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Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by PepeRomero, Jul 17, 2005.
Hi there! What kind of hand stretchings you do before and after playing?
I do a series of Aikido wrist stretches which are meant to promote flexibility and relaxation. Shoulder and back stretches are also a good idea, and I try to do them when there's time/opportunity before the gig.
Can you please describe them to me?
Not in words, no. Aikido is a defensive art in which the attacker's force is used against the attacker. One of the ways in which this is done is by holding the arm/wrist/hand of the attacker in such a way that they can only move the way you want them to move - sort of like a joint lock, so that to attempt to continue the attack would result in severe pain and/or broken bones/joints; practitioners of the art learn to fall down gently instead while sparring. The stretches I was referring to all involve one hand grasping the other in one of these holds, then moving the held arm slowly in a way that stretches the wrist gently. Without proper training, they would be too likely to cause injury.
At any rate, I think stretching before playing is an excellent idea, and your body should "know" what is a healthy stretch and what isn't. Going slowly is usually the key.
Do you study Aikido Chris? Very cool. I have been studying Aikido and Kyuki-Do, a Korean martial art, for most of my life now. They do have some great stretches. I have also heard that Gary Karr has some of his own stretches that he does, you might wanna look up those.
I studied for 5 years about 10 years ago. When my first marriage ended, my ex got to "keep" the association with our Aikido dojo, and eventually ended up teaching beginning classes at the U. for a while. I really miss it, but plan to start my son in martial arts as soon as he's old enough, and eventually hope to work our way up to either Aikido or Ju-Jitsu. While he's young, maybe Judo...studying an art is a beautiful path to follow, and a wonderful relief from our bizarre microwave "cult of the lowest common denominator" culture. Congrats on your dedication!
And you talk about Steve picking up Buicks!
I always refer to a book called "Conquering Carpel Tunnel Syndrome" myself after a long night of gigging. It's been really handy, even if you don't suffer from the condition. It's laid out to give you stretches depending on what part of you hand, arms or shoulders you want to concentrate on.
Here's a link to some stretches Chris is talking about. I wish the illustrations was much better.
I also found this link to self-care in which I realizing I wasn't doing needed stretching for my arms, armpits, shoulder, back, etc. I've been able to minimize the finger tingling I get after playing hard for a couple hours. But it's also good to understand that overgripping, bad posture, bad wrist-break angle will exacerbate the problem.
I think I'm finding for myself that I just have to play in a way where the bass is standing almost straight up so that I keep a good break angle for my wrist. Anyways, check it out.
It is a great thing. I know it helps me not in a fighting sense but in a calming relaxing way. I studied Judo for a few years too lol. It was so much fun, I loved everything about it. Wonderful thing for your kid to be doin.
Anyways if you do a search through the forums there is a post about those Karr stretches
Thank you very much for those links and feedback.
The self-care link I posted earlier is also the same person who wrote the "Conquering..." book by Sharon Butler that SMARTRUBIN suggested.
I've ordered the book on a whim last week. 10 minutes later my bass teacher calls to ask me to sit in for one of the classes he teaches. I asked him about my CTS symptoms, and while not mentioning the book to him, he tells me to get the Butler book. The stretches in the Butler book apparently saved his playing bass career.
Rather ironic how things play out.
I generally try to stretch my hand around a large cool cylinder, although sometimes I try to grasp a small cylinder that has a lrage flat disc at the bottom and a large, liquid filled bowl at the top...
Shaken or stirred?
There ya go, Marcus...
First round's on me. 2 1/2 weeks!
A bass player buddy of Dave's from back in LaCrosse, Karen Quinn, was in town for a minute and fell by the session. We ended up going by the Limerick for some post playing "hand stretching" exercises...
I use those stretches a lot of the time when I'm warming up. They aren't too intense and they really improve flexibility with time. I like being able to start playing with warm hands!