Muscles Burning in My Neck!

March 24, 2004 at 06:39 AM · I've been using the Kun shoulder rest for 8 years now, and I've had no problems with it until a few short days ago...Now I feel like I've never even held a violin before...It's so awkward and uncomfortable! And when I try to get a few hours of practicing in, my muscles in my neck feel like they're burning! OUCH! Does anyone have any comments about this?

Replies (30)

March 24, 2004 at 06:52 AM · Maybe your neck is saying "I don't want to be restricted by a clamping shoulder rest any more, let me free". Check out all the postings on playing without a shoulder rest.

I'm only semi-serious. If it keeps hurting, see an Alexander Teacher.

March 24, 2004 at 07:39 AM · Do you have a long neck? I recommend a Wolf Forte Secondo...they're the best. Kun is for short necked people...

March 24, 2004 at 07:33 AM · I agree with Susan, and here's why:

I have 2 jobs at the moment: IT consultant and Dogwalker...

Combine this with the violin and (for me) it'a pretty fulfilling life: IT (intellectual), Dogs (physical), violin (creative/emotional)...However...Then consider the potential down-sides:

IT (bad posture for long hours at the keyboard), Dogs (tugging in all directions...Ow!), violin (odd position, repetition, etc...).

What I'm getting at here, is have you considered other factors in your life? Started a new job that has different physical demands than you are used to, etc...?

With the exception of the dogs, the Alexander technique can help you with all the aspects I just mentioned.

I have already shown my ineptitude at describing my Alexander experience, so I won't try here, but just check out the Alexander thread (Susan, Alison and Buri all have some good advice!) and find a good teacher.

March 24, 2004 at 08:03 AM · Susan: It's funny, my Alexander teacher (also violinist) uses a pad as well and I'm thinking of checking it out myself.

Adam: Wolf huh?...If the pad doesn't work for me I may check one out (the Kun has never fealt right! and I do have a fairly long neck...).

March 24, 2004 at 04:30 PM · A Kun worked for me for awhile, but then I had seriously problems with my neck, because I have a very long neck. I second the forte second wolf rest.

March 24, 2004 at 07:19 PM · artino is decent too

March 24, 2004 at 08:26 PM · Yep. I'm all for the Wolf, too. Also try folding a small towelled wash cloth ( a brand new one, that is!!!) around the chin rest and shoulder rest of your violin. I find that this makes things really comfortable and gives a good deal of extra padding. Also, as it is fluffy it gives a better grip. Just make sure you buy some bold colours so that your family can distinguish it from the household bath accessories!;-)

Susannah

March 24, 2004 at 08:35 PM · Well, I'll say it again: If you have a long neck, how does a high shoulder rest help? Only if you want the violin floating well above your collarbone, pivoting on the rest.

Instead, I like placing the vln firmly on my collarbone, then filling the gap between vln and jaw with a *higher chinrest*.

If you then still want a shoulder rest between instrument and shoulder, I'd find one that doesn't upset that stable base of instrument on collarbone.

March 24, 2004 at 09:52 PM · Susan, I think everyone is different, and having personally tried a higher chin-rest, I much prefer a higher shoulder rest. Everyone is built differently, and is comfortable with different set ups. It's a completely indiviudual thing, just like everyones interpretations of a piece. Some are more similar then others, and others are very very different.

March 24, 2004 at 10:47 PM · If I had the violin resting on my collarbone all the time (with no Wolf rest), I would have to bend my neck down SOOOOO much for my jaw to even slightly touch the chin rest.

No way... for long-necked fiddle players at least, this is a recipe for disaster.

-Andrew

March 25, 2004 at 07:09 AM · But Andrew, this is exactly what I'm saying: if you want the violin on the collarbone (as most schools seem to recommend), and you have a long neck, you need to fill that space - ie a high chinrest. Or else bend your neck uncomfortably.

But sure, Kelsey, if you don't want the violin on your collarbone, a high shoulder rest could be ok. I find it makes the instrument far less stable for me.

March 25, 2004 at 07:15 AM · Does anyone know the "Play on air) a inflatable cushion .It solves problem of long neck and does not absorb sound to much. I dont know if it easily available .

March 25, 2004 at 08:28 AM · Make sure you don't fall into the trap of having your left shoulder rising....thus your whole neck shoulder area becomes tense. Get the pad or the Wolf... to keep the left shoulder back and your wo\hole neck relaxed.

