Hi everyone and again thanks to Pebber for all the material and asskicking motivation.
Im glad to say that ive made humongous progress in as little as one year and although i still definetly suck, im happy with the results.
Ive been jamming with guitarists that have been playing for 10+ years and i must say it is impressive to actually compare how friggin effective Pebbers training is. Sarod/scalpel picking is the real deal! My picking technique is a monster and im proud of how pretty my left hand technique is turning out ;) Cant wait for another year to go by :)
Anyways in the quest of taming my pinky i trilled for around 3 hours everyday for one month and used the pinky as much as i could, the pinky did indeed grow insanely strong and fast, but sadly it also got injured (interphalangeal joint/ligament hurts). I gave my left hand a well needed 4 weeks rest and all injuries seemed to have healed, but recently i have noticed that the pinky has not yet healed properly..
1)So how long should i let it rest? another 4 weeks or another full 8 weeks? am i better off not using the left hand at all ? or buddy tapping it and playing only with 3 fingers?
2) Ive been concentrating on exercises for way too long and my repertoire sucks :)
Now i know its time to focus on repertoire, do you recommend i put 100% of my time into it, till i get it to a decent level, then get back to my usual routine or would you still be practicing other modules ?
Thanks in Advance
In reply to question 2 my Repertoire also suffers but i am the sort of person who enjoys the excercises ( quarter notes chromatics at 50bpm) painfully boring. but i would say yea defo build your repertoire if thats what you want. but still leave some time for the routine.
As for the trills i was doing 5 mins each exercise over 2hours for first set, i now still do 5 mins each but not so many i never really got any pain just burns and i would trill through that to a point where it would feel fine again
but yes i would say more rest and i'm not sure strapping would help as the third finger is joined with the fourth..
RE: Trill Abusein PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue May 08, 2012 8:16 am
by uderoche (deleted)
You are definitely not alone with having hand issues. I have them, Pebber has had them, I have even been told that Yngwie has terrible arthritis. So, it happens to some and doesn't happen to others. Genetics I assume.
As far as my own personal issues, I have suffered from various things including pain in the pick hand wrist, to the point where I could not hold the pick, write with a pen, click a mouse button, etc. Very painful. Also, shooting pains, feelings of quick electric shocking sensations in the fretboard hand followed by a general numbness in the fretboard hand, tingling and numbing sensations. And finally, general feelings in fretboard fingers (usually the ring finger) that it is "strained" or "pulled."
This was after many many years of constant practice and playing.
First, let me save you a trip to the "doctor." DO NOT go to a doctor. All they told me was take over the counter pain relievers (Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, etc) and rest it. The doctor specifically asked me, "What are you doing to your hands?" And I said, "I play guitar." And he said, "How much?" And I told him how much and how long and he literally looked at me as if I were insane.
Now, in the defense of this, resting and taking pain relievers will help you. But it is a quick fix and the problems will return.
DO NOT ever let a doctor cut on your hands. I have seen musicians who have had "surgeries" on their hands, as advised by doctors and it never works.
Also, do not go to a physical therapist. I made this mistake as well. They will massage the problem, but again, it will return.
Visit an acupuncturist or chiropractor.
Pebber can expound on this further and will back up everything I'm telling you because HE told ME what to do. There are also various vitamins and herbal medications you can take daily such as shark cartilage and glucosamine chonbdroitin.
For now, rest it and work on other things.
Also remember, Pebber's isometric exercises! Everyone should stretch out with those every day before any intense practice! Again, a lot of those exercises were taught to Pebber by experts and he has passed this knowledge on. Do not forget the stretching!
sorry to hear that!
It always sucks to be forced into NOT playing....I hate to say it but maybe another break is in order.
After you practice do you warm down with warm water or a heating pad? even warming up with a heating pad is a good idea
or use one of those tension reliever...squishy balls...the ones that are supposed to help relieve tension at work.
That helps warm up the hands as well.
I never had bad problem with that...although my pinky has plagued me for as long as I could remember with a suck technique. I practice good technique slowly...but when I let go it does as well...argh!
