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Andrew Paa

December 23, 2006 at 3:26 AM

Well, I'm armed with a new piece of equipment for my violin: a new bow! It's a Paesold and it's amazing, it's a perfect match for my instrument. Juries didn't go as well as I thought...again. But that's ok. I'm working full time during break so it's hard to practice very much...if at all, but I'm trying. I have a major tension issue in both of my shoulders when I play violin. I raise my shoulers and remain in that position. It then causes tension down my arms and it's transferring to my hands. I have a really good vibrato but this tension is affecting it. It's affecting my playing. It's really annoying. I never used to have this problem and I don't know when it started and no matter what I or my teacher does I can't seem to fix it. Anyone have any suggestions?
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on December 23, 2006 at 8:05 AM
1) practice bent over from your hips (not your waist) so that your head is just about touching your knees.
2)Practice shadow playing IE without the instrument mime of your pieces before you go to bed eveyr night.
3) Prepare yourslef for practicing by relaxing your whole body systmatically. Set a timer to ping every ten minutes (or every five) when yourpractice. Stop and relax the whole body. Start again. Ping. Relax. Start again.Ping relax.
Let me know if anyof this helps
From Charlie Caldwell
Posted on December 23, 2006 at 3:57 PM
What might be happening is that you are raising only one shoulder, and the other shoulder follows because your body wants to be symmetrical. It is just a suggestion. There is one main reason that comes to my mind about left shoulders raising and that is because there is not enough height between your shoulder and jaw (the combination of you violin, chin rest and shoulder rest heights). A reason that your right shoulder may raise is because you might be lifting the shoulder on up bows as you approach the frog.

Practice in front of a mirror and watch your playing is the best advice I can give you. I hope this helps.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 26, 2006 at 2:40 AM
Perhaps you should reconsider your shoulder rest. (Let's not all fight over this.) Also, try a lot of stretching of your shoulders, pecs, and neck muscles before, during (as breaks), and after practicing. Good luck!

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