Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saturday A.M., 10:10 - Practiced a little over an hour: cello prelude, a little Sonata VI, the 2nd Law, and some Merrily Kissed the Quaker. Very unfocused - I am quite sleepy still from this week (and last night - it was another ~midnight bedtime). Hands felt moderately achy and swollen this morning when I woke up. I should ice them again today (I also iced them last night).

The cello suite prelude, like many of Bach's compositions, provides a great way to strengthen scales and arpeggios in a very musical way. In DADGAD particularly, it affords an opportunity, mostly towards the end, to practice the harp-style scales that give this tuning its distinctive, piano-like quality.


Dan said...

I'd love to hear your interpretation of the Prelude to Cello Suite #1. I feel like I'm only now (after many weeks of practice) finally understanding what Bach meant the peddle section of the piece to be.

How To Guitar Tune said...

Is it normal to have to ice down your hands when you play often? That sounds odd to me.

Tony said...

Actually, it's not normal. There's a good chance that I have an inherited genetic marker (HLA-B27) that is common in my family and often leads to tendinitis caused by stresses that wouldn't affect a normal person.

I've been battling tendinitis for the entire time I've played guitar. At first it was very frustrating and I would just try to power through the pain. After that produced disastrous results (culminating in a self-imposed seven week abstention from all guitar playing that coincided with the season of Lent), I began to learn about better practice habits, icing and taking dietary supplements that claim to benefit joint health. Of these, MSM (which offers an easily metabolized form of sulfur, necessary for rebuilding connective tissue) has proven to be the most effective.

I have an uncle who's a doctor. He has the same condition and takes an overdose of MSM to keep it in check. I had started taking MSM before hearing this from him (and putting the rest of the story together), but after talking to him, I upped my daily dosage to double the recommendation. It really helps a lot. I don't ice anymore generally, though there are extreme circumstances where it is occasionally necessary.

My day job as a computer programmer often requires long periods of typing which also aggravates my tendons. Even after learning about my family history, I don't really go around thinking about that I have a disability or anything. Everyone has limits and I consider it one of the chief virtues to be able to accept this fact and do what's necessary to optimize your abilities within your limitations.

Hope this answers your question, "How to Guitar Tune"!