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Can You Feel The Magic In My Hands?

I just noticed this!

My thumbs don't have blisters!

To put this in context:

The biggest problem I've run into playing the drums is blisters on my fingers.  It doesn't get better.  Playing a single song in Rock Band at C2E2 triggered an outbreak.  One song.  I hate that.  Part of the problem is I recognize I'm holding the sticks in a death grip.  But the only way to break the habit is to play.  And I can't play without blisters forming and then waiting for them to subside.

I've tried a variety of things.  One technique was to put one of those rubber finger tips on each thumb.  I still ran the risk of blisters on my other fingers, but it wasn't as bad.  And it wasn't a perfect solution, as part of the thumbs were still exposed.  Plus, it cost me feeling.  But it was the only way I could really play for any length of time.  I tried putting a band-aid on each thumb tip, but they fell off from sweat and fatigue.

I'd been experimenting with a different grip on the sticks that worked okay, but required me changing my habits.  Was taking a lot of work.  I went to Guitar Center and bought some stick grips.  They actually made things worse, and I didn't like how much they shifted the center of gravity on the sticks.

I'm in Walgreens, and as I wander around, I'm looking at the band-aids, hoping maybe there's another design that will work better.  And my eyes eventually wander to the medical tape.  Maybe I just need something to stop the sticks from sliding and I can relax my grip...

...hello.  What's this?

It's medical tape, but it's made of the same material as the spongee-er band-aids.  You know, not the ones that are just a strip of plastic or rubber, but a little strip of thin foam.

I just stare for a few moments.  I have extra 2B's, after all.

I decide to go for it.  I pick up a roll and head for home.

As I cut a strip and wrap most of the shaft of the drumsticks with them (it stretches a little, so I eliminated any gaps), I muse about whether or not I want to try this.  After all, if I'm wrong, I'm going to have a really rotten week.

I ultimately decide, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  So I fire up Rock Band and start playing all the songs I have by Queen.  I figure I'll play until my arm starts to get tired.  That's the cut off -- any more than that, my hands will shake while holding my pencils and pens, and I can't have that happen right now.

A few minutes ago, I sit down at my drawing table to work on more sketches for Red Riding Hood.  And as I'm working, I notice my thumbs.

No blisters.


Yes!  I can get back to serious practicing again!

Admittedly, it's cheating.  Real musicians don't do that.  Then again, I never claimed I was a real musician.  I had a discussion with my teacher when I learned to play the keyboard, and she commented that I was a musician.

I'm not a real musician.

"You play an instrument.  That makes you a real musician."

Real musicians don't buy their shit at K-mart.


Sorry!  Real musicians don't buy their GEAR at K-mart.

Mickey Dolenz told me the most important thing about playing the drums was to go with what was comfortable for you.  Cheat, yes.  Comfortable, yes.  Fun?

Yes.  Finally.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
Phil Collins had to tape his sticks to his hands after awhile. I think you're fine~
Apr. 17th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
Hey, whatever works! I have used duct tape on my fingers when I didn't have band-aids. Also superglue (well, the equivalent, designed to hold skin cracks together).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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