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  • DeuxDoigts_Tonnerre 12:21PM

Today's Birthday


LH tendonitis, thumb/hand joint. Remedies?



  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414

    HI guys,

    I hope you've had a good few days. I did read the other posts and thanks, as they are helpful. Christophe, I wanted to tell you how vital those warmup exercises between Yaakov and the Doc. have proved. Also a fantastic time to practice mindfulness and approaching each practice session as a "thing" and not merely something I'm noodling about within.

    And guys thanks for much for your generosity on the notion of killing the hell out of chord playing with hard grips. Buco your post was really helpful and nice to know you worked on it with Denis. I've been trying your approach to both chords and single notes and, again, a good mindfulness training opportunity, it's shown so much. Bones, Matteo and PDG, thanks for your thoughts in this vein as well.

    Just briefly -

    Buco, acupuncture, sorry, forget to reply on that, yes, absolutely. Believe in it fully and have had it extensively, both for chronic and acute issues. My wife and I actually lived above a Chinese physician in Andersonville for many years, treated me with acupuncture, moxibustion, 5-star needle, tui-na. My wife would get the unknown-ingredients-from-dozens of drawers thing and instructions in broken English from our beloved Mrs. Wu.

    I was the lead in a fairly "important" production in Chicago, on stage for about 2 1/2 hours. Play weirdly has me start by doing some martial art forms and I threw my back out. Had to perform anyway but at curtain call I passed out with pain. Went to my g/f's chiro who did acu on me and I'd never experienced that intense a reaction - entire half of my body completely numb. I asked if that's normal and she said yes, in that I'm reacting strongly from a strong injury. She told me afterwards I would be exhausted and want to sleep, heavy sleep. Hydrate and sleep, and afterwards, I'd feel much better. She was totally right and I woke up the next day like it'd never happened. Amazing. I was able to carry on without needing an understudy, something like 8 shows per week.

    So many other times so yes, thanks, I am actually looking into it, Buco.

    PDG, on the thumb chords, I hear that man, I have to tell you, that would bum me out considerably if I had to move to that. Thumb voicings are so locked in and I love them, but you're right, it's stupid if doing so will end my playing. So far, knock on wood, I'm really surprised how fast I've been able to come back to reasonable practice using the links Christophe provided. Wrist is resolved almost 90% I'd say, thumb maybe 75% and I try to be mindful of it. It gets a lot of special attention, Ironically, the injury brought the idea of pressing only as much as needed right the hell home - so a good teaching moment to be sure.

    Cheers all.


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,098

    Wow that's good news Paul! Fingers cross (hehe) that it keeps up!

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,647

    Yeah, that was the first thing I thought when I saw your photos, Paul.

    Occasional use of the thumb on the sixth string can be nice, yes, but its certainly not essential.. maybe try not doing that for a while and see if that helps...?

    And hopefully it will!


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414

    Thanks Will. Not to bore you guys with more, but I think I've come to realize it may not be thumb chords as much as killing the chords with the thumb on the back of the neck. I never get any "shot" of pain when doing thumb chords but I definitely have to watch it for other chords, with thumb on back of neck. My action is 2.55 at Low E and 2.4 at high E, with intonation spot on, but I'm still warring with too much buzz for my taste and so have to watch the "killing instinct." Thanks on this, you guys - a discovery of how little is needed to sound (I don't think the buzzing is too little force).

    The exercises Christophe linked to have been fantastic and I'm trying not to be an idiot.


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 218

    I think 2.4 at high E is too high, no matter what setup; shouldn't be more than 2.2, maybe 2.1, sometimes 2.0. Low E could be higher than you have it (normally is), but not necessarily.

    Also, check to see whether the action gradually increases from string to string. I discovered one guitar I had was erratic -- very low 1st string, big jump to 2nd string, etc. So when I had set the action based on the 1st and 6th strings, it was much too high for many of the inside strings!

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414

    He was pulling the bridge back to dial in intonation, so must have been that. Thanks on the relative heights, I wouldn't have known that. Chris is a highly respected luthier (like, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, or restoring a viola de gamba lost at sea in the 1500's, you know, the usual), so I'd like to talk to him on this because this is interesting and totally unknown to me. The trippy jumps like that - that is crazy! How did you cure it - tweak the bridge?

    Off the cuff, what do you think about a DuPont Rosewood No. 2 for this Altamira? Maple guitar, I like it, but prefer the warmer side of things, and at least as I'm playing it, volume isn't much to write home about. Not sure if the bridge change would do much, or justify its cost. I'm sure anything is likely entirely me, and not the instrument. Just a query from you guys.


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 386

    "I'm still warring with too much buzz for my taste"

    When does this buzzing occur? While playing chords or single lines? What kind of pick du you use?

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414

    It's on chords only, Matteo. For that matter, and I don't understand this, the volume is fine when playing single lines. Unless I'm just misperceiving it, it sounds muted or something on rhythm playing.

    I use the picks from Jokko in the NL. (I think these are the same as the Djangojazz picks here on Michael's site).


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 393


    At my age (73) I have learnt that practising too much with voicings involving my thumb results in pain and only resting the thumb (or occasionally having to stop playing completely for a period) resolves it. The hard part is learning to be aware at the time of when I’m overdoing it.

    The Altamira neck shouldn’t be a problem I think but I had to get rid of a nice classical guitar because the wide neck was really causing havoc with my thumb when I was gigging regularly.

    Practical suggestion: typing text isn’t necessary if you have a recent version of Word – it’s dictation feature has got really good in recent years.

  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited July 2020 Posts: 1,197

    @pdg Hmm, I think 2.4mm action at high E is slightly on the low side. 2.3mm-2.6mm is an acceptable range for the action on the high E string. 2.0mm is too low. As a decent rule of thumb, a black gator grip pick under the strings should fall right through at the 12th fret.

    Some guitars will still buzz at 2.4mm, because the neck is not straight (to check: sight down from the tailpiece toward the nut, compare the line made by the edge of the frets with the line made by the string itself which is guaranteed straight) and/or because they need a fret dress (to check: using a straight edge placed on the fingerboard covering groups of 3 frets, look for "see-saw" action around any particular fret).

    If the neck isn't wavy, the frets are level, and there's still some buzz, then there's not really any quick fix except to raise the action a little more.

    Note that going much above 3.5mm it may become difficult/impossible to get a good intonation. If forced to choose between a buzzy guitar and a poor intonation I would pick the latter. Good luck!

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