So. That is. Timing . the top or centre of the beat. through time signatures and bars. while simultaneously watching our responses: sensing our physical relaxation. the accent was right on top of the beat. the accompanist will be prepared for colla voce. and our internal responses to what we are doing. the injunction is: . how well we get to know ourselves is determined by the quality of our attention. our interests and influence extend. The organization and ordering of the sequence of unfolding flow. one way of relating to fundamental pulse was known as laid back. Performers centered in their head will tend to play ahead of the beat and move around it. while maintaining fundamental pulse. How do we get to know ourselves? We put part of our attention on the outside. how well we get to know ourselves is determined by our capacity to divide the attention. Sample listening to the standard repertoire of violin concerti & its soloists will reveal much movement around the beat. We Begin Where We Are I We begin where we are. from each of these perspectives. from someone who has been looking at this for a long time. this is poor time. we have three primary ways of relating to time: through the body. In punk c. before we move from A to B. timing. through the feelings and through the head. We watch what we are doing. our thinking.is primarily in the heart. 1976-77 in London. assuming we are at A. To anyone who has ever played for dancing. in the genre known as rock music. and wish to move to B. c. One standard GC suggestion as to how we might improve our time. and disposed to gush in their emotional lives. Our experiencing of time. How do we know where we are? By getting to know ourselves. is primarily in the head. and from time to time. or those experiencing time in their bodies. So. The drummer. placed their snare beat at the back end. We know ourselves to the degree that our attention is available to know ourselves. and part of our attention on the inside. is different. is to put up posters – Dance In The Village Hall On Saturday Night! – and place bowls of overripe fruit near the entrance. but good time.the stressing of legal discontinuities in the placement of the note around the beat in response to feeling what is right . or slightly behind. So. The quality of music is eternal. This. In a singer. Those intent on dancing tend to be unforgiving towards those who upset their enjoyment with bad time.So. Three notions of the process of music unfolding: time. and time ordered or organized. our feeling. but the forms of organization adopted for musical expression vary from culture to culture. to know that we are at A. two examples of experiencing time primarily through-and-in the body. We divide our attention between what we are doing. The extent of our attention in time is called our Present Moment. how much attention do we have? The quick answer. These. geographically. without the pulse slowing or deviating: not metronomic and fixed. particularly in passages of allegro and presto. connecting and playing to the fundamental pulse of any piece of music is through the body. 1973 in the United States. Good time is primarily in the body. in their relating-to-time will tend towards rubato. Music is a quality organized in sound and in time (and may also be understood as a way of shaping Silence). Time – relating to fundamental pulse & its rate of flow (tempo) is primarily in the body. II Now.

from our environment and surroundings. Everything is different. . This includes paying attention to sensory information – listening. that our lives might be and become all that we wish them to be: healthy and satisfying for ourselves.Before we do something. simply and precisely defined. we have done so. January. are we here. But in how I see the same. of different kinds and qualities. is the difference. This is the good news: all the activities. recapitulating our work. for a certainty? October 3-5th. If the aim is messy. events and circumstances of our lives have brought us to this point. including the air that we breathe. rather than doing something. to provide help and support for us in achieving our aim. we do nothing. Initiative is necessary: that is. Discrimination is necessary: not everything that is available to us supports the life to which we aspire. Our attitude has changed. so that we know where we’re going. how do we know this. This is necessary. friends and society. Q: How important do you think it to start with a clearly defined aim? Critical. know what we have to do to achieve the aim. So. Do nothing – as much as you can! If we are doing nothing. So. something has already changed. Everything is the same. verification. 2007. touching. now? And if so. Wiltshire. know that. Five Questions From A College In England. clearly and simply. 2007 DGM HQ. we apply our creative intelligence. useful and productive for our family. An aim should be clearly. and looking back. where are we? We are where we need to be. This is where we are. smelling and tasting – all of which provide nutrition. the practical measures we employ to achieve the aim are likely to be inefficient. We cultivate an enquiring mind. What has changed? Our attitude to doing. to seek out and move towards who and what can teach us. This give us three overall stages in the process of moving towards the aim: injunction. and then. in fact. application. Assimilation: intentionally taking in what is necessary for us. exactly where we’re going isn’t quite definite. England Assimilation. Sunday 28th. III We begin where we are. will be imprecise and muddled. watching.

