More of your insights and opinions.
LAST WORD ON INJURIES
Recovery from severe injuries like Mr Modern has (GT238) is complicated and multifaceted. These recommendations for recovery come from the article abstract
by J Warrington. Rehabilitation using the instrument includes early return to modified playing, instrument-specific exercises, sensory reeducation and manual therapy, improving musical fitness, a multidisciplinary team approach, and instrument modifications and splinting when necessary. Education regarding good practice habits is essential to avoid secondary problems on return to full playing. This treatment approach is valuable following traumatic injury, for degenerative conditions, and for nonspecific wrist and hand pain.
A rehabilitation program for this gentleman is dependent upon whether there is: 1. Bone and tendon damage 2. Muscle function as a result of the fractures, bracing, immobilisation of the extremity, stability of fractures with internal fixation of the orthopaedic injury or not. 3. Specifically, peripheral nerve damage affecting muscle function and recovery of the nerve injury which can take 6-8 months to recover. Nerve conduction tests of the extremity and electromyography of the muscle groups involved can be performed by a physiatrist or neurologist to determine how quickly the nerves are recovering as well as assessment of muscle strength and tone by a physiotherapist. This is related to a loss of motor or sensory function as well. Robotics can be used to assist in recovery as well as electrical stimulation in some cases. 4. Time: what is required for active and natural recovery of the injuries irrespective of the program used. Some rehabilitation programs may have virtual software to enable an injured person to see simulated visual movements correlating with brain function of injured arm or extremity but still having difficulty moving the extremity. This is the most difficult part of recovery psychologically for a patient with injuries and the immobilisation away from work and activities of daily living, the dependence on other people for self care and assistance with personal issues, the impatience of seeing only slow recovery of these injuries day after day lasting into weeks and months. Being creative is an important focus on the things one can do despite the injury and listen to more music and slowly the plinking noises on his guitar will become full notes and then riffs to follow in the months ahead. Above all, keep positive and keep working toward the goal of getting better. As we say, a lot of what we humans do to communicate and live is in ‘our heads’ and requires patience in the face of pain and suffering and ‘tincture of time’. 5. Medications can effect cognitive function as well motor function of an injured extremity. 6. Programs for musician recovery in Europe and the US: the program at the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute for injured musicians may be useful for Mr Modern to contact as well as for additional references for medical and physiotherapy professionals in England and elsewhere. Henry Levenson, MD. Medical Director of Rehab, LAC+USC Medical Center, Los Angeles (PS: I love Guitar Techniques!) Thanks so much for that, Dr Levenson. We weren’t going to add any further comments to the debate, but coming from one so eminent I thought yours would be well worth us taking heed of, as you never know what’s round the corner! And I’m glad you like the magazine enough to lend such sage advice and information!
LOST IN MUSIC
I’ve only just got a hold of your 20 Tips: Play Better Solos Today issue (GT239) as I live in the back of beyond. The reason I love Guitar Techniques is that it allows me to immerse myself in my playing, forget the day’s toils and get lost in a feature for hours. I’m no Angus Young but I do my best. I’ve got a little bolt-hole with a computer set-up and a decent soundcard so I can record my efforts using GarageBand. What I tend to do is spend a few days going through a particular feature – in this case the 20 Tips – and then record myself doing something based on the article in question. That way I can check if I’ve improved! Sometimes I use your backing tracks but I have a few of my own that I enjoy playing over too. Jon Bishop’s ‘commandments’ gave me a lot of food for thought, and I really think I came up with some of my best stuff this time. I’ve not gone through the whole mag yet, but I’ll be very interested in trying the Soul Chords and Fool For Your Loving when I get a mo. Thanks for all the great stuff. And all the best from Oz! Dan, Queensland We have quite a few Antipodean readers, Dan, and it’s great that GT can be a source of encouragement and inspiration out there – and what a good way of using the mag to full effect! We love coming up with these big features, too, as we truly believe you can’t get better tuition anywhere (unless you fancy sending Jon Bishop a ticket for a few one-to-one lessons). Do any of you have suggestions for features on specific technique or theory topics that you’d like us to cover? Let me know and I’ll see what we can come up with.
Thanks for the Playing With Fingers feature. I’ve never been a great picker – can’t seem to coordinate the two hands well enough to do it to the level I’d like – and so it had occurred to me that going ‘fingers only’ might be my best way forward. I’d been tinkering about using flesh only, but your lesson gave me the chance to sit down with a big chunk of work and go for it properly. It was interesting to see the different approaches of the various players you chose for the examples, and I think I’m coming down on the ‘thumb and first finger’ side of things, as Jeff Beck does. I love Knopfler’s playing but his approach is a little quirky and I’m a bit of a simple soul. I might also have a go with a thumb pick, as there are some great players I admire that have used one. I also like the fact that fingers or thumb pick playing might put me put me in a smaller pond of players, rather than finding myself swimming in a vast sea of far superior alternate pickers! Stu Laing Certainly playing with fingers makes you a little more unusual. Those that use flesh alone always have great tone and seem to be able to manipulate their sound due to the immediacy of contact. Not to say that pick players can’t, of course. I love using fingers and do it a lot, but I’m not sure I’d have the courage to completely forego that little plastic security blanket. GT writer Steve Laney, who did our recent Country Workout, is a thumb pick convert who loves it and now wouldn’t have it any other way. He gave me one of his to try and, while I confess to finding it great fun, again I’m not sure I could make such a wholehearted leap of faith. Glad you enjoyed the feature and good luck with your fleshy forays!
Dr Levenson provides the last word on hand injury rehabilitation
Flesh only playing would you take the big leap of faith?