Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Living without guitar, can it be done?

Allan C. 21 Oct 09 - 06:06 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Oct 09 - 07:09 PM
Morticia 21 Oct 09 - 07:14 PM
Bill D 21 Oct 09 - 07:43 PM
Deckman 21 Oct 09 - 08:10 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Oct 09 - 09:25 PM
M.Ted 22 Oct 09 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Oct 09 - 10:35 AM
Wesley S 22 Oct 09 - 10:51 AM
meself 22 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM
SharonA 22 Oct 09 - 01:47 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 22 Oct 09 - 02:06 PM
The Villan 22 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM
meself 22 Oct 09 - 02:24 PM
The Villan 22 Oct 09 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Oct 09 - 01:54 AM
Ernest 23 Oct 09 - 02:16 AM
Ernest 23 Oct 09 - 02:17 AM
The Villan 23 Oct 09 - 12:19 PM
Joe Offer 23 Oct 09 - 02:22 PM
Tootler 23 Oct 09 - 03:08 PM
Don Firth 23 Oct 09 - 03:18 PM
Allan C. 24 Oct 09 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Barnacle Babe 24 Oct 09 - 02:04 PM
Art Thieme 24 Oct 09 - 02:11 PM
Art Thieme 24 Oct 09 - 02:21 PM
open mike 24 Oct 09 - 04:46 PM
Allan C. 24 Oct 09 - 04:59 PM
Don Firth 24 Oct 09 - 05:47 PM
Susan A-R 24 Oct 09 - 10:09 PM
Tattie Bogle 25 Oct 09 - 08:26 PM
Gurney 26 Oct 09 - 12:41 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 09 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Oct 09 - 04:59 AM
Tim Leaning 26 Oct 09 - 09:52 AM
Allan C. 26 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM
Susan A-R 26 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM
Don Firth 26 Oct 09 - 04:33 PM
Allan C. 26 Oct 09 - 06:04 PM
MudGuard 26 Oct 09 - 06:08 PM
Allan C. 27 Oct 09 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 27 Oct 09 - 06:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Oct 09 - 09:45 PM
Piers Plowman 28 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM
Crowhugger 28 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM
Nick 28 Oct 09 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Matt 28 Oct 09 - 10:55 PM
Allan C. 23 Nov 09 - 08:09 AM
Fortunato 23 Nov 09 - 08:42 AM
maeve 23 Nov 09 - 08:46 AM
Don Firth 23 Nov 09 - 02:24 PM
iancarterb 23 Nov 09 - 11:34 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:06 PM

For the past month or so I've had ever-increasing pain afflicting,at times, my left shoulder blade, shoulder socket, upper arm, forearm, wrist, and back of hand. Sometimes all are involved. Sometimes just one or two bits here or there. Nearly any manner of motion seems to contribute to the level of pain, albeit not necessarily immediately following the activity. It was quite puzzling.

An MRI revealed that I have what amounts to bone spurs on most of my cervical vertebrae which cause what most folks call pinched nerves. As I understand it, the bone spurs condition is not terribly unusual for folks over 60, (which I am;) however, it doesn't usually result in this degree of nerve compression.

Thank god for the pain killers! I'm dealing okay with all of this, I suppose. And I really don't know yet what all of this will add up to. I still have a lot more examinations to undergo. My best guess at present is that this will eventually lead to some manner of surgical intervention; but I really don't know yet.

Meanwhile, I'm off work and more or less house bound since driving seems to make things worse. At present I can't even while away the hours by playing guitar because it hurts to keep my chording arm extended for any length of time.

So, I guess I'll just sit tight, catch up on my reading, learn to enjoy daytime TV, and wait for further evaluation. Meanwhile, your good thoughts would be of considerable comfort.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:09 PM

A slide guitar might be an interesting way of playing without too much left-arm motion. And, if you've never played one, it mihght just be enough of a challenge to take your mind off bonespurs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Morticia
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:14 PM

Oh no, poor you! I can't even imagine the torment not playing must be causing you. You will remember I needed surgery on a bone spur on my shoulder and my heavens wasn't life great after it was done!Hoping for the best and quickest resolution for you.

xxx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:43 PM

I had/have ONE of those. I had a shot of cortisone right into the area....which helped. Now I use 'some' pain killers at times, but mostly avoid certain movements....(*like looking at helicopters over my shoulder- which makes my arm go numb in about 30 seconds.)