which is actually a series of exercises. is also not quite clear. I prefer need or necessity as an approach. the external or functional aspects of the aim may have been discharged. honour sufficiency. where there is commitment to a worthy aim. and necessary. A second aphorism… the necessary is possible.Verifying the degree to which our realization of the aim is a just-fit to the aim as defined. If there were a guarantee. Primarily. we’ll probably get there. however we might term our sense of essential need. but this accomplishment is not quite an achievement or realisation of the quality embodied in the aim. ie not creative at all. And that this is both an inevitable. there are existential necessities and responsibilities. the arbitrary is unlikely. Q: How important is it to success that one’s aim(s) somehow relate and synchronise with one’s Will? (I use this word for lack of a better one to represent an essential. One Guitar Craft exercise is the Division of Attention exercise. spiritual or ontological need or characteristic). no succeeding. The Guitar Craft aphorism applicable here is: honour necessity. Q: How do the results of one’s efforts reflect the clarity and precision of the original aim? As above. This gives us actions that are: necessary and unnecessary. Perhaps. spiritual or ontological need or characteristic. Choice and decision are other properties of the Will. Q: Am I correct in assuming that you conceptualise hazard as a process/ force/ energy that is not random occurrence but somehow determined through an interaction of the perceiver and the perceived? One way of approaching hazard is to say that. even undertaken by the deserving. Will is a difficult notion to grasp. there is also essential necessity. for various reasons. no freedom. the optional is expensive. But. Once again. So. feature of any creative process. There is a Guitar Craft aphorism: If we don’t know where we’re going. Not sure if this is any help at all! July 22nd. the most direct and available in our own experience is the quality of our attention. and both may be practised. even where there is ontological necessity (whatever we understand by that). Q: I use this word for lack of a better one to represent an essential. there can be no guarantee of success. how to approach this in a practical manner? A useful practical approach is by addressing the properties or powers of the Will. 2009. a favourable outcome is in no way guaranteed. intentional/volitional and unintentional/non-volitional. Another way of expressing this: to have the freedom to achieve the aim. . The Creative Process would be only mechanical. I do not understand this as determined through an interaction of the perceiver and the perceived. To what degree can we exercise / direct the volitional attention? This is then a very practical matter and available to practising. there would be no aim. this becomes a practical question: what is necessary for me? Alternatively expressed:what do I need? and/or what do I need to do? Clearly.

it takes a terrible shock in the form of a personal disaster of some kind. Better to hold the question gently. The morning sitting is our foundation. be we aren't quite stuck inside them.It’s Overwhelming. Better not to ask the future to present itself if we’re not prepared to follow where it leads. England. Worcestershire. In time. Primarily. But if we're not present. the difficulties are still there. . but not necessary to know the step after that. or how do we make sense of them so they're not just terrible or meaningless? Is there anything i can do? A: The answer is as easy as it is hard: be present. we prevent it from speaking to us. 4. 2010. 6. 3. It is necessary to know the next step. If we're present. How? by directing the attention. This future will have an unexpected quality. we step outside the ongoingness of the events that carry us along. with eyes open and an available ear. one day of honourably engaging with personal presence is already a considerable achievement. Q: There have been so many things happening to me over the last few months and it's been overwhelming at times… how do i deal with it. trusting that what is necessary for us is possible and benevolent. how do i hold together in the face of this ongoing series of things that have been happening? Why do these things happen. Easy words! January 25th. The creative future accords with common sense. than in desperation. 7. ie it is practical and possible. There is a distance between the problems & the person dealing with the problems. mostly gentle and cumulative. and as available to us as we are ourselves available to our creative future. So. how do i make sense of it. Then. The future may already be in front of us. this is engaging directly with the body. this moves beyond the day to more substantial and extended periods of time. 5. we move to create an interior architecture that gives structure to our day. we are part of the problem: our difficulties in dealing with the difficulties increase the difficulties! This creates a feedback loop that is very hard to step outside: often. But. 2. There are many repercussions that follow from this. but unrecognized or unacknowledged. If we impose our wants and hopes on the future. Qualities of Time and Our Experiencing of It… Creative Time My beginning & end are not apart I Am one instantaneous moment of presence Time’s Cycle Eternity Welcome the unexpected This is the first time Time’s Arrow One thing after another Welcome the expected What Am I Going To Do With The Rest Of My Life? 1.

