Guitar good for DG?

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Guitar good for DG?

Postby discspeed » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:30 pm

This is a subject I've thought a lot about. For one, it seems an abnormally high percentage of decent DGers play guitar or bass. Also, since throwing discs has been one of the few athletic endeavors that has actually seemed to come naturally for me, I've tried to identify what in my past set me up for fairly quick success when I started playing DG. I was a hard core swimmer in high school, and that must have had a positive effect. However, playing bass/guitar was my obsessive hobby directly prior to disc golf taking over that role, and I suspect this helped develop what would eventually become my snap.

There have been a couple events over the years that had me contemplating this question again and again. When I first started playing, it seemed my snap never became fatigued. In fact, I would often sit in my living room in the evening, after throwing 100s of shots during the day, and "snap" my discs while holding onto them. It just seemed like I couldn't get enough stimulation in my forearm. As time went on I practiced guitar less and less, and DG more and more. Back in late '04 I was really playing good golf and making some tremendous strides in my game. I had won my first tourney (intermediate, or rather AM2 at that time) at my home course in '03, and that really amped me up to get better. So anyway, as the tourney was approaching I was shooting really well, averaging -3/-4 on my home course which was fairly tough. I had an AM1 victory in my sights, and no one in town was touching my scores. The night before the tourney I had a couple of beers and some my friends requested some singalong, so I grabbed my guitar. I hadn't played at all in a couple of months, which at the time was the longest break I'd taken since I started playing. I played for about an hour straight and then went to bed. The next day when I woke up my forearm felt dead. I tried not to worry, as I had played a lot of guitar and disc golf on the same days in the past with no problems. What happened when i got to the course was awful. I had absolutely no snap! My whole release just felt dead, and I couldn't even hold a disc and snap it in my hand like I always did to help warm up. All tournament long I had absolutely no touch (putting, driving, approaching) and I had to strongarm my discs to even achieve 85% of my normal effortless D. It was awful and I played terrible. To date, it was the first tournament I played in which I did not improve tremendously, but rather played worse than my previous performance. It was a huge bummer. The next day I went out and played and I was a little better, but my forearm was still tight and my snap was still weak. After a few days I was fine, if not better than ever. I decided to be very careful about when I played guitar again, and I pretty much stopped playing. I went on to get a couple AM1 wins in the winter/spring and I started throwing as far as I ever have.

As the years past my snap seemed to diminish slowly. I thought maybe I was just getting old. I started reaching back more and hearing an audible snap less (if at all). Last year I started practicing guitar again for a few months, and though I didn't make any connection at the time, I was getting more snap and throwing a bit farther. I got busy and quit playing again.

Fast forward to this past summer...My wife and I had our first child and my DG time was cut considerably from what I'd grown accustomed to over the past 10 years. However, I started playing guitar again. For the past 6 weeks I've been a stay at home dad taking care of my now 6th month old daughter. I've barely played disc golf at all, and not counting this week I went about 3 weeks without playing a single round (a definite record for me), evidenced by an uncharacteristic scant presence here on DGR. In this time home with my daughter I've been playing TONS of guitar...She really loves it. Anyway, this week I got back out and played a few rounds. I expected to be rusty...In the past when I simply reduced my playing from every day to a few times a week I noticed a drop in putting, approaching, and especially my max D. I was a bit rusty, and I've gotten sore in the groin and shoulder areas. However, my snap is better than it was before I took a break! Surprisingly, at doubles tonight the part of my game that felt MOST on was my distance driving. I was ripping my Nuke as far as I've ever thrown anything, as well as getting some very loud snap that reminded me of my younger playing days.

So now I'm thinking that playing guitar has a very positive affect on my game and snap and I plan on continuing to play a lot of guitar along with my DG.

Anyone have any insight or experience with guitar/DG?
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby Leopard » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:48 pm

instruments are good for your game :D
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:21 am

There are lots of carryover skills which can benefit disc golf. The obvious ones are other sports and cross training. The less obvious ones, based on Discspeed's experience, evidently include playing music. I don't claim any personal knowledge as my musical skills are pitiful.

Something I have noticed about disc golfers is a pretty strong carryover from the arts. It seems a lot of disc golfers have artsy talents and interests and personalities. Even creating and watching the flight of a disc has a certain beauty to it which I find compelling.
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby AciDBatH666 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:53 am

I find that no matter what kind of break I take, I always come back to the game and my driving is about the same. My putting is what suffers. I recently have been picking up my bass a lot in the past month after accepting the bassist position in my buddy's old school Metallica cover band. I haven't played disc golf in over a month since before my trip to Austin, TX. It's kind of a priorities rearrangement thing.
I've been picking up the bass a lot most evenings to relearn old songs that I used to know on guitar, and learn the bass lines on so I can get the rust and slop out of my playing to catch up to these other two guitarist buddies of mine. I decided to play less and less dg so that I'm not too spread out with my hobbies and have no time for my gf. We don't get to spend much time with each other because of her work and school, even tho she lives with me.

So anyways.... Yeah. I feel like my bass playing has helped with some of my wrist action in DG. I have carpal tunnel symptoms, so I have a gyroscope in my car that I use for when I'm driving to and from work. My wrist really only hurts when I'm on a computer, but I do the rehabilitating stuff not only to fix that, but to help with my right hand bass strength, and disc golf. I noticed a while back that after I used the gyroscope for a while my grip was MAD GRIPPY!

