After a break of twenty-two days, I played the dulcimer today.
The break was to help my left hand heal from an inflamed tendon that has been bothering me since the fall. For the most part, it didn’t bother me too much over the holidays. It is still a little uncomfortable to wrap presents, do the dishes, sweep, read, and do other things that require the same kind of gripping or pinching motion. And now that I’ve been home and back at work — music work on the computer and housework — it’s been bothering me more. Oh well; we’ll see what the PT says at my appointment later this week.
First I tuned. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, probably because I’d kept it in the case.
Then I played.
It was so nice to play again.
I played “Spootiskerry” for no particular reason, then the original pieces The Hanshaw Trio is thinking of playing in a benefit the weekend after next: “Irksome Girl / Midnight Maze,” “Winter East and Kensington,” and “Harper’s Waltz” (all mine), and “Cherry on Top” (Craig’s).
Then I quit and wrapped my hand in the microwavable heating pad for a while.
I’ve been asked to accompany a choir on a Gaelic song at the end of the month, along with our trio fiddler Jerry, my Pas de Deux partner Lisa, and a few other musicians. That, the trio benefit, and the nursing home gig coming up next week are what motivated me to get out the dulcimer today.
I’m nervous about this Gaelic piece because it involves a lot of tremolos. This is not a technique I have used much (really only on “Fallen”), and I’m not good at it. A percussionist would use multiple bounces per stroke, which would be less hard on the hands. Since I haven’t developed the kind of control needed to do nice even multiple bounces, I either have to develop it in a hurry or move my hands super fast.
Neither sounds like a good way to reduce inflammation.