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 Emmett on "you might try my 'air Stick' thought experiment" 
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Post Emmett on "you might try my 'air Stick' thought experiment"
Ronny W wrote:
After much thought I am forced to sell my Railboard. The reason being that I have arthritis in my left wrist and I'm finding it very painful with having to bend my wrist in order to reach the bass strings etc. <snip>


BSharp wrote:
Before you part with your Railboard, you might try my "air Stick" thought experiment. Your two hands already know the twist of the fretboard angle - about 35 degrees clockwise from parallel with your body (looking down).

Or before you shave down the belt-hook pedestal to position the fretboard parallel, try this:

- Play imaginary Stick observing its 35-degree twist.

- Imagine that it's elevated and play with both hands up higher, left hand at ear level or even higher.

- Then imagine that it's lower, with both hands around the chest and belly (the visceral approach).

- Observe the sensation in your left wrist as you shift thru these elevations.

We all have different physiques but surely my findings must be universal. As you move your left hand upward, adhering to the same imaginary 35-degree plain of playing surface, there's increasing stress in the tendons of the left wrist and surrounding muscles.

Is it just me? Everybody "wears" their Sticks at different elevations for their own comfort, attitude, image - whatever. I'm the visceral guy. It feels good.

Looking down at your instrument (as in Greg's "Basic Free Technique" DVD with its special reversed camera player's view), you have three angles to consider for posture, comfort and optimum playability. Borrowing from aviation jargon, they are:

PITCH - How close to the left shoulder you hold the headstock, a shoulder strap adjustment.

ROLL - The fretboard "twist" referred to above, allowing you to see the board without craning your neck forward, with all frets in the player's line of sight, as determined by the belt-hook pedestal's angle.

YAW - The fretboard's angle from the vertical, often more upright for 3-fingered melody and more diagonal for the 4-fingered technique, adjustable by the shoulder strap.

Then there's ELEVATION, adjustable by the belt-hook's four settings plus the type of belt you wear and where you wear it on the hips or waist. All the above four elements are interactive to make The Stick ergonomic on your body and comfortable to the arms and hands. Each player needs a different combination of adjustments for "pitch, roll and yaw", also for altitude on the assigned flight path.

So as to avoid sending your Railboard on tangental autopilot for a crash into the sea (now I'm getting carried away), you might want to view Greg's "Free Hands" DVD mentioned above, which focuses on the physical aspects of two-handed Stick tapping - fingers, hands, wrists, arms, maybe even a little shoulder movement. Happy piloting.


Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:10 am
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Post Re: Emmett on "you might try my 'air Stick' thought experime
Thanks for the sticky, Manny.

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:02 pm
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