The central principle /8

November 16th, 2019

The basic rationale behind the right hand straight-wrist technique is that if you were to hold the wrist straight, you would have a less constricted carpal tunnel and therefore less likely to succumb to carpal tunnel related injuries.

According to this theory, players like Segovia should have been overcome with injuries years before: just look at his wrist.

And yet the reverse is true. The Maestro played well into his nineties.

While players in their twenties in colleges across the country who are diligently following this straight-wrist rule find themselves with casts on their arms from “overuse” syndromes.

(Players like Paco de Lucia are known to have practiced more than eight hours a day. Would that be considered “overuse?”)

The problem behind many “overuse” injuries is not that of overuse but “misuse.”

Misuse as in not utilizing the right muscles to accomplish your tasks.

The fingers are small and fragile. Trying to derive force solely from them is bound to lead to problems.

By transferring the source of power to the hand and arm, and restricting the fingers to the fine detailed work at the points of action, you’ve effectively reduced the stress on the carpal tunnel.

In other words, by applying the central principle, the problem of constricting the carpal tunnel does not even exist because the actual force that’s applied by the fingers is so minimal.

(The work of the fingers mainly to move the fingers to their playing positions, not to activate the strings.)

In this context, rather than thinking in simplistic one-energy source terms, it’s useful to think of two areas of energy that’s applied during playing.

First, the energy that’s applied at the points of attack. (This would be where the action is taking place, the points where the fingers are actually activating the strings.)

And second, the larger force behind this initial action to provide the necessary power to back it up.

The initial primary attack is one of precision and accuracy, the secondary force to provide the necessary energy to power that attack.

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