March 26, 2004 at 07:21 AM · Low shoulder is not the only factor to account:shape of the hand that must form an arch shape,position of the wrist,prono-supination of the hand and so on are factors that may cause shouler-neck pains. Misunderstood relaxation of the shoulder may be as much harmful than rised shoulder.

March 26, 2004 at 11:05 AM · Greetings,

too right Alain. One of my pet hates is the instruction 'relax your shoulders' Teh student drops them forward and down compressing the rib cage, screwing the breathing and so forth. The relaity is thta if we are goignt o raise our arms then the shoulders go up too,

Cheers,

Buri

May 19, 2004 at 11:35 AM · The Kun worked well for me once, but this new violin has a differently set-up chin rest that is killing my collar-bone. A friend recommends the "Strad-Pad".

May 20, 2004 at 03:58 AM · Greetings,

the Strad Pad is very helpful. A cheaper alternative is a soft piec eof chamois leather, often sold for cleaning cars,

Cheers,

Buri

May 20, 2004 at 05:45 PM · Bravo, Buri! I'm on my way to AutoZone. (My car wishes it would get such care) ~AB

May 20, 2004 at 08:24 PM · im strongly against shoulder rests...they're the devil;)but this has been discussed a million times so im not going to get into it...

whatever u decide to do, stop practice if soemthing hurts or there is tension. it just causes problems with no results; just damage. i dont know much about shoulder rests but try different ones to see what best suits you i guess. i would recommend a sponge~but i use nothing:)

January 16, 2005 at 05:16 AM · The purpose of a shoulder rest is easily misunderstood. It is not intended to lift the violin off the collarbone but should simply fill space between shoulder and instrument. A long-necked player who must lower the head considerably to contact the chin rest needs a higher chin rest.

The shoulder rest is also not for clamping the violin between shoulder and chin, but merely to offer stability and gentle support.

I'm in favor of a shoulder rest that is light-weight and not rigid. The less you notice it or rely on it, the better.

January 16, 2005 at 04:08 PM · The first thing you should do when you have pain great enough to make you stop playing that doesn't go away after a rest of a day or two is go to the doctor! Preferably a neurologist and get a good examination of your spine. Playing the violin wrong for hours and hours a day can cause disc problems which can become serious enough to need surgery. Rule that out first and then find a good physical therapist who deals with sports injuries to learn how to heal the muscles that have been injured.

Buri, I have to disagree with you here. The shoulder girdle is the weakest area of the body and without fail in shoulder injuries (which this one could likely be) a physical therapist would advise a patient to NEVER lift their arms above shoulder level while the injury heals.

If you eat a bowl of cereal you do not lift your shoulder up everytime you raise your elbow to get your hand to your mouth. Yet violinists do that hour by hour on the violin (wrongly). We get so used to the feeling of moving our shoulder up when we move our arms up that we fail to distinguish when that movement is unnecessary. In fact, in most hyperextended movements in sports (of which the violin motions are one) an athlete is advised to keep the shoulders down while performing the movement.

Of course, I learned all this in rehab from neck surgery. What I was taught was to pull my shoulder blades down and then to try to make them meet in the center of my back (be sure you watch in the mirror when you do this - often when people pull their shoulders together, they raise them again). That tightens the rhomboid muscles between the blades and around the spine and makes you stand up straight (something most violinists do not do). When you do that be sure to tuck your chin down and in toward your neck, elongating the back of the neck - like making the top of your head flat, or pulling up the back of your head like a marionette. The end result is that the chest should open ballerina or military style and you should get about two or three inches taller.

There are exercises to strengthen these muscles but you can strengthen them just from doing this tightening and holding on a regular basis throughout the day.

In weight training, if you do any upper body exercises involving the arms you are well advised to keep these muscles tight (shoulders down and back) at all times in order to put the focus on the muscle you are actually working. We use our traps (upper muscles on the shoulders) to take over almost every other muscle's job in our upper body (including our abs)!

So I teach all my kids to pull their shoulders down and back when they are playing. You can certainly lift your elbow up to all the levels of the bow and keep your rhomboid muscles tight and in use the whole time. This actually frees up your arms to MOVE, which is what you need them to do on the violin.

