Old 08-21-2019, 09:08 PM   #1
jvizzlez
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Default unresponsive fingers

about a year ago i went on a grind to boost up to d7 so that i could maybe retire in peace or something. not that old, but hadn't had much motivation anymore and figured it would be fun to grind it out and see where i could go. I never felt like i was really overtraining, as I was stretching very often as usual, playing for 1-2 hour bursts, and then resting in between sessions. But after a few weeks of doing that, I found that I was getting worse and worse every day. I decided to take a break, but when I came back a week later I didn't feel any better. I took a month off, and came back and my fingers still had the same problem.

It's now been well over a year, almost two years now, and although I was able to get through a session just fine two days ago (and even, somehow, made improvements to a couple of my old scores), after merely 40 minutes of playing today I felt the same exact problem in my fingers: there's no pain, nothing in my wrist, or forearms, or anything at all. I feel nothing out of the ordinary. But my fingers just won't listen to me. After just a short time of playing a song, my fingers will all just start to lock up, and refuse to extend. It feels extremely bizarre, and is honestly very frustrating. Outside of stepmania/FFR I've had literally 0 issues with my fingers, and whether I use my fingers all day while typing out memos/editing/etc or I don't use them at all, my fingers feel perfect. Hop on a VSRG for two days and suddenly I'm back to square one.

No money for a doctor really, so I'm just curious as to what you guys may think it is or what I should do from here on out? I'd hate to retire because of something like this... to reiterate, there's 0 pain whatsoever, and at the same time I don't feel numb. It feels completely normal, yet my fingers just short circuit after a while and refuse to move. It even happens during extremely easy files, interestingly.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

Try getting more sleep and find more comfortable to read settings

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Old 08-21-2019, 10:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

when u play, how do u normally start your sessions? you should look into trying to ease into playing by gradually increasing the difficulty of songs, starting with just playing easy songs for acc, until about 30 mins or so when ur warmed up

my sessions are generally 30 mins of warming up accing things a bit below my level, an hour or so of pushing my speed etc, and then 30 mins or so of just cooling down playing whatever/fun/weird stuff i feel like

if ur jumping straight into playing things that are hard af for you then u should try to do the above instead and see if it helps
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

oh idk i didnt read what you said about easy files, idk ur just silly i suppose xd

speaking of silly i suggest learning to manip everything and just wrist jacking every pattern that way ur fingers locking up wont matter

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Old 08-21-2019, 10:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

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oh idk i didnt read what you said about easy files, idk ur just silly i suppose xd

speaking of silly i suggest learning to manip everything and just wrist jacking every pattern that way ur fingers locking up wont matter
How to not play arrow game

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Old 08-21-2019, 11:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

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Try getting more sleep and find more comfortable to read settings

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i wish it were that simple... i haven't played seriously in about two years but i'm still affected by the same thing that made me quit before... a friend suggested it might be "yips" and while the fundamental idea behind it is similar, I don't think it has anything to do with "anxiety" or mental stress when playing, as I don't ever feel any kind of stress unless i'm going for AAAs or just general MA stuff (which i never do anyway but w/e). to elaborate more, it's not a matter of not being able to read patterns, or my fingers not being fast enough, etc., it's more of just my fingers not responding to things i would normally play very easily. imagine if you started a file but there were rubberbands on your fingers, pulling them upwards so you couldn't press keys properly. it feels like i've got some kind of muscular disorder or something, idk how else to explain it but my fingers just don't react to what i'm looking at, and it only happens after i warm up for a little bit / play for more than 15-30 minutes. to be fair this is my second day back so maybe it's a little early to judge, but the idea of having to deal with this again is really frustrating as i don't really know how to diagnose it properly and find a way to fix it.

i'm pretty much just ranting at this point so i'm not sure if i'm repeating myself but it's not related to visual stimuli at all, as the same feeling of unresponsiveness would happen whilst just trilling ordinarily, not playing stepmania (but after a session). it's like the feeling of gassing yourself out after a really hard play session, but instead of your fingers going slower, they just become less and less responsive and you can't press keys consistently anymore.

as a final note, i've thought about it being a strength thing too, but even when i do forearm workouts or things to work out my fingers (ie holding a bucket of sand up using my fingers) i don't notice any problems. this is something that happens ONLY while/after playing vsrgs. I remember calling it "finger choking" back then, except instead of a mental thing it's purely a physical thing
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

imagine not playing for 2 years and thinking ur suddenly gonna be the same skill as before

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How to not play arrow game

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everyone plays arrow game differently and this is a viable way to play it too, it depends what u want to get out of it

sometimes u just wanna monkey smash the fuk out of patterns mindlessly, thats why i play o2jam
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

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Originally Posted by jvizzlez View Post
i'm pretty much just ranting at this point so i'm not sure if i'm repeating myself but it's not related to visual stimuli at all, as the same feeling of unresponsiveness would happen whilst just trilling ordinarily, not playing stepmania (but after a session). it's like the feeling of gassing yourself out after a really hard play session, but instead of your fingers going slower, they just become less and less responsive and you can't press keys consistently anymore.
personally i think it is because of visual stimuli, mental state, and ur expectations

as a test/experiment, I say that u should try to listen to a playlist of songs you like, or maybe an album or something, and tap ur fingers on ur desk as though u were playing arrow game, but don't think about it at all, just think about the music, and see if ur fingers lock up

if so its probably some actual physical problem, ye

edit: glancing at ur recent FFR plays they all say forever ago, and it seems u were around level 90 or so... im gonna assume ur playing etterna, if so you should probably stick to low level 20s for ur first few days back, idk what ur playing but if ur pushing urself with high level 20s n shit then it'll never turn out well lol. Also, playing mania uses such unique muscles that i don't think you can judge ur finger strength etc based on things unrelated to mania.. having to trill for an entire 5 minute dj sharpnel file for example is alot more taxing that just holding something lol

(completely unrelated but u seem pretty old school, u talking about holding up a bucket of sand reminded me of those old ass Archowl/mrRubix guides on how to improve, like filling a jug with water n shit and holding it by extending ur fingers... ty for good nostalgia)

Last edited by Dinglesberry; 08-21-2019 at 11:39 PM..
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: unresponsive fingers

If it were me in your situation, I might spend some time off the keyboard (days, weeks, whatever it took) doing light ergonomic finger/grip training and plenty of stretches. You can accompany this with fist clenches to keep blood flowing and to keep your mobility up. Getting the right nutrition (and sleep thanks maple) is also something super important that we tend to ignore more than we should. It can basically cripple you until you get what your body needs. Multivitamins can make some of that much easier if you choose to go that route.
This whole problem might have something to do with your setup on the keyboard, too (imagine using a really weird setup like zc bm with your hands all scrunched up), so don't rule that out entirely. I personally find it more ergonomic to go with a non linear setup like wd ko, and what works for you might not be the same as what works for the rest of us.
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