Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

314
Banjo Lovers Online


Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

Page:  First Page   Previous Page   1   2  3  4   5   6  ...   Next Page   Last Page (14) 

Jan 29, 2009 - 7:36:26 AM

kjcole

USA

1228 posts since 4/21/2003

Ron,

Finding that inner peace through confidence in your beliefs surely can help reduce that neural traffic that can interfere with the execution of skill and precision. As a scientist and a Christian, it once again demonstrates to me that God works in mysterious ways!

Kelly

Jan 29, 2009 - 12:01:11 PM

401 posts since 10/19/2007

Kelly,

The human machine is meant to run on a very particular kind of Fuel. That Fuel brings rest, assurance, peace, security, a sense of worth, purpose, and meaning. Most of us spend years putting the cart before the horse; we think doing things will gain us an identity; we seek to Name ourselves by what we do and don't do.

But in reality, and I mean ultimate Reality, it doesn't work that way. As C.S. Lewis said, "All our real personalities are waiting for us in Him. Until you come to Him you won't have a real personality." He meant, of course, that until we have our identity rooted in a non-fluctuating source what we will be building is a false identity based on fluctuating sources (stock market, banjo playing, what my wife thinks of me, etc).

My real identity, created by God, is a Fact. I just have to live in and breathe and rely on that Fact. One of the causes of maturity in a Christian is a growing awareness of that real Identity in Christ. It's not my wife, or worse, my music that "completes me." It is Christ who does that.

It is of course likely that some will say that this does not apply to banjo playing. And of course my reply is that through experience, both positive and negative, I have found that it has everything to do with my banjo playing, guitar playing, singing, songwriting, parenting, husbanding, friend-ing, and everything else. Not necessarily in that order.

Ron

"In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself...I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see...Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do."
C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

RonBlock.com

Edited by - RonBlock on 01/29/2009 12:10:11

Jan 29, 2009 - 12:17:21 PM

3375 posts since 10/10/2008

awesome stuff, Ron

thanks again

The Pearce Family Bluegrass Band
pearcemusic.com

Jan 29, 2009 - 2:48:06 PM

65 posts since 2/27/2007

Kelly ..... your are right :) Keep pickn the banjo

banjo pickn Dane
Romans 8:38,39
Jesus loves you

Feb 5, 2009 - 7:10:38 AM

173 posts since 6/14/2006

Thanks for all the ideas above. Relax, Relate, Release...Repeat.

Feb 8, 2009 - 10:09:44 AM
likes this

13 posts since 6/18/2008

Do some "scale walking" through the strings, over and over till it drives your wife nuts. If your action is set up decently, you can concentrate on putting less pressure down and try to be closer to the fret and not right between them. And your right hand? How long do your picks stick beyond your fingers? I found when I first started playing that my picks were out too much, now they stick out less than an 1/8th of an inch beyond my trimmed nails. This was one of those "breakthroughs" for me and took the muscle strain away. And try to play as much as possible, naturally I believe we relax more with time. Hopefully this might help.

Pick away, the more you pick the longer you will live!

Edited by - greengrassband on 02/08/2009 10:47:46

Feb 13, 2009 - 11:08:44 AM

4393 posts since 2/6/2003

There's a lot to this silly old banjer playin, ain't there?

Ron your first post really resonated with me, I've had that, "you're not good enough" gremlin whispering in my ear all my life and he's a mean little b*st*rd who'll pop up when you least expect it.

One story. My band entered the contest at IBMA a few years back. I figured we didn't have a chance since we play a lot of off-the-wall stuff that the trads just hate, so I went with an "I don't give a damn attitude, let's just play for ourselves and have a good time", This really freed me up and we played great, got a lot of compliments from the judges and made it into the final round. A year later we're in another contest and I'm really trying to do my best and impress the judges. I played like crap. Now I try to recapture that "let's just play for ourselves" attitude whenever I play.

j

I''d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Feb 15, 2009 - 12:21:34 PM

peghead59

England

160 posts since 7/11/2008

Only just realised that my topic has made it to three pages. Thought I had better be on this page too :)

Seriously. I'm really impressed with the replies. I never knew this would be such a hot topic. I can only say that after a couple of weeks concentrating on relaxing, my playing has become more fluent and faster. Thanks guys, I'm gonna keep an eye on this now.

Feb 15, 2009 - 12:23:44 PM

peghead59

England

160 posts since 7/11/2008

Sorry. Just got one question. This topic has been listed as "sticky". What does that mean?

Feb 15, 2009 - 3:59:53 PM

401 posts since 10/19/2007

Joe L,

Definitely - the times I've had that devil-may-care attitude (ha, in my case, literally) is when I've played my best. That's why when we're playing we're to be in the present Moment; that Moment is the only real point of power. The past is past and unchangeable; the future is unknowable. That, I think, is why Jesus said so much about not worrying about tomorrow; "each day has enough care of its own." George MacDonald said the animals have that bliss, "the holy carelessness of the eternal Now." That's where I want to live when I'm playing music.

