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14

Sorry to hear that your playing is impacted. I don't have R.A., but I have a number of wrist, shoulder, and arm problems. Here are some things that I have found useful for my situation - I hope they can help you with yours: Electric guitars. Electrics in general have lower string tension than acoustics. Light strings. The lighter the string, the less ...


6

Nowadays I always get a close shave before playing the tuba in a gig. I started doing this when I realized that after longer breaks from playing I had trouble getting a distinct attack and tone when I had facial hair around the lips. I also had trouble playing pedal-notes. I then experienced getting a close shave as "gaining" one or two weeks of practice, ...


6

Josef Hofmann is a good bet. He had such small hands that he actually had pianos custom-made with smaller keys. I can't find any direct references to his compositions being easy to play with small hands, but I doubt he would compose something he couldn't play. Another aspect to look at is players with small hands, and what they have played. Harriet Cohen ...


3

I'm a Jazz pianist, and also have rather small hands. If you're playing Jazz, your hand-size doesn't really matter when you're choosing a song to learn, as your hand-size will only affect your interpretation of a given song. For instance, when I'm playing bebop, I wish I could play tall shell-voicings in the left hand like Bud Powell; since I usually can't ...


3

This is a common issue. The answers "play to the back" and "play to the front" are both wrong. Your fingers on "average" should straddle the imaginary line where black and white keys meet. This ensures a general economy of motion since you'll have to move in and out very little to play black and white keys respectively. Also, the advice "curve your ...


3

That's an interesting direction; I've always been told to play closer to the outside edge of the keys! But then again, I'm a skinny dude with skinny fingers, so I guess we have opposite problems. I'd suggest taking the middle ground; make sure your fingers are curved, and keep the fingertips just outside the edge of the black keys. You should be able to ...


3

I can't speak definitively on this since I haven't had a full beard and mustache before, but I've always made a point to keep what facial hair I do have out of the way of my mouthpiece placement. Not knowing the full magnitude of your facial hair, it's hard to make specific suggestions, but I wouldn't want a lot of hair cushioning the mouthpiece against my ...


3

There are a couple things that spring to mind: - Check that you're playing correctly. If you're straining yourself unnecessarily, then you will become tired much more quickly and will therefore play for less time. The comment that makes me bring this up is your description of how your lips / jaw get numb. To me that indicates that you're clenching with ...


3

I took my kids to a slide guitar seminar by Tom Doughty this weekend. Possibly one of the most inspiring events I have ever attended - this is a man who through a spinal injury lost the use of his left hand, much of his right, and is wheelchair-bound, but he plays mean slide guitar. He makes use of a wrench to turn pegs, and also in wedging his arm or hand ...


3

I have played trombone with varying degrees of facial hair. I just trimmed the area around my lips so that I could sort of tuck the mouthpiece under my moustache in order to contact only skin for a seal. It was fairly easy, and with care to let the upper hairs grow long and hang over that area, unnoticeable. There was no real difference in my playing when I ...


2

Shaking your hand out is good for when it gets tired. Maybe a stress ball or, if you can handle it, a pair of these:


2

The original intent was for for the player to place both the pinky and ring fingers in the lower supports. Almost nobody does this consistently though since it does limit your playing to the other two fingers on each side. However, when starting out, it may provide more stability and less fatigue. You've already tried the usual approaches for providing ...


2

Well, off the top of my head, I'd say think about music that has a clearly defined monophonic bass line. Look at Baroque music that incorporates the basso-continuo style, where the keyboardist's left hand is doubling a part written for a cello or bass player. Be careful of Bach's solo keyboard music, though, because his music is so dense and contains so much ...


2

great discussion. I have Multiple Sclerosis which also makes my left hand numb at times (for days at a time). I have found using "open tuning" helps tremendously. I can make beautiful sounds with fewer fingers. I also have laid my guitar in my lap and play similar to a steel-slide guitar. I use my strongest finger to hold down the fret; I use light/ ...


1

I taught myself guitar. As a result, I started off with crappy technique that caused injury to my hands. In order to stop the pain, I went back to the beginning and analyzed my personal ergonomics and then changed my technique. What I found worked for me was: Practicing fretting notes cleanly: My fretting fingers are close to the frets and press as ...



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