The earlier reports of the death of "What's Happening" are greatly exaggerated :)
Over Chrissy I took two weeks down South, and then another (working) week up North, so over three weeks I played the guitar maybe twice, for about 15 minutes each time. I was happy to use the break as a test for the left pinky, which has continued to remain "injured". What I can report is that it got better, but after the three weeks I sat down for an hour and it started to go bad again. Just a dull pain when I stretch it too far, or put a lot of pressure on it. Luckily my brain is working again unlike the first time when I did the damage, and I thought "this is starting to hurt a bit, I'm going to stop now" and did.
So the left pinky injury summary to date is:
* If you are playing something difficult and it is starting to hurt, *DON'T* play through, stop, play something different, approach the piece slowly over days/weeks, build up to it.
* Stretching for me hasn't really been effective for this particular injury. Stretching definitely helps avoid cramping when you are playing too hard and muscles are tensing up, but it has made basically no difference to the pinky. I find if I'm relaxed during a session then after the first two songs I'm warmed up; those first two are my stretching.
* Rest, time and not pushing it too hard is slowly, - v e r y s l o w l y -, improving the finger.
Meanwhile, I love playing Super Mario theme! It is a zero flick song, it's all standard fingerwork. Since creating quite few flick-style pieces recently I (a) didn't think I'd enjoy just plucking ever again and (b) felt that too much flicking was becoming boring. Trapped! But this piece is a lot of fun to play, bright and chirpy. Difficult, I won't kid you, but doable. I put two maybe three instances of left thumb bass fretting, I don't like putting it into songs because it is "bad technique". The two occasions I do it there was no real other way to achieve what I wanted. Trust me, when I've worked out a measure I will try and try and try to get it using standard techniques, and if that fails I might first try to rework it, and as a last resort I'll break into the bad techniques ;) There is one part where I bass thumb the 2nd on 6th and two note harmony 5/6th on top two strings, sliding down, holding the bass note. Difficult, I don't get it every time, but great when it works out. Song is otherwise ready for video though, I think you'll like it, must dust of the camera and get recording!
I'd actually forgotten about "Take me Back" until a few days ago. Did I mention I have a list of all the songs I can play sticky taped to the back of my guitar? Once I start playing a song I remember exactly how to play it and what to do...but I can never remember all the songs I can play! I hadn't written that one down yet, so forgot about it. Heard it on the radio and remembered it is still in my production line! It's a pinky hurter, so I'm taking it easy on that one, just once a session is enough.
On the gig front, not good news. Finally got back from one cafe "I don't have a spot for you" which was good at least now I know. Other pubs and cafes yet to get anything firm from. Lunchtimes is as good as out, nobody wants that. If I want lunchtime, it will have to be busking. I'm not amazingly keen to go busking again, but if it ends up being that well it's better than playing to the bedpost and dog.
Since lunchtime gigs are out, and it will need to be evenings (cutting into family time which I wanted to avoid), I may as well open the floor to any venue nearby. There are open mics in a few places within 10kms from my house, but I dunno, open mic is bands, and singers, people doing stand up comedy. Does a bloke playing fingerstyle guitar fit into a place like that? I should go check one out to get a feel for it, but again, cutting into family time.
I've sent out a request to one nearby venue that could be alright, currently not doing live music, but who knows. Yet to hear back.
Also sent an email to another Perth fingerstyle player, Andrew Ellis, he has a regular session and apparently has "guests" from time to time, I could be a "guest"...again yet to hear back.
I tell ya, if this were my profession I'd be starving on the street!
Anyway, welcome back to ramblings. If I ever say I should stop rambling again, remind me that this is a blog about rambling :)