I've recently developed some tendonitis in both hands and will be significantly reducing my practice hours for about a month (hopefully!). I had been putting in a lot of hours before with my instrument, and this reduction frees up a lot time that I'd like to use to develop my musicianship.

To that end, what would you suggest to do with these hours? I'm a relative newcomer to music so I've started working on theory (Furmancyk's course) and for my ear I'm considering taking a vocal harmony course. Any other ideas?

Fwiw, my instrument is a square-neck dobro (resonator guitar).

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    I'm not sure the mods are gonna let this question live cuz it's pretty subjective. And I don't even have any recommendations for what to learn. And I don't even know what a dobro IS. But if that tendonitis came about from your practice, you should definitely get the stress OUT of your practice. Piano players always need to watch for "playing with stress". The emphasis should be to eliminate stress as much as possible and not brute force it EVER. Also, absolute rest is needed for recovery usually. Good luck. – Stephen Hazel Oct 1 '15 at 18:41
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    This is pretty broad and will likely be closed, but you're on the right track - music theory knowledge and ear training are great to work on. You can learn a lot transcribing music as well. Use the trainers on places like musictheory.net. – tarun Oct 1 '15 at 20:19
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    I can tell you what not to do during your recovery. Don't play at all. That will give you the best recovery. (Based on my son's experience with tendinitis. – aparente001 Oct 2 '15 at 5:16
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    Based on your profile picture, I'm really not surprised that you have issues. Sure, study music theory if you want. Personally, I would talk to a physical therapist / professional dobro players about posture, I would completely change my setup, and I would research / take lessons on how to play without tension. I would also do physical therapy. Make sure you've actually been diagnosed by a PT or a GP as having tendinitis; lots of people are quick to put things under that umbrella, and you want to make sure the treatment actually fits the problem. – jjmusicnotes Oct 2 '15 at 5:35
  • Well, I love Dobros! But if you were playing that square neck in any other position other than flat on your lap, I can tell you why you got tendonitis!! I really hope you are playing that flat. Do the exercises some recovery. Up and down finger stretches, then wrist curls with a light dumbbell. But definitely do not play a square neck in regular position. Keep it on your lap and slide away. – blusician Oct 17 '16 at 9:42

I suppose you are a guitar player. You can practice mentally (that's what all classical musicians do),Play everything you know but in your head celarly visualizing every aspect of playing,feeling,moves,sounds,fretboard...everything. It will improve your playing for sure and keep you from forgetting what you already know. Also you can spend time on sigh reading that's always a good skill to have.


Yes, solfege and sight singing are excellent tools to have under your belt. Another fascinating one is Feldenkrais method applied to singing. It is basically how to use proper posture, from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, to improve your singing voice. It is amazing how making very minor changes can change your voice.


I'm not sure what you mean by a vocal harmony course, but you could practice solfege, rhythm (you can speak rhythms on a given syllable if you can't execute them with your hands), and sight singing in addition to any ear training you're doing.


You have plenty online and offline free resources to train your ears, and recapitulate your knowledge of theory.

I use daily site called teoria. It offers some articles about theory, and also it has a lot of exercise. Namely, you can train your ear in recognizing triads and seventh chords, intervals, scales, rhythm, melodic dictation etc.

I suggest you start with simple intervals and build up from there. When it comes to practising chords, a good knowledge of triads is required (namely, you need to recognize the difference between major/minor/diminished and augmented chords, and later when you develop your ear, whether the chord is in the root position or in one of its inversions).

If you want to practice rhythm, and sight reading a good place to start is Lenmus Phonascus software (it works on Windows, and some versions of Linux). You have both theory and a lot of exercise in this program. I suggest you use it for rhythm training and sight reading. Every exercise is accompanied with short introduction. My advice is to take it slow, let exercise sink in with you even it they seem to ease at first.

It is very important to practice daily. But you don't have to spend your whole day practising. Usually for me, around 15 minutes of teoria.com and about 10 minutes of Lenmus a day are enough. Though, if you can't recognize intervals now, it could take you a couple of months to learn.

For theory, consider reading a book on theory along with course you are watching. A good book can go much more into detail then a course. A good online course will provide you with a solid foundation.

One more good site to consider is musictheory.net.

Disclaimer: I'm not associated with any of mentioned software solutions.


I have recently got rid of tendonitis. I would like to share my experience. I had tendonitis for about 1.5 years. I was located at flexor tendons of my fingers (left hand) I know, there is pretty much dumb advices on the internet. Ice didn't work. Even cortisol didn't. I've even tried full arm fixation. It seemed to be hopeless, untill I found a cheapest powerball and then started to use it every day. My fingers felt bad but somehow I knew that my tendons getting better. I asked a doctor and he adviced me to use dynamic exercises like expander instead of static power ball exercises. He also said that long lasting tendon problems could be caused by my weak muscles. For two weeks I used expander and did not touch computer, guitar, bass and anything else. Slowly pain disappeared. It is a miracle. To OP: Try to learn something new. I've discovered blues harmonica and now I can play it pretty good. Restrictions always lead to new possibilities!

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