Practice What You Preach

Posted by: Daniel R. Lehrman Posted in: Guitarists Health

You can’t teach the teacher.sore guitar players wrist x-ray

Practice what you preach. Me, myself and no one else forgot to follow some basic rules that I feel are mandatory for allowing your fingers and wrists to stay healthy. I preached in a recent article about not overplaying in term of the length of a practice session. Take a break Dude, let those hands and wrists stop smoking and let them cool down. Have a lemonade.

We had a great jam session the other nite. More people showed up. There were two new guitarists. One gentleman, Ron, was into Jimmy Buffett and that type of vibe, darn good player too. The other dude, gentleman, (I forgot his name and I don’t drink) played electric guitar (a Strat), more my style of SRV and Hendrix, the high energy string bending blues. He was very good. And an extra drummer. So basically people are hearing about our jams and starting to come.

There are plenty of amps at the warehouse, so everyone can hook up, although common courtesy does not mean you play the whole time. Well, to put it in simple terms, I broke my rules. I spent the whole time, roughly three hours playing without setting my axe down. My wrist was sore, sore, sore the next day. Sore enough that I only practiced for one hour the next day. And it was simple stuff I practiced the next day, such as scales and other notes that don’t require heavy string bending. Hardly any chords too, they will make your wrist sore, especially some of the advanced barre chords.

I took two Alleve’s, which is the same as Advil and other medicines called NSAID’s. All over the counter and, I did follow the directions. I iced my wrist for 30 minutes every two hours also. It was much better yesterday and today, ha. I’m back to the regular grind of two to three hours a day, and playing, (no pun intended) by the rules I set up!

Briefly, another rule I mentioned was broken also, the one about not hogging the stage. I should have stepped down every twenty minutes to let other folks shine. At least I had the courtesy to play rhythm while other guitarists displayed their skills.

We played a lot of songs I’m familiar with because I have heard them a million times, but songs I really don’t know in terms of having played them before. No problem, I’m scale man and because I know my scales from a lot of years just playing scales, I can pick up the vibe of the song and improvise. Very cool to learn your scales. I’m not an advocate of having to read music and I can prove you don’t need to read music to be a great guitar player or musician. I can also prove that people who only read music can’t jam. No music, No play.

Realistically speaking, it is good to read music. Very good. So it is worth a learn.

We play a lot of three chord songs. I play lead around the notes in the chords Theoretically speaking they are easy songs to play, and that brings immediate gratification, since most people are nervous at their first jams it is vitally important to be successful in terms of building confidence.

Needless to say, we had an astronomical time, it gets better every week. It’s hard to imagine, perhaps we will be a band someday.

If you want to jam with us, leave me a comment and I’ll contact you back asap. Elementary thinking patterns tell me most of you don’t live close enough to jam with us. That is why I blog about the jam sessions. GPC has a good working blueprint and wants to share it with you. Feel free to ask questions in the comment area if you need a strategy or advise. Remember, as Jimi Hendrix said in “Redhouse”, “that’s all-right. I still got my guitar.” no matter what happens, no truer words have been spoken.

Guitar Players Center is adamant about learning to play with other musicians. We hope you use the Share It feature (share it is easy and fast and fun, try it) so we can hip more people up to this valuable and fun resource. Comments are great on how you may setup a jam and thanks for reading our blog, you can sign up for a free subscription to our blogs and stay up to date on our verbiage and vibes.


6 Responses to Practice What You Preach

  1. Next time you need a break, I’ll treat you to a cup of coffee!
    thanks for the reminder. We all push ourselves too hard.

  2. um, Steve Vai reads/writes music. He can’t jam?

  3. Good point to think of the physical aspects of playing. We don’t need an epidemic of wrist problems from all the guitar playing you are inspiring!!

  4. Pingback: A Viable Practice Tool For Guitar Players | Endless Europe

  5. Frank Further

    Dan said that people who ONLY read music can’t jam. He said it definitvely enough that I can see your confusion. Anybody can learn to jam. It’s just a matter of learning a scale and playing around with it mostly.

  6. Guitar playing is a talent, I think ther no problem with that as a hobby.

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