DGSI has been matching musicians with the right instruments for over 30 years. Instruments are shown on the second and third floors of our shop. Appointments are highly recommended for rentals, repairs, appraisals, and the showroom.

Looking for a new instrument is like looking for a life partner: what you want is "someone" who understands you, supports you, challenges you, minimizes your weaknesses, and generally brings out the best in you. So our first piece of advice is: don't be shy! Knock on all doors, visit all nearby dealers, spread your net wide, let everyone know you are on the lookout, because you never know where love will up and bite you. Our second piece of advice is: get as much information as you can. Look up instruments online, ask your teacher, talk to your stand partner, or visit your local library.

We've created an Instrument Buying Guide that we hope will provide you with some useful information for your search. And if you've already found your life partner and just want to know how to care for it, check out David's articles in David's Corner.

David's Articles

The 3 H's from Hell, Part I: Heat and Humidity read
Call it the doghouse read
On Setting up the Bass, Part I: Strings  read
On Setting up the Bass, Part II: Bridge, Bassbar and Soundpost read
On Horse Hair and Bows  read
The 3rd H: Handling read
About Neck and Fingerboard Alignment  read
On Changing Bass Strings read

Newsletter Articles

Injury Prevention and Recovery for Bassists read
Understanding "STRESS"  read
Self-Care for Injury Prevention and Recovery  read
Warm-up exercises for Injury Prevention and Recovery read

Understanding "STRESS"

Dennis James

In these uncertain times, worry, financial difficulty  and general slips of mindfulness can all increase the likelihood of injuring ourselves or negatively impact the speed of recovery from an injury or illness.  This can be addressed in a positive way by understanding a bit of the science behind stress along with some practical suggestions for dealing with stress. I apologize in advance for a somewhat tedious and technical approach in describing stress in hopes of laying a foundation for the reader to arrive at a conclusion to what may be beneficial to his or her circumstance.

Definition: a STRESSOR is anything that disrupts homeostasis (balance). It can range from the physical (e.g. trauma, lack of touch, injury, surgery, poison, dehydration) to the psychological (e.g. trauma, anxiety, helplessness, feeling of loss of control). It may be acute, chronic, positive, negative, major or minor, all depending on the perception of the individual.

The HYPOTHALAMUS ( a region of the brain ) has the overall function of maintaining our homeostasis, therefore stress has a direct effect on the hypothalamus; hence our limbic system (emotional memory), nervous system and endocrine system ( a system of glands that produce secretions to help control metabolic activity). Our heartbeat, our respiration, our sleep patterns, our emotions, practically all of our vital centers are affected.

BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS are our coping mechanisms; these may include over eating, smoking, sugar consumption, abuse of alcohol and /or drugs; all which may themselves be stressors.

PHYSIOLOGICALLY the stress response is mediated by either our sympathetic nervous system (a short term 'fight or flight' mechanism) or our endocrine system (hormonal modulators with longer lasting effects). Chemicals such as adrenaline or glucocorticoids (a class of anti-inflammatory hormonal steroids) which are released in response to stress inhibit lymphocyte (immune cell) production and proliferation, diminish the function of our lymph nodes, and impede the healing process; hence putting a drain on our immune response which requires a high amount of energy. On a short term basis this is fine. However, STRESS DISORDERS will develop if the response is extreme, too long, too frequent or has unresolved emotional components. The stress response can be as damaging as the stressor. Studies have shown that stress may contribute to asthma, chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, constipation, depression, migraine headaches and post traumatic stress disorder.

Therefore, STRESS REDUCING MODALITIES can improve one's health. They may include psychotherapy, relaxation and breathing techniques, meditation, biofeedback, exercise and diet. From my experience as a licensed body worker I feel that MASSAGE, ACUPUNCTURE, ORTHO-BIONOMYŽ and all other variations of bodywork are wonderful passive techniques for decreasing the effects of stress resulting in a boosted immune system.

In conclusion, how we react to stress can impact our immunity, hence help prevent injuries, increase our recovery rate from injuries and have a positive effect in general on our physical and emotional health. Listed below are several books I have found helpful in reducing stress through creative mental and physical exercises. I have also found these books educational in providing one with a variety of options to choose from in order to have more control over one's life. Please keep in mind that the books listed below are only suggested reading from my personal experience. If you go online, each author's name will bring up a variety of other valuable resources such as audio tapes, CDs, DVDs and references to other interesting books and authors.

A Gradual Awakening
Stephen B. Levine
Prefaced by RamDass
Knopf Publishing Group
Full Catastrophe Living
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Prefaced by Thich Nhat Hanh
Dell Publishing
Using Your Body & Mind to Face Stress Pain & Illness

Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Deepak Chopra
Amber- Allen Publishing
A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams