Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Rhomylly

New English Player

Recommended Posts

I'm working very hard on the little student Wheatstone I got in June, and I'm having a terrible time with "tired pinky syndrome" after maybe 10 minutes' time, when it transitions into "tired pinky and far side of hand syndrome."

 

Bear in mind that I have unusually small hands, even for a female, and that my pinky is only 2 inches long.

 

Any suggestions? Would the Gripmaster/grip strengthener thingy help? I have one - light strength.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been there myself Rhomylly.

 

Try letting the major part of the support of the instrument hang from the thumbs. Less pressure with the pinkies won't reduce control but in my experience all more control and freedom of movement.

 

Many other ways of handling pinky stress are about to come over the parapet. Prepair! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working very hard on the little student Wheatstone I got in June, and I'm having a terrible time with "tired pinky syndrome" after maybe 10 minutes' time, when it transitions into "tired pinky and far side of hand syndrome."

 

Bear in mind that I have unusually small hands, even for a female, and that my pinky is only 2 inches long.

 

Any suggestions? Would the Gripmaster/grip strengthener thingy help? I have one - light strength.

 

 

Are you using the pinkie rests?

What if you don't?

Only play sitting, with some soft cloth under the bellows on your knee. Use all four fingers to play (or three, leaving the pinkey out of it).

I suspect yoour major problem is tension. Try to be always aware of relaxing the wrists and fingers.

The size of hands shouldn't play any role.

 

Yea, unscrew those rests, so you won't be tempted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working very hard on the little student Wheatstone I got in June, and I'm having a terrible time with "tired pinky syndrome" after maybe 10 minutes' time, when it transitions into "tired pinky and far side of hand syndrome."

 

Bear in mind that I have unusually small hands, even for a female, and that my pinky is only 2 inches long.

 

Any suggestions? Would the Gripmaster/grip strengthener thingy help? I have one - light strength.

 

I just measured my little finger - probably about 2", I have pretty small hands. .... anyway yes my pinkies hurt for quite a while. It does get easier eventually.

Stop for a bit when it starts to hurt, shake your hands.

Try not to have a death grip on the tina. I try to use the pinky more for loaction than anything else, though even then it's loose enough to move up and down the rest a bit as the tune moves (this may or not be a good thing, but I find my little finger shifts (especially the right one) as I reach for v. low or high notes.

 

Rest the weight on your knee ... either the left or right end .. that's been discussed before!

 

I can now, after a few years, play for a while with the tina in the air! (look Mum - no knees)

But I find it tiring. I suspect that I'll never be able to play for hours standing up, without some extra support, eg a neck strap.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same problem but I want to be able to play standing since I want to bring my concertina to the accordion festivals where you just ramble around playing music here and there and I don't want to be dependent on having a chair. I made shoulder straps that I fastened in the little screws above the thumb straps, the screws that hold the side pieces. I haven't tried them yet but I believe it will work fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try holding the instrument the way it was designed, that is to say with the ring and little finger in the support and play with the index and middle finger. You WILL find that in time this should not hinder your playing. Even if you play chords you will probably not want to play them in root position, especially on a concertina, so the ring finger is not needed. And you should not run out of fingers as long as you plan ahead. Further, if you read music you will probably be reading ahead anyway. One thing more, you may have to push your thumbs further into the straps than modern players suggest.

Edited by tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working very hard on the little student Wheatstone I got in June, and I'm having a terrible time with "tired pinky syndrome" after maybe 10 minutes' time, when it transitions into "tired pinky and far side of hand syndrome."

 

Bear in mind that I have unusually small hands, even for a female, and that my pinky is only 2 inches long.

 

Any suggestions? Would the Gripmaster/grip strengthener thingy help? I have one - light strength.

 

 

Hi Rhomylly,

 

I have long and slender hands and fingers and still I don't use my pinky except for playing notes. I've tried and I find it very restrictive and many of the great old players never rested their pinkies on the concertina. I can only imagine that if you try to do this with such short fingers that you will have quite a stretch to reach the keys and keep your pinky stuck to the instrument at the same time. This may stress your hand and fingers very quickly and prevent you from playing in a relaxed way. Being relaxed is the most important thing in learning to play. I just measured my pinky and found it to be 2 & 1/4 inches long.

 

Good luck,

Juliette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working very hard on the little student Wheatstone I got in June, and I'm having a terrible time with "tired pinky syndrome" after maybe 10 minutes' time, when it transitions into "tired pinky and far side of hand syndrome."

When I was first learning the English my thumbs and pinkies got tired and achey, but that problem gradually -- and farily quickly -- disappeared as my fingers and hands got stronger. When practicing, I would not continue once the ache started, but stop and then begin again after a short rest... and frequently. I don't guarantee that this will work for you, as people can differ in numerous ways, but I think it's worth a try.

