Should you flex your left hand biceps when playing

Edited: January 1, 2018, 9:34 PM · I just watched a YouTube instructional video in which the lady instructor advises using your left hand biceps muscle a little bit to prevent your left arm from dropping or left hand fingers getting too low compared to fingerboard.

I did flex my biceps a bit and I found it works as suggested, although I am not sure whether flexing biceps is what she truly meant.

Doing this I also feel that my forearm has a point of stability in the elbow base so forearm can be more flexible and can do better vibrato.

Could you share your thoughts on whether this is a good piece of advice?

Replies (7)

January 1, 2018, 9:08 PM · Please link the video do we know what’s actually being discussed ?
January 1, 2018, 9:36 PM · Hi Craig, since you asked for the true video I just edit my post a bit to avoid quoting people in a wrong way. Link:

The discussion around bicep muscles started around 9:20.

January 2, 2018, 3:41 AM · She actually means deltoids and at one point actually points at them.
January 2, 2018, 3:53 AM · So...perhaps a basic lack of anatomical understanding on her part. The biceps origin is in the coricoid process in the shoulder for the long head and the supraglenoid process for the short head. It's insertion is the radius and ulna of the forearm. This is why you are able to bend your arm. You engage your bicep when your arm bends. And because of the origin in the shoulder when you raise your arm at the shoulder the biceps also engage. I can't speak to how to correct the problem she is talking about but actively flexing the bicep will only add tension overall.

To put it another way you shorten your biceps muscle when you bend your arm and you shorten it more when you raise your arm at the shoulder. So shortening it further by actively flexing it seems destined to add tension that is not needed. From an anatomical standpoint I would say this is bad advice.

January 2, 2018, 8:14 AM · Look at THAT bicep!

January 2, 2018, 10:21 AM · I use the bicep for shifting- and excess tension would definitely reduce accuracy. You have to use the bicep to keep your arm bent, but it should be only as much as you need, no more.

One of the more helpful revelations for me was finding out that the muscles in the back are the ones that hold up the arm.

January 2, 2018, 10:26 AM · Some bicep flexion will be required. Without that, the elbow-down arm would just flop out nearly straight.

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