Age, physical activity, and guitar playing

ruth Vadi ruth_vadi@HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 16 12:27:18 EDT 1997


>I have become very, very aware of what I do with my hands these past
few
>years because now I'm a serious player, my band relies on me, and I
earn
>some decent pocket money playing guitar, not to mention of course that
my
>real career as a researcher relies heavily on my hands-on abilities.
So in
>a way, I've started to treat my hands the way a surgeon might--acutely
aware
>of how I handle knives washing dishes, use a hammer, cut firewood, use
a
>scalpel, use tools under the hood of my car, etc, etc. Know what I
mean?
>
>So, how many of you out there have found that since becoming some kind
of
>semi-serious player, you've actually modified your physical activites
and
>changed the way you do things in daily life to consciously protect and
>baby your hands?  The older and less flexible I get, the more I do
pamper
>my "tools of the trade".  A few years ago, I worked out a lot with
free-weights
>several times a week to keep in shape, clutching barbells and hand
weights
>totally ruined my finger dexterity, so I dropped it--made a sacrifice
of
>that kind of workout for guitar playing.  How 'bout you folks out
there?
>You should see how often I wear gloves when it's not even cold out!
>
>Riffin Rick
>
This goes for piano players too and I'm sure any other instrument that
requires a lot of finger dexterity.  I am extremely careful with my
hands at all times.  As far as weights go (I am also a pretty serious
weight-lifter) I found the opposite true -- the weights improved my hand
and finger strength and therefore my dexterity.  However, since I am a
female I cannot lift as much weight or develop as much muscle mass as a
male.  I wear weightlifting gloves so I don't get calluses on my palms.
I have a guitar-player friend who is a full-time mechanic.  About once a
year he has a hand injury serious enough to require stitches.  Then he
can't play for about six weeks.  He tries to be careful but I guess
sometimes it's unavoidable.  It seems like a bad occupation for a guitar
player, but he didn't start playing until he was already a mechanic for
about five years.  Coincidentally, last weekend my mechanic friend
called frantically looking for a bass player who could fill in for a gig
that day because his bass player had cut his hand. OUCH!

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