Trying To Stop Staring At My Hands

I have a tendency to stare at my hands with bent posture while I play. I feel completely cut off from my band mates and the audience.

So I am trying something new- practicing at home without ever looking down at my hands. When I was taking lessons from Ondrej Pivec in Brooklyn, he taught me that when you look at your hands, it divides your attention between one hand or the other, meaning it is only possible to really improvise with one hand at a time. When you’re not looking at your hands, it’s possible to consider both hands at the same time as one unified sound. In addition, Hammond players need to be able to look up and watch for visual cues, especially players accompanying a minister’s sermon.

In order to train himself to not stare at his hands, Ondrej taped a piece of paper to the wall that said “Look Here.” Last night, I stuck a “Look Here.” sticker on the wall in front of where I practice the keyboard. So far, it’s been very fun and challenging!

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