The Tension Enemy, lessons learned from my puppy, and meeting reminder (Originally sent 4/24/23)

Hey everyone!!!

A quick reminder that we have another Mixer Mixer tomorrow. 7:30pm, April 25th at Rec Room Recording Studio in the basement of the Arts Federation, 638 North St, Lafayette. It'll be great to see you and share mixes.

It is with a heavy heart that I'm writing this email as my buddy Yeti, the Lhasa Apso has passed. She was awesome and my constant companion in my studio at home. Yeti was over eighteen years old and my wife and I are so grateful for the time we had with her.

I learned so much from Yeti! Probably the thing I learned the most was that I should just try my best with the gifts and tools I have and not get wrapped up and concerned with what I don't have. You see, Yeti was blind for the last few years of her life. But she never let that stop her. She proceeded to continue to enjoy life and developed strategies that allowed her to be able to navigate new spaces with aplomb. It was really inspirational to watch her in a new space. She never got frustrated. She just kept exploring. If she was blocked in one direction she took another. And another. Kinda like Pac Man. LOL. It's amazing how many times, when in difficult situations, I wallow in difficulty instead of changing direction. So often, I am my biggest obstacle. Yeti really made this clear to me. I AM getting better at this, in a big part, thanks to Yeti!


Tension - Your Enemy

I remember reading an article by a great songwriter and producer named Toby Gad. I looked all over to see if I could find it and provide everyone with a link. Even in the Wayback Machine on the internet. For those that don't know, the Wayback Machine lets you look at internet sites as they were in history. Well, I couldn't get a link to the article, which is too bad as it was good. It dealt with Toby's ordeal of coming back from carpal tunnel syndrome that he got from using a computer mouse. If I remember right, his solution was to use one of those Wacom pen tablet thingy's. He talked about the months that he couldn't mix or use his computer so it really was a big deal and could've been the end of his career as a mixer and guitar player.

That, in turn, got me thinking about my daughter Jinty having to re-learn how to play the violin at Indiana University. The key was that she had to learn to play the violin without tension. It was very difficult for her as she was used to tensing up. Her professor told her that if she didn't change the way she played she would be a cripple in ten years. Thankfully she did learn to play without tension and it has really helped her. Her sound got SO much bigger on the violin as she learned to play tension free. It was staggering. She learned to play strongly and effortlessly without tension.

So that in turn got me thinking. What kind of repetitive things was I doing with tension that could cause me problems down the road? Like Toby Gad, I do use a mouse a lot even though I have hardware controllers in my mix setup. Unlike Toby, I liked using a mouse and hate trackballs and alternate pointing devices like trackballs. So I focused on making sure that I had a very relaxed, very loose grip on my mouse when using it and tried to eliminate the tension in my wrist and hand when moving the mouse.  I also tried to really type in a relaxed manner as well. Fifteen years later and I haven't had a problem with my hands even though I use my keyboard and mouse more than ever.

If you play an instrument, are you tensing up during the "hard parts?" I used to when I played piano. Now I try to sense the tension in my body and play without the tension. This all made sense to me when I remembered how effortlessly and relaxed people like Eric Clapton looked when playing very difficult solos on the guitar. Great instrumentalists in general seem to have an effortlessness to their playing that sets them apart. They're playing without tension.

My suggestion for you is to give this some thought. Are there ways you can eliminate tension in your daily activities? Let me know of your results! 

As always, reply to this email if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you!!

All the best,


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