Also, the rhomboids and traps are an agonistic muscle system. If the rhomboids (muscles between the shoulder blades) are tight then the traps cannot be tightened (in other words the shoulders cannot be lifted) without releasing the rhomboids. When I learned this simple thing in physical therapy (where I was quite offended when the therapist first said, "well, before anything else, let's fix your posture!") my violin playing changed immensely and the pain of playing never came back (course my disc problem had to be fixed first as well).

Pain is not something to be pushed through. It is a clue! Your body is telling you that something is drastically wrong and needs to be changed pronto! Ignore it long enough and you'll have serious consequences later on.

Lisa

January 16, 2005 at 11:52 PM · Greetings,

Lisa, I am not sure what you are disagreeing with here. I didn`t mention raising the arms above the level of the shoulder.

Down and back is not correct unless the shoulders are already collapsed too far forward in which case this instruction would be correct.

The shoulder joint does point slighly forward. taht is easy enoug to prove. One can delibertaely put them down and back , bend the elbow at 90 degrees andtry raisung the arm over ythe head by elevating the humerus. It isn`t possible. point the joint slighly forward (stupid and confusing instruction that stands for its naturla position) and ththe arm will raise smoothly right over the top of the head because the shoulder joint is in its optimum position. This is what a `rising block` is in karate when someone is tyring to puch you in the face....

The idea of letting the head drop forward slighly to elongate the muscles at the back of the neck is, as far as I am ocncerned , incomplete and slighly hazardous. In Alexander technique the correct postion of the head via mental work on the positon of the top of the spine leads to consequent releas eof the spine for greater height, witthout the muscualr operations you describe, is `forward and up.` Without this basic mechanism in place instructions that are largely external are , in my opnon somewhat cosmetic. They also do not allow for evry humans misuse of the kieasthetic sense which makes us think we are doing one thing with our body when it is actually something else. That is why the hand sof an Alexande rteacher are used to guide without words until the bodt remembers what it is supposed to do and then out consciousness can take over.

As always the problem in disucssin this is thatlanguage is misleading. If, as in Alexander Technique, the head is balanced on the spine correctly (at a given moment - there is no `correct psoiton` as such` and the back is expanded then the shoulders and arms are autonmatically in the right position.

I salute your more detailed analysis of what we rae wrking with. It is unhelpful to use expressions like raising the shoulder. there are a lot of different muscle groups and a lot of players are unaware of any distinction between deltoids and traps for example. So, whereas `bad ` raising IE contracting the traps is death to playing , it is not possible to rais the arm without some slight upward movement in the deltoid area. This does not constitute raising the shoudler.

Cheers,

Buri

January 17, 2005 at 12:03 AM · Greetings,

but I gave you a star so you could start the day in a warm and fuzzy way!

Cheers,

Buri

January 17, 2005 at 04:41 AM · Tae-Hee Im,

It's been said before, many times on this site, but other areas of your body may need attention. I think the cause may be in what has happened to you within the recent past. As your post states that you did not have this problem with the rest for 8 years, I don't think it is the rest, but someting else that you have begun to do with your body --recently. Are you playing in a different way --standing when you used to sit, wearing new shoes or shoes you usually don't wear while practicing, standing on concrete or a hard surface when you previously had been on a suspended floor, & etc.? Have you been injured in an accident recenlty?

These are the types of questions you should ask yourself before looking at the shoulder rest as a possible cause of your ailment.

January 17, 2005 at 04:42 AM · Greetings,

what Andrew says is very true. We can pick up `odd` habits real fats without realizing it. You might have just done a three hour rehearsal on a crokked chair and carried the compensation over into the practice room for example... One of the roles of the teacher is to watch you play and say `did you know you have started playing with yer thumb up yer bum this week.`

Cheers,

Buri

January 17, 2005 at 06:29 AM · Greetings,

been trying to figure out if there is any difference between Lisa and my approach all day and concluded we don`t actually disagree about the shoulder joint at all.

The paraphrased discussion in The Athletic Musician which illuminates Lisa`s point is roughly as follows I think.