. Tuesday 12th. basic. The refusal to be who-we-are by what-we-are: negation. aspiration. Who may refuse us this? III An act of refusing is governed by the conditions of time. whizz and free form. Circulations I Guitar Craft Special Project: Circulations. place and person. It is in the nature of definition to convey identity. March. Monasterio Nuestra Señora De Los Ángeles MM. and what is without. Four forms. Sant Cugat. Convento La Pace. Being who-we-are is a process of becoming who-we-are. Identity is who we are. A boundary defines what is within. We begin where we are. The refusal to be less than who we are: attainment. The refusal to accept less than what we are born to achieve: service. II It is in the nature of refusal to confer definition. The basic form is where the note is passed from seat to adjoining seat. attainment. Refusal sets a boundary. 2002. variegated. Barcelona.Friday 26th. service. I Basic form. Circulations. and is subject to necessity. Italy. The refusal to accept that what-we-are is a sufficient condition: aspiration. February. Question: What is the nature of refusal? Three Approaches To Refusal. 2010. The recognition of who-we-are precedes the acknowledgement of who-we-are. The acknowledgement of who-we-are precedes our moving to address the necessity of being who-we-are. Sassoferrato. I Four qualities of refusal: negation. Dominicas.

with return. Basic form left +1: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 5 > 6 > 7 etc. Basic form with return. 7. 5. The beginning seat in each round of the circulation moves one seat further from the beginning seat. this would be indistinguishable from basic form left and continuing. with return: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 2 > 3 etc. Basic form with skip.1: 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 etc.1: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 etc. 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 etc. Inside the circle. adjoining. 3. adjoining. 4. 6. 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 12 > 11 etc. Basic form. Basic form left. Basic form left . Basic form left (to the next. seat on the left). Basic form with addition. Basic form right (to the next. towards the end of the circulation. Basic form right +1: 1 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 12 > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > I > 11 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 12 > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 12 > 9 > 8 > 7 etc. with return: the final seat in the circle returns the note to the first seat in the circle. 8. Basic form with subtraction. 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 3 etc. The beginning seat in each round of the circulation moves one seat further from the beginning seat. sitting in an audience. ie it is an exercise to practice attention. Basic form right . On the outside.1. seat on the right). Basic form right. 2. . This is an exercise in holding the form. the intention is different.

NB depending upon the specific nature of the form and the notes being used. Variegated form right 5 – 2 etc. this is… 1 > 3 > 5 > 7 > 9 > 11 > 13 > 15 > 17 > 19 > 21 > 23 > 25 > 2 > 4 > 6 > 8 > 10 > 12 > 14 > 16 > 18 > 20 > 22 > 24 > begins again at 1 etc. Variegated form left 4 . and other changes to the strict pattern of the form. Basic form left 4 skip 1: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 12 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 3 etc. Variegated form left 3 – 1: 123 234 345 456 567 678 789 etc. II Variegated Forms. is to honour . Sequentially ascending in C major this is… CDE DEF EFG FGA GAB ABC BCA etc. Basic form left skip 1: with 25 seats in the circle. the last seat in the circulation may on occasion be the first (beginning).9. Basic form left 1 skip 1 (alternating form): 1 > 3 > 5 > 7 > 9 > 11 > 2 > 4 > 6 > 8 > 10 > 12 etc. 10. Accomodations. 14. This. 13. 12.1 1>2>3>4> 3>4>5>6> 5>6>7>8> 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 11 > 12 > 1 > 2 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 etc. 11.

IV Free Form. A two-group Chase the THRAK-chord Whizzer. When ready. Camp Caravan. Royalston. Massachusetts. followed by the second right person who plays the right note at the right time. and continuing. Basic form + 1 whizzes. 16. 2007. The Chromatic Whizzer: the Circle divided into two groups and basic form left with return Whizzes on chromatic THRAK chords. 15. III Whizz Circulating. the right person plays the right note at the right time. Saturday 21st. in a circle of 7. the circulation begins again. If two or more people strike a note simultaneously. Rapid circulating. Circulations II Guitar Craft Special Project: Circulations. moving to the left… 12345 345 45671 671 71234 234 34567 567 67123 123 23456 456 56712 712 12345 etc. followed by the third right person to play the right note at the right time. 2007. perhaps with pauses at the end of each whizz. Victor introduced a variegated variation: . At the table.the musicality of the circulation and is termed an accommodation.33 The Variegation Victor I: (5-2) alternating (3-1). 17. 14. at a speed faster than the mechanical mind can process. August. Monday 13th. July.

2007. Retreats (the pattern: 3+2+2) in a circle of 9: 123 91 89 789 67 56 456 34 23 123 etc. Variegated Form: Seven Forward. then playing notes. Retreats (the pattern: 3+2) in a Circle of nine: 123 91 891 78 678 56 456 34 234 12 912 89 789 67 567 45 345 23 123 etc. Wednesday 15th.321 421 54 56 … which is easier to grasp as a pattern than as an explanation. . Clapping the forms. Variegated Form: Five Forward. August.