And, I play autoharp...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 08:10 PM

I suggest VODKA!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 09:25 PM

It'd be worth trying an osteopath or chiropractor. I had a fair amount of back pain a few years back due to a partial disc prolapse (caused by lifting the front of a car without a jack(!), and I have occasionally since had recurrences of the pain: each time the conventional medicines achieved little but the alternative effected improvement. It'll never be right but most of the time it is no problem (and if I lost a big chunk of weight it would be better still).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:56 AM

In all seriousness, you should try playing a ukelele--It has a much smaller, shorter, and lighter neck that gives you much more flexibility in where and how you hold it. No promises, of course, but it might work. You have my sympathy--I've developed a condition in my right hand called "Gamekeeper's Thumb" that makes it painful to hold a pick, or to fingerpick, and also affects my wrist and forearm, and that is bad enough--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 10:35 AM

Hi, Allan. I'm sorry to hear about the pain and worry you must be undergoing.

One part of me wants to tell you simply to rest and not play any instrument. Another part recognizes how much you want to keep playing.

Do you know anybody who has a mountain/lap/fretted dulcimer you might try? They are easy to learn, and maybe playing one will not hurt your arms. You can put it on your lap and simply drop your arms down to it. Or you can put it on a table (as I do) and let the weight of your arm press the strings.

I like the DAA tuning because of its simple fingering.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Wesley S
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 10:51 AM

I hope you get better soon. To paraphrase what the Furry Freak Brothers cartoons used to say:

"A guitar will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times with no guitar"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: meself
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM

Look at this as an opportunity to learn an instrument that isn't as demanding on the left arm. Or a time to work on unaccompanied singing. Or throw yourself into some other creative pursuit (writing, drawing, computer stuff, etc.).

I developed a left-arm condition that kept me from playing fiddle for most of three years - I spent most of my music time playing harmonica. After a while, I was able for the most part to just not think about the fiddle. Of course, I already played the harmonica, but I was able to take it up to a new level entirely.

Good luck; keep moving forward.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: SharonA
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 01:47 PM

I don't know what instrument you could switch to that would not require some left-arm movement. A dobro might be an option if you can deal with the motion of the slide up and down the neck -- at least it would not require you to use your arm and hand muscles to exert pressure on the strings against the fretboard.

Or maybe it's time to invest in a music-recording software program, and learn to create music electronically, combine tracks, etc.

Good luck! Hope the medical examinations will lead to some permanent correction of the problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:06 PM

Yes it can!

But I hope you get enough relief to play guitar and do all the things you like do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM

Just to be of help

http://www.eveandersson.com/photo-display/large/usa/or/portland-waterfront-district-saturday-market-one-armed-musician-2.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: meself
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:24 PM

"I don't know what instrument you could switch to that would not require some left-arm movement."

Um ... did someone mention harmonica ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:31 PM

http://www.harpguitars.net/Knutsen/amend.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 01:54 AM

'... it hurts to keep my chording arm extended for any length of time.'


Motion isn't the problem so much as extension.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Ernest
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 02:16 AM

I`m with meself ;0)

Harmonica would be a possibility you should consider. If you put it in a rack you wouldn`t need to use your arms at all and once you are better again you can play both at the same time. If you don`t like it dylanesque, it is a great little instrument to carry along in your guitar case or wherever and give a little tune for a change!

Speedy recovery!
Ernest


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Ernest
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 02:17 AM

P.S.: Funny idea to put this thread in the BS section!
E.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: The Villan
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 12:19 PM

Agreed this is definately NOT BS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 02:22 PM

Agreed. Thank to The Villan for letting me know. Thread moved to the music section, with hopes Allan will be able to play the guitar again soon.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:08 PM

I had problems with RSI some time ago which gave problems playing the recorder. I have recently picked up the harmonica again after many years and apart from having an instrument that does not depend on my fingers, I had forgotten what a great instrument it was.

Fortunately, I have not had a recurrence of the RSI but you never know and I occasionally get twinges in one of my fingers which feels like it could be early signs of arthritis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:18 PM

Left arm. That's a tough one.

I don't know if this would help, but I had to retire my full size guitars (standard classics) a few years ago. I have to use a wheelchair, and when holding a full-size guitar, the lower bout and the right wheel of the chair want to occupy the same space, and that throws the guitar way out of position, especially for the left hand. In addition, as a result of walking with crutches all my life (every step is a push-up), my shoulder joints are pretty well worn out, and I have range-of-motion problems with both shoulders, along with soreness and fast fatigue.