However werll you play the violin it will cause a condition of muscular imbalance without remedial action. The reason for this is thta raising the arms is the equivalent of a weight training exercise and the reuslt is shortened pecs and deltoids which pulls the connection of the upper arm too high and too far forward. These huge muscles cannot be counteracted by the tinyinfra spinatus and teres minor muscles which essentially give up the ghost. hence the need for a down and back instruction to rectify it plus trainig for those small muscles.. In order to do this quote:

`hold a piece of elastic or a 7kg spring with handles between your hands, elbows bent at 90 degrees.

lift your chest bone, the sternum, so that your shoulders drop backward a litlte and are relaxed. The horizon of youer shpoulders between your neck and the points of your shoulders should be equally relaxed.

Look at youre upper arms. Imagine the ball at the top of each one, in the shoulder jpoint, and pull each ball down half an inch in the socket.

....Practice this almost invisibnle movement until you can see the move43ment in your minds eye as welll as feeling it happening inside the shoudler joint.

Now, having first pulled the balls down in the socket pull them 6mm back in the sockets. Very litlte movement should be seen in the mirror. Pracitce this until you can easily do boytj movements in succseesion. Practice this a lot.

Now, keeping your elbows tightly at your sides stretch the spring or elastic slowly. Slowly return to the starting position. Watched from behind one can see the muscles covering the lower two thirds of the shoulder blades expanding and contracting.`

End quote.

Hope this is of some help.

Cheers,

Buri

January 17, 2005 at 07:07 PM · Don't know how relevant this is, but...

I've been playing with a Teka chinrest and a Wolf Forte Secondo for years with a relatively long neck.

In the summer I had spine surgery to correct scoliosis and had my spine fused up to T3, which is level with an inch or two above the armpit, and was given a plastic brace to stabilise everything, which had two straps that held my shoulders back and a little immobile. I could play, although it hurt my back, and as the muscles healed, everything got easier. In October I relinquished the brace, and immediately I'd get that burning pain in my neck/shoulders when I picked the violin up. If I put my violin down and then forcibly bent my head down, it would stretch the tight muscles at the back and force them to release.

I now no longer put my right arm up on anything (including a table, to use a laptop) because it's a guarantee I will get sudden, severe cramp in my right shoulder. I still get the burning pain, but it's getting slowly better.

Something the surgery did was to straighten my neck a lot - I had extremely round shoulders and my neck went forwards a lot. The operations made my neck almost vertical again.

January 17, 2005 at 10:24 PM · OK Buri:

Here I go...

I was responding to your statement above that said:

"One of my pet hates is the instruction 'relax your shoulders' Teh student drops them forward and down compressing the rib cage, screwing the breathing and so forth. The relaity is thta if we are goignt o raise our arms then the shoulders go up too"

You didn't say raise the arms above shoulder level (sorry!), and you are right that most people when told to relax do drop down and forward (since, especially in the US, we rarely stand up straight anymore - are any old enough to remember when posture was something you had to do "right" in elementary school?). BUT I still mildly disagree with your statement that raising the arms should have the shoulders go up too.

I also thought a lot about your post! LOL So last night before separating my two idiot dogs from fighting I was doing skeleton and muscle research on the net just to make sure I hadn't stuck my humerus in my mouth!

So, your second post gets to my point more, but I guess I still have more to say (you know how much I like to write loooonnnngggg posts!).

I completely and totally disagree that if you pull your shoulders down and back that you cannot raise your arm over your head. Of course, you can raise it easier!! And I also disagree to a certain degree that the shoulder "joint's" natural position is slightly forward. If you look at a skeleton (that's why I checked), first of all, there is no "real joint." The shoulder is the only joint in the body that is not a ball and socket. As a result it is held in place by a complicated overlapping muscle system and makes the shoulder girdle the weakest area of the body (as I said before), and most prone to injury. AND if you look at a skeleton, the humerus is hanging directly under the complicated bones that make up the collarbone and top of the ribs.

IF we use our back muscles correctly and IF they are properly developed (for that I totally agree with the quote in your post above - violinists traps and pecs are far too developed and we are lopsided (in our arms too)), then the humerus hangs straight down in the center of our side (of body). BUT even those who are not violinists rarely stand that way. (Even though I have strong back muscles as a result of my physical therapy, I still let my shoulders round forward when I'm not playing! oops!) The easiest way to imagine the proper position for the arms is to picture a ballerina's body - they have very developed back muscles and their arms hang straight at their sides.