320 9 = 362. honour sufficiency. Friday 17th. References were made to English bellringing. The First Meeting: addressed inter-group circulations within six groups. a 12-bell peel probably 40 years. now established in England for 1. 2007.This gives rise to other forms. The Second Meeting: circulating with attention moving to limbs on each circulation. Advances. Tone Clock on 12-bar boogie bass-line with various soloists. This gives us actions that are necessary and unnecessary. Advances.040 8 = 40.916. Five Backwards. with whizzing in various forms. all discharged either efficiently and/or inefficiently. Advances. somewhere. Seven Forwards. The Small Group working in the dining room (at the request of the Kitchen Team that they might hear the work of a Circle) brought two new approaches to circulating. century following the Reformation. . 6 = 720 7 = 5. D flat and D. Retreats. Five Backwards. A second useful aphorism… the necessary is possible. Permutations. August. A complete peel is ringing of all the permutations.600. in C. depending on the number of bells in the peel (or guitars in the circle): 3 = 6 permutations (1 x 2 x 3) 4 = 24 (1 x 2 x 3 x 4) 5 = 120 (1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5) etc.880 10 = 3.000 years and formalised in the 17th. the optional is expensive. Thursday 16th. A 4-bell peel might take 30 seconds.001. Seven Backwards. a pretty good guide is the aphorism: honour necessity. intentional / volitional and unintentional / nonvolitional. Retreats. Seven Backwards. the arbitrary is unlikely. Four Questions First Question Is there a book title on plugging energy holes? I Somewhere. August. Advances. not yet presented: Variegated Forms: Five Forwards. one of them drawn from contact with the Mevlevis.800 12 = 479. there may be.628. Until then.800 11 = 39. 2007.

Energy . efficiently. at which point what might otherwise be a series of formulations. efficiently.doing things we need to do. within that context. doing things we don’t need or want to do. efficiently. and/or habits so deeply entrenched that we have no volitional capacity to change or modify them. with the provisos that: these were not written to be read. if we are fortunate. and leave the details to when a practice is underway and becoming established. But. developing a practice. or. are ongoing and developing. the notes only touch on the outline of a practice. requires an instructor. II In Discipline & The Act Of Music we have this… Craft Techniques: 0 practising the person i doing nothing ii watching iii die that ye might be born iv letting go of bad habits v acquiring good habits vi the new Crafty vii doing something efficiently ix being someone efficient x being where we are Below an excerpt from my notes. sometimes it is useful to speak roughly and present the gist of what is involved. doing things we want to do. and not wanting to do so either. inefficiently. doing things we need to do. reservations aside. falls under the heading of compulsive behaviour. rather. Doing things we don’t need to do. not a final presentation. a teacher. responses might be tailored to address particular questions from the audience. or discipline. propositions and/or statements perhaps have practical value. These are personal triggers or mechanisms that we have no ability to control. doing things we don’t need or want to do. inefficiently. they control us. inefficiently. but presented in person. doing things we want to do. III iii die that ye might be born This second larger stage of the process is where we address the energy supply.

They may also be written as a flag to wave to anyone who might be attracted to or interested in that direction.i quantity of energy Energy is required for each of the instruments (the hands. we have good habits and “bad” habits. This is a quiet tragedy but. it is alarming. It means that we are at risk of failing to meet our life potential. we acknowledge our ignorance. we know we are ignorant. the next step is to find someone who does: firstly. the head and the heart) to function. hold the space. we are ignorant. We find someone who has been there before. organize the space. but don’t know. conscious and creative. we need invest little . The aphorism here is: signposts are useful when we know where we’re going. with which we need to become familiar. Define the space. fourthly. quality and intensity of the energy supply. Having “bad” habits does not necessarily imply that we are a “bad person”. honour sufficiency. thirdly. Traditionally. waste energy. nor immoral. The key injunction: honour necessity. We can’t do this through books. we learn to recognise when these qualities of working are present. This implies that some books are written for those who already know their direction. sensitive. Intention defines the boundaries and contains the action or task that is being undertaken. The quantity of energy: how much is naturally available. “Bad” habits. An efficient energy economy makes it more likely that we can achieve in our lifetime what is possible for us. we move to address our ignorance. through training. the economy and ecology of the energy supply. We begin to address the distinct qualities of the energy available to us. although books are useful when we know the way. Our mechanical and automatic processes are conditioned. If we are interested. nor nasty. of mechanical activity. the acquisition or generation of more energy when & where needed. our lives may serve the purpose for which we were born. they are). in this context. a discipline differentiates between four qualities of working. or programmed. the quantity. A discipline aims to make our habitual responses efficient. nor unworthy. The four qualities of working are sometimes called the automatic. wasteful & expensive habits. A discipline addresses right use of energy. and how it is used: taken together. more subtle work can begin for us. as if they were material actions (and on their level. that is. more usefully. That is. “Good” habits are efficient. how much is necessarily used on specific tasks. nor that we torment small animals. iv letting go of bad habits i The automatic world is the world of habitual responses. iv subtleties When we begin to experience the materiality of thought and the tangible effect of feelings. iii intensity of energy This is governed by intention. plugging leaks. protect the space. Briefly. ii quality of energy There are different kinds of functioning. There are also different qualities of energy. of functioning. secondly. When our functions operate efficiently.

