I’d like to respond to Chris Whitehouse’s asking me to clarify what I mean by ‘grace’, and ‘is it a touch thing’?
First I’ll say that it is a touch thing, but the touch is a symbol (or, symptom) of what’s happening inside. I’m perceiving the ‘inside’ as mind and body. Mind being the creator, body being the conduit to the touch, tone, sound, feel, which is external.
One can address the mind (via meditating while playing for example) to increase fluidity, power, sensitivity, (grace) in the body – which affects the touch.
One might also address the touch aspect first to discover the body is not enabling a desired result, which requires a mental change.
In my case, my body (pain, numbness, loss of fine motor skills due to bad playing habits) led me to discover that I had bad ‘thinking’ habits, too. And this, of course, was affecting my touch.
I think any approach we take to overcoming limitation we discover that something ungraceful is happening at the source.
All of the ‘bad’ thinking that we do essentially is based on our attachment to results. The ‘mind-grace’ disciplines I’ve done have always been a practicing of letting go of attachment. Surrendering my will over to a higher power. And practicing believing that if I do surrender, all will be OK.
I tell my students ‘the best bus drivers are the ones who aren’t afraid to let go of the wheel’. Remember letting go of your handlebars on your bike for the first time? Scary, but liberating. And you practiced it. I will say if you want to practice driving the bus (the band) with no hands on the wheel, you might try it for a while on your own/ in rehearsal. But, eventually, we have to be able to say ‘it does not matter what happens/what happened on ______’ and go for it. This means we prepare to do a great job, and then, when it’s time to do a great job, we engage the ‘I don’t need to do a great job’ mechanism. It’s a mind-bender. Don’t try too hard to understand it. Practice it. Experience it. Know it.
Check out my ‘reading’ page on my site for resources that have helped me become more grace-full.