Relaxed Technique and Warming Up
As the winter here gets its last icy jabs in, one thing that has been on my mind a lot lately during practice is keeping my hands warmed up.
I've certainly been keeping my practice space (my apartment) warm from a thermostat perspective, but I still have problems keeping my hands warm and responsive. I've been adopting a relaxed, lighter touch on both hands that has helped me make notable strides in both my speed and accuracy, as well as decrease fatigue, but I can't help but wonder if the efficiency of my movement is decreasing my circulation since I am so relaxed.
I do plenty of warm up exercise before playing and stretch and massage my hands and forearms but it seems like the longer I play after my warm up the cooler the hands sometimes get (it probably doesn't help that I have pretty thin forearms). I guess I could always try fingerless gloves or something but I was wondering if anyone else struggled with this and what approaches they've tried to keep warm, since regular playing doesn't always seem to be enough!
I've never had that problem unless playing outdoors in the cold or a venue that had the temp turned down. Hm. How's your circulation in general? Ever had it checked? If not, maybe you should. ??
I live in an old, cold house and it makes winter practice pretty annoying. Cold fingers are frustrating. Fingerless gloves are great but I find them a bit awkward. try also
- soaking hands and wrists in warm water and then drying before practice
- jumpers and t-shirts with long sleeves
- regular cups of hot tea or just hot water
- Keeping a hot water bottle nearby. When it's bad and I'm playing a cheap bass I have it on my lap and the heat rises up around my hands.
Whatever combination works for you.
the thing that works for me is jumping into a song that is faster than what i am able to steadily warm up, or if you are using a metronome - jump into a really fast speed with whatever energy you have, albeit briefly. this is what i do to kick start myself if i'm having a slow day, or trouble warming up.
I have this problem as its cold in Ct and my old house. I really attribute it to the metal strings retaining the cold. I keep a hot mug of coffee nearby and cup it with my hands occasionally to warm them. Not perfect but helps somewhat.
P.S. I'm too cheap to turn the thermostat up!
OP, you could try one of these hand warmers :
Yeah, I gave the warm water thing a try with mixed results. I generally have no problem giving my hands a warm boost by putting on my neck/other warm spots, but like the water it's usually a very fleeting effect. I feel like there might be some nuance I'm missing though, because some days I don't have this issue nearly as much (yesterday went well), I guess I need to be a bit more aware of how that's happening.
Perhaps you should have a medical check up.
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