TSFD: retraining and playing.

These strategies are in no order of importance.

The instrument & execution

Important Disclaimer

Please note that these ideas are a result of my own thinking and what I have learned about my own Task Specific Focal Dystonia.

The process of thinking about and understanding  TSFD is by no means finished. By extension, these strategies are an unfinished work and will be revisited and amended in the future.

They are, however, my current strategies and I believe that they work for me. That does not mean that these strategies will work for you, despite the imperatives.

The aim of this post is to help me clarify my own thinking and express it in words.

  • Do not over practise. Modulate your studies – make changes and variations.
  • Play with minimal force.
  • Prepare for the next movement. Focus on the sensation of preparedness.
  • Initiation is everything. Practise setting up the stroke. Once you have initiated the movement there is no going back.
  • Feel the sensation of the string release. Release the string lightly as you can. Feel, for the point of release and push just the tiniest amount more to release the string. Prepare – Touch -Feel -Move.
  • Be intentional. Do what you mean to do. No more. No less. Be clear and honest to yourself.
  • Watch not only what you are doing with your playing digits. Watch the whole of your body. even the fingers that are not being used. Watch even your eyes.
  • Start again. Leave the old ways of doing things and start again. If you suffer from TSFD you literally have to recreate yourself. And I really do mean at a synaptic level.
  • Clearly define and be able to explain the differences between the old way of playing and the new way. Do not confuse the two.
  • Don’t use backing tracks exclusively.  You cannot control their speed, use a metronome and focus on slow and certain.
  • Watch yourself practise. Use a mirror and or a video camera.
  • Practise first thing in the morning when you are fresh.
  • If you have done it well once you can do it well again.
  • Speed is not an objective.
  • Develop the guitar you have in your head and play it regularly.
  • Don’t just listen to you earworms – play them.
  • Imagine how you want to play and play those images in your head.


Please see this post: http://miguelbengoa.com/2010/01/01/tsfd-retraining-the-body/

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