lock each other into the same habitual pattern. How we live our life is how we practise our guitar. But. Stage fright. Fidgeting and twitching: boobyism. where we live. However. iv freeing energy / blocked energy. iii The feelings on automatic: like and dislike. ii The different parts of the body. Most of these are a result of inappropriate experiences in early family life. 2009. Anger. destructive and spoil our lives. working mechanically. This is both impressive and terrifying. Worshipping at the shrine of St. it is not necessary to sit with it. are aware that the mind is never still. and the corollary. Daydreaming. our normal centre of gravity . Hand-eye lock. Attracted attention . Our associational thinking never stops while we are alive. v) The three instruments work together automatically. v plugging leaks Reacting takes energy. Who is afraid? (On the course. fantasy. or a sitting practice. Anger is met by the cultivation of goodwill and compassion. Our volitional attention is then freed to supervise the task in hand. Hand-frown lock. causing repercussions.change the tempo of any habitual operation / function. vi one-centred working. Different parts of one centre affects the other parts of that centre. the operation of the three instruments. Almost all our activity in the everyday world can be conducted by the body on automatic. psychological and emotional patterns. Blind spot. eg the hand-mouth lock. Behavioural link: clean sheets and tidy. These are wasteful. and formal education. our attention need not be where the mind whirrs away – in the Basement. Expressing anger. cf the American and English approaches. eg the heart: . prejudice. Onan. without reference to thinking or feeling. the term resistances appeared several times in comments and observations). If we wish to see where we are. Hostility and ill-will: an inevitable consequence of public life. eg one part of the body has effect on other parts of the body: Les Bouches de Paris. eg at newstands. working individually and together. Internal and external patterns reinforce each other as internal-reacting moves outwards to behaviour and into the social environment. iv) The head on automatic: idée fixe. The release of energy locked in physical. in Sant Cugat July 3-11th. our station. Those with a background in meditation. It is always running in the Basement: this is necessary. each triggering the other/s in a series of mechanical operations. Unnecessary talking: motor-mouth and the talking machine. The playing-faster mouth: mouth-hand lock. all of which are related to the past.energy is sucked out of us.attention and energy in the activity of our functions. The whirring of mechanical or monkey mind is met by “stilling the mind”. which includes holding an overview of the three functions. that is. Remedies: Fidgeting and restrained breathing is met by relaxation. the frown-hand lock.

