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SurfGuitar101 Forums » The Shallow End »

Permalink I'm Having Shoulder Surgery in March

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After trying everything else the time has come to operate on my shoulders. It's a, do it now or it's gonna get much worse, situation. The left shoulder will be repaired in mid-March and the right shoulder maybe as soon as six to nine months after that, but maybe next year. So, here's what I'm planning.

First, I may still be in a sling, but I'l be able to drive down to Chapel Hill for the Summit in May. Missing that is NOT an option. But I don't think I'll be playing guitar again by then. Maybe?

Second, during my down-time I'm going to learn to sight-read music, learn theory, harmony and composition, and study piano (the right hand, first surgery and the left hand, second surgery). This way I can actually start arranging some music for surf guitar and begin composing that "day at the beach" concept surf album. Yeah, I know it takes years to do these right, but I'll have at least 8 months total to get started while I can't do anything else.

I'll need a keyboard. I'd like it have MIDI, USB for computer connection, recording and a synth capabilities to help with composing, percussion and backing tracks. Plus some decent PC software to do everything in. This will be a necessity while learning everything, since I won't be holding a guitar for a while.

I'm asking for advice from anyone who's has shoulder surgery, and also for pointers about the sort of keyboard I need.

Thanks.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

What is wrong with your shoulders? I have a bad right shoulder, so I am curious.

Personally, I'd get a free piano off of Craigslist and pay somebody to move it(shockingly inexpensive).

And I would get a program like Reason or Abelton Live that can be your drum machine/synth. You will just need a midi keyboard to control that, and midi keyboards don't cost much for a good one. Actual keyboards that do a good job at what you are looking at are quite expensive. Korg M3, for example which I would own in a heartbeat if it wasn't $1500 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWHbl6cHqgg

How much shoulder/arm/hand usage are you going to have after each surgery? Lapsteel could be a good option as well. You need very little arm to play guitar, just noodling around. Just nice and easy finger picking, you might learn a lot that way. When I'm bored I often just lay on my back and put zero effort into playing and just finger pick some chords and play around from that point, it has had an effect on how I play, on how I envision chords, and just view a guitarists role.

There are muscle and rotator tears, and cartilage damage. The muscles aren't completely separated from the bone, but are starting to tear away. And the muscles aren't right either. If you take a piece of raw steak and clamp it between two vices, and pull them apart, the muscle starts to rip; that's what they're starting to get like.

It's a fix it now or face real problems later thing. Hurts all the time. Sleeping is difficult. It's getting worse. I can play guitar but can't really develop the stamina necessary to play a long set. Keeps me practicing for 20 to 30-minute stints over a period of hours instead of continuously which works better.

I've given up shooting and hunting altogether (Can't handle the recoil or carrying gear on long hikes or drag a deer out of the woods if my life depended on it), and I can only take short Harley rides under controlled circumstances because I don't want to risk having to muscle its 800 pounds around in an emergency or far from home.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

To finish the answer, immediately after surgery my arm will be immobilized and in great pain. After several weeks I'll start PT lifting 1 pound weights for brief periods. The rest of the time I'll be using a sling to keep everything still. The usual range of motion and strengthening workouts for a couple of months. He's a sports doctor and this is an athletes repair, so it will work. I will start playing guitar as soona s it's safe.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Last edited: Feb 24, 2012 13:27:12

m-audio makes a lot of inexpensive (but good quality) midi usb keyboards, and like Jake said, get a copy of Reason or Ableton. I like Reason because the interface is like putting hardware on a rack and wiring it up, and with so many different instruments to choose from (lots of different virtual synths and samplers) you can make all sorts of noise. Ableton's sequencer is better, but you mostly just want to make noise while you learn how to read music, not actually create & sequence full song packages, right?

If so, instead of a full virtual studio software suite, just get a stand alone virtual synth. There's a ton out there. You might even get some free ones if you pick up a copy of COMPUTER MUSIC magazine with a dvd on it. Those come with all sorts of free-ware virtual synths, so you would just need the keyboard and you'd be good to go.

Oh, and good luck with the shoulder!

Last edited: Feb 24, 2012 13:31:06

I've got something called Anterior Shoulder Instability, my shoulder is just kind of loose in the socket. Lots of baseball in my day, I threw really hard so that didn't help.

