The sweet spot

April 29th, 2012

To expand on the previous post, a good way to describe the one path is ‘the sweet spot.’

You know what the sweet spot is. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it is “The place on a bat, club, racket, or paddle, where it is most effective to hit a ball.”

Wikipedia has a more extended definition:

“A sweet spot is a place where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort. In tennis, baseball, or cricket, a given swing will result in a more powerful hit if the ball strikes the racquet or bat on the latter’s sweet spot.”

In guitar playing, the ‘sweet spot’ is where everything is working optimally, where your hands feel perfectly right, and you’re able to play with maximum ease and comfort.

The difficulty, as I pointed out in the last post, is how do you know when you have found the sweet spot?

The only way to tell is with results. (And not how great your hands look, not how straight your wrist is, not how much follow-through you have…)

If you’re playing well, if you’re able to do everything you want to do and do it in front of an audience, that’s a good sign you’ve probably found that sweet spot.

Conversely, if playing feels hard, if something doesn’t feel right, if you lack security and accuracy in your fingers, if you have a hard time playing even a simple piece in front of people, that’s a sign you probably haven’t found it.

Perhaps the worst thing you can do is try to get someone else to tell you where your playing sweet spot should be.

You know how, when you go to sleep, it sometimes takes a little while to find that optimum position where you feel completely at ease and comfortable and able to drift off? And you’ll have to try a few different positions before you find it?

Well, you wouldn’t ask someone to show you what that ideal sleeping position should be for you, why would you ask someone else to show you what your ideal playing position should be?

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