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Author Topic: darn the Clam  (Read 3900 times)

Offline simonlock

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darn the Clam
« on: June 03, 2008, 05:03:52 PM »
I really hate clammy hands. I find it nearly impossible to play when the skin is cold and moist. No matter how many times you try to wipe them dry they remain cold, moist and well,          clammy. Your hand sticks in slides and shifts and it becomes incredibly difficult to float around like I do on and warm hands. It would be awful to get on stage with cold clammy hands, which unfortunately is the main symptom of performance anxiety. Any tips from the pros on how to handle this sticky situation?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!
 

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Offline Bill

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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2008, 05:20:43 PM »
Get the circulation pumping. Jump rope for 5 minutes before you start. Just before you start to break a sweat, you are ready. The way you can rip up and down a neck Simon, once you get started, you will be OK.

Or, you could go get some leg warmers and wear them on your arms, but you'd look a little weird [:D]

(Stick with the navy blue,don't get the pink ones).

Hey --you could get a ladys nylon panty hose and cut the legs out and slide them up your arms. You would stay warm and look like you have a tan. [:0]

 You could start a new shred fad [;)]  [:I]

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« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 05:27:03 PM by Bill »
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Offline loumt123

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 05:22:38 PM »
I have a really tough time playing with cold hands...my fingers get stiff and unresponsive. I usually run them under hot water or something. It's been really hot here lately, so it hasn't even been fun to play guitar in the hot weather. I hate sweating on my neck and sticking to the guitar.
 

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Offline simonlock

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darn the Clam
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2008, 06:07:32 PM »
When I have cold clammy hands running hot water over them only lasts for about 2 minutes. Then it comes back. I'm talking about with the slightest amount of pressure on an unwound string and try to slide up it refuses to move. It's really weird that it does this. When they're hot and sweaty they slip.

Ha ha Bill. I'm not good enough yet but thanks for the props :) I actually need something like a sweat band or part of a long sleeve 'T' on my picking forearm. Thats another sticky spot that erks me.



Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!
 

darn the Clam

Offline uburoibob

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    • Bob Martin 11:11
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008, 07:44:43 PM »
Hey Simon,

I know that this will sound glib, but please don't take it that way. You need to relax all the way around. I've read your posts over the years and I think that they indicate a profile of someone who is pretty consistently in self-analysis mode. The key to non-sweaty hands, non-stiff thumbs, nimble picking wrist, basic theory and ear training, and just about everything else is being relaxed and comfortable with current limitations. This doesn't mean not progressing, but acceptance of where you are and being able to allow yourself to play to your ability. There are times of the day/week/month where you can devote your practices to things that are beyond your current abilities, but there are other times where you need to play to your technical limitations to allow yourself to master that stage. Some of it is mental. Some of it is physical. And people have MANY different ways of dealing with it. Popular with the best musicians over the years has been alcohol and drugs. And these are effective short-term solutions. There's yoga. There's meditation. There's Zen studies. Or allowing your spiritual side some time. In general, though, the goal is to let yourself operate comfortably in a couple of ways.  The first is practice. In this mode, you know what you are going for and are comfortable with the amazing amount of work it takes to get there. The second is performance mode. Here, you need to let yourself just go on auto pilot, rather than trying to push yourself. You'll find that if you let yourself be comfortable here, that you'll amaze yourself at being able to play beyond what you thought your limitations are.

Really, I am being absolutely serious here. There are times to cling tightly and give it all you have, and there are times to let go and let all that practice have fun with what you are doing. However you find your way to relax is up to you - but when you find that zone where you can just play, not worry about it, and let the muse take you instead of you trying to take it, you'll know.

Hope you find it!

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
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Offline 908ssp

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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2008, 08:45:52 PM »
Bob is right on the money.

Or you could wear a hat.[;)]
[^]

Alex

Alex

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Offline Bill

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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2008, 09:09:51 PM »
One other thing that might could help. Something I am looking to do to try to break out a bit.

Stop playing by yourself. Practice with others. A lot. Eventually you will desensitize. When you are used to people being there while playing, you will eventually forget your shyness.

At least thats what I'm hopeing.[:I] (Like I would know)

But I still might try the nylons [:D]

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 10:33:30 PM »
This happens at home not performing. It's just something that happens. I imagine it would be a show stopper if it happened live is all.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!
 

