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Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis

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GUEST 09 Apr 09 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Apr 09 - 09:42 AM
GUEST, Sminky 09 Apr 09 - 09:46 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 09 Apr 09 - 09:48 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 09 Apr 09 - 09:54 AM
Zen 09 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,John in Hamilton 09 Apr 09 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Herbie Isdaman 09 Apr 09 - 11:07 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 09 Apr 09 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,John in Hamilton 09 Apr 09 - 05:14 PM
DADGBE 09 Apr 09 - 11:21 PM
Phil Cooper 09 Apr 09 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Apr 09 - 11:25 AM
balladeer 10 Apr 09 - 11:48 AM
caitlin rua 10 Apr 09 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,John in Hamilton 10 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 Apr 09 - 03:01 AM
balladeer 12 Apr 09 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,John in Hamilton 12 Apr 09 - 10:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 Apr 09 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,John in Hamilton 13 Apr 09 - 11:50 AM
Bernard 13 Apr 09 - 12:26 PM
GUEST, Sminky 14 Apr 09 - 05:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 Apr 09 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,pickit 14 Apr 09 - 08:39 AM
GUEST, Sminky 14 Apr 09 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 09:18 AM

Hi
   I've been obsessively plugging away at Bert's "TellMe What is True Love" for several weeks now. I went away on holiday for a week, and during that time, I began to notice pain just south of the index finger knuckle ofmy left hand. I suspectits from the stretch involved in trying to deliver the E9 chord 024100. If i run a finger over the nerve, I get an unpleasant tingle/sensation.
   Can anyone suggest a remedy

Thanks

John in Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 09:42 AM

My mother once told me that in many people, the first joint of the index finger is the place where arthritis first shows up. So start taking care of that finger. This includes not being obsessive about a song or an uncomfortable chord. Just because someone else can do it doesn't mean that You can.

My sister used to say, "listen to you body." If you listen to that finger, it seems to be screaming for help.

I will leave it to others to suggest treatments.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 09:46 AM

That's the easiest chord in the whole damn song!


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 09:48 AM

This is not a flippant answer, it's a deadly serious one: STOP PLAYING until the pain is completely gone; and when you pick up again, consider how you are bending your wrist, sitting, holding your neck and shoulders etc. The pain is being caused by wear (the tendon abrading its sheath or something similar) which can be the result of many things besides finger use; but the key to it is the repeated movement.

The only cure is to stop doing whatever is causing the wear, and then giving your body time to heal. It's down to nature and you won't be able to rush it or take any medicine for it. If you were to keep on aggravating the injury it will only get worse, and eventually - if you abuse it enough - become permanently crippling. I'm not trying to scare-monger: it's simple fact. The danger is that people don't take the pain seriously enough, or they try to "work through" it, which only compounds the situation and lengthens the enforced period of non-use.

There are some good Mudcat threads on this subject, and of course Google - try the search term R.S.I. (repetitive strain injury) and also the alternative spelling "tendinitis" which is often used.

I know what "obsessively plugging away" feels like - I think every musician does - but please, for your own sake, don't!


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 09:54 AM

PS: Posted before I saw the other answers - yes it could possibly be arthritis, though if it's a result of protracted use, I think the repetitive strain is more likely. But, as Leeneia says, listen to your body! It's calling out for something, so don't ignore it -

(The moderators like Guest users to give themselves some sort of consistent name, so maybe it would be an idea to type "John in Hamilton" into the I.D. box if you post again so we'll know it's you.)


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Zen
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM

I have a touch or arthitis in that index finger first joint of my fretting hand and have had to adapt my playing a little to avoid "painful" chords or fingerings. With a little ingenuity and perseverance it can be done and is worth it for the continued pleasure of playing. With RSI or tendonitis it should, however, be rested as Bonnie said.

Zen


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,John in Hamilton
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 10:10 AM

Thanks,
         I think there'sa "knot"visible, right over the trouble spot. I wondered if being away from the guitar allowed the tendon or ligament to knot up.


John


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,Herbie Isdaman
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 11:07 AM

Take up the tenor banjo-you rarely need more than 3 fingers.
That's what I had to do when I finally conceded no-one could touch Bert for style.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:33 PM

If there's a visible bump (which I presume you can feel when you run your finger over it) please go get it looked at, possibly X-rayed. Often these lumps simply turn out to be a harmless ganglion (not sure if I'm using that term correctly) - but those usually don't hurt. If it's accompanied by pain, you want to know exactly what you're dealing with. In any case, I think resting it from playing is a good idea, while you find out from a professional if there's any other treatment you need. It may just be a reaction to the constant friction-contact with your instrument, but I'm not a doctor so I don't really know.

Let us know how you get on - best of luck.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,John in Hamilton
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 05:14 PM

A few beers in, and I'm absolutely nailing it today!!! I notice the small knotted area, and was wondering if its something that can be massaged out, or sorted with the heat preparations for sore muscles...
This song does do a work out on the wrist and the twists are a bit extreme compared with usual chording. I recall similar probs with "I Am Lonely", but it eventually became second nature. I was hoping for a similar result with "Tell MeWhat is True Love". I'll watch and see over the next week.

Cheers

John


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: DADGBE
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 11:21 PM

Well, John,

Bonnie has the right of it. You're living dangerously. I've been playing guitar now for 55 years and am a Chiropractor by training. For the last 20 years or so I've been fighting the long defeat against encroaching arthritis.