Not wanting to just give up the guitar, I googled all over the internet for small guitars, travel guitars, or any guitar-like instrument that I could handle. After lots of research, experimentation, and a few purchases that didn't work too well, I finally settled on the "Go" travel guitar, made by Sam Radding in San Diego. It looks like a cross between a canoe paddle and a guitar, and although it sounds a little thin due to the small size of the box, it definitely sounds like a guitar.

I've used it for a number of performances (folk festivals, working with a musical ensemble, concerts) and it works nicely. In one concert with Bob (Deckman) Nelson, it kept up well with his vintage Martin classic. Audience members will occasionally ask me what it is, and a few people have asked if it's a period instrument of some kind.

Give it a look. CLICKY #1. Sam makes them to order, in either steel or nylon-string models.

From time to time, I've taken a look at the Blondel II. Looks interesting and it has a certain panache. It comes standard with steel strings, but if you want it with nylon strings, they'll fit it with a different bridge saddle to adjust the action. CLICKY #2.

I hope you find something that works for you.

Don Firth

P. S. Regarding extension, there's always the possibility of capoing up so you don't have to reach so far. Not totally satisfactory, and requires changing chord patterns to stay in your original keys, but better than just submitting to negative circumstances.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Allan C.
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 01:54 PM

Wow! Thanks for all of the wonderfully practical advice! Sadly, extension is only one of the culprits. Almost any movement at all can trigger considerable amounts of pain. Even riding as a passenger in a car traversing a relatively smooth road can be a problem. Walking, even without swinging my arms, is also a negative experience.

I will try using a capo tonight when Carmen and I will attempt to play some music together (for the first time in more than two months). I'll let you know how that works.

The next step for me is to undergo some sort of conductivity test. I suspect this will not be unlike the sort of thing electricians do to test a wire's integrity. I imagine they will send an electrical impulse between my spinal column and my fingertips to discover the quality of the nerve's transmission capability. Dunno. I guess I'll find out more when they do it on 5 November.

I hesitate (for fear of jinxing it) to admit that today has thus far been almost pain free. I don't understand why, but will not attempt to analyze such progress until I know more about what I have done right. What I do know is that this is necessarily temporary because the underlying cause of the condition is completely organic. Anyway, I am enjoying the day so far.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: GUEST,Barnacle Babe
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:04 PM

I was going to suggest another instrument until I read through the thread. Yikes. Though, a uke or even an autoharp might at least allow some music...but you have my emphathy.I had a brief injury a few years ago where I thought my piano/flute/guitar playing days might be over. It was a horrible time.

Hopefully, tonight is just the beginning of musical nights again. Let us know how things go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:11 PM

Allan---HELLO,

You might recall I had ten years of spinal and neck surgeries for the symptoms you describe!! Finally, in desperation, I wound up at Mayo Clinic where, after 2 months in hospital there it was FINALLY recognized that I'd all along had Multiple Sclerosis.

BEFORE GETTING CUT, check up on all options other than surgery. These 'specialists' see everything with the tunnel-vision of their own specialty. Nobody, ever, even mentioned MS to me as a possibility.

Now, 20 years on, I am just about positive I didn't need ANY of the damn invasive cutting the neurosurgeon hotshots were certain would make me a new man.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:21 PM

To answer your question: "Can it be done?"

Sure it can be done. But I am still angry about losing the ability to play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: open mike
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 04:46 PM

i had numbness and spasms which were diagnosed as due to cervical spine bone spurs. I do not know if it was due to the rivalry between western medicine and "alternative" therapies (such as chiropractic) but the m.d. cautioned me never to have chiropractic adjustments ... "cracking my neck" as that might lead to major complications. just to warn you about this as someone above recommended bone crunchers.....


i hope this gets fixed for you soon...in one thread a mudcatter
(old guy?) (Old dude) was glad to be getting feeling (even if it was pain) in his extremities that had been numb for some time...

perhaps this would be a good time to whistle or sing acapella !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Allan C.
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 04:59 PM

Crap! I spoke too soon. The pain is back with a vengeance! Oh, well. A few hours' reprieve is better than none.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:47 PM

Man, that's a bitch, Allan!

I don't think I would be too quick to write of chiropractic treatment.

