Friday, July 8, 2016

Random Things #1: Blisters and a Song

Since this post will be pretty random, I've started a line of Random Things Posts. We'll see how long it takes to get to 100, and then…I dunno, I can make a cake or something to celebrate.

I think I have too much time on my hands.

Anyway, I currently have a sense of both accomplishment and pain. Accomplishment because I've gone on to the next level of the cello, and pain because that next level is thumb position.

For those unfamiliar with the more obscure workings of the cello, thumb position is when you press the strings down with--you guessed it--your thumb. It's used to play things higher up on the strings, sort of like this:

Steven Sharp Nelson, my hero. If you haven't heard of him, YouTube the Piano Guys. You won't regret it.

My cello journey has led me to this book, which is currently the bane of my existence:

Don't trust how friendly it looks on the outside. It is evil.

You know that you've gone too far on an instrument when your teacher tells you that if your thumb starts hurting and turning red and you can feel your pulse in it, you should stop practicing. Fortunately the only hard part of thumb position is starting, because you need to get a callous on your thumb, which according to my teacher comes from practicing enough that you get a blister and start growing new levels of skin. Lovely.

That was probably way more information than you wanted to know, but now you have been warned. Steven Sharp Nelson may look happy now, but his thumb has gone through intense agony in the past. 

Anyway, I've practiced thumb position for probably a total of 5 minutes so far, so I'd better get on it. Those callouses won't make themselves!  :P

I've also been discovering Mumford and Sons, one of those bands that has been out there for a while but I hadn't really thought about or listened to much before now. I like how thoughtful their lyrics are, and even if I don't quite understand all of what they're trying to get across, the imagery is gorgeous. Mumford's voice is sort of rough, which might be annoying to some people but I like the air of sincerity it gives to the songs.

Their song "After the Storm" has become one of my favorites. If you haven't heard it, you should look it up!

What do you think of the song? And have you had any painful experiences with instruments? Feel free to share in the comments!


  1. I like the song, yes! Hm piano pain... just stretching 9th and even 8th cuz my hands r small. Violin pain? When the shoulder rest isn't in the right place. And finger cramps.

    1. Finger cramps?? Wow, I haven't gotten those before. That sounds terrible.

  2. U should blog about me. Lots to to tell there.


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