Since I don't know much about karate I won't address that, but I tried it and you are right it is harder to perform the motion you described smoothly with the back muscles contracted. Don't know about that one.

I didn't say drop the head forward, so I do want to clarify that because it is dangerous. I said to tuck the chin. Most people who allow their shoulders to fall forward and round their back also stick their chin forward like a turtle. If you use your back muscles to straighten up and open your chest, but do not tuck your chin, then you will still have a posture that will eventually cause injury. Tucking the chin is just an extension of straightening the back and is necessary to do.

I think part of the misunderstanding is the language. You are using language indigenous to Alexander technique which I am not familiar with and I am using mechanical language and that of physical therapy. I also somewhat disagree with what you said about external adjustments being cosmetic. But do totally agree with the fact that reading a description without really being aware of your own movements can lead to another problem and not a solution. That is a hard one. I think you need the external structure as pure structure, but also the help of another's eyes and touch to begin to feel the isolated muscles that need to be changed. I do that with my students also, eventually just a light touch in a certain spot will bring their consciousness to that area and they can quickly adjust what they have momentarily forgotten.

I wasn't sure of what you meant by the back being expanded. I think of it as being contracted (mainly to counteract the forward pull of my pecs and traps, which is constant), and the chest as expanded and open. So that may be a language thing also.

And definitely agree that deltoids raise the arms, but disagree that you cannot raise them without raising the shoulder - depends on the height raised I guess. My goal is to always concentrate on raising the shoulder as minimally as possible. Not only does it keep my shoulder girdle free from injury, but it helps the weight of my bow and consequently, the sound I can produce.

I also like in the quote where they mentioned shortened pecs and deltoids (I would add traps and biceps as well). I think it is REALLY important to stretch these muscle groups every day (after every practice session if there is more than one per day) to restore them as close as possible to a longer length. That really becomes impossible without crosstraining as a violinist plays more years. That is one reason I think weight training is so important (good for bone density too!!). I also use the Anderson stretching book you like and learned some good ones from my rehab guy too.

I'm not sure I fully understood the elastic exercise (that is why it IS really hard to get all this in print!). I do two exercises for the rhomboids (muscles that connect the shoulder blade to the spine and keep the spine erect). One is the isometric that I described in my above post. It is also identified by the tiny movements described in the exercise you quoted. The other is lying on the floor on your back with knees up and chin tucked (spine should be pretty flat on the floor - hard for me because the right side of my back is more developed than the left - God, we violinists are screwed up!). Extend the arms straight out from the shoulders like a "T". Be sure not to raise them above shoulder level. Bend elbows and face hands, palms and fingers flat, in the direction of your feet, perpendicular to the floor (like stop signs). Press elbows into floor for a count of 10 and then relax. Concentrate on not raising shoulders when pressing - use the muscles inbetween your shoulder blades.

The way I learned to do this consistently was interesting. My rehab guy (Robert Forster, physical therapist for the Olympic running team when Jackie Joyner-Kersee was on it) watched me play violin, told me which muscles needed to be more developed (rhomboids etc.) and decided to use a biofeedback machine. He sent it home with me and told me to put the electrodes on my back between the lower part of my shoulder blades and my spine (not on my traps where we normally just tell our students to relax!). He said I needed to keep the needle in the RED (tight) rather than putting the electrodes on my traps and trying to keep it in the green (relaxed). It was really a lightbulb moment. Of course, everytime I hit a hard passage, I would lose the red (meaning my traps would tense up and I would release the rhomboids). Bad, bad. I really learned a big lesson with that exercise.

I teach all my students these exercises and make them build in tightening these muscles first before they begin to play. I also do have them put their hand on my back to feel how my muscles and shoulder blades move so they can "feel" the concept too. If you position your shoulder blades in the manner I've described, it really makes a difference in the sound and really helps "relax" those shoulders. ;-)

Thanks for the star! I was actually distressed about disagreeing with you on this one! lol I gave you one back. :0)

Lisa

PS. Good discussion!

January 17, 2005 at 11:54 PM · ‚g‚‰?@‚k‚‰‚“‚??C

it is tha language. I found about ten points where we have passed like two ships in the night even though we are, I am sure actually agreeing. I`ll see if I can clarify things for us a bit...A lot of the problem is that there is not really such thing as a shoulder. Ask ten people what it is and they weill tell you ten different things. I have now realized how precisely you are defining where you are working which throws a whole new light on things.