And of course planning is important - learning the songs, working on timing, etc. Many of the times of self-consciousness I've had have come from a lack of preparation. Preparing ahead allows us to live in that Now moment.

Best,
Ron

"...We have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget."
G.K. Chesterton, "Orthodoxy, Chapter IV, "The Ethics of Elfland," 1908.

RonBlock.com
AlisonKrauss.com
rabbitroom.com

Feb 21, 2009 - 9:14:49 PM

1460 posts since 8/22/2007

What a great thread

Banjo Wes
All things excellent are difficult as they are rare.

Spinoza

Feb 28, 2009 - 6:50:38 PM

BanjoBach

Australia

389 posts since 10/4/2008

quote:
Originally posted by pdbanjo

Our guitar player who is also the lead vocalist occaisionally gets cramping in his hand. The fingers of his left hand will cramp so hard they actually deform and become unmovable. It's so wierd to see when it happens and very painfull for him. When it comes on he can't play at all and has even necessitated us canceling mid way in a gig. Hard to explain to the person that hired us but there's nothing we can do when he gets one of these attacks. He's been to the Dr. and been diagnosed as possibly having a form of arthritise. It can last a day or so but so far goes away eventually and he is fine for many weeks then it comes on again. He's 58 and never knowing when it will happen has been extremely had for him to deal with mentally. I'm the same age and I feel so lucky to not have anything like that affect me but I feel so bad for him.

PD
There''s so little time and so much room to experiment, why choose to play like someone else? If I were Earl, I wouldn''t play it like me either.



Hi,

If what you are suggesting is arthritis, then my suggestion is of no use to your friend. However, if it is a form of cramping then the mineral salt magnesium phosphate may help. For most of us our diets are not fully balanced, therefore we need to suppliment occasionally. I suffer cramping and find magnesium phosphate assists. Am I a doctor or medical person, No, but I have studied some about natural medicines. But let your friend make enquires, try it and be the judge for himself.

Bach


_______________________________________________
God made a few perfect people, the rest are right-handed.

Mar 3, 2009 - 2:15:15 PM

peghead59

England

160 posts since 7/11/2008

Getting back on topic, I have now been practicing the relaxation techniques for a few weeks now, and I can say that my playing has improved. I'm still tensing up sometimes when I try too hard, but things like slides and chord changes are becoming more fluid and natural. I'm not there yet 100%, but, with all the advice on this thread, I'm certainly happier with my technique.

Mar 3, 2009 - 4:16:10 PM

311 posts since 4/21/2008

For me, relaxation starts in the shoulders. As long as the shoulders are completely relaxed everything else seems to follow. I played guitar for 25 years and got pretty decent at relaxing but being new to the banjo......every time I pick it up.......I know its new movements for me and my shoulders start to rise and tense up. As soon as I stop and relax the shoulders again and start over.....thats when I play my best. Its tough for me right now but I'm sure it will get easier.

Doug

Mar 3, 2009 - 4:51:17 PM

311 posts since 4/21/2008

quote:
Originally posted by peghead59

Sorry. Just got one question. This topic has been listed as "sticky". What does that mean?





Just in case this wasn't answered....sticky is a good thing. It means you started a topic that generated enough great information to get "stuck" to the top of the forum by a moderator or administrator so it doesn't get buried. Its right up top where everyone can access it readily.

Doug

Edited by - DougMetzger on 03/03/2009 16:53:22

Mar 4, 2009 - 9:46:25 AM

peghead59

England

160 posts since 7/11/2008

Thanks Doug.

It wasn't answered here, so I had to ask Eric. Seems I started a popular topic eh?

Mar 9, 2009 - 6:11:53 AM

1 posts since 3/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by pdbanjo

Our guitar player who is also the lead vocalist occaisionally gets cramping in his hand. The fingers of his left hand will cramp so hard they actually deform and become unmovable. It's so wierd to see when it happens and very painfull for him. When it comes on he can't play at all and has even necessitated us canceling mid way in a gig. Hard to explain to the person that hired us but there's nothing we can do when he gets one of these attacks. He's been to the Dr. and been diagnosed as possibly having a form of arthritise. It can last a day or so but so far goes away eventually and he is fine for many weeks then it comes on again. He's 58 and never knowing when it will happen has been extremely had for him to deal with mentally. I'm the same age and I feel so lucky to not have anything like that affect me but I feel so bad for him.

PD
There''s so little time and so much room to experiment, why choose to play like someone else? If I were Earl, I wouldn''t play it like me either.



The only time I have heard of that happening is due to lack of oxygen.... due to either not breathing or hyperventalating... I catch myself holding my breath some times under stress... not sure if that has anything to do with your freinds prob... just mentioning it... :-)

Amy

Mar 9, 2009 - 12:47:40 PM

59 posts since 10/28/2008

Dear Rollin'

I am amazed at the quantity and quality of advice you had over your
'Tension' probs!!
Hope you're doing better now. Try to let go of all that inner chatter about being good or better than and just become part of the banjo sound.
Let it go and let it flow, man

Keep Rollin'

Cheers
X

Pick the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth..

