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


music in my sleep--twitchy hands

Vixen 16 May 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 May 12 - 10:46 AM
Jack Campin 16 May 12 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 16 May 12 - 01:39 PM
wysiwyg 16 May 12 - 02:18 PM
Vixen 17 May 12 - 09:06 AM
Owen Woodson 17 May 12 - 09:15 AM
JohnInKansas 17 May 12 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,less is more 17 May 12 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 12 - 08:51 AM
Jack Campin 18 May 12 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 18 May 12 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 18 May 12 - 01:45 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: Vixen
Date: 16 May 12 - 10:11 AM

Hi Mudcats--

I've been doing a lot of metronome work to get my left and right hands up to bluegrass tempo on guitar. Scales, arpeggios, strumming patterns, picking patterns, fiddle tunes, etc. It's pretty pathetic--I've been at this for more than a year, and I'm only accurate up to around 120 (1/4 notes). My biggest goal is to get to 132 (1/4 notes) for Rawhide. I don't know how people get so fast--I'm beginning to believe I'll always be a tortoise of a picker.

Anyway, I do about 15 to 20 minutes a day of drills, and I'm striving to gain speed and accuracy while keeping my hands soft and relaxed. No pain--I do lots of stretches before and after, and my hands aren't sore at all. However, I now find I'm playing these exercises in my dreams, and doing it WAY faster than I can in real life, and in that limbic state between asleep and awake, I can feel my fingers/hands twitching like mad.

Anybody else have this experience? Is this my cerebellum FINALLY getting the message out to my fingers? Should I jump out of bed and grab my guitar to take advantage of this phenomenon?

Or am I just plain nuts?

I await your wisdom...

V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 May 12 - 10:46 AM

I once talked to a bluegrass guitarist (Dan) who was noted for his fast "talking" style. I asked him how he did it, even though his hands were small. Pay close attention, now.

Dan had taken his guitar to a trusted luthier and had him install EXTRA LARGE FRETS. Fatter frets meant that less time and less pressure were required to get the notes right.

If you have been trying for over a year, I believe you should change the instrument to meet your needs, rather than trying to change your body to work the instrument.
===========
I don't consider it a good sign that your fingers are twitching in your sleep. They may be trying to tell you that they are getting seriously overworked.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 May 12 - 11:52 AM

Don't most guys have the experience of playing the French horn in their sleep?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 16 May 12 - 01:39 PM

@Jack-
Thank God, I thought it was just me.

Vixen -- do NOT jump out of bed when your fingers twitch. Let your psychomotor thingies do what they do best when left alone. I think it's a sign that your body and brain are processing what you're giving them. As long as there's no pain or dysfunction I don't think you're necessarily doing any harm.
Agree with Leeneia that you should have someone experienced with that genre of music go over your instrument ergonomics and make some recommendations.

I applaud your dedication. I too have never been a high-velocity picker but my answer was just to find a different genre ;-)

-Glenn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 12 - 02:18 PM

Any muscle we exercise at speed does this, if we let it, and it's part of the muscle/nerve pathway forming. I had a friend with a cut nerve in her hand who had been a crack transcriptionist-- not on a legal coding machine but with realtime, legal-secretary typing. Fingers were "dead" to sensation. She rehabbed by typing in the air whenever she could, and guess what, the nerve regenerated. She still types in the air. Athletes are catching up with visualization techniques.

Trust your body. It's never nuts.

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: Vixen
Date: 17 May 12 - 09:06 AM

Dear Mudcats--

Thanks much! I'm glad to know that y'all don't believe I'm goin' nuts!

I'll definitely ask our luthier (who is also a phenomenal bluegrass picker) about the extra large frets. My "performance" guitar is an 2009 Martin OM-21, which I got because my right shoulder was killing me playing fast rhythm on the likes of Rawhide (even back when I was only at about 100 bpm). That problem went away completely and instantly with the small-body instrument.

Last month, however, the cats knocked the bowed psaltery off the bookcase, and it struck my guitar, making a gouge and a small split, so it's going into the shop once I get through this next batch of gigs. I'll check on the fret change then.

I know "it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools," but I've found that sometimes the "journeywork" of becoming a master of a craft necessitates learning when to use a different and/or better tool to improve the quality of the work.

Thank you also for the reassurance that the twitching is probably part of the anatomical process of development. I think if it was caused by serious overwork, it would have started back when I started this focused drive for speed and accuracy. I guess my concern is that it might develop into something I can't control when I'm awake--like a tic or something.

In any case, I'll keep at it, and hopefully bigger frets will be an option that improves things!

Thanks again--Mudcats forever!

V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 17 May 12 - 09:15 AM

I used to have a similar problem when I was a lot younger. I cured it by remembering to don a pair of boxing gloves before I dived into bed. Frustrating though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 May 12 - 10:57 AM

As has been mentioned, recent studies have reported (actually confirmed what lots of us knew) that for best "memory retention" it's necessary to sleep within a few hours of experiencing the thing you want to remember. The brain has to "organize" the input in order for it to be recalled later.

The same prinicple almost certainly applies to "muscle memory" as for visual, audible, and other forms of memory. You need the "playback" during sleep in order to best recall it when you wake up.

For "firmly established" muscle activities, you may find that even when awake you can recall the finger motions and "feel" the right response even if your fingers don't actually move, or when only imperceptible movements mimic what the actual playing motions would be - you'll still "sense" what the motions would be if the instrument was in your hands, but don't have to actually flap your phalanges around.

Just lay back, relax, and enjoy the music. It's perfectly normal and may even be an indication that your fingers are learning something new.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: GUEST,less is more
Date: 17 May 12 - 11:04 AM

less is more


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 12 - 08:51 AM

Whose idea is the 132? Look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrlqQ1_vZVE

That's a video of STeve Martin and Earl Scruggs on TV. I played the bass line with my MIDI program, and they seem to be using 122. I think it's a little too fast - designed to impress the audience with speed rather than to bring home the interesting melody and chord changes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 May 12 - 09:25 AM

Just lay back, relax, and enjoy the music.

...as the player said to the French horn...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 18 May 12 - 09:39 AM

Well, I don't subscribe personally to the "velocity is virtuosity" school, but there are plenty who do. Bluegrass as a genre seems to be devoted to it, but from rock guitar shred artists to classical musicians and everywhere in between, people pursue speed at the expense of letting the music sing out.
When I accompany the congregation at church I occasionally get grumbles because I play some things at 54 or 60 instead of quick-march time, but those same people often compliment my playing in general, and yet don't get that the soaring pace (for appropriate songs) is part of the deal.
I had some coaching from an experienced pro guitar player ages ago who said you should always play significantly slower than you can. Less is more indeed.
Some classical composer said that the music is what happens in between the notes. I'm not sure what he meant, but I like to apply it to this.
Just my opinion. I know a lot of bluegrass aficionados who don't agree and I love 'em anyway.
Cheers
-Glenn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: music in my sleep--twitchy hands
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 18 May 12 - 01:45 PM

Turns out that was a conflation of quotes from Isaac Stern and Claude Debussy. I like my version better.
Debussy was always saying things nobody could figure out, sort of like the Yogi Berra of classical music. He was the one who said the trouble with opera was that there was too much singing.
-Glenn


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: 26 September 5:05 AM EDT

[ 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.