Are you familiar with that olympic sport everyone loves to make fun of known as Curling? Well believe it or not, I think there is something useful that can be taken from recalling the sport to mind as I talk about velocity and violin playing.
Now, the image you probably have is of a stone sliding across a sheet of ice while one or two broom-wielding, obsessed looking individuals run out front sweeping the ice furiously.
On the face of it it is rather a humorously bizarre image, is it not? Yet when seen in the light of physics the usefulness of their actions becomes clear. The sweeping heats the ice, creates a thin film of water and, low and behold, the stone glides across the surface without the resistance of surface tension that would otherwise be present.
In fast passages our minds perform a very similar function; getting out front of the action and, through a mental process of recognition/motivation, reducing or eliminating resistance the hands would otherwise encounter.
Student drivers, as you will recall, are taught a similar form of forward-thinking. Remember the 3 second rule in your driver’s manual?
Now, of course, the condition of our hands plays a part in this. Yet it is certainly less than we tend to think. The mind is powerful! And yours IS capable. The question is, are you willing to muster the energy and focus it takes to train it for this purpose?
Think of how vigorously those sweepers work on the curling ice, at times. We must do the same with our grey matter!
I, myself, can’t tell you how many times I have balked at a passage or piece of music, only to find that when I changed my thinking from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ a way opened up.
All the best,