Tuesday, February 17, 2009

the Road to Corn Dogs

Be sure to also watch my YouTube basic beginner video about holding and using a noter, HERE.

We all have our favorite ways of playing, our favorite picks, noters, chairs, strings, etc.
Some people hold their noters with their thumbs on top. They then use their curled index finger knuckle to serve as a sort of guide against the edge of the fretboard while they play.

Others use their index finger on top, and thus use the tip of their thumb as a guide along the edge of the fretboard.

When I first began using the noter, I used the thumb on top position, it seemed quite natural to me. It worked fine for me for a long time, until I became faster and started playing a lot more. As I slid up and down the entire fretboard more quickly, I noticed my wrist was getting fatigued from bending back and forth at that angle...
During one 2 hour playing session, my wrist felt uncomfortable enough so that I tried switching my hand to use the index finger on top to try to give my wrist a break. My wrist then turned in a totally different position. It felt good! I began to play that way more often, and found that my wrist no longer had issues no matter how fast or how long I was playing. That's how I wound up being an index-on-top player. You may be more comfortable with thumb on top, we're all different.

I became faster and was able to keep up with faster fiddlers and faster music sessions. Some of these sessions at music camping gatherings went on for a couple of hours or more. Though my wrist angle problem had been alleviated, I now began to experience painful cramping in my hand when gripping the noter for long periods of time. (I likely wouldn't have had any of these problems if it weren't for the fact that I was now playing fast and for long periods of time.) If I loosened my grip the noter would shift around too much while playing.
Somehow I had to prevent my hand from being so tightly closed around the little stick. I figured if my hand position was more open then maybe I wouldn't get hand cramps. Two ways to accomplish this were to either get a really fat handled noter, or make a fat covering around the noter handle. I decided a soft padded noter cushion would be just the ticket.

Thus it was that the noter corn dog was born.... (more to come in the next post)

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