Glenoid labrum tear myself, or damage to the tendons that attach to the biceps muscles. My surgery is likewise imminent. Not looking forward to it either. In preparation, I did get one of these, if that is any help to you:

http://www.amazon.com/Handheld-Finger-Mouse-with-Trackball/dp/B001PLWIOO

Jake, you might benefit from some therapy if that is all it is. There's an execise to help stabilize the shoulder, but I don't know where to buy the thing used to perform it. You ought to have a physical therapist look at

JakeDobner wrote:

I've got something called Anterior Shoulder
Instability, my shoulder is just kind of loose in the
socket. Lots of baseball in my day, I threw really hard
so that didn't help.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Last edited: Feb 24, 2012 13:56:25

Best of luck to you, Noel. Props for taking the opportunity to expand your musical knowledge. I look forward to meeting you in May.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

hope it heals quickly

Best of luck with those shoulders, Noel. And all of you with shoulder issues.

Rick

Noel wrote:

Jake, you might benefit from some therapy if that is
all it is. There's an execise to help stabilize the
shoulder, but I don't know where to buy the thing used
to perform it. You ought to have a physical therapist
look at

Yeah, I've done physical therapy for it. Thanks for the advice though!

Jake, one other thing. I couldn't find what I was looking for, but I did discover there are shoulder stabilizing harnesses. Some are worn under clothing and some are worn over shirts. They seem to average more than $160 and you probably need a prescription to buy one from a medical/prosthetic supply house. If things aren't too bad, they're designed to hold the shoulder in place and relieve stress from the muscles so they can recover instead of be under constant strain. They look like they might restrict motion somewhat, but that is probably part of how they work.

My shoulders were past that point. I tried to tough it out too long and it got to where I was risking permanent damage. If these work for you it's a whole lot better than being in endless pain and needing surgery before things get worse. I hope this helps.

JakeDobner wrote:

Yeah, I've done physical therapy for it. Thanks for the
advice though!

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

My shoulder is fine thankfully, I'm just not going to be throwing a baseball at my old velocity ever again. Thinking about throwing makes my shoulder hurt, literally. I was 19 when I had physical therapy for it, threw for a couple years afterwards, hurt a little then, then I got sick/became inactive and I lost my throwing muscle(velocity doesn't come from muscle, but the muscle stabilizes your arm so a 90mph motion without the necessary muscle is like putting sand in your oil tank). A baseball throwing action is more stressful than throwing a football, soccer ball, or basketball. I can still throw those other types of balls with speed/distance and I can have a good game of catch with a baseball, but not at my full potential.

Sorry to hear that Noel. Wish you were out here. I had two of the best orthopods in the biz-one for shoulder (bursitis) and one for knee (Tibial plateau fracture). Insurance covered the cost. Both got me back to way above average usage.

I deeply appreciate all the best wishes. It turns out I may have a couple extra months of recovery per surgery to study music and keyboard than I thought. It means not getting back to guitar as soon, but it will allow me to learn more before I do.

It is going to be an interesting year. I will definitely have a lot of time to listen to lots more surf music than I expected a few days ago.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Noel, hope all goes well. Any surgery is not fun, but this one looks like it will have a long healing process as well.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

Noel wrote:

I deeply appreciate all the best wishes. It turns out I
may have a couple extra months of recovery per surgery
to study music and keyboard than I thought. It means
not getting back to guitar as soon, but it will allow
me to learn more before I do.

It is going to be an interesting year. I will
definitely have a lot of time to listen to lots more
surf music than I expected a few days ago.

Push yourself as much as your doc and therapist will allow. Make getting well your job!

Good luck with the operation Noel, we wish you a successful and rapid recovery.

Danny Snyder
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party
aka Zync Oxyde of Frankie and the Poolboys

Sorry about the shoulder problems, Noel, but I admire your optimism in continuing your studies! I understand a bodies' limitations to lesser degree, I often have my fingers in a sling from intense pain in the first digit, which is pretty consistent with CTS (I currently have my left forefinger in one now; I was just messing around with the Ventures version of Caravan the other night and had to stop). The wife is forcing me to go to the doc in case it's rheumatoid arthritis or something. Sucks cause I'm 40, so I'm wondering if it will get worse. Anyway man, hope the problem gets knocked out, and that you're back playing your beautiful Jazzmaster soon!

Mike
http://www.youtube.com/morphballio

"This beat is happening. Deal with it." --murph

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