This morning, I played 100 notes on the cello.
If this is the first time you’re reading my blog, that might sound like amateurish bragging. For SRCB veterans who know that it’s been less than a month since I had my ulnar nerve removed from the epicondyle tunnel and sewn back under my forearm muscle (and some other gory Frankenstein stuff that I won’t go into) you’ll know it’s pretty cool!
I’m following my own advice from prior posts and past experience coming off of a long break from the instrument. I usually hold my cello quite high, but this morning, I used about 2/3 the normal length of endpin. I also decided to only play pizzicato, to avoid the sinister influence of the bow, which would just love to tempt me into using vibrato or moving too fast. I played almost exclusively in third and fourth positions, because it eases stress through my still-healing elbow. When I did go back to first position, I made sure to put the full weight of my arm towards the note I was holding down, which avoids thumb squeezing by highlighting the feeling of pulling through the fingerboard instead of crushing the thumb against the neck: something I did for years that surely contributed to this whole mess to begin with.
I kept going, with a goal of 100 notes. 100 slow, thunking, utilitarian notes. I could have done more, but my hope is to make December 23, 2009 the last day I experienced pain and numbness while playing. Today it was easy, and wonderful.