A long-standing rumour has it that professional classical guitarists don’t do washing up because the warm water would soften their plucking fingernails too much (presumably destroying their carefully-honed tone and precision, to say nothing of upping the risk of the ultimate fingerstyle guitarist’s nightmare – a broken nail … ).
My first attempt at a practice session today was scotched by my hands shaking too badly to do any serious work on audition excerpts clearly chosen largely for speed of notes and factors that combine awkwardly with that. I wonder therefore if professional violinists and violists avoid using strimmers and hedge-trimmers (this seems, to be honest, quite likely) in order to keep their fine finger-control? Rather more hypothetically, do they avoid stressful situations such as *ahem* having nowhere to live in eleven days, and perhaps going cold turkey on any addictions they have acquired (caffeine and alcohol included), in order to keep that precision and shake-free hand movement? I mean you want to be able to do rapid and wide vibrato, unless you’re a real early music specialist, but unless you’re a real late-Romantic specialist you also want to be able to turn it off …
I’m aware I’m revisiting dead ground here, having written about focus and priorities before, largely to do with technical music practice and househunting. But whatever the specifics are, I don’t think life is ever as straightforward as ‘I put [x] first, and everything else has to come second’ – even if we ignore how you might rank everything else second, third etc.! Some things are simply necessary though undesirable and in a sense unimportant to us – like finding somewhere to live that we can afford, actually has a shared living room of some kind and hasn’t already been nabbed by someone else.
It’s quarter to ten on a Thursday. I guess I’m not really going to get more emails about houseshares tonight. I should probably go to bed and see if I can get up early tomorrow without having the shakes again.