> BUT I still mildly disagree with your statement that raising the arms should have the shoulders go up too.

They don`t if shoudlers refers to traps. The part that raises an iota is the middle deltoid. That is easy enough to prove. Just put your finger on it and raise your arm. But it aint much....

>I also thought a lot about your post! LOL So last night before separating my two idiot dogs from fighting I was doing skeleton and muscle research on the net just to make sure I hadn't stuck my humerus in my mouth!

Gotta keep you sense of humerous.

>I completely and totally disagree that if you pull your shoulders down and back that you cannot raise your arm over your head. Of course, you can raise it easier!!

So do I. I was wrongly assuming that you were working with the more geneeralized verison of `shoulder` which is what I normallt encounter in my students heads. You are working from the position of the humerus as it is situated in the rotator cuff- which makes what you say absoulteluy true.

>And I also disagree to a certain degree that the shoulder "joint's" natural position is slightly forward. If you look at a skeleton (that's why I checked), first of all, there is no "real joint."

I study skeletons all the time. I think you might explore this a little more. Once I understood your point about the positon of the ball within the rotator cuff then the point is moot. One can be correctly down and back and have the humerus angled very slighly forwrad. If you go back to your sheleton, assuming it is mediacally precise then if the ball of the humerus is pointing out directly to the side then the upper arm does not have full range of movement.

> The shoulder is the only joint in the body that is not a ball and socket. As a result it is held in place by a complicated overlapping muscle system and makes the shoulder girdle the weakest area of the body (as I said before), and most prone to injury. AND if you look at a skeleton, the humerus is hanging directly under the complicated bones that make up the collarbone and top of the ribs.

Yes, except for the last bit. Hanging is fine but what happens when you move it around in differnet directions. Do you need a more expensive skeleton? Mine set me back over a thousand dollars but it doesn`t make tea. Bugger!

IF

>I didn't say drop the head forward, so I do want to clarify that because it is dangerous. I said to tuck the chin. Most people who allow their shoulders to fall forward and round their back also stick their chin forward like a turtle.

Yes, then the back of the head drops back and crushes the top of the spine and -any- body efficiency is blown.

>If you use your back muscles to straighten up and open your chest, but do not tuck your chin, then you will still have a posture that will eventually cause injury. Tucking the chin is just an extension of straightening the back and is necessary to do.

The Alexander work has the same aims but is based on the precise lcoation of the rockers in which the skull rest. In this regard I think AT is much more efificent than what you describe, The data for using muscles is fed through thousands of proprioceptors in the neck and if the head is not positioned correctly then the data is skewed. Tahts why, like children and animals the hea d leads and the body follows.

>I think part of the misunderstanding is the language.

It`s all language. Thats why you need to come to Japan and we can prod each other until we have eached mutual understanding.

>I think you need the external structure as pure structure, but also the help of another's eyes and touch to begin to feel the isolated muscles that need to be changed. I do that with my students also, eventually just a light touch in a certain spot will bring their consciousness to that area and they can quickly adjust what they have momentarily forgotten.

Exactly. I also used this technique in a crude way when I wa s a weight trainign instructor. These days ther e are too many lawsuits flying around though.

>I wasn't sure of what you meant by the back being expanded. I think of it as being contracted (mainly to counteract the forward pull of my pecs and traps, which is constant), and the chest as expanded and open. So that may be a language thing also.

Not really. If you situate the head then the spine shoots up a couple of cm and the back automatically widens. It doesn`t negate what you are talking about though.I tyhink the back expansion is caused by the expansion of the lungs and ribs which is the automatic corolarry of getting the correct relationship of head and neck/back. It may be a more internal effetc than the muscualr conraction you refer to.

>I also like in the quote where they mentioned shortened pecs and deltoids (I would add traps and biceps as well).

Definitly bicpes and tricpes. I find a lot of shifting problems are cause by the lack of cognitive awarenss that if the biceps contracts then the tricps has to do something and vice versa. So stretching the tricpe on an upward shift by vizualizing the left elbow dropping can solve many problems.

