Breaking musical style boundaries for fun – Introducing Dave Carr

Breaking musical style boundaries for fun – Introducing Dave Carr


I’d like to tell you about Dave Carr – our newest team member!

Dave answered a few questions about his musical life and his start in the Alexander Technique work. Please be introduced to Dave Carr…

When did you starting learning Music?

I learned violin and cello at a young age and when I heard bands like Nirvana and Metallica in high school I knew that guitar was the instrument for me! I’ve always been interested in a wide range of styles and have performed with groups playing material drawn from sources such as rock, jazz, metal, Indian, Celtic, bluegrass, classical, Balkan, and the list goes on… Breaking stylistic boundaries has always been a lot of fun for me.

What type of musician are you now?

I’m probably best known for my work playing guitar and banjo with gypsy band Lolo Lovina, progressive folk/metal band Dave Carr’s Fabulous Contraption and Celtic/Indian fusion band Tapestries of Sound.

In 2014 I began classical guitar lessons with Phillip Houghton, who has proven to be another inspiring mentor, with very deeply thought-through concepts of technique and phrasing. Combining his specific action ideas for guitar with the general coordinating effects of the Alexander Technique has brought me back to playing again, and I’m really excited by the results.

What got you started with Alexander Technique?

Around the age of 16, I started to develop discomfort in my arms that was apparently caused by my guitar playing, which was a big concern because music was my passion.

Over the years I explored many approaches to treating this, and consulted with many professionals about it – physiotherapists, a surgeon, a muscular-skeletal specialist, chiropractors, osteopaths, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, amongst others. Each person had their advice to offer – advice that was helpful, but I was still having to keep taking breaks from playing because I was injuring myself periodically.

Dave teaching PamThen I came across the Alexander Technique. This was different because rather than being a treatment, it was an educational system. It was about me learning what I was doing to cause the problem, and how I could stop doing these things. It was quite shocking to realise what I had been doing without recognising it!

I studied for 4.5 years with Sue Whittingham, and because Alexander Technique was the modality that really made a difference for me, I decided to train as an Alexander teacher. I had just injured myself again (I had neglected to apply the ideas I’d been learning during a long practice session), and was keen to really get on top of the problem through an intensive experience of the Technique.

This turned out to be one of the most inspiring experiences of my life. I was amazed by the skill and dedication of the teachers, and the depth of the Technique.

Why is Alexander Technique teaching so attractive to you?

The idea of teaching this to others became increasingly compelling. I learned a new way of thinking about myself and the way I move, and was seeing its effect throughout all areas of my life.