 

There are so many factors, though. E.g., I find that the way I hold my arms and upper torso can also make a huge difference.

 

Bear in mind that I have unusually small hands, even for a female, and that my pinky is only 2 inches long.

My pinkies are 2-1/4" long.

 

Any suggestions? Would the Gripmaster/grip strengthener thingy help? I have one - light strength.

Well, I don't think it would hurt... unless you overdo it.

 

I have long and slender hands and fingers and still I don't use my pinky except for playing notes. I've tried and I find it very restrictive and many of the great old players never rested their pinkies on the concertina.

Our techniques differ, so I'll say something about mine. (I'm not by any means saying that yours is wrong, Juliette.) The first thing is that I don't "rest" my pinkies, but I use them to help control the instrument. When I have them under the finger plates (I don't call them "rests", for obvious reasons) I use them together with my thumbs to gently grip the instrument.

 

But... neither the grip nor the position of the pinkies is rigid. My grip is gentle enough that I can let the pinkies slide forward and back under their plates, and I sometimes take them out. Occasionally I take them out to play notes, but that's rare. My control of my pinkies is nowhere near as quick or as flexible as even my ring fingers, so to give them equal responsibility in playing -- as some advocate -- would simple lower the overall quality of my playing. However, I may remove a pinky (one or both) from its plate simply to change my hand's configuration, i.e., to rest some muscles while I use others. At such times I will still usually have the pinky pressing gently against some spot on the end near the plate, to stabilize and control the position of the end.

 

I consider it an important principle that the positions of my hands and fingers are dynamic, i.e., constantly changing. I find that varying the configuration, even if only slightly, prevents individual muscles from becoming overstressed.

 

I also put only the tips of my thumbs into the thumb loop, because pushing them through loses the use of the last joint and the extra flexibility it can provide to the positioning of the entire hand.

 

I can only imagine that if you try to do this with such short fingers that you will have quite a stretch to reach the keys and keep your pinky stuck to the instrument at the same time. This may stress your hand and fingers very quickly and prevent you from playing in a relaxed way.

So you might try gently bracing your pinkies against the wood just "above" the finger plates, rather than hooking them underneath, and see if that helps.

 

Being relaxed is the most important thing in learning to play.

There are so many "most" important things, but that's definitely one of them. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suprised myself last night when I realized that I am no longer resting my pinky fingers on the plates anymore.

 

Over the past year I've employed the two finger on a single button rapid repeated ornaments in Irish and Acadian reels. Only the first and second fingers can achive the desired speed and control for me on each side. I can only guess that I must have dropped off use of the "pinky plates" to accomodate moving my "diddle-di-diddle-di" fingers where they need to go on the button board.

 

No more locked up pinkies. It would be a far reach for me to get my stubby pinkies involved in actually playing a note er' two. Who knows, 'cause I didn't think I'd drop em' off the plates either ;) .

 

An old dog has learned a new trick.

Edited by Mark Evans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote "Bear in mind that I have unusually small hands, even for a female, and that my pinky is only 2 inches long"

 

Having done a quick survey round the office (ok so I am on holiday after 5 pm today and am getting demob happy) anyway most of the girls in our office have little pinkies that are only 2".

 

I have only been playing for just over a year and always play sitting resting one end on one knee. I don't grip the concertina but just use the thumb straps and pinky plate for control. My pinky fingers slide along the finger plate and I do need to bring in my right little pinky to play a note when playing Jerusalem. I have not really experienced any problems with aching pinky fingers but that might be because I don't play standing up (or perhaps I don't play enough at all <_< )- the test will come when I move onto trying that!

Edited by Galley Wench

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I started the EC my thumbs got tired quickly. This got better as my thumbs got stronger and when I started resting one end of the instrument on my left knee. My hands are very large (2 3/4" pinky) and the problem I have is reaching the lower notes-- I need to keep the grip light so I can shift my hand position to reach a Bb, G, A, or C#. I don't play standing up. I've been using a chamois (sold at auto repair shops for car washing) on my knee to reduce the possible wear on the end and bellows--it's much softer than denim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Adding a late reply here, but I guess that that is okay.

 

I first encountered pinky fatigue during a performance. I was standing, and I seldom played standing back then. It hurt a lot. I have since added a neck strap, attached to the top screw on each end. I used a picture hanging loop under the screw, and attach the strap to the loop with clips.

 

I find that I still have pain when I practice too long, but a Morris performance doesn't last long enough to hurt at all.

 

I guess that I recommend a strap, and the advice of the many much more experianced concertinists who have already replied to this thread.

 

Russell Hedges

 

Edited for stinking bad typing.

Edited by Aquarussell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...