2011 R2 Dave Carr's FABULOUS Contraption

ABOUT ME

I’ve played music all my life - violin as a child, then cello, and at 13 I discovered bands like Nirvana and Metallica, picked up a guitar, and was hooked. From that point on music has been my passion.

I began playing gigs from the age of 16, and around the same time began experiencing pain in my left arm when I played. As I pursued a career as a professional musician, I felt devastated by the discomfort I experienced, and by the need to take extended periods off from playing, often for six months at a time.

Over the years I saw many health professionals, who all gave useful advice, but I only experienced temporary relief, and overall the problem didn’t seem to be going away. Various people suggested I try the Alexander Technique. I recall being reluctant to try it out - it had a weird name, I didn’t know what it was, and it seemed outside my comfort zone. In my first lesson I was relieved to find that it was very logical, and my teacher showed me how to move more efficiently.

After the lesson I began to notice myself doing strange things as I sat, as I walked, as I played guitar. I was becoming increasingly aware of the things I’d been doing all along that had been contributing to my discomfort. As I learned to go about my daily activities in a new way, the challenges I experienced at the instrument began to dissolve into a coherent pattern - I could see a path forward! I enrolled in the teacher-training program at BodyMinded Alexander Technique in Sydney and have been teaching A.T. since 2016. 

Parallel to my Alexander training, I also studied classical guitar with Philip Houghton, who had an incredibly detailed approach to teaching technique and phrasing. The combination of my Alexander Technique skills and new guitar-specific skills enabled me to get back into performing again, leading me to play gigs and tour with Lolo Lovina.

I had reached a point where I could play classical guitar freely, and yet still hadn’t taken the time to address some fundamental concerns about my electric guitar technique. More recently I’ve moved to New Zealand and I’m taking time off from performing to explore the electric guitar, record an album of my original material, and help other musicians to overcome their own challenges.