I dont know what to say besides dang! and see a doc to make sure everything is ok....
GOOD to hear someone else mention the POWER of SAROD!!!!!
It is the BEST and most difficult technique to harness....glad to hear...its well worth the energy to understand!
“A World Without String Is Chaos”
Agree about the Sarod FRaKH The other night was picking using scapel which is pretty quick, then noticied i was going into turbo mode rotating while still using scapel i thought yes craked it sounded awesome. Next day back to sucking again guess my hand was pretty tired but it will come back. tame it I shall!!
We will take over the world with SAROD!!!!!!!!
It is man! Its better than sliced bread!
Im amazed that more of us are not as amazed...maybe just quiet about it...
You know what is the test to see if you have power over it...?
Try playing a Paganini piece with the hybrid!!!
At high speed!!
Thats a b***h!!
You guys made my day!!
“A World Without String Is Chaos”
Immense thanks for the thorough advice :)
And thanks for the condolenceS! ;)
I tapped it and its recovering quickly, sometimes i play with 3 fingers only and sometimes i untape it and just cover the joint to not let it stiften and become weak.
Frakh: You´re a friggin Sarod monster, cant wait till i get to half your level :)
Im sure someday someone famous will reminisce and talk about Pebber , his methods and how he incorporated Sarod into the guitar world..
Anyways on my journey i have stumbled upon what i have found to be a jewel:
ive been working through that book and im happy to say that i can now give doctors the middle finger.. nothing as cool as being able to fix yourself.. really fix yourself. (turns out i´ve actually never had tendonitis or any of the sort, it was all muscular and could have been healed in a couple of days or short massages..)
I swear if you have some spare time and some cash, you wont regret giving that book a try. (especially us who abuse our body so much)
I hope it works....
When I was in High School my dog took a bite out of tips of my fingers on the left hand...(I broke up a fight).....
I couldnt practice for months!!
I hope you dont have to go through that length of time....
I appreciate the kind words!
“A World Without String Is Chaos”
Thanks for the interest Frakh :) , it is healing, but not yet fully healed.. i find myself using it from time to time... i cant resist the friggin urge when playing... :)
Ohh and i recently discovered that nature has its own ibuprofen: cherries!
im gonna be complementing my diet to help out the healing process.
You have to stop playing for a while to let injuries heal. No way around it. You can do MORE damage by playing on a partially healed injury than not. Next year when you have tendonitis and have to see a doctor who then tells you that you need surgery will be the only time you listen to what I told you and then it will be to late. Dont say I never warned you.
Ok, Pebber i will stop and let that mfing pinky have it, its way.
But how do you guys suppress the urge to play ? i feel so bad, pissed and guilty if i can't play as much as i want.
I guess its time to practice only picking again, maybe learn to sweep with 3 fingers only or devour some theory books. :)
Thats EXACTLY why musicians RUIN their tendons with scar tissue. They cant STOP playing for even one day. You really have to STOP playing altogether (oooh I know its painful and you have a "hard time" doing that but you know what? You will totally fuck yourself up more if you do. Even if it feels "partially healed" you will fuck yourself up permanently if you dont let it fully recover before you start playing. I have had many students and have known MANY musicians who developed TENDONITIS, BURSITIS and CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME and didnt STOP playing because they were WEAK MENTALLY and COULDNT DISCIPLINE themselves to PUT IT AWAY UNTIL THEY HAVE FULL RECOVERY. Some of these guys are STILL WEARING FUCKING BRACES on their wrists TO THIS DAY!!!!! THEY ARE GONE! PERMANENT LIFE LONG DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!!! I warn people all the time - do they listen? FUCK NO! Once in a while someone "partially" pays attention to the seriousness of it and they stop for a few days even a couple weeks at best but they still start picking away at the guitar in a few days and then they dont recover to 100% without scar tissue. "Damn it must be hard to not play" Yes it is but when you realize that the alternative could be a PERMANENT NOT PLAY you may reconsider your priorities.....
