Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 12

Today I practiced at the school from 10-11pm. I worked on nothing but major and minor scales. It was good and I still had plenty of mental stamina after an hour, but my wrists started hurting. Both of them. This is not good.

I was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome when I was in high school. After some physical therapy, high doses of ibuprofen, and some minor changes in playing position the problem was alleviated. I occasionally have flare ups, but I hadn't had one in such a long time that I got careless.

Tonight before I practiced I drank a sugary, caffeinated beverage. Both sugar and caffeine lead to inflammation, which is the ultimate cause of CTS. This is just one in a million reasons to stay away from soda. I have no plans on giving up coffee, but I don't usually put any sugar in it, I usually have it with a meal (breakfast), and most often there's at least an hour between the time I finish my coffee and the time that I practice.

Another strategy to deal with CTS involves practicing more often at shorter intervals. In order to achieve this goal I'll have to start practicing much earlier in the day. With a day job and preparation for my move going on, I'm not sure that this is an attainable goal. I will keep it in mind while I schedule my days.

The room in which I practiced tonight had a large mirror. This is part of the reason that I focused on raw technique. I could see tension in the muscles in my forearms when I came to an area of my scales where I felt uncomfortable. Strangely, I would have never said that I felt uncomfortable about any of my scales until I viewed myself in the mirror. This was a great cue as to which parts of the scales needed attention. I felt instantly repaid by giving those spots a little bit of attention.

I also practiced with my tuner on, but not in my direct line of sight. I practiced playing a note (began with low F), listening closely to the timbre, and placing it where I thought its equal-tempered tuning should be. Then I'd check the tuner to see how I did. My concept of most notes is right on! The exceptions were no surprise: my concept of C# above the staff, low D, and the extremely high register is sharp. I need to address this on a regular basis.

I would have liked to have practiced longer, today. I feel like my basic technique is getting better, but I feel like I haven't worked on music in a while. I know that this is irrational because I spent some great time on the Bach on Monday, however, I won't ignore the feeling. I think it's a sign that I'm abusing my mandatory minimums. I didn't know that my CTS was going to flare up today, but I should not have made practicing my last task of the day.

Even if my performance today was lackluster, I still pursued my passion. That's something to be proud of! What did you do today to pursue your passion? Tell us in the comments!

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