Monday, May 9, 2011

ADM: Aim Directed Movement


This is an ongoing series of blogs relating to performance development. The series was started on my digimusicam web-site in Nov. 2010

ADM: Aim Directed Movement

Originally Posted on November 30, 2010 by Richard Matteson

One of the essential principles used for learning music and performing is ADM or Aim Directed Movement. Aaron Shearer had already coined the term in the late 1980s when I moved to Winston-Salem to work with him and learn his system.

ADM is seeing in the mind’s eye how and where to move your fingers- in advance- before you move them.

You use ADM to first visualize a single movement form. A movement form on the guitar is, for example, moving three left hand fingers to play a D chord, or moving a single left finger to play one note. A right hand movement form could be an arpeggio form p,i,m,a or plucking three strings to play a chord.

Music is a series of interconnected movement forms and knowing exactly how and where you move your fingers in advance is ADM.

What happens is most guitarists (this could apply to any instrument) do not really understand what they are doing, in advance. They use trial and error. After a few mistakes they begin to understand what to do and eventually figure it out.

They go from inaccuracy to accuracy. They think that eventually by making correct repetitions and hard work they can overcome the mistake and erase the faulty muscle memory. However there’s always a chance an early mistake or habit will come back.

Now consider the alternative: going from accuracy to accuracy using ADM. You understand what to do in advance before you do it, therefore you play it correctly the first time.

After playing the piece or section correctly and repeating it doing it correctly, the chance of playing it incorrectly is slim. Additionally, there’s less time involved learning because you don’t have to erase mistakes by rote repetition.

Visualization and ADM are the keys to securely understanding and knowing how to play music. You can learn a piece of music without even using the guitar. Then play it correctly to affirm your understanding.

In another blog we’ll look at different ways to use ADM. We’ll use a step by step process when first learning music and also look at how ADM is used during a performance.

More to come—

Richard Matteson

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