Last night my guitar lesson was an hour long because the next student didn’t show up and my teacher was on a roll. We covered a lot, and I’m not sure exactly how much I’m going to retain. Maybe thirty minutes is enough after all. It’s interesting to be the student again after years without taking a class.
The scales have become much easier with practice. After twenty years or so of doing what I’m used to doing on the guitar, it’s rewarding to learn how to do something new and actually be able to get better at it fairly quickly. One problem I hadn’t anticipated, however, is a stiffness in my wrists. Like Matt, I’ve experienced repetitive strain injury from keyboard use, but never from playing the guitar. I want to nip this in the bud, so I’ll be paying more attention to my posture, to warming up before I start playing with any speed, and to doing the stretching exercise my teacher taught me last night.
The exercise is a very graceful, yoga-like move in which you start with your hand curled into a fist in front of your heart and then gradually lower your arm, open and turn your fist, and raise your arm away from you until it is parallel to the ground with your palm away from you and your fingers pointing to the ground. The you drop your shoulder a bit and tilt your head in the opposite direction. You can feel the stretch from the tips of your fingers all the way to your shoulder.