David Leisner: Playing with Ease

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DevonBadger
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by DevonBadger » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:27 pm

As the OP I'd like to thank David Leisner for taking the time to respond to the comments posted here.

My intention was to draw attention to ideas about how to stay relaxed when playing that I hadn't previously come across or hadn't heard described in this way. Personally I am finding it helpful to think about the weight of the arm and falling upwards and downwards, and I believe my hand is more relaxed as a result.

I don't have any experience with focal dystonia and I don't feel in any way qualified to comment on David's claims in that regard.

But I would encourage anyone wanting to play in a more relaxed way, especially relative beginners such as myself, to check out David's videos to see whether or not they have any value for you.

Jack Douglas
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Jack Douglas » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:31 pm

Fascinating discussion! I’m curious enough to purchase the book. Unless, of course, one of you who bought it, was disappointed, and would like to pass it on to me :D

Afterthought from me, a hobbyist player. In classes with and the reading of ‘Process and Essence’ Christopher Berg talked about using the arm/shoulder muscles to move in a relaxed manner across the strings. Thinking of falling upwards is to me just another way of visualizing a relaxed motion.

Leisner has paid the real dues of performance at a professional level and has an earned opinion whether one agrees or not with his method of communication.
Last edited by Jack Douglas on Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Soundminer
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Soundminer » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:13 pm

This is nothing short of brilliant!

This is the real deal

I asked a couple of years ago about a new way to describe the correct motion for good tone as I have students struggling with this, and I struggle to explain...as it is really something you feel.

This gentleman has actually done just that! I have had great succes already, big laughter and aha moments!! It's just awesome

DevonBadger
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by DevonBadger » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:10 pm

:smorfia:

Soundminer
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Soundminer » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:26 pm

:bravo: :D Oh and thank you too Devonbadger!

es335
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by es335 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:29 pm

Tried chapter 5.4 (falling upwards) just out of curiosity and am quite surprised. Tone wise a nice improvement and after well one hour of playing I felt less tension in my forearm than at the beginning, after having typed on my computer. Probably not everbodies cup of tea but seems to work for me quite well! Thanks for sharing and this intensive and controversial discussion, which drew my attention on this topic! :merci:

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:10 pm

I have known David for years and found him to be a gentleman and impeccable scholar. His success story of clawing his way back out of FD is inspiring and motivational. I would recommend his approach to guitarists of any level.
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DevonBadger
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by DevonBadger » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:49 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:26 pm
:bravo: :D Oh and thank you too Devonbadger!
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic. Now I realise you were being serious. Please accept my apologies :desole:

But glad others are finding it helpful.

Soundminer
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Soundminer » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:22 pm

haha, I'm very serious! ( no problem :))

These are by far the best guitar lessons I have come accross. Simple, effective and no blabla

This man should be proud!

Dofpic
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Dofpic » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:18 am

I will weigh in as I took a one week class from him as well as the lessons on FD.

I know of one person who got over it with help from david but he told me his biggest help came from Katherine Butler a hand specialist in London. I know of one other person who said it was what got him over the top to get over it but watching his playing I am not sure he is over it.

He gave a great class out in Montana but by the end of the week he was not ask back for the following year which is custom. He was arrogant and quite condescending to a local string quartet put together for him to play a Boccheri quintet. The one Solo piece he played also did not convince me he was totally over it. He was also quite rude to other staff at the camp complaining about the food etc and just acted like a prima-donna.

I did take the 4 lessons suggested and he was encouraging and energetic but in the end I found them of little value. He charged me full boat $300 per hour for four lessons

I do know that high profile guitarist that are stricken with it he will often do it pro bono or at a reduced price.

I do think that many players find their own way and are able to work around it but I do not see them returning to their old glory.

I know of one player who is totally over it who went to Spain for treatment (where I went). His playing is fluid with no signs of it that I see and he tells me he can do anything he could do before. It took hiM 18 months. I am 8 months in and progressing. To me it is all in the brain and not muscles etc and takes retraining in ways that forces one to use your brain in crazy ways.

He also wanted to get into politics or social issues which I told him I did not fly 2000 miles and pay big money to discuss that and can we stick to the music please. He seemed annoyed at first at my bluntness but after that did stick to the music.