Booze will mask the pain but will NOT take away the cause. That small knotted area could be tendonitis, joint capsulitis, developing arthritis, fracture, etc. so go get it assessed.

At least, you might try an easier fingering like 020102!

Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

Good luck,
Ray


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 11:28 PM

I've heard Bert Jansch has arthritis as well from an interview in Frets way back. It hits us all as we get older.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 11:25 AM

Bert Jansch can play a chord in a certain position, and John has trouble with it. Let us list the possible factors in this:

Bert has:

bigger hands
longer fingers
looser connective tissue
a narrower fingerboard
strings closer to the fingerboard
larger frets
more suitable string tension

That's a start. Everybody (not just John) don't injure your hands trying to do something that doesn't feel right. Because the answer can be something else entirely.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: balladeer
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 11:48 AM

John, as one who sometimes hung out with Bert when we were both very young, I can tell you he's been stretching his fingers around crazy chord positions for most of his life, which is to say, since he had the fluidity of youth on his side. It is harder to train older fingers.

Also, I'd be curious to know if you hadn't played (or hadn't played consistently) for an extended period of time before you attacked Bert's tune. Going from resting to playing full out could cause injury.

And finally, though you've been given lots of great advice here, if you are a gigging musician, you will want to seek help from a sports medecine specialist, someone who can help you "play through the pain" so you don't have to give up your livelihood.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: caitlin rua
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 12:48 PM

> someone who can help you "play through the pain" so you don't have to give up your livelihood.

Playing through the pain may end up being the cause of you having to give up your livelihood. If it really IS tendonitis you don't want anyone - doctor or not - to help you "play through the pain". Unless you're planning on a short career. Being a Gigging Pro does not mean you are magically exempt from the body's vulnerabilities.

Make sure the specialist is fully aware of RSI and its issues because they aren't always. Don't just listen to the person who tells you what you want to hear. There really may not be any other answer except resting the injured area (don't know what the procedure is for arthritis, but if the advice is to stop, I'd stop). Playing the gig at all costs is stupid if it's going to put paid to your performing life altogether.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,John in Hamilton
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM

I'll give it a week off after today, and see how it goes. Fortunately, I don't have a lot of stuff with Bert's unusual chording. I usually put the knots in my shoulder, but this is the first case of anything in my hand( and its only a pain if I go for a reach with my arm, or stretch first thing in the morning). I suppose, having cracked it, I can let it go and try for easier chordings in future!


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM

I have often noticed chord notations that call for a dissonance such as a 7 or a 9. However, in most cases, the melody (singer or instrument) is already singing the the dissonant note. In an E9 chord, if the guitar plays an E chord and the singer sings an F, you've got the E9 with no effort, because it's a team effort.

Publishers write fake books as if everyone is playing a fine grand piano in a big restaurant. Actually, we are playing flutes and whistles in a small living room. The result is that the 'interesting' dissonances they call for are too strong, too sour, and end up irritating us.

So when I see a D7 on a song, I give the D to the guitar, let a flute play the C, and everybody's happier.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 03:01 AM

Although I have often been staggered by the technical skill of this kind of guitar playing I am not often really taken by the tunes.

I guess the guitarists in question are playing the tune and its accompaniment at the same time. The question that crosses my mind is: Is the tune any good on its own?

Just a thought

L in C


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: balladeer
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 09:28 AM

That's an interesting point you raise, Les. It seems to me that sometimes it's impossible to judge a song apart from its arrangement. So many Beatles songs, for instance. Eleanor Rigby? I cannot "hear" that without hearing all the bells and whistles the Beatles provided.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,John in Hamilton
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 10:52 AM

There'e a lot of little subtleties that occur when using these "voicings" that won't be realized with regulat 1st position major and minors. The charm resides in the unusual chordings...


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 01:39 PM

I know this will be seen as a damn cheek but what do these tunes sound like played ona piano? Are they just playing the tunes on an inappropriate instrument?

Gets coat and leaves!!!!!!!!

L in C


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,John in Hamilton
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 11:50 AM

Pianos are not quite as portable as a guitar. I understand that Bert knew some piano before taking up the guitar. It may have "informed" his approach to the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 12:26 PM

Bert also has more fingers on each hand than us mere mortals...!

;o)


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:47 AM

I had the good fortune to chat with Bert not long ago and I took the opportunity of 'inspecting' his hands (we were talking about nail care - as grown men do - so it didn't arouse any suspicion).

To my surprise he has quite short, 'chubby' fingers and his nails were much shorter than I expected.

I don't know what this proves - except perhaps that he has no special physical endowments to account for his amazing technique.


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 06:04 AM

"except perhaps that he has no special physical endowments to account for his amazing technique. "

This will come as a great relief to a number of men in a range of situations

L in C


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST,pickit
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:39 AM

Apart from the (sound) advice of giving it a rest for a while, and/or seeking medical advice, perhaps you should consider technical changes to posture, position of shoulder, elbow, wrist, etc. In classical guitar terms, this is not an awkward stretch, and shouldn't be causing the kind of problems you describe. (I don't mean to sound condescending, and for all I know your technique might be completely correct, but the ergonomics of how to play guitar is one area that has received a lot of attention on the classical side in the last twenty years or so, simply to avoid these kinds of issues.)


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Subject: RE: Bert Jansch Giving Me Tendonitis
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:40 AM

This will come as a great relief to a number of men in a range of situations

Not least to me, Les. Ooops!


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