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Practice Technique Number 22:  More About “Full Ambit” (see technique # 21).

April 4, 2017


Each part of the playing mechanism, that is capable of motion with reference to some point of articulation in the body, will have a full ‘ambit’ of possible motions available to it.  Taken together, all these possible motions will describe a volume of space that has a certain shape and limits.

Exploring this full potential of motion has the benefit of enhancing any particular motion that same part of the mechanism may execute.

One specific example among a multitude of possibilities:

Let us take the case of the right thumb.  How far to the left can you move the thumb, through motions of its own as well as pliability of the wrist?   This is one point on a curve that will describe the full flexibility of the thumb.   To discover the rest, starting moving the thumb clockwise (or counterclockwise) and, always utilizing the maximum pliability of the thumb, the hand, and the wrist, have the tip of the thumb trace out an imaginary line in space.  In this manner you will discover the total potential of movement belonging to the thumb, in other words: its full ambit.  For example, half way around the circle of the clock, we find that the right thumb can travel to the right at least as far as making contact with the pinky, if not more.

Any specific motion one makes with the thumb as part of playing is, by definition, part of its full ambit.  Though the following may sound a bit ‘psychological’, if the thumb is aware (sic) of its full potential, it will be more confident in executing specific motions, because it knows there is a surplus of motion and energy available to it.

In future blogs I intend discussing other parts of the playing mechanism in terms of discovering its full ambit and then benefiting from it.


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