Broken wrist. Or how to cope with not playing the ukulele for 9-10 weeks

Lalz

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First of all: Happy New Year everyone!

I went ice-skating yesterday. Made a spectacular fall that probably scared all the kids around me from ice-skating ever again, and got a just as spectacular fracture (my doctor's words, not mine) of my left wrist. The whole time we were waiting for the ambulance, I kept thinking "what if it's broken and I can't fret my ukulele anymore? What will become of me?? Whoaaaaboohoohoohoo"

Turns out I'm now forbidden to play any music instruments or do any sports for the next 9-10 weeks. 10 WEEKS! Gutted!!!

I was thinking I could perhaps cheat the doctor's order a little bit by still playing the uke a bit but with my right hand only? Any tips for this kind of situation? Maybe using open tunings or placing the uke on my lap and such so I don't need to use my left-hand? Something like that? Anyone has right-hand practice exercises that don't involve holding the uke with the left for example, or ukulele-oriented physical therapy exercises once my cast is off?

Thanks!
 

Freeda

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Learn claw hammer and fan strokes and all that.


And don't push it with the left hand. You want it to heal right.
 

OldePhart

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Definitely follow doctors orders - you could work on right hand technique - after a while the open Am7 chord is going to get really, really annoying - first to those around you and then to you. What you can do is tie a rag loosely around the strings around the first fret. This will muffle them so you just get a scratchy sound and can concentrate on the right hand techniques without going crazy from the constant drone of the Am7.

You can also work on rhythm, learn to play harmonica, or work on voice as someone already suggested.

Good luck and hang in there!

John
 

vanflynn

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Ouch, sorry to hear that.

Try 2, 3, & 4 finger rolls. High to low, top to bottom, whatever.
If the Am7 starts getting to you, tune the C string up a half step so at least the open chord is an A7!

hope you heal soon.
 

Fuzzy

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I broke my wrist a year ago and was out of action for a while so I definitely feel for you. My surgeon recommended getting back on the horse as soon as possible to keep up the flexibility. I suggest giving your wrist a test drive as soon as the cast/splint/wrapping/whatever comes off, but TAKE BABY STEPS!!

Uke playing is great physical therapy!
 

GinnyT11

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Oooooh, Lalou, I'm so sorry! There you were, just having fun, and now you must adjust but that's what humans do very well. There are some great exercise ideas here for you.

Sending good healing wishes your way.
Ginny
 

Big_e

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Take up the flute or tin whistle while you heal up. A warning, tin whistle leads to another dangerous acquisition syndrome and will lead to more dangerous stuff like flutes. The tin whistle lead me down the path of the bansuri, khlui and quena. I 've got my eye on a shakuhachi.

PS: There is a knowledgable and friendly support group (Chiif & Fipple forum) for sufferers but but as large or lively as the underground. They do help when they can.
 

Lalz

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Thanks everyone for your support and great advices!!

I'll do exactly as you guys say: practice more singing (I actually joined a shapenote singing group recently), more theory, mute the strings the way OldePhart recommended and work on all these right-hand techniques you've listed (slide, George Formby strumming etc). Actually when I think of it, using my cast to hold a uke's neck up could be a great way to make sure I keep my wrist elevated to avoid swelling. Then maybe I should take this opportunity to dust off those vintage drum machines I've been neglecting lately. Only one hand required!

Breaks my heart that I won't be able to play and restring my new Pono and Mainland I'm waiting for once they arrive. Sniff! :iwant:

Here's my updated new year's resolution though: next time I do any sport, dancing, stilt-walking or even just cross the street, I'm using wrist guards, a helmet and kneepad. Nothing less! :)
 

GinnyT11

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Remember Lalou, the doctor said it was a SPECTACULAR fracture, so maybe you're actually off to an exceptional year!
 

OldePhart

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Take up the flute or tin whistle while you heal up. A warning, tin whistle leads to another dangerous acquisition syndrome and will lead to more dangerous stuff like flutes. The tin whistle lead me down the path of the bansuri, khlui and quena. I 've got my eye on a shakuhachi.

PS: There is a knowledgable and friendly support group (Chiif & Fipple forum) for sufferers but but as large or lively as the underground. They do help when they can.

Both flute and tinwhistle require two hands, though... I agree with the WAS danger, though...

John
 

Ukulele JJ

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after a while the open Am7 chord is going to get really, really annoying

I guess when he gets tired of Am7, he could just switch to a C6. :)

Anyhoo, there are plenty of things a person can do for 10 weeks to improve as a ukulele player:

  • Work on fingerpicking patterns, as mentioned
  • Practice one-handed harmonics
  • Listen--and I mean really listen--to a bunch of music
  • Mentally learn a solo so well that you can sing it from memory (you can work on playing it latter--getting it your head is always the first step)
  • Singing lessons, as mentioned
  • Keyboard lessons, at least where the right hand is concerned
  • Listen some more
  • Study music theory (how rhythms are notated, how scales work, how chords are constructed and named, etc.)
  • Figure out the Nashville Number System (why more ukulele folks don't use this is beyond me)
  • Learn some new, music-related software (Audacity, MuseScore, etc.)
  • Did I mentioned listening?

Handle these 10 weeks right and you may find that busting your wrist was the best thing to happen to your uke-playing!

JJ
 
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Lalz

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Remember Lalou, the doctor said it was a SPECTACULAR fracture, so maybe you're actually off to an exceptional year!

Haha, that's the exact word the doctor used, and after looking at the x-rays I have to agree with him :eek:
What can I say? I excel at all things, even at breaking my own bones! :rock: lol
 

vanflynn

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How about setting the Uke on your lap and using the cast for slide ukulele?:p
 

Lalz

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I corrected a couple of misspellings... ;)
Great list! I'm already very much into points 3(/7/11), 5, 7, 8 and 10 but could use more of points 1, 2, 4 and 9. What is the Nashville number system? Whatever it is, I want to learn it!

I guess when she gets tired of Am7, she could just switch to a C6. :)

Anyhoo, there are plenty of things a person can do for 10 weeks to improve as a ukulele player:

  • Work on fingerpicking patterns, as mentioned
  • Practice one-handed harmonics
  • Listen--and I mean really listen--to a bunch of music
  • Mentally learn a solo so well that you can sing it from memory (you can work on playing it latter--getting it your head is always the first step)
  • Singing lessons, as mentioned
  • Keyboard lessons, at least where the right hand is concerned
  • Listen some more
  • Study music theory (how rhythms are notated, how scales work, how chords are constructed and named, etc.)
  • Figure out the Nashville Number System (why more ukulele folks don't use this is beyond me)
  • Learn some new, music-related software (Audacity, MuseScore, etc.)
  • Did I mentioned listening?

Handle these 10 weeks right and you may find that busting your wrist was the best thing to happen to your uke-playing!

JJ