Take Care of Your Hands When You Practice

If you have started studying music, one of the most important things you need to start doing is taking care of your hands. No matter which instrument you have decided to study, each of them presents a challenge to your hands and your fingers.  Also, if you don’t take care of your hands properly, you’re going to limit yourself in terms of what you can learn and what you can do on your instrument.

Exercise vs. Stress

To some extent, just about every musician in the world probably exercises their hands in a way that keeps them agile and flexible. This is even more important for today’s musicians than it was in the past. Most of us type on keyboards with our computer daily and use our hands for recreation. This puts a particular type of stress on your hands and can cause injuries that fall under the category of repetitive stress injuries. Carpal tunnel is likely the best known of these injuries.

As a musician, you’re going to be using your hands in different ways than you do on a computer, adding some variety to the way you employ them. This does not take away from the fact that working on a computer all day will tend to have a detrimental effect on the muscle tone, joints and other aspects of your hands. It is very important to keep this in mind for younger children as well. Often times children as young as 3 years old may begin taking piano lessons, and while this is great it is especially important to encourage injury prevention and to discuss this with the parents as well.

There are many different exercises that you can use to keep your hands loose and healthy. You can look at exercises that are designed for office professionals such as data entry techs, which are specifically designed for those who put a lot of stress and strain on their hands and who need to maintain healthy tendons and a good range of motion. You can also look into yoga and other forms of exercise to find ways that you can exercise your hands so that they are better able to put up with the stress that you put them through and so that, when you pick up your instrument, they don’t let you down.

Calluses

If you happen to be playing a stringed instrument, you’re going to develop calluses. Before this happens, you’re probably going to have some discomfort and, perhaps, even some bleeding. Bleeding fingers, in fact, is something of a proud battle scar among some musicians.

Give your body time to adjust to playing an instrument. If your fingers get very sore during practice, either call it a day or give yourself a break so that they can recover. Keep your hands moisturized and, just as was stated above, exercise them so that you have the ability to maintain pressure precisely. Remember that maximum pressure on a stringed instrument is not always what you’re looking for. If you develop strength and the calluses necessary to give you some protection against the strings, you can be incredibly precise with the amount of pressure you put on the fingerboard or fretboard, giving you plenty of interesting tone options.

While the ears may be what people think of when they think about musicians, remember that your hands are vital tools too; you need to take care of them.