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Dervish

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #1 
I've just started, and either I have a very low threshhold of pain and discomfort or I'm simply impatient.I'm finding it very difficult to practice for a long amount of time due to the pain and discomfort in my left index finger. Do most people simply give it a rest when they're in excessive discomfort, or simply press on in hopes of building callous? After one day, it seemed as if my finger had no mark at all, and I'm wondering if this is normal.

Thanks
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daz199

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Reply with quote  #2 
It will come with time, thats for sure
if it's really bothering u, then leave it for the day and pick it up again the next day, but in the beginning you do have to tough it out a bit to get the callous
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Drew

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Dervish"
I've just started, and either I have a very low threshhold of pain and discomfort or I'm simply impatient.I'm finding it very difficult to practice for a long amount of time due to the pain and discomfort in my left index finger. Do most people simply give it a rest when they're in excessive discomfort, or simply press on in hopes of building callous? After one day, it seemed as if my finger had no mark at all, and I'm wondering if this is normal.

Thanks

Are you using oil?

That will help, a little bit.

Also, keep in mind that you DONT need to push on the string with all your might in order to play the note.

cheers

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
Don't overdo it, play 15min the first day, 20 min the second...and so on. It'll be sore even if there's no mark but don't play until you cut your finger is my advice. Ease into it, increase your time daily and in a month you'll be all set with minimal pain. I'd use oil once you start to feel a hardened spot on your finger.
OR, you can play until you're bleeding everywhere and keep doing it. That works too but I find the first way better. 8)

Don't forget to have fun!
Lars

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Dervish

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the advice everyone

People mentioned oil, and it was mentioned during my first class as well, but I neglected to make a note. What oil that you're referring to?
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daz199

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Reply with quote  #6 
a lil sidenote
dont u hate it when you take a shower, and you can't play? because your finger is all....well u know what happens
:x
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element-82

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Posts: 317
Reply with quote  #7 
I find oil counter productive to developing good callous. I find it softens the callous too much. I would say don't use oil unless you are playing a lot of fast taans and you feel a burn on the finger tip. There are a number of oils to try. Search the forum for some good recommendations. I use WD40, but I use it so rarely I dont mind the smell
good luck
Pb
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Dervish"
Thanks for the advice everyone

People mentioned oil, and it was mentioned during my first class as well, but I neglected to make a note. What oil that you're referring to?

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Surbahar Dude (formerly Sitar Dude)
http://sitarplayer.net
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Posts: 674
Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Dervish,

Most sitarists use coconut oil (WD40 is highly contraversial!!). You don't need a lot - just the smallest dab on your index and middle finger once per practise session. Too much will dull the sound of the string. Most players soak some cotton wool in oil, which they keep in a little jewel case, and dab their fingers in that.

Coconut oil is just used for lubiricating the string - it won't at all help with pain or forming calluses. The pain you're experiencing is normal, don't worry! It usually takes between 2-3 weeks of regular practise before the calluses are hard enough that you'll stop feeling pain. Practise till it's unbearable, take a break, practise again, and they try and practise longer the next day... it's worth the pain in the end!

Another trick is taping surgical tape across the playing surface of each finger (you can buy surgical tape at any pharmacy.) That at least allows you to practise your fingering and coordination without pain, but won't help build calluses, which you'll need to do anyway... but it can help a little in the beginning.

Good luck!
- Rex
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Dervish

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #9 
Great posts, thanks

Especially the bit about coconut oil or surgical tape. Not sure if I'll do it, I'll try the slow and steady path and hopefully build some resistance.
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haldamos

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Posts: 221
Reply with quote  #10 
Hang in there Dervish, as the cliche goes, no pain no gain...so I say just play through it, with an ocassional day of rest.

There is something that supposedly helps to develop the callus quicker: mehndi.

Just pick up a box of mehndi at the local indian store. In a bowl, mix water and mehendi powder to make a paste with the consistency of mud. Put the paste on the finger tips for at least a few hours. Be forwarned, you fingers will be stained a deep orange for at least a couple of weeks. This remedy perhaps is mostly mental. My teacher showed it to me a while back when I started playing after a 3 month break. I think it may have had a slight effect, although I'm not so sure he believes in it (he doesn't believe in shortcuts). Outside of orange stained fingertips, it won't hurt to try.

good luck

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haldamos
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Andius

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Posts: 84
Reply with quote  #11 
Dervish,

Yes, I know what you mean. Being a beginner myself, I am well aware of pain on index finger. Regarding oil, yes, this can help. Of all oils mentioned on this forum in past posts (veg, olive, parachute, WD40 etc etc etc) I've found the best is plain natural COCONUT oil. Doesn't stick on string like veg oil, or gum up like Olive oil. Lars made good mention of building up gradually with rest periods.
You mentioned that despite the discomfort, after one day there was no mark at all. Normal, just keep playing to the threshhold of discomfort and you will soon get a callous/groove there.

Meanwhile, just keep checking on this forum; there's a world of the best sitar knowledge here.
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Dervish

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "daz199"
dont u hate it when you take a shower, and you can't play?
I took a shower after playing once, it amplified the discomfort by a factor of ten!

The first day or two was very difficult for me. Even now after relatively little time has passed, I feel like I have more of a threshhold and can handle it. Either that or I'm subconsciously giving myself more breaks. Either way, there must be some improvement there. Thanks for the posts, everyone
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