How do I keep my fingers agile in cold weather?
May 20, 2006 11:50 AM   Subscribe

How do I get rid of stiffness from my fingers?

I'm a guitarist who just started learning the banjo, and since I live in a rather cold climate, I'm experiencing problems keeping my fingers agile.

This is mainly a problem while playing the banjo and fingerstyle acoustic guitar, since the fingers on my right hand needs to be moving fairly fast.

When I spend any extended amount of time outside, the stiffness tends to last for hours after, and I therefore cannot play as well as I otherwise would. My fingers hurt and feel generally sluggish compared to normal.

Maybe fingerstyle and bluegrass simply aren't meant for Icelandic climes.

Any exercises or other remedies?
posted by Zero Gravitas to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Glucosamine supplements have really helped my stiff, aching fingers. I just buy the store brand and take as directed.
posted by headspace at 12:03 PM on May 20, 2006

Heat the rest of the hand? (Wool mittens, put ultrasmall hotpacks inside, fingertips cut off).
posted by uni verse at 1:57 PM on May 20, 2006

On days you're not playing, wear the thinnest gloves that you can tolerate or no gloves at all when outdoors. Over time, your hands will acclimatize to the cold. On days you plan to play, wear thicker gloves to keep your hands warm. And finally, just carry on playing. Your hands will adapt -- the human body is incredibly versatile.
posted by randomstriker at 3:55 PM on May 20, 2006

I've not tried playing banjo in iceland, but back when I was a broke college student living in poorly insulated houses fingerless gloves took a lot of the stiffness and pain out of my typing.

You might also want to avoid cafeine, which reduces peripheral circulation and/or maybe drink a little booze, which increaces peripheral circulation.
posted by Good Brain at 4:12 PM on May 20, 2006

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