Part of the problem with my shoulders is that another one of the legacies of polio was a scoliosis or spinal curvature. I'm not quite in Quasimodo's category (I have a lateral curvature, which most people don't really notice), but a couple of my vertebrae (cervical and upper thoracic, along with a couple of lumbar vertebrae) slide out of position with regularity. This leaves me feeling like I have a railroad spike or two in my back. Impinging on the nerves, it affects my left shoulder and arm in particular. Muscles between my neck and my shoulder cramped and rock-hard. Not fun.

I take chiropractic treatments every week or so. I have a jewel of a chiropractor whose office is only a few blocks from where I live. He takes a long lunch and goes jogging. On his way back to the office, he stops by my apartment and works me over. Rather than have me come to his office and have to transfer from my wheelchair to his adjusting table and back again (which could undo what he has just done) he adjusts me on my bed, so when he'd finished with the adjustment, I can just lay there and let it "set."

House calls! In this day and age! How rare is that!??

Anyway, my back and shoulders are sore as hell after he kneads the muscles and pops my vertebrae. He uses an "activator," which is looks like a large hypodermic needle, but it's actually a miniature spring-loaded boxing glove (small padded ball), and he says that a pop or two from the activator nudges the vertebra back to where it's supposed to be.

Seems to work, because after I lay quietly and rest for about half an hour after the adjustment, my back starts feeling fine, the knotted muscles relax, and my shoulders are nicely loosened up.

Although I'm not one of these "no medical doctors" types, I've been going to chiropractors all my life (often against the advise of an MD). My wife developed a scoliosis in her early teens, and the MDs put her in traction and in casts and such, but she still has it. Not bad, but it does get quite bothersome. Just like with my spine, the vertebra at the apexes of the curvature (sort of an "S" curve) slip out easily. She was having all kinds of back problems when we first met, and I recommended she go to my chiropractor. She said that MDs had been warning her all her life that, with her curvature, she should never go to a chiropractor. But on my recommendation (on the basis of the fact that she and I had the same problem, and I had had nothing but good experiences with chiropractors—but a bit apprehensively), she went to him.

The first relief from chronic back pain that she'd had in years! She's been having regular chiropractic adjustments ever since.

So, as I say, I wouldn't write them off. It would certainly be worth a consultation, and there's the chance that it could alleviate the problem.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 10:09 PM

Oh Allan, So sorry to hear this. I broke my wrist last winter, and couldn't play fiddle for about 6 weeks. I knew there was an end in sight though. One of the side benefits, however, was that I worked on songs, a capella songs, and I bet you could do some darned good renditions of these. Only wish I was there to throw in some harmony.   Other option is doing what I have to do when I need guitar accompaniment. Find a friend to play for you.   Just keep singing!!

Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 08:26 PM

Hi Allan,
Like Susan, I'm (hopefully) temporarily disabled by injury: dislocated my right shoulder nearly 2 weeks ago, so can't play any of my usual instruments (guitar, Bodhran, Button accordion). Can just about manage piano if I take the sling right down to the keyboard and coast along it!
Had to pull out of one commitment, but more because I couldn't drive, and like Susan, am concentrating on the singing, and have asked a friend to accompany me this week.
Good luck, and hope you find a solution.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Gurney
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 12:41 AM

Trumpet?

With mute, of course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 04:49 AM

Met alovel couple at Staithes this summer and the chap had developed and problem in his hand that stopped him playing so he has taken to playing the guitar on his lap and using a slide as well.
Where there is a will?
All best wishes for your future enjoyment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 04:59 AM

I've often pondered what I would do if I couldn't play the guitar. I would probably try another instrument like the harmonica where hand/arm muscle dexerity aren't that important. I would also probably turn more to songwriting - now that can be very satifying!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 09:52 AM

"I've often pondered what I would do if I couldn't play the guitar"
Lucky you some of us can only wonder what its like to be able to play properly LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Allan C.
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM

I had another very brief period of very little pain yesterday afternoon - probably because I fudged a little on the timing of my pain meds. I set myself on the sofa with my left elbow propped upon my knee. I managed to play along with Carmen for nearly an hour, mostly doing songs that I could successfully capo up the neck a bit. When the pain dictated, I quit.

I'll grant that we pretty well rushed through about a dozen songs and the quality and spirit was a bit lacking. This was likely due to the pressure of wanting to cram as much music as possible into what might have been a much shorter period of time. The "rust" from the long, dry spell was also a contributing factor, I'm sure. Of course, I paid a price in pain and sleeplessness last night and am still paying this morning; but it was worth it!

