I have recently gone through some physical problems due to arthritis. As a result of a bad right wrist and left thumb I have had to approach my playing and practice differently. Without going into my obstacles, I want to share something I learned/discovered that has made a real difference in my approach to playing. Because I can't use much pressure with my thumb I have had to use as little pressure as possible for chords. As I eased the pressure I began to really like the sound. From there I started to play everything musically instead of just by rote. What I mean is I started to make everything flow musically. When I practice a scale for instance, instead of just playing the scale I sing it in my head or out loud. I try to make one note flow into the next and so on. Everything now has a melody and I can actually hear the connections between notes, phrases, etc. I hope some of you will try this and give feedback.