> I think it is REALLY important to stretch these muscle groups every day (after every practice session if there is more than one per day) to restore them as close as possible to a longer length. That really becomes impossible without crosstraining as a violinist plays more years. That is one reason I think weight training is so important (good for bone density too!!). I also use the Anderson stretching book you like and learned some good ones from my rehab guy too.

Yes. The Athletic musican argues that weight traing is bad becuase of the overdeveloped pecs and delts. I disagree. I don`t think the muscle imbalance is necesarrily caused by a black and white situation in which the front is stronger than the back. My reason for this assertion is simply that with an Alexander teacher touching the correct muscles the imbalance corrects automatically, which leads me to belive that it is what the brain is doing at a given moment that controls the relative strength of muscles. I mean did Milstein carry his knicker elastic round to keep his front and back balanced? I doubt it...

Cheers,

Buri

January 18, 2005 at 12:38 AM · ‚g‚‰?@‚k‚‰‚“‚??C

Darn, you are using that secret code again!! LOLLL

>A lot of the problem is that there is not really such thing as a shoulder...

They don`t if shoudlers refers to traps. The part that raises an iota is the middle deltoid.

Aahhh... OK, now I know how you are referring to it also and I think we are in pretty close agreement!

>I study skeletons all the time. I think you might explore this a little more... If you go back to your sheleton, assuming it is mediacally precise...

I must admit, I haven't. I took the word of my therapist and then checked last night on basic drawings on the internet. But I have put in a lot of thought about the arm movement (although I was pretty surprised at how some of the muscles connect from the back of the humerus to the back!) as it relates to the bow in terms of natural swing forward and back. I'm sure we could have a lively discussion about that too!

>Do you need a more expensive skeleton? Mine set me back over a thousand dollars but it doesn`t make tea. Bugger!

Geez!! OK, that is obsession! When are you becoming a certified Alexander Technique person (if you aren't already)?

>The data for using muscles is fed through thousands of proprioceptors in the neck and if the head is not positioned correctly then the data is skewed. Tahts why, like children and animals the hea d leads and the body follows.

Hmmm... interesting comment. It makes me think of that relatively new massage technique: neuro..something that I cannot remember because I'm old and feeble. You know where the massage therapist puts fingers at the base of the skull (C1) and gently moves the plates of the skull? I wonder how close that is to what you are talking about.

>It`s all language. Thats why you need to come to Japan and we can prod each other until we have eached mutual understanding.

LOL In my experience that much prodding isn't good for a person! Besides I am too tall to come to Japan. lol Do they have breed bans on dogs? Mine are on the lists in countries where they have breed specific legislation.

>These days ther e are too many lawsuits flying around though.

I KNOW! Total drag, huh? Touch is the one thing that is really healing, even in a teaching situation.

>I tyhink the back expansion is caused by the expansion of the lungs and ribs which is the automatic corolarry of getting the correct relationship of head and neck/back. It may be a more internal effetc than the muscualr conraction you refer to.

Hehe. OK, I know what you mean now, but I think it has to be both external and internal.

>I find a lot of shifting problems are cause by the lack of cognitive awarenss that if the biceps contracts then the tricps has to do something and vice versa. So stretching the tricpe on an upward shift by vizualizing the left elbow dropping can solve many problems.

Hmmm... I'll add that to my explanation to my students. I always talk about the elbow closing and opening - hadn't thought about the fact that it drops down as a result of that. That is a good image.

>Yes. The Athletic musican argues that weight traing is bad becuase of the overdeveloped pecs and delts. I disagree. I don`t think the muscle imbalance is necesarrily caused by a black and white situation in which the front is stronger than the back. My reason for this assertion is simply that with an Alexander teacher touching the correct muscles the imbalance corrects automatically, which leads me to belive that it is what the brain is doing at a given moment that controls the relative strength of muscles.

I disagree about the weight training too (I love weight training - so many benefits!). And I agree that the brain controls all. I'll have to think about whether that can correct imbalance. I tend to disagree a bit because muscle development is there - can't be deflated or inflated without exercise.

But in terms of weight training, my therapist just said to eliminate the front exercises (those muscles are already developed) and use all the machines/exercises for the back muscles, legs, and abs. Worked for me.

>I mean did Milstein carry his knicker elastic round to keep his front and back balanced? I doubt it...

LOL. No, but he stood admirably straight. And geez, wasn't he the picture of relaxation when he played? Wish I could do that.

Lisa

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe