The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8814   Message #1460741
Posted By: Muttley
14-Apr-05 - 02:55 AM
Thread Name: Playing inspite of injury/disability
Subject: RE: Playing inspite of injury/disability
Reply to 'Kaleea', 'Foolestroupe' & 'Pauline L'

Dear 'Kaleea': Try hunting around for a Fender steel-string acoustic - NOT one of the newer electric/acoustics or the plain ascoustic which both have the "three-tuning-peg" machinehead either side of the 'headstock' arrangements of most other acoustics. The older, and harder to find - I think they were called) "California Series" which named all the models after various famous beaches: Mine is a Fender 'Redondo'. They possess the more recognisable "treble-clef"-style head and the machinehead is the standard 'six-single-tuning-pegs' arrangement found on their electric guitars: Sorta reminiscent of an acoustic stratocaster - but with a hollow sounding box instead of a solid body!!!

The beauty of these instruments is that the action is REALLY light and quite close to the fret wires. I had it adjusted about 12 months after I bought it and haven't had to touch it since (though the high 'E' and the 'B' strings are getting a little 'twangy' and reverberative - so it may be time to get it done again - after all, it's only about 15 years old now!).

As for "Foolestroupe"; your one word offerinfg is of LITTLE value. Sorry to get cranky guys but those of us who have had to (or still have to) play through the discomfort of disability can tell you that; yes technique is a factor, but when some of your injuries are as profound as those shared here, then technique can count for very bloody little in the way of relief: Sure there are times when it eases discomfort or pain, but the majority of time involves getting around the disability in ways other than how to "hit the strings" - Hell! Just sitting at this keyboard cramps my back and shoulders up and causes them spasm uncontrollably for hours with a deep burning pain separate to the constant low-grade spasm that affects my shoulder, upper back and lower neck (all on the right-hand side). So retuning a guitar or fingering differently is NOT gonna help that. It's more than just what one does with the fingers.

And before you ask (or suggest): NO! - no amount of ergonomic seating or O.T. or physio will help this condition; it's just something I have to accept if I want to communicate with other folks - - - - OR play the guitar.

To "Pauline L" - thanks for your most generous offer but I don't remember what Ester C actually is (or was). It was a vitamin supplement-type product (at least one bought it from that section of the Chemist (Pharmacy) store - ???'Drugstore'. It was taken off the market here about 12 months after I stopped using it and as far as I know it made a brief reappearance for a year or two and then disappeared altogether. No idea why; nothing detrimental was ever reported on it and from what I can tell from my own experience and that of others I knew that used it - - - damn-well worked; and worked damned well!!!

However, I have recently seen a gel advertised over here called (quite quaintly) "A Little Bit Of Relief": might just give that a try and see if it works - it's supposed to act like a mild local anaesthetic on the joints and soft tissue without interfering with function or sensation. As they say in the classics: "Ya never know if ya don't have a go!"