#1
My wife is a massage therapist turned reflexologist. Reflexology focuses on the hands, the feet and the ears only. So she is now, to some extent, a hand massage specialist, and one of the best in the area, she's on the Board for the Ass'n of California Reflexologists, and is working on a national specialty / certification.

Since I've been teaching myself guitar the last 2 1/2 years, I've definitely had times I get sore from playing too much, not stretching, etc., and a hand massage works wonders. I googled this topic and found recommendation for hand stretching, warm ups, and also for hand massage. Massage relaxes the hand muscles, which helps for reach, dexterity, speed, and basic career longevity. I think some musicians may hit a plateau or wall in terms of their speed or dexterity because by not taking care of their hands properly, the muscles of the hand and fingers are tighter and less supple. It seems a no-brainer if you rely on your hands for your income/career, you want to do what it takes to keep them as healthy as possible.

So I had the idea that perhaps my wife should try to develop a niche specialty / client base doing hand massages for professional guitarists, perhaps other musicians who rely on their hands. We're in Los Angeles, so there are a lot of professional musicians around us.

But, the bottom line is, I've never heard of this as a career. I have no idea if successful professional guitarists regularly get hand massages, whether this market already exists and, if so, is pretty full of hand massage specialists (or maybe the people servicing this market are just run-of-the-mill massage therapists such that my wife would have an advantage given her specialization). Or maybe this just does not exists, is not something musicians think of doing, and it could be a new, untapped market. I mean, if a record label signs a band, I think it would make sense if they arrange to pay for weekly or biweekly hand massage therapy for the band members, but that's just me, I kind of doubt that actually happens.

I have no clue how to do market research, so I guess putting a post on here the only thing I could think of to try to get some first-hand info from professional guitarists on whether this sort of thing is common, maybe this market that already exists and is being fully serviced... If so, does anyone know if the people serving this market are true hand massage specialists like my wife, or maybe just run-of-the-mill massage therapists who got into this area because they like the money, like the idea of working on musicians, etc., in which case some one like my wife might be able to carve out some of the market share given her specialization / experience.

Well, if anyone has anything constructive to offer, let me know. I guess this thread is also ripe for some off-color jokes, comments or insults or whatever...if that floats your boat, feel free (but try to make it funny).

Ken
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#2
how would happy endings work?

also i guess the success of it depends on how au fait guitar players round you are with the scientific method...
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#3
What?

I have never bothered with any of this, just warm up playing some basic licks. Most people hit walls because of poor technique which leads to tension, professional players already have decent/good techinques and likely wouldnt need these hand massages. You are overthinking it.
#4
I haven't heard of this before. It's an interesting idea.
I wouldn't be put off just yet, if I were you. Explore it :-)
#5
Quote by tappooh
What?

I have never bothered with any of this, just warm up playing some basic licks. Most people hit walls because of poor technique which leads to tension, professional players already have decent/good techinques and likely wouldnt need these hand massages. You are overthinking it.


Not necessarily. Not all pros are necessarily particularly physically capable.

I do agree that this is probably a bit too niche to be a viable business model though; even if it is worth it you'll probably have to do a massive marketing campaign or a seriously slow-burning word of mouth thing to really get this working as a business. It's probably something that you'd put as a bullet point on other marketing material if anything: "specialising in musicians' hands" or similar.
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#6
I'm a big believer in this. I will do stretches, massage my hands, and if I'm lucky that day, my wife will give me a shoulder massage before I sit down to play. I believe it makes a big difference. There's tension due to bad technique, but even if you have decent technique you can inherit a lot of tension from the state the rest of your body is in. One thing that led me to believe this is that I've noticed a consistent difference in the quality of my practice on work nights after I've been sitting at a computer all day at work, compared with morning practice and weekends. Massages from a trained professional would be even better because it would help with recovery between heavy practices.
To echo Zaph though, the problem I see is how narrow a niche this is. We're talking very serious guitarists, and those that have the money to drop, I'm guessing 50-100/hr?, several times a week. One possible avenue is record labels. If they are paying for studio time and the musicians are hitting it very hard, then fatigue is going to start being an issue once they're more than a few days in. So you could argue that they will save money because there will be less takes to get stuff right due to less fatigue. But man, it's going to take work...