I won't be repeating this experiment until a few days have passed, but it is comforting to know I'm not completely broken - yet.

Like Open Mike mentioned above, my doc is currently recommending against seeing chiropractor at present. I've seen the MRI and understand enough about what it shows to agree. However, I'm not ruling it out until I understand more about what my condition really is. I intend to pursue the use of acupuncture before long. I do not believe acupuncture will cure anything; but it may help me to reduce the use of pain killers.

I possess an array of other musical instruments to try, some of which may involve less overall arm movement or extension. I have a lovely (real walnut sound hole) mountain dulcimer that Carmen gave me, my father's beautiful Honer chromatic harmonica, and a collection of pennywhistles, wooden flutes, Pan pipes, etc.. I guess my fiddle would not be a good choice, but it looks like now would be a good time to make good use of the rest.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM

Allan, I just pulled my mountain dulcimer out from under the bed, inspired by a wonderful video of "Pinball Wizzard" on dulcimer. It's got its limitations, but is a wonderful instrument. Just requires a lot of re-tuning when playing with others.

Glad you are still figuring out possibilities, and fitting in some playing when possible.

Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 04:33 PM

I heard a recording back in the 1950s that I didn't buy at the time and really wish I had, because I never ran across it again. Pretty good singer with some very nice songs (the best translation from the Welsh of "Venture Gwen" that I've ever heard). The singer's name was Joe Hanson and the title of the record was "The Stranger from the Sea."

Anyway, he accompanied himself on the autoharp. Rather than playing it upright and cradled in his left like the Stoneman family or Maybelle Carter, he played it laying flat on his lap. This allowed his left arm to simply hang down from the shoulder with, I would presume, no particular tension or strain. Along with strumming chords, he did manage to play some melody lines between verses and pick out some harmony lines while he sang.

With my shoulder problems, I've given some thought to getting myself an autoharp and trying this. Hanson's accompaniments were well worked out and sounded good with the songs he sang. Mostly ballad-type songs.

####

Addendum:
By the way, if anyone should happen to run across that record, I would be eternally grateful for a copy of it (CDR or cassette). Hanson died some years ago, I think the record company is long since out of business, and all the songs on it are traditional (public domain), so copying it would involve no copyright problems or ethical questions that I can think of. PM me and we'll negotiate.

(Now back to our regular broadcast.)

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Allan C.
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 06:04 PM

Yeah, if I can grab Carmen's lovely autoharp while she is occupied with her banjo, I might give that a try, too. I had already been giving this some thought, actually. I used to have one of my own, an OS Guitarro autoharp; but it is now in the possession of Morticia - or was when last I heard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: MudGuard
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 06:08 PM

If I count correctly, the problem started around the time you were in Germany. More exactly, at the same time as the start of the Octoberfest ...

Didn't I warn you not to go to the Octoberfest?

;-)

I wish you a speedy healing!

Andy/MudGuard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Allan C.
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 01:15 PM

Close, MudGuard. Carmen will swear that it hit while I was helping to load the luggage into the taxi that was to take us to the airport on the first day of our vacation. So, for the entire duration of the journey, I was only able to cope with the pain through the nearly constant intake of Guinness or any of a wide variety of Dunkels. As for Oktoberfest, we wouldn't have missed it for anything; but never, ever want to do it again.

BTW, folks, MudGuard was wonderfully helpful in assisting Carmen and me in our planning of our trip. This is just one more illustration of the wonders of the Mudcat and the folks you meet here. The caring response to this thread is yet another.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 06:20 PM

In 1975, I was riding a bike to work and was struck by a panel truck which had run a stop sign. My left hand took the worst of it, with my left index finger badly mangled. One ER doc was ready to amputate when another recommended the hand surgeon who saved the day. Long and short, I thought I might never again being able to bar chord - if chord at all. Fortunately, after several surgeries and a lot of rehab, I was able to use the guitar as therapy to keep the tendons in the repaired finger and knuckle moving freely. With some minor limitations, I can play still. I was warned about probable arthritis in the joint, but have not experienced it to date.

I don't know what long-term effect not being able to play would have had on me, but I didn't enjoy contemplating it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:45 PM

So far finding that playing guitar is painful because of limited movement in my right shoulder after the dislocation. The least uncomfortable instrument is piano, as arms are down by my sides, and hand movement isn't a problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 12:30 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties playing.

