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Re: Posture

 
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SJLPHI
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Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: Posture Reply with quote

Hello, I am only re-learning to play my violin as of June last year and before that I was playing when I was 10 years old.

In between then and now I have endured many injuries especially in the left arm. The most restraining one would be two surgeries on the shoulder.

I re-started playing the violin during my recovery stage from my second shoulder surgery and I've had my elbow supported on an office chair arm as I played. Eventually I was able to play without support. Here are some things I am noticing:

I can NEVER place my violin perpendicular to my body and it is angled inward and I have adjust my entire body towards the violin to be able to bow. (The surgeon told me that this will never change in my life time)

In conclusion, I think my overall posture isn't proper and I can tell by how strained my back feels after an hour of practice.

I was looking into shoulder rests that may help. Any input regarding what the proper posture while playing should be and regarding shoulder rest would be great,

Thank you for your time

-SJL
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi SJL, It's difficult to advise you without seeing you play in person.

The basic violin and bow hold should be established before you go on. There
should be no tension or pain at all in your body. If there is, then there is
something off balance.

First of all, when you stand, lean slightly backwards to account for the weight
of the arms suspended in the front. Try doing this without holding the violin
and bow, and get back to me please.
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SJLPHI
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Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things that I find when I play the violin is that I feel the right shoulder is a little bit stretched and I feel strain and a little bit of pain in the left shoulder over time.

Without the violin, I am feeling restraining force on my left shoulder if I do what you've suggested
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few questions:

1. What type of shoulder injuries did you have?

2. When was the latest one you had and on what shoulder?

3. Is it permanent or recoverable injury?

4. What have you done or are doing for recovery?

A top violinist in Czechoslovakia (Alexander Shonert) told me to build strength
in the upper arms and shoulders by taking small weights at first and lifting.
Then to put the weights down and lift the arm up while "remembering" the
light/float feeling. So in essence, it is not only a physical exercise but a also
mental one as well. You should be able to lift your both arms up without any
tension. For many people, just leaning back to counter the weight of the arms
in front is enough. However for some, it will take some physical and mental
reconditioning.

The violin should be pointing towards the left side of the body. To find the best
position, turn your head left just until it comfortably stops. The direction of where
you are facing at that moment is pretty well the direction of where your violin
scroll should be pointing.

The areas around the neck should be totally relaxed when holding the violin.
Many beginners grab and clam down on the chinrest to hold the violin in place,
which creates tension around the neck. The key is to let the natural weight
of the head rest on the chinrest. It is the natural weight of the head that will
keep the violin suspended.

Some players have long necks, or the area around the left shoulder and collar
bone is small or thin. So players use shoulder rests to help keep the violin
suspended. There are advantages and disadvantages of using shoulder rests.
I used to play with one, but not any more. Another top violinist by the name
of Anton Polezhayev from Brazil, convinced me to play without one. You can
read the post here:

https://www.violins.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=799&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=75

However, not everybody will be able to play without one. There are many
great violinist today that use shoulder rests. You have to determine what is best
for you. In the past I have liked the Kun style shoulder rests. You can find
them here:

https://www.violins.ca/accessories/shoulder_rests/shoulder_rests_kun.html
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. The injury is due to falling from >20ft height and the surgery was called "Bankart repair" on the left shoulder. It was touched up twice and The doctor has shown me a big dent in my arm bone.

2.Left shoulder, Summer of 2013

3. It is "repaired" to be stable but it permanently changes range of motion in my left shoulder.

4. Strengthening exercises with the physiotherapist.

I have discussed regarding violin posture with the physio and the doctor and they both said "You are NEVER supposed to extend your arm like that anymore"

I am recently discovering a very good position of my left hand where I can accurately get the right notes with minor adjustments. Having my hand touching the end of the body by the neck.

I would definitely appreciate a shoulder rest that does not press down on the front of the shoulder, rather top and back because the front is where I had the surgeries on. There are some remaining scar tissue that cause involuntary reactions and pain still.

Currently due to restraints I have to press down on the chinrest with my head because I am holding the violin closer to my body and I have a relatively long neck

I have been watching James Ehnes' style of playing on youtube and I was hoping for something similar or even better for the shoulder.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sjlphi,

It's sad to hear the condition of your shoulder. It would be inappropriate for me to
tell you what the best thing to do in your situation. You'll need to find the most
comfortable position to play the violin. It looks like you have found one position
by resting your arm on your knee or office arm chair. You are allowed to break the
rules. Just remember, the most essential thing is to make sure there is absolutely
no tension or fatigue in your body, when you play.

The main purpose of shoulder rests is to be able to suspend the violin without
holding it with your left arm. This allows the left arm to move freely up and down
the fingerboard without worrying about having to hold the violin up.

I think your idea about resting your arm on your office chair arm could be adopted,
and a custom mechanical arm contraption of some sort could be developed
for support.

Please look at this video about another violinist with a disability:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUU8IwlJO-I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-uAvM6ZTLc
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank your for your input but I've learned to adapt to it however the strain in the back always appears after an hour of practice.
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Lemuel
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Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One hour is very good actually. Even I take a break after half an hour or so.
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the past few weeks, I've decided to invest a little into my hobby and picked up a new shoulder rest which has an angled mount, this helped me adjust my posture and it just feels so much better to play now.

I don't know the exact model because I left the box it came at the store. (After trying it on one of the violins at the store, I picked it up. End of story)

I've also invested in a new case because over 10 years haven't been very kind to the original case that my violin came with. One last and most important thing remains to be upgraded... The violin itself.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great to hear. Thanks for chiming in with the update. If you put a photo up, I can tell you which shoulder rest it is.

I hope your playing will be productive from now on.
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's most definitely a variant of Viva Professional Rest, maple-black, except both mounts have been angled such that the shoulder pad itself is much closer than the violin to my neck. I'm uncertain how I can post a picture here...

Also, I'm wondering if you had access to one of these:
http://www.lashofviolins.com/precipitube.html
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your image needs to be posted on Flickr or some other photo website. If you have a place where you
normally post photos, then post it there, and then supply the link here where you post.

I've written a post on how to show images on this forum that are stored on Flickr here:

https://www.violins.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1344

We do not have the humidifier piece that you referred to.
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NickSan
Junior Member


Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: possibly great tool for improving posture and mobility Reply with quote

SJLPHI wrote:
1. The injury is due to falling from >20ft height and the surgery was called "Bankart repair" on the left shoulder. It was touched up twice and The doctor has shown me a big dent in my arm bone.

2.Left shoulder, Summer of 2013

3. It is "repaired" to be stable but it permanently changes range of motion in my left shoulder.

4. Strengthening exercises with the physiotherapist.

I have discussed regarding violin posture with the physio and the doctor and they both said "You are NEVER supposed to extend your arm like that anymore"

I am recently discovering a very good position of my left hand where I can accurately get the right notes with minor adjustments. Having my hand touching the end of the body by the neck.

I would definitely appreciate a shoulder rest that does not press down on the front of the shoulder, rather top and back because the front is where I had the surgeries on. There are some remaining scar tissue that cause involuntary reactions and pain still.