On a side note, I got my B.C. Rich Trace Warbeast in last Wed.. First time jamming with it with these guys tonight at practice. Meanest bass I've seen in a long time. Lol
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby discspeed » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:42 am

Play like Burton rather than Newstead...That's all I've got to say about that.^^^^
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby JR » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:58 am

I lift tons of stuff at work per day and if I get some days of rest during the summer (rare) I drive a lot farther. I wonder if Discspeed just can't get enough rest like me? I was a swimmer too but at a younger age and what I've got to show for it is tolerance for pain which allowed me to overwork my arm and get injured for life :-( And not a very good balance which Blake attributes to swimmers.

Regarding gyroscopes my strength ball is too large for me and it hurts the side of my pinky. Maybe my grip ain't right but I tire immediately with it and only get about 8200 RPM at best usually. The best two handed result for me is 8705 :-( Science Museum Strength Ball.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby keltik » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:17 am

ooh this reminds me of a joke.

Q: What's the difference between a bass player and a drummer?
A: about half a beat

I haven't played the old 4 stringer in a while. I'm not sure I remember how :oops:
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby seabas22 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:08 pm

JR wrote:I lift tons of stuff at work per day and if I get some days of rest during the summer (rare) I drive a lot farther. I wonder if Discspeed just can't get enough rest like me? I was a swimmer too but at a younger age and what I've got to show for it is tolerance for pain which allowed me to overwork my arm and get injured for life :-( And not a very good balance which Blake attributes to swimmers.


I swam in college and also have terrible balance and flat feet. Im currently in physical therapy doing balance exercises after I fractured my tibia back in May from too much disc golf and trying to play through the pain. I only started swimming after I dislocated my leg from my hip playing soccer in high school.
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby JR » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:41 pm

Sheesh i'm a wreck too. Swimming to a busted body to DG for me. Bad balance wasn't the cause to any of my injuries as far as i know but i wouldn't wonder if it magnified the stresses on my arm prior to it breaking.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby Iman522 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:49 pm

Interesting stuff...Lately I've been playing more guitar and I have been throwing better but I attribute that more to the studying of my form versus pro forms than guitar. But who knows maybe it is helping. (the main problem with this thread is it makes you wanna play both when you don't have time for either.)
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby swel304 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:01 am

I have had a similar experience with disc/guitar that supports this theory. I played guitar in the same metal band for 15 years. Around five years ago we finally disbanded. It left me pretty bummed and desparate to find another hobby to burn up my free time. I started playing disc golf nearly every day where it had been a once a month or so thing for many years. I started strong but over two years my distance was slowly dropping. I finally got so discouraged I quit playing for nearly two more years. Then some of the guys from my old band and friends from another band started playing again and at the same time got some of them to start playing disc. My disc game is definitely at another level when I am playing guitar regularly. My guess would be that it helps keep my muscle memory and focus sharp. And in the other direction I can definitely say that disc has helped my guitar playing. 10 miles of trail hiking a week does wonders for endurance. I've also started noticing that I can wear the tip of a pick (.5 Dunlop) completely round now without rubbing the picture off of it. So the grip strength from disc is definitly carrying over.

The only downside I've found so far is that with 6 hours a week with the band (& countless hours at home), 6+rounds of disc, and 40 hours holding an airbrush every week the callous on my right pointer finger is almost scary! Lol
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby zj1002 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:28 am

JR wrote:I lift tons of stuff at work per day and if I get some days of rest during the summer (rare) I drive a lot farther. I wonder if Discspeed just can't get enough rest like me? I was a swimmer too but at a younger age and what I've got to show for it is tolerance for pain which allowed me to overwork my arm and get injured for life :-( And not a very good balance which Blake attributes to swimmers.

Regarding gyroscopes my strength ball is too large for me and it hurts the side of my pinky. Maybe my grip ain't right but I tire immediately with it and only get about 8200 RPM at best usually. The best two handed result for me is 8705 :-( Science Museum Strength Ball.


I can't really add to the guitar topic, but I can say, I do play better golf when I take time off. I have been playing 1-2 rounds on 6-7 days a week(usually 7), since around February. I can remember I took about 4 days off(in the summer), and went and played a mini at Pease. My distance was at a completely different level, and I could barely control it. Everything was slowed down, relaxed and just crushing. My body is at the point of exhaustion; I can feel a tight spot in my back, and my AC joint in my shoulder is starting to hurt again(tore this last summer). taking the next week off to recover.
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby Discwrangler » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:08 am

I think the answer is two fold.

I play RH and throw RHBH. I think the intricate picking pattern is not good for disc golf in the short term (possibly in total). I think it wears out the forearm and thumb, and isn't a good 'workout' for DG at all.

However, grooving on a jam and letting your guitar play you is much like finding "the zone" in DG. Which is the reason I love doing BOTH. Nothing like being in the zone and creating jams or shots, songs or great rounds.

Guitar is a winter hobby for me. DG is my life. I do both to find "the effortless present".
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby Star Shark » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:22 pm

Another reason, I think, is that the strumming action that comes with guitar playing strengthens the wrist and allows for more mobility and speed on your wrist snap.
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Re: Guitar good for DG?

Postby fanter » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:53 pm

I spent some time thinking about this yesterday before I even found this thread. I do drills to keep my right wrist loose, but I throw with my left. I think the carryover is less from fretwork to discing than it is from strumming to discing.

And if you happen upon my username on YewTewb, feel free to give me a listen! :D It's been a while since I uploaded anything.
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