In Process; En Route; On The Mend

I can hardly believe it’s been almost two months since my last post. Man, what a slacker I am.

I heard from Ken in February that work was underway on my guitar. Of course I knew the time was coming, but now that I have definitive word that it’s in the works I’m feeling a little obsessive. Everything —and nothing— triggers me to think about it all the time.

In an email on February 25th, he told me “…the back is done: center stripe in, seam re-enforcement in, braces on. The face has the rosette installed and is sanded to thickness.

Against all my rational faculties, I’ve splurged on a plane ticket to Tallahassee for March 27th. I’ll fly in Friday afternoon, visit the Millers, their shop, and my guitar through Saturday, and come home Sunday morning. Ken expects the top to be braced and possibly voiced by that time. I almost feel like a kid at Christmas.

Meanwhile, I’ve encountered a bit of an obstacle in my playing. Three or four weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, I spent about four hours recording rhythm tracks for myself to play along with in practice. Aside from the length of the session, I didn’t do anything unusual or strenuous. But the next day I had some fairly serious discomfort in my left elbow. “Pain” would be too strong a word to use. For lack of a better phrase I’ll say it felt like the kind of “good hurt” people associate with exercise (so I’m told), and I assume it came from spending so much continuous time in playing position the day before.

The problem is that however “good” the hurt might or might not have been, it still hasn’t completely gone away. I skipped practicing for a couple of days, and since starting again I’ve made it a point to practice in shorter sessions to keep from aggravating the situation. There’s been some improvement, to be sure, but the discomfort is still there. It’s especially noticeable if whatever I play/practice involves a lot of fourth finger (pinky) use. I’m also pretty sure the problem is exacerbated to some extent by my sleeping position.

The plan right now is to continue to practice more often, but for shorter times, and to try wrapping the elbow in an ACE overnight. I’m pretty sure this will fix the problem, but if not I suppose I’ll have to have a doctor check it out more closely.