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stinging...please advise!

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by joe_sorren, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005
    I am writing because of a situation that happened the night before last.

    While practicing I suddenly experienced a stinging in my left hand middle finger. It feels as though there is a tiny cactus needle under the callous. Has anyone ever experienced this sort of thing? I took last night off hoping it would get a bit better, but it is the same. I don't want to take two nights off, so I am thinking of just playing through the sensation.

    Any thoughts/ related experiences would be appreciated!

  2. Is it possible that you have developed a small blister underneath the callous? I have had this happen before, and what you are describing sounds exactly like it felt.

    On a side note (wa-a-a-ay off to the side), for some reason it stood out to me that you made an interesting regional analogy when you said that it "feels like a tiny cactus needle". Up here in backwater Idaho, we probably would have found some sort of redneck/hunting/farming analogy like "it feels like a hay sliver" or some such (and if you've ever had a sliver from hay, you know what I'm talking about). Anyway, I find it interesting how we make comparisons based on our experiences and personal frameworks. Dumb, I know, but for some reason this just struck me as interesting this morning.

    Shelly :)
  3. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005
    Hi Shelly,

    Thanks for the response. I have actually had the blister under the callous thing happen before. But this one is different. Alas, I suppose i could just not use the middle finger while playing, until it hopefully clears up. With the added bonus of giving everyone the bird when I am playing. lol.

    Has anyone else experienced this thing though? Suggestions on what to do?
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    As a youngster I used to have a similar kind of thing, and it was due to pinching the strings down with the left hand and hitting a nerve in the thumb. Get out the stool and practice some without using your left thumb, or using very little, and see if you are squeezing more than you think. After that I would start running an Alexandrian checklist and see if you're doing funny things tension and posture-wise when you're playing.

    It could have just been a particularly lousy note that you played with your middle finger and nature is punishing you...
  5. I have had the exact same thing - it seems to be caused by pressing on the string just the right way as to 'bruise' or 'tweak' a nerve right at the tip of the finger. It is annoying has hell and is a very unpleasant little pain. But I have found that is does go away after a day or so. But I hear ya... it is a bothersome little bugger.

    If it does not go away after a few days, talk to your doc. Make sure there is not something more going on.
  6. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005
    Thanks for the suggestions. For now I am taking to the seat (thanks Ray) and keeping a close tab on it.

    Anyone else experienced this sort of thing? How did you go about overcoming the 'stinger'??
  7. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I'm pretty sure that I have had the kind of pain you talk
    about. It happens when pushing your fingers to a new
    plateau sorta. Like going from EB type strings to getting
    use to upright strings playing pizz, I thought I had gotten
    tough, and THEN i started to bow... welcome to a whole
    new level of pain and eventual callous thickness :)

    For me, I just take some Motrin (sp?) and give myself breaks
    between playing.

    In fact, how long do you play solid before a break? Did
    you maybe push it longer than normal? I think that was
    an occasion of this kind of pain.

    I wouldnt worry too much about it...
  8. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005

    It's good to hear i am not the only one. Interesting that you bring up the bow, because i had jus started learing to bow earnestly about two weeks ago. Because of this my nightly practice has gone up from about 2-3 hrs to 3-4 hours. It was late in a practice session when ithe stinger developed.

    Thanks for your advice, I will just try to relax more while playing and not sweat it too much.

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