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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2008, 11:04:39 PM »
You both have great advice but it's not the direction I want this to go. If it's a stupid question then fair enough. I've asked plenty of them before.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!
 

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Offline onthefly

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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2008, 11:53:24 PM »
I don't know if this is what your asking but......

I will sometimes use one of those hand warming packets (the ones that you can put in a mitten) inside a pocket made out of one of those super absorbent car detailing towels to dry/warm my hands at winter gigs. I just leave it on my amp while playing and go to it as needed. They stay warm for at least a couple of hours.

I suppose you could do the same thing with a heating pad at home to save some $$ (and create less waste).

Hope this helps.

GB
 

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Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 11:57:52 PM »
Simon,

I was not under the impression that this came from stage fright. My answer had nothing to do with that.

Here is a link with some discussion about a similar problem. The answers range from a disease called hyperhidrosis in which your hands are always clammy to psychological causes which would manifest primarily when you are playing guitar. Treatment for the disease varies from cornstarch/talc topical treatment to having your sweat glands or nerves surgically removed. If the causes are not physical, it really is primarily a matter of relaxation.

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=3605

So, you don't say whether you are clammy all the time (say, when you are typing the response to this) or whether it's something that affects your guitar playing only. If it's all the time, I'd suggest asking your doctor and determine if it's hyperhidrosis.

I don't know any other direction to go with this. It's a good bet that it's gotta be one or the other. I'm hoping - indeed betting - that it's not physical.

Bob




2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 12:00:15 AM by uburoibob »
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Offline Lwinn171

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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 12:04:34 AM »
Wash them in warm water. This helps loosen up the ligaments. I always crack my knuckles too, but that's me. To slicken up, I find that dry is good. Talcum powder, corn starch, pool players hand chalk have all been employed at one time or another, when I felt I needed it. But honestly, I usually don't do any of that. The worst is when I've got some tung oil, or other wood finish on my hands. That's the most stubborn sticky I've ever dealt with, and now I just don't do any finish work the day of a show. Even with gloves on, I wind up getting some on my hands.

Hope that helps. And it's not a stupid question.

And Bob, I think that's some sound advice (referring to your 1st post here). We are definitely on the same wavelength. Whether or not it applies to Simon's question only he can say (and I guess he has, politely so, to be fair). But I found it interesting and potentially helpful to others who may tread this thread in the future, so thanks for that.


Lawrence Winn
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« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 12:09:57 AM by Lwinn171 »

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Offline bno

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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2008, 09:35:00 AM »
One other thought to throw in here is that you try one working one of those stress balls or similar type of hand exercise to warm up your hand for a few minutes prior to playing.  Is this a chronic condition that happens all the time or is it acute, only happens occasionally and only under certain circumstances.  Maybe take a step back and look at the big picture to see if there is any kind of peripheral influence; season, climate, atmospheric, time of day, whatever.  I have never personally experienced this so I can't give you a "this is what I do".  This may be of no help whatsoever.
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Offline jazzrat

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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008, 09:38:33 AM »
I suffer from this also Simon. Psychology and performance stress not withstanding....I use talcum powder. I play in a variety of situations, from concert recital, to wedding band gigs, to parade float to outdoor baptism. My clammy hands are a constant issue. In my case is seems to be a more physical thing, probably related to why most strings rust after an hour or so of play (thanks Elixir, problem solved). I keep a baggie in my gig bag that has a dry wash cloth and a little baby powder in it. I don't want this big poof of powder so the wash cloth keeps that to a minimum.



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Offline simonlock

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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008, 12:33:14 PM »
Great idea jazzrat. The ladies love the smell of babies!

This happens about 1of50 times i play. Live it may happen more. In cold weather it would most likely happen more so GB suggestion of the hot pocket is good. In the extras DVD of Dream Theater Live at Budokan Petrucci walks around with these big oven mitt looking things on his forearms.

At one time I had some physio therapy on my hand and it was dipped in hot wax and then put into a mitten for 30 minutes. After that my hand felt incredible. That would be the way to go if you were a Satriani or Petrucci.

I realize I have issues with performing. I would really just like to avoid it cause it hurts. I'm VERY aware of it and working on it. Bob, you're a good friend and I know you're trying to help.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
A Whole Mess of Flys and I Love Them ALL!!!!!