Monday, August 29, 2011

Pianists and Band-aids

Considering the amount of times I've brandished a knife in the kitchen, I've had amazingly few digital injuries.  Yesterday I got nicked in an unexpected way: opening a peanut butter jar.  As I pried the top off, I managed to slice open my finger on the protective plastic covering. 


Fortunately, because I'm in a job where paper-cuts are an occupational hazard, I have boxes of bandaids (all sizes).  I got to play the piano later that morning with a firmly placed bandage on my third finger. This didn't throw me over-much, fortunately, as there are many occasions in which I've needed to play with bandaging:  

  • Shows using excessive glissandos.  Depending on the heaviness of the keyboard, I occasionally end up bleeding (and eventually developing a 'glissando callous')  
  • Pieces with octaves EVERYWHERE.  My pinkies need reinforcement.
  • Excessive practicing in general - the bit where the nail meets the finger can get quite tender

I've also heard that cold, cold weather can lead to split fingertips (some pianists use nu-skin for this problem).  I'm lucky to have avoided THAT problem, so far.  But I'm curious about other people's 'war stories'.  One doctoral student I know had a serious kitchen accident right before a recital: his response?   "I'll just have to re-finger everything."  Tell your story in the comments section.

Important information for all: remember when in the kitchen - Always curl your fingers inwards when cutting!



Janet said...

Ah yes, we musicians need our precious fingers, don't we? As a professional oboist and an amateur harper, I can tell you bandages can work on "some" fingers with the oboe but not very well on harp. Playing a harp with a bandaid is like playing the oboe with Novocaine in the mouth. Nu Skin does help with cuts on harp playing. Also, I've used Anbesol (same stuff people use for sore gums) if a cut on my finger is too sore to play. Very helpful on those glissandi! Hope your cut heals quickly!

Billie Whittaker said...

Hmmm . . . I've never tried anbesol, but I love the idea. Thanks for your comment!

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Gretchen Saathoff said...

This week I incurred 3 cuts that needed Band-aids, mostly for careless reasons. Oops...

I've heard of people using Krazy Glue. Apparently it's better (thicker) than NuSkin, doesn't resplit when you play on it.

Also, if you do glisses on a keyboard rather than a piano, you can use the palm side of your hand. I made the decision to go with that during the 1st day of practicing the harp part of The Fantasticks. 38 shows later, I can attest to the fact that it worked. :)

Billie Whittaker said...

Krazy glue is a new one for me, also. I love hearing about other people's solutions!

Thank you, Gretchen!