Saturday, April 10, 2010

Suffering for my Art

So they told me all about how I'd get callouses on my fretting fingers when I started to play the guitar. What they didn't tell me was how much it would hurt - and continue to hurt. I just got finished playing a few minutes ago, and decided to start typing, which wasn't such a good idea. Each stroke of a key my left hand is responsible for sends a zinger up my finger.

I figured, well once the callouses are there, it won't hurt anymore, right? Wrong. I've been playing every day now since December. Every day after practice, my fingers hurt. And not just some surface pain, it goes pretty deep within my fingertips. It hurts for several hours after I'm finished, and then they continue to be numb.

Always numb. I can't even pick up paper or small things with my left hand anymore. So I'm thinking - are all guitarists out there, all the ones in bands and ones that jam at home, and all the classical players - are they all walking around without feeling in their fretting-hand fingertips? How long has it been since Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, or Jeff Beck had non-numb fingertips? And how does it affect their daily lives?

For me, it makes it difficult to work my office job sometimes. But at least I'm beginning to understand why "they" picked the non-dominant hand to play the frets. I always wondered about that - I mean, why wouldn't you use your "stronger" hand to do the hard part? Well, it's because your fretting hand is rendered semi-useless in the process, so best go with the non-dominant hand. For that, I am thankful.

And I have a whole new appreciation for Bryan Adams' lyric, "...played it 'til my fingers bled..."

Now I'm off to soak my fingertips in Palmolive...

1 comment:

Food Czar said...

Anything for art, and yours is definitely improving! Keep it up!! (Ouch!!!)