Taking care of your classical guitar hands
There are so many occasions where I have either done something reluctantly or not at all because I was afraid of damaging my hands. While non-guitarists/musicians will most likely understand that you are opting out of an activity because of your precious digits there are those times when many an eyebrow will be raised at your less than gracious excuse.
Moving house is just one example of a potential nail breaking situation. I went through a long period during my early conservatory days trying to find a sport that wouldn’t damage my hands or break a nail. The obvious ones that were crossed off the list first were rock climbing, basketball (which I still get roped into every once and a while), rugby, and martial arts. In a quest to find guitar friendly sports I went through quite an extensive list of increasingly obscure sports. The most embarrassing moment came when I retired from a club fencing tournament because I had snapped my thumbnail off. Hardly a Zorro moment.
In the end, I have ended up playing soccer for the past five years and when I get near a beach I will surf, but to be honest, even in these hand safe activities I have still had the odd mishap now and then. In addition, there have been many instances where I have damaged my hands (swinging on a rope in a waterfall was one of the more stupid ones) and promised myself that ‘it will never happen again, next time I will just sit out’. But yet again, after helping my friend move, I find my hands throbbing and sore.
So the question is, where do we draw the line?
Any daily activity could end up damaging our hands. Should we simply sit idly by with our hands in cashmere gloves, denying any over-zealous hi fives? Or is it foolish to deny a more ‘normal’ lifestyle because of our paranoia?