A couple of nights ago I spent a good two or three hours playing my poor guitar (bought in March and hardly touched since, due to various personal-life goings on), banjo, and learning Ducks on the Pond on mandolin. (By the way, a very nice guitar recording and tab can be found at http://www.raccoonbend.com/flatpick/tablature/tab_main.html.)
I think I got too tense on the mandolin and started bearing down too hard with my left hand, because when I picked up my mandolin the next day I started getting a sharp, shooting pain in the tip of my left index finger when I put even the smallest amount of pressure on it.
While it’s nice to read that this is not uncommon (violinist.com, mandolincafe.net), it’s an alarming thing… any time you start talking about nerve pain/damage, the big question lurking in the back of your head is, “what if it doesn’t go away?” By most accounts I’ve read in the context of stringed instrument playing, a few days to a week is usually enough for the pain to abate. My index finger is a still a little bit tingly, but nothing like the “I’ve got a gigantic invisible splinter” sensation I was getting the other night. I’m optimistic I’ll back back in business for this Wednesday’s session at The Peoples’ Pint.
It’s especially frustrating because I haven’t wanted to do much else this weekend other than play music, and I haven’t been in that kind of a mood in a while.