Monday, November 22, 2010

Of flutes and gear shifts

I have four flutes now, all different kinds :

  • Bansuri - traditional primitive bamboo flute that you blow through, seven finger holes.

  • Carnatic flute #1 - You blow sideways into it, it has seven finger holes.

  • German flute - A wooden one, blow straight, seven finger holes and one for the thumb.

  • Carnatic flute #2 - Sideways blown, six finger holes.

There are a few bikes I've ridden/ride with different gear shift and brake configurations:

  • My boisterous black beast - Right shift, First gear up, rest down.

  • My brothers - Left Shift, First down, rest up.

  • Jawa - Left shift, First up, rest down, clutch-less shifting.

The point is in both these cases, after a while the fingers and the feet start to "think" on their own and it doesn't matter which one I'm riding or playing, I can get comfy after a few KM / notes.

It wasn't easy in the beginning - For many months, I struggled to go from the Bansuri to the german flute, So too, for  many KM initially when I rode to Ladhak, on a bike with a different shift pattern from mine. Took many botched shifts and badly played tunes, before adapting to adaptation.

Now finally, I managed in the last few weeks, to adapt to one of the sideways flutes, and suddenly both are equally easy to play! Learn one, and get another learning free! Even though the same tune requires totally different finger movements to play on each one.

So it's all about delegating to the sub-conscious, as I feel I often do when solving programming stuff. Not always possible, but there are times, when I have solved things without a conscious process - I just knew the answer somehow.

Eventually, to be able to relegate most actions to the subconscious is my goal, whether it be martial arts, biking, "fluting" or even human interaction (thats the holy grail for me, I think some people have this gift).

Meanwhile, more confirmation today that my gut-feelings are accurate. Just need to point my gut in the right direction now, to find out what's what.Ha!

1 comment:

  1. The thesis of the book Blink (Malcolm Gladwell) is that gut feelings can be dead on until they are dead wrong. I think for physical activities like playing flute and riding a bike you are more on the safe side with trusting your gut. But if you are having a gut feeling about the stock market for eg, or how your favorite language/religion/town/person is the best in the world, then that is more the realm of bias than gut feeling although both are technically from the gut.

    But back to physical stuff, I think "The Inner Game Of Tennis" is an excellent primer into this sort of thinking/training. Give it a read.