An AOV concern

September 22nd, 2012

One of the things that concerned me when I was writing the AOV was to what extent the principles themselves could actually produce virtuosity.

After all, there’re other factors involved in virtuosity too, factors such as experience, skill, and knowledge.

Can one really achieve virtuosity simply by implementing the physical components mentioned in the AOV without these other non-physical components?

To answer that question, let’s take the principle of lightness, a key component of virtuosity, of which I’ve written about in the last two pasts.

Can one achieve virtuosity simply by lightening one’s actions and touch?

We know that lightness is a natural result of mastery.

When you do something for the first time, you lack skill and experience so your natural instinct is to overcompensate and exert more force than you need. This results in the familiar heavy touch of a beginner.

But with time and experience, you begin to know how much force to exert and you exert just enough to get the job done and no more. This leads to the classic light touch of a master.

The question is, can you simulate this light touch and achieve mastery simply by lightening your effort and applying less force?

The answer is yes.

Case in point:

If you’re playing rest-strokes for the first time, the technique feels awkward because you’ve never done it before and because you don’t know how it’s done, you apply too much force resulting in a heavy plucking action.

But perhaps one day, you read a certain method book and the book mentions the fact that all rest-strokes should be played lightly, and you decide to follow that direction and lighten your rest-stroke.

The end result is a lighter rest-stroke, which means that you’re exerting less force, which makes the stroke easier to execute and which teaches you to focus your attention on plucking the string and to let the rest-stroke occur naturally as a follow-through to the stroke, and which eventually leads you to master the stroke.

I’ve, of course, just described what happened to me in my attempts to learn the rest-stroke.

So yes, it’s clear and evident that applying basic fundamental concepts can and will bring about virtuosity.

The problem in applying the principles in the AOV is that ALL the principles and qualities have to be applied and in place before virtuosity can occur.

For instance, another key principle described in the AOV is rhythm.

You can have every one of the AOV qualities in place, but if you lack rhythm, you will not have the ability to control the flow of your actions and without that control, you will rush through your task.

Which will immediately preclude you from achieving mastery (mastery is just another word for control).

And without mastery, there’s no virtuosity.

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