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  • DeuxDoigts_Tonnerre 12:46AM

Fingertips all jacked up after too much practicing - any advice?



  • Elí SaúlElí Saúl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2
    My fingertips always look like that, it has been years since they look like it, I'm kinda used to it.
    Usually if I go in a date I do care enough to moist them with any hands cream and its look gets decent.
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Anastasio, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Here are the facts on superglues
    MatteoBucoWim Glenn
    always learning
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Time for some sensitivity training Wim.

    You are pushing too hard, I'm surprised noone else has seen fit to point this out.

    When warming up the right hand with firm rest strokes take each LEFT finger in turn ( I would start with the pinky ) and mute the string being played with the tip of that finger. Try and keep the RH dynamic even while very gradually ( over a period of say a minute ) increasing the LH pressure until you are getting just the nastiest brassiest buzz you can find. From there it should be just a TINY increase in LH pressure to get a clean note at any volume. Anything else is unnecessary and will bind the hand and lead to excess wear on the layers of skin near the surface. It is likely that you, like every other player ever, are committing too much strength too soon and too often so you want to establish the ability to use minimum force with the left hand independently of the amount of sound you want to produce with the right.

    You want to encourage softish and homogeneous thickening in the deeper layers of tissue and to avoid the kind of force that will abbrade the skin on the surface. Just a few minutes experimenting with the excercise above, or one similar of your own devising, at the BEGINNING of each practice session (which might be several dozen times on a weekend binge ) should prime your subconscious to be more sensitive to overusing strength and over time the symptoms should subside as you establish independence in the use of force between LH and RH.

    This will work, and it will help keep your LH light and flexible if you can maintain independence during tricky spots and fast playing.

    Good luck and happy exploration.

  • edited November 2018
    I was suggesting not using solvents or commercial based glues as a regular means of a temp solution. This sort of stuff (avoiding exposures) is what I do besides be sad about not playing fast and clean. Regardless, make your own choices, but be informed.
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Is this really where we are at ?

    All we can discuss is what to buy and what not to ?

    What does 'too much' mean, can the cause be only 'too much practicing' ?

    When I suffered pain I was greatly consoled by the words of Yehudi Menuhin on revising his technique.

    'There comes a time in every musicians life where he must pick up his instrument as if for the first time and learn as a beginner, that time is every morning.'

    Hubris is the belief that strength may suffice, we are born strong, wisdom takes work.

    I spent years in pain, there are solutions, I never see them discussed online, they cannot be sold.

  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    To clarify, there is no pain. I practice regularly and have built up thick skin on the fretting hand. There is just the annoyance of fingertips catching on clothes/fabrics.

    Spare me the philosophical waffle, NylonDave. Your advice is not useful, and I've often seen your contributions tend to derail the conversations on this forum.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    I’ve seen Wim play, i dont recall ever seeing him play in a tense way. I just think some people are not lucky . Just like some people who play correctly (or at least seemingly) but who still get things like Carpal Tunnel.

    Or some people have such acidic fingers , they destroy strings so quickly.

    Knocking on wood here, but I've been lucky in that respect ; I've never had any kind of issue whatsoever even after very long hours of playing.

    I'll be posting tomorrow to announce that I have tendonitis! :-)

    But I would also check to see if you get the same issue on other guitars , try another GJ guitar, try a low action electric guitar, etc.. If it's coming from that one guitar, maybe a better setup is needed?

  • BonesBones Moderator
    I think it's just all those finger tip, one arm, handstand pushups on hot asphalt that Wim has been doing :-)
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    dennis wrote: »
    I’ve seen Wim play, i dont recall ever seeing him play in a tense way. I just think some people are not lucky . Just like some people who play correctly (or at least seemingly) but who still get things like Carpal Tunnel.

    So true Dennis, when I had pain everyone thought my technique looked amazing.

  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Sorry Wim that I am a very poor advocate for sensitivity training. Here is a far superior one, Julian sums up "Zen and the Art of Archery" ,from 38mins, in around two minutes with far more charm than I ever manage. It's an interesting watch for any guitarist.

    I do not mean to deny that you may be perspiring with sufficient salt to cause dehydration to the outer layers of your dermis. Nor do I deny that superglue will add to this dehydration. I do believe that you may be experiencing no pain at all and of that I am truly glad.

    But you have a finite amount of concentrated time to practice and a finite amount of physical resilience with which to meet the demands of that practice. A certain amount of diversification of effort may indeed reduce the amount of time spent working in a way which provokes rapid exfoliation and perhaps a change in focus might give results that will inform how you approach high intensity practice.

    There is absolutely no judgement here for your position, just concern and best wishes and a reminder that efficient practice can be gentle practice and anything which encourages us to adopt it may be a blessing in disguise.

    I am also concerned that a beginner experiencing symptoms similar to your with no access to a teacher might come across a thread like this and imagine that the only thing to consider is whether or not to buy superglue so please permit my input in good faith because that would be a very unbalanced impression for them to take away and I feel that if we are to discuss such things in the presence of people with little experience we have a certain responsibility of care.

    With respect to derailing, I am afraid I do not believe that any discussion which proceeds along predefined lines is likely to be instructive to the person who laid the lines out. I can't see why that should be a contentious philosophy but then again there a lot of things that don't make sense to me online. I tend to see things differently and am not convinced yet that that means I should censor myself every time I want to express concern or offer a contrasting view.

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