a horn. Opportunities: A crying baby. perhaps our system crashes. Learn to use it.Anger and holding goodwill. Rebooting loses a lot of information and time. Higher levels of functioning are better addressed by a large challenge. when our receiving is in a lower state. the period of letting go of bad habits. I have met noone. or the light is too bright. . Someone who irritates us. There is no end to this. we enlist the aid of two centres to act on the third. Drugs are incompatible with a personal discipline. Otherwise. lasts forever plus a year. or the experience too intense to be borne and absorbed. and the information held in front of us in what to do. Life is too short to learn only from our mistakes. while physically relaxing. Challenge. Hair shirt. viii shock: external shock. We pass out. intentional mental exercises. while cultivating a feeling of goodwill. Who was that? I’m self-taught. a picture of someone we love or a sacred image. Turn it around. before there are good habits to take their place. the other centres loosen up in response. When one centre loosens up. Emotional habits: dislike or anger. Monkey-mind: the whirring of mechanical mind. faster. These are harder to maintain when we hold a relaxed physical state. A series of small. one that can only be addressed by a change in state. But we can’t rely upon it.and three-centred working: Work on one centre affects the working of the other centres. while holding a relaxed. Otherwise. eg the head: Whirring mind: holding an image. varied challenges. internal shock. ix drugs The human instrument has in-built protection devices for when downloads from a “higher” world (a world where the information content is greater. A teacher or instructor. for example. So. with an established personal discipline. who contests this statement. Our practice is progressively refined. x the great divide Experientially. emotionally and physically for times of high informationdownload. and more intense) takes place. A pointed stick. An established practice prepares us psychologically. eg what is possible + 10%. We create our own shock by setting ourself a challenge. We aim to establish an efficient practice where nothing is wasted. V Acquiring good habits i Craft information is needed. repeated or ongoing challenge. In the human system. present physical state. but they also suspend our capacity to close the doors when the download is too great. Some drugs open doors to quality information files. when fuses blow they may be irreplaceable. The degree to which we are able to manage information downloads is governed by our being. default programmes don’t reactivate. We set the mind a particular task. vii two. Lower levels of functioning are best addressed by: A small. we’ll replace bad habits by other bad habits. Traffic noise . and cultivating a sense of goodwill. The joke: I was taught by a fool who didn’t know what they were talking about. I have met many who contest this statement. In serious cases. Physical habits: the wish to change.

The principle is: a quality is ungovernable by number. Other exercises: Division of Attention. Job Of The Day. image-formation and pattern-holding. Where we honourably complete an intentional piece of work. Exercise of Qualitative Endeavour: we set ourself to do one small thing. Independence of the hands. Effortless effort: our energies begin to cohere. the eye and the mouth. and creational. if we know the people. compassionate goodwill. I Genius Professional Master Mechanic / Journeyman II Creation . superbly. Play: develops spontaneity. perhaps even to be sent to the bank accounts of others. if we know the places. iii generating energy a) Intentional work: The higher acts upon the lower to activate the middle. a small act of quality is as large as a large act of quality. Counting and playing. iv accessing energy There are places and people who are reservoirs of energy. So. adeptical. from which a kind of “heat” is released. or throw it out the window. have a party. We confront habitual behaviour with a demand. invest it for the future. Part of this “heat” is available to us as a form of payment. Second Question Are these fair adjectives for the four qualities of functioning? mechanical. Development of bodily stillness in repose and motion. a tension. b) There are also specific exercises & practices to this end. fasting. Mental: “Stilling the mind”. We may then put this in the bank.ii exercises Physical: Relaxation. eg. Feeling: Cultivation of accepting. Balanced functioning: seeing a process through to its completion involves all centres. Moving while maintaining a sense of our personal presence. professional. energy is released from that work. eg the Widow’s Mite. Assumption of Virtue. This creates a friction. Seeing integrally: this confers a sense and expansion of the present moment. breathing exercises.

As the Guitar Craft aphorism puts it: understanding is a three-legged stool. July. from our course here at Sant Cugat. the doing of feeling.' As I see it. believing that we know what it is to operate in all three centres. the feeling of feeling. A more useful approach is… Intellectual Feeling Moving … each of which has a “version” of the other. the sensitive heart also is a place of likes and dislikes but it differs from the automatic heart in that my heart when energized sensitively may react but notices that it is reacting.Renovation Innovation Maintenance On the board. the feeling of the body. Feeling the thinking of feeling. with no noticing. A quick answer is. we get a taste of what understanding might be. A very quick answer is. At that point. but I’m sure you get the overall gist. the next step is to notice our noticing of our reacting. the feel of thinking. This is clumsily expressed. Another aspect of this is. yes. the doing of thinking. there is a distance between the reaction. Is there a correspondence of these 12 configurations to the notes in the octave. there is a connection to the notion of “qualities of functioning”. 2009… Third Question The section on automatic functioning has but one sentence on 'the automatic heart. whereas the automatic heart just reacts. . Wednesday 29th. In noticing. A longer answer has already filled volumes of authoritative commentary. for Sunday 22nd. 2009. and our reacting. February. sometimes we get a taste of what it might be like to be more functional in a lessdeveloped centre. We often delude ourselves. When the three instruments – the hands. which would lead to 12 'operational configurations' for the aspirant to operate in. that you know of? It’s not quite like this. giving nine “configurations”… Intellectual the “thinking” of thinking. Moving the thinking of the body. because we experience our partial form of that experiencing / functioning within our own dominant centre/s. Very few people are balanced in all the three primary modes. the head and the heart. the doing of the body. Fourth Question Theoretically. the three centres could each operate with one of the four qualities. begin to work together.