Anyway I am sure there are some very good things to learn from him musically or practice time wise but found him personally abrasive after a week and the entire class concurred.
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Dofpic
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Dofpic » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:00 am

Upon reflection I would add two things.

First ...David had some very good practice ideas and if anyone picks up one pearl of wisdom from the book then it will be worth it.
Second ...The fact that about 30 people across the world have had brain surgery to correct FD with almost 100 percent effectiveness with no recurrence tells me it is neurological and not muscular.
2006 Greg Byers(fan)2009 Eric Monrad(maple) 2018 Simon Ambridge Model 40 Satinwood. 2003 Tacchi Simplcio satinwood 2017 E. Bottelli 52 Hauser, 2002 Jeff Elliott spruce, 2017 Richard Reynoso, spruce/maple, 2015 Herman Hauser III(Cedar)

guit-box
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by guit-box » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:35 am

Dofpic wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:18 am
I did take the 4 lessons suggested and he was encouraging and energetic but in the end I found them of little value. He charged me full boat $300 per hour for four lessons
$1200 for 4 lessons plus plane flight and lodging and time spent to discover what he offered had little value. This is exactly my experience and the experience of a friend with FD who also studied with him. I suppose if you're wealthy and you can make the trip to NYC a vacation as well, then no big deal, but for a struggling music student who doesn't have this kind of $ it's highway robbery.

There are two completely different things at play here. 1. His book 2. His private lessons on FD. By all means buy the book, I'm sure it doesn't cost $1200. If you have FD, I'd say save your $ since everything he taught me I could explain to you in 2 minutes or you can watch in his videos.

I've talked to a lot of classical guitarists and other musicians with FD on forum groups. They all have one thing in common, they're usually very positive about their progress and they have a high level of faith that they'll get better. So, I'm sure you'll find people who report that Leisner has helped them, but that optimism is way different than seeing/hearing a demonstration of their playing that is FD-free.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Rasqeo
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Rasqeo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:19 am

Also there’s a big difference between simply listing the names of people you’ve ‘treated’, which David does above, and those people independently verifying that they have been ‘cured’ of FD by his methods. I see no evidence of the latter.

Soundminer
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Soundminer » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:27 am

You can leave the whole focal dystonia part out of it as far as I am concerned. Wether he realises it or not ( I think he does, hence the title of his book), he has described the way good tone is produced perfectly and more importantly, understandable. This isn't rocket science..it's music! Something that lives in us all.

And wether you realise it or not, in essence you are doing the same as him. Engaging your big muscles. If there is any secret to guitar playing, that is it!

The way he gets you to acces the big muscles by using a few analogies and a few easy exercises is brilliant.

Libraries have been written with just that goal in mind...to little or no effect mind you.. mostly the ego of the writer/artist gets in the way of the thing he or she is trying to put accross.

his approach goes straight to the core of what guitar technique is about, getting good tone and the mechanism behind it !

The proof is in the pudding!

The man shows in a 2 min clip poor tone and sound : when you force it, push to much, and good tone (music), when you LET it happen, just like a falling raindrop and gravity.

You have to be tone deaf and emotionally deaf not to hear the difference immediately. One sounds rushed, too loud and not pleasant at all, like noise.
The other sounds at ease, relaxing and whole...for short, like music.


I don't know the man and he may have his quirks like we all do, but achieving this and being so straightforward with it implies the opposite of arrogance, it shows real insight and taking oneself out of the equation while adressing the skill.

Now that, is rare!

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: David Leisner: Playing with Ease

Post by Alexander Kalil » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:12 pm

Impresario wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:38 am
.. here is a list of names, just off the top of my head .. Brian Hays .. Mark Ashford, Christian Verspay, Matthew Marshall, Sean Behrens, Steve Rings, Pam Kimmel, Eduardo Gonzalez, Pierluigi Serraino, Michael Black, Vincenzo .. Flavio Ciatto .. a very famous guitarist who wishes to remain private .. David Griego ..
The fact that so many guitarists have contracted focal dystonia in the first place - and we can only suppose there are many more - is a sad testimony to the actual state of guitar pedagogy, I must conclude.

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