Your predicament reminded me of something that happened to me. Although, not directly related to what you are going through.
I remember years ago hurting my left wrist while practicing. It was so bad that I couldn't move my hand at all. The pain was so bad. It was a stabbing-piercing type pain that would make me shake involuntarily. I didn't know what to do. I went to the library, seen a chiropractor, nothing worked. Finally, I talked to a bass player who had the same problem. He told me that he stopped playing literally for 7 months (he had an extreme case-he wore a brace to keep his wrist from moving). And recovered.
I got real worried. Man, I didn't want to stop playing for that long. So, I decided to put down the guitar for a week and not play at all (this was the most frustrating thing in the world. I was attending music school at the time and didn't want to fall behind). I remembered feeling really sad. But, I figured I would just say "fuck it", sometimes you just gadda do what you gadda do, eh?
For a week I ended up just practicing my notation skills and writing out my scales and chords, etc. Till this day I think thats way I can draw a half decent treble clef. I remember I must of filled out at least 10 pages of treble clefs! Crazy.
Anyway, after a week I picked up the guitar and was able to play. It was almost like nothing happened. I felt relieved and ready to get back to practicing. Then it came back about a week later. "Fuck me!!!!". Why only me? All the other guitar players seemed to be doing fine. Why me?
Well, guess what? I happened to notice something. I was watching a video of Steve Vai performing live in that movie "Crossroads". I observed how he played and something popped out at me about his left hand. I wanted to make sure so I googled some video's of other players I really liked like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morris, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, John Mclaughlin, and of course Allan Holdsworth.
I noticed that they all , on average, held their left hand a certain way when they played. Not all the time, but usually when they are playing quite fast. So, I try to do the same. And guess what? Immediately the pain went away. As long as I kept the right posture/position of the left hand the pain stayed at bay.
I've never had a problem since.
Your problem, though, seems to be more about the tendons/muscles in your fingers. I usually encounter problems like this when I try to push too hard too quickly. That's why I changed my routine after coming across Pebber's videos. His approach is so intensive that its easy to hurt yourself if you go at it too much. In fact, if I push it hard one day on an exercise that I'm working on, I'll take a break and do something else for a couple of days before getting back to it. Or reduce my BPM by 10 for a while.
It seems that Frank Zappa was right when he said that being a musician has more to do with being an olympic athlete than actually music. I'm paraphrasing him but that's the just of what he said. Here's an online version:
Here's the actual quote:
"What sort of sociological "lemming effect" do you see in the rise of the guitar superhero?
I don't have a speech I make about this, but my observation is that guitar playing as currently understood has more to do with sports than it has to do with music. It's an Olympic-challenge type of situation. the challenges are in the realm of speed, redundancy, choreography, and grooming. "
So, is guitar playing just another way of saying that your "sport" is music???
Yeah. But, it is an interesting comment. When you look at players who are highly skilled whether it be Albert Lee or Steve Vai you can't deny that plenty of it has to do with physical conditioning, no?
So it appears that when developing skills, such as the sarod, we would have to approach it as an athlete would. But, what kind of athlete? A weight lifter? A long distance runner? A boxer? etc.... Each one of those will emphasis one kind of training over the other. Take weight lifting for example. They never train the same group of muscles every day from what I've read and witnessed. They let one group rest for a period of several days while working on another group. Whereas, a long distance runner, I would assume, runs almost everyday exercising the same muscle group.
So, does this mean guitar players are more like one or the other? Wouldn't it sort of dictate the way in which one practices?
That's an interesting point. Also to add to that, I remember something about Bruce Lee's view regarding bodybuilding/weightlifting. I wish I could remember where I read it. But to paraphrase him he believed that to train oneself in any discipline was ultimately a spiritual quest. I also recall Allan Watt's saying something quite similar in his book "The Way Of Zen" (I think that was the name of the book). Where concentrating on one's job/task is akin to an act of concentration, discipline and meditation.
Then again, I'm getting old and my memory tends to fade a bit.