Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Bluegrass Shack Public Jam Schedule

Every other Tuesday night we have an acoustic jam session that is free and open to the public. You can come to play, sing, or just listen and it is free. Jam session starts at 7:30 and goes until everyone leaves. We hope you'll come join us! Here is a list of the dates we will be having the jam:

January 15 & 29
February 12 & 26
March 12 & 26
April 9 & 23
May 7 & 21
June 7 & 18
July 2, 16 & 30
August 13 & 27
September 10 & 24
October 8 & 22
November 5 & 19
December 3 & 17

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Banjo Pickers - Splint for Focal Dystonia

For those of you that have followed my posts or know me fairly well, you will know that I have been troubled with focal dystonia in my right hand.  For banjo pickers, it is my understanding that it hits the forward roll the hardest -- and this is certainly the case for me.  My index finger curls up and just refuses to do anything.  This means that much of time I miss the strings that my index finger is supposed to play, especially when it's part of a forward roll.  My middle finger tends to shoot out across the banjo head, but fortunately for me, it doesn't cause an issue because I can always get it back fast enough to play the next note, even if it looks kind of odd at times.  What I have noticed is that sometimes this is worse than other times.  It seems to have an ebb and flow like playing itself does.  There are good days and bad days, but mostly bad.

Now for some good news.  I have come up with a splint of sorts that will keep my index finger from curling up.  I don't know how this will work in the long run, and I don't know if this will cause other problems, but this at least keeps my finger in playing position, even if I can't move it on its own volition.  I move it with my hand.  I know that probably sounds impossible, but somehow I am just able to do it.  What's even better is that after I play with the splint for a while, I can remove it and my finger is better temporarily.  It's like it is training my brain in some way.  Now, I'm no medical expert or anything of the such, but if anyone else out there is having an issue like this, all I can say is don't give up.  Analyze the issue and start trying to find a solution. 

Here is a video that shows the splint and how I use it.