Mar 11, 2009 - 11:40:23 AM

4393 posts since 2/6/2003

quote:
Originally posted by breezygirlnd

quote:
Originally posted by pdbanjo

Our guitar player who is also the lead vocalist occaisionally gets cramping in his hand. The fingers of his left hand will cramp so hard they actually deform and become unmovable. It's so wierd to see when it happens and very painfull for him. When it comes on he can't play at all and has even necessitated us canceling mid way in a gig. Hard to explain to the person that hired us but there's nothing we can do when he gets one of these attacks. He's been to the Dr. and been diagnosed as possibly having a form of arthritise. It can last a day or so but so far goes away eventually and he is fine for many weeks then it comes on again. He's 58 and never knowing when it will happen has been extremely had for him to deal with mentally. I'm the same age and I feel so lucky to not have anything like that affect me but I feel so bad for him.

PD
There''s so little time and so much room to experiment, why choose to play like someone else? If I were Earl, I wouldn''t play it like me either.



The only time I have heard of that happening is due to lack of oxygen.... due to either not breathing or hyperventalating... I catch myself holding my breath some times under stress... not sure if that has anything to do with your freinds prob... just mentioning it... :-)

Amy


Muscle cramps can be caused by mild dehydration also.

j

youtube.com/profile?user=downo...ew=videos
I''d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Mar 12, 2009 - 6:07:54 PM
likes this

34 posts since 2/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by peghead59

Hi,

I seem to be tensioning up a bit when I am trying to play at a faster rate or even if I'm trying to play a new tune accurately. The tension is in both hands and my left forearm. This sometimes results in getting the shakes.

What practice tips have you got to get me out of this.



I set the banjo down, pet my beagles and drink a beer. Don't struggle with something over and over again. I often take the next day approach. The next day is always an improvement and just seems to happen. I believe that your mind and body can only learn so much in a given period of time and trying to learn more then it can absorb it just wasting time. I think you can over practice and try too hard and set yourself back. These are just my thoughts but it really works for me.

When I can''t dance with the wolves I run with the Beagles! If Beagles aren''t allowed in heaven, I want to go where they go.

Mar 18, 2009 - 10:12:06 AM
likes this

9 posts since 2/20/2009

Although a newbie to banjo and this site I'd like to add one thought to this discussion. I've been a professional singer for about 25 years now (and I used to sing opera, rehearsing for hours a day) - but luckily my very first voice teacher happened to also do vocal therapy (as in, paid by insurance companies) and gave me assorted advice that has kept me singing without a problem all these years.

Nearly all of what I learned from him about avoiding vocal tension is applicable to any instrumentalist as well, and I've applied it for 20 years in guitar playing.

The idea that I want to put out to you is this: Tension can be the result of our attempts to use strength to compensate for lack of muscle memory.

Think about it . . . when learning a new lick, or trying to play one faster than you've ever played it, you can unwittingly 'bully' your muscles to do stuff they haven't had a chance to warm up to. All the advice about using a metronome and bumping the speed up a click or two at a time speaks to exactly this issue. If you give your muscles - all those tiny, little ones that really fine motor control requires - a little time to adjust instead of pushing too hard too soon, then you won't set up the tensions in the first place and you might just be rewarded for your patience with blisteringly hot licks . . .

Just my 2 cents . . .

Mar 18, 2009 - 10:14:03 AM

92 posts since 1/29/2009

Great thread and very helpful posts.

I'll have to say as a newbie, that I find myself many times having problems with a musical passage or a particular lick and thinking "I should be able to do better than this". While after reflection and a bit of relaxation I realize that I am right where I was supposed to be at this point in time. Starting over with that realization more times than not, helps me overcome what I thought was insurmountable a few moments earlier. And proves to be the force that moves the immovable object.

Thanks Ron and all !

Edited by - OLDWINGERS on 03/18/2009 10:15:19

Mar 24, 2009 - 9:39:28 AM

Alekseich

Czech Republic

36 posts since 7/22/2008

Great way to relax is to throw back your head, open your mouth, then you must pick
Look's funny, but it's very helpful training for me when I feel some tension in my fingers!

Mar 26, 2009 - 11:15:56 AM

32 posts since 2/16/2009

thqat is the best tips that I have head and thiking about it when I play my banjo I soe times tind to tincin up becaus I wont it to be perfict


sunny jr

Mar 31, 2009 - 12:23:51 PM
likes this

peghead59

England

160 posts since 7/11/2008

Mezzobean,

What you say really makes sense. Sometimes I find myself racing ahead of what I'm actually playing, then I get jerky and then lose it all together. I'll keep your advice in mind.

HillBillyJohn,

Darn! I gotta get a beagle now as well..................

Edited by - peghead59 on 03/31/2009 12:24:42

Page:  First Page   Previous Page   1   2  3  4   5   6  ...   Next Page   Last Page (14) 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.3600006