I have chronic pain in my hands, not helped by having to type to make a living (but not too bad for the past few days, fortunately). It was worse when I was only playing the guitar, but I've found that it helps a lot to spread the strain around by playing other instruments.

A couple of weeks ago I had some bad pain in my right wrist and couldn't figure out where it had come from. Then, I picked up my alto recorder and played something involving the low notes and thought "That's it!" It's gradually disappeared.

A chromatic harmonica is a very versatile instrument and I'd like to add my voice to those recommending it. Learning to find the notes on it reliably (especially skips) is a challenge that keeps practicing interesting.

I hope you're able to keep playing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM

Oh Allan I sure feel for you! Yes, it can be done. Will you be happy about it? Welllll....maybe eventually, maybe not.
I haven't been able to keep up piano for almost a decade now due to wrists. So far if I do warm-ups I can get by for a while playing stringed things. But mostly I've gone over to a cappella singing. Having spent many hours around voices tuning to make chords ring, now the tempered scale of the piano sounds out-of-tune to me, I never expected that! But I still miss it.

I might summarize this way: the loss was awful until I became fully absorbed in the new adventure. I recently joined an a cappella quartet and I'm having more musical fun than I ever knew was possible!

CH.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Nick
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 08:30 PM

It can't be done


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: GUEST,Matt
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 10:55 PM

Let's try that again - have you considered playing a shallower-body instrument?   I had problems when playing a dreadnaught, but it was ameliorated by playing an OM or even shallower guitars.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar - no longer an issue?
From: Allan C.
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:09 AM

First, let me take this moment to thank you for your many suggestions and advice. These opened my thinking into new directions. Thank you also for the encouragement both here and by way of PM's.

This has been what seems to me a long and troublesome road. I can scarcely think of any time in my life when I have felt so low. In the meantime, while I was so absorbed in my pain, I failed to notice the effect my condition was having upon Carmen. As some of you may know, the music Carmen and I play together constitutes one of the great joys of our life together. Not only was the music taken from me, but it was also taken from Carmen. At various points things were looking so bleak that we each wondered if we might ever share our music again.

I am pleased to be able to tell you that the potential spinal stenosis diagnosis fell flat when the previously mentioned conductivity test failed to show any significant abnormalities. BTW, I was only partially correct in my guess as to what that test might entail. What it amounts to is the measurement of how long it takes for an electric impulse to travel from point A to point B. This is accomplished through the use of adhesive electrode patches, just like the ones used for cardiac monitoring, as well as by way of tiny needles that are just barely inserted into the skin. Anyway, the result of that test was encouraging.

Once the spinal stenosis was pushed aside an MRI of my left shoulder was accomplished. The result was (at last!) a more concrete diagnosis. It showed a couple of torn tendons.

During the two months it has taken to arrive at this conclusion I was on heavy doses of codeine-laced Acetaminophen to which, I think it is safe to say, I became addicted. Just a few days ago I was finally able to wean myself off that stuff, after which I discovered that my pain level had decreased immensely! In fact I am happy to report that I have been functioning without any manner of medication for the past five days.

Yesterday Carmen and I played music together for nearly four hours straight! I can't say that I am not currently feeling a wee bit of pain because of that. But I seriously doubt that the pain will last very long. It is well worth it!

Thus, life is beginning to revert to some degree of normalcy. I am scheduled to return to work on December 7th. But best of all, I no longer need to contemplate whether there is life after guitar!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Fortunato
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:42 AM

Congratulations.

Art Theime nailed it, unfortunately.

But I'm glad you're out on the other side of the pain and playing again, Allan. I'm over sixty also, with various aches and pains, but nothing that keeps me from playing.

keep it up and thank your deity(ies) and stars.
chance


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: maeve
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:46 AM

Allen, that is wonderful news. Thanks for brightening my day.

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 02:24 PM

EXCELLENT!!

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Living without guitar, can it be done?
From: iancarterb
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 11:34 PM

It was pretty instructive to read through the whole thread to here, the shared experience and advice, and come out the other end with torn tendons instead of such severe spinal trauma that moving anything hurt. It's also good to be reminded of the utility of autoharp and dulcimer if more than one note at a time is necessary to the soul of old geezers such as us. Good wishes for a pain free Pearl Harbor Day at work as well as pain free music:)
Carter B


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 February 3:50 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.