Rubber Band to develop right hand

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Herb Allen

Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Herb Allen » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:27 am

I'm trying to develop my right hand fingers to stay closer together.From what I understand you want them to very lightly touch.So I put a very light rubber band close to the first joint of my fingers.Has anybody heard anything like this before.I gotta be honest it seems to be working very good. Any thoughts? :merci:

oc chuck
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: orange county, ca.

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by oc chuck » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:35 am

I've heard of this but never tried it.

Now I will ( different purpose ) on my 3rd & 4th fingers due to a pinched nerve
in my right forearm. On repeated notes my ring finger has a slight hesitation.

After a ten minute trial it seems to help on some pieces.

Annette
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: Southern Germany

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Annette » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:52 am

I'd never use methods like the one you describe...
The famous German 19th century composer and piano virtuoso Robert Schumann ruined his right hand by practicing with one finger in a kind of loop to hold it up. The consequence was he couldn't play any more at all...
I know that some teachers tell the fingers of the right hand should slightly touch.
But my fingers are so skinny that there would be a permanent tension in my right hand if I tried to bring them together, and I'm absolutely sure such kind of tension would be unhealthy and not helpful for my playing.
So I play with a bit of space between my fingers and it works...
Maybe your fingers are skinny, too?
Yours Annette

User avatar
BugDog
Posts: 1157
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:07 pm
Location: Northern KY USA

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by BugDog » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:12 pm

My gut level feeling is that this isn't the going to be a productive pursuit. I can't see any reason why right hand fingers touching, lightly or otherwise, would have any positive effect on playing.

I'm willing to be educated otherwise.
BugDog
There's one in every crowd.

Nick Cutroneo
Posts: 3071
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:22 am
Location: Manchester, CT

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:38 pm

Herb Allen wrote:I'm trying to develop my right hand fingers to stay closer together.From what I understand you want them to very lightly touch.So I put a very light rubber band close to the first joint of my fingers.Has anybody heard anything like this before.I gotta be honest it seems to be working very good. Any thoughts? :merci:
I've used this with my students for years. Especially for working on excess tension in the pinky and/or a finger. My teacher in college had me do it, and every now and again, if I find dysfunctional tension in those fingers I'll use the rubber band for a few weeks to keep things in check.

Keeping it loose is important, you don't want those fingers turning purple on you! It's a great way to feel the tension built up with an external source.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

Herb Allen

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Herb Allen » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:32 pm

Thank you everyone for the comments.At first I thought I was crazy for even doing this but after two days I think the results are helping me tremendously.
I would like to clarify a few things.
1st) My goal was to improve "splayed" fingers.
2nd) the rubber band is very light
3rd) the rubber band is placed between the metacarpus and carpus area of my hand.
Thanks again for the input.

User avatar
Cloth Ears
Posts: 505
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 9:37 am

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Cloth Ears » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:58 pm

"There's a Rubber Band that plays tunes, out of tune.
In the Library Gardens, Sunday Afternoon."

D. Bowie

Pat Hargan
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:06 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Pat Hargan » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:41 pm

I often practise with a rubber band around my a and c fingers near where they join the hand, but I don't know if it really has any beneficial effect on how I play when the rubber band is not there. My little finger seems to do its own thing, no matter how relaxed I feel.
Raimundo 660E - D'Addario Pro Arté EJ45 Normal Tension

ronjazz
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by ronjazz » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:17 pm

A better alternative, generally speaking, is practicing very slowly and learning to control the fingers by training your brain. A light, not tight rubber band isn't terrible, but think of learning to walk by using crutches. Not that efficient in the longer run.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

Luis_Br
Posts: 2299
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:50 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:56 am

If used well, may be ok, but be very careful using this under good supervision. I know people with serious permanent injury after overusing this, in a way they had to give up playing the guitar professionally. I'm in a hurry these days, when I have time I will elaborate more my view on this.

Jack Douglas
Posts: 1577
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:37 am
Location: Ashland, Va

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Jack Douglas » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:51 am

Hi Herb,
I struggled with that because when I started learning to play the guitar my first teacher was a fingerstyle player that used his pinkie finger as a 'rest' on the soundboard. So I just thought the pinkie was a way to steady my hand over the guitar. When I switched to a formally trained classical guitar instructor she made me move my pinkie finger off the guitar, but then it just stuck out. Someone showed me how to hold my hand in a relaxed manner and I just kept doing it over and over until my hand is now relaxed and I don't have the wild fingers. If I were you I would try the relaxation route as a rubber band will add tension to your hand and perhaps set you up for hand injury.
On the other hand, literally, your left hand I've talked to players that would put a rubber band around all four fingers and their thumb and then open and close their hand under the tension of the rubber band. They said it helped build strength in their left hand.
I think using as little pressure as possible in your left hand will also help relax your right hand.
Set up some practice sessions where you only play open strings with a relaxed right hand and concentrate on your fingers being relaxed and together, not splayed.
Then throw away the rubber band.
JD
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

ronjazz
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by ronjazz » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:03 pm

Super-slow practicing (mm=30) is a safer way to solve those problems than an external device. It's quite impossible to injure yourself playing very slowly and taking the time to really investigate the solutions to "wild fingers". Go for tone and accuracy of attack (rhythmically, that is). Practice in front of a mirror, and take a look at a video or Angel Romero, who has one of the most beautiful right-hand positions of all time. If you can recreate in the mirror what his hand looks like while playing very slowly, you will be able to speed up gradually over a few weeks and those problems will disappear.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

woodenhand
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:05 am
Location: Japan

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by woodenhand » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:44 am

I don't see any problem if it works, and it's just temporary. It's like training wheels on a bicycle: they're helpful, but one should depend on them for the shortest time possible.

Rick-in-Annapolis
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:22 am
Location: Annapolis, MD (USA)

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by Rick-in-Annapolis » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:57 pm

I read somewhere that there are two sets of muscles in your hand; ones that open your fingers and ones that close your fist. I suspect that you should develop both. I also suspect that a rubber band would only develop one set of muscles and hence may make your fingers unbalanced. I recall, some time ago, seeing an advertisement for a device that was designed to overcome this. It was a set of 4 rubber balls, of increasing tension. The rubber balls had cleverly designed rubber bands going through them and positioned so that you could put each of you 4 fingers and your thumb through a loop in the end. You compressed the rubber ball, thus exercising one set of muscles, then extended the fingers against the tension of the rubber bands, thus exercising the other muscles. It was apparently designed expressly for guitar players.

bchi123
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:54 am
Location: NYC

Re: Rubber Band to develop right hand

Post by bchi123 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:56 pm

I agree with Ronjazz for this, I think it's better to work out any sort of hand tension problems at super slow speeds. I remember I used a rubber band to attach my pinky and ring finger for my preparing for my graduate auditions, and I feel it set my hand off balance.
When words leave off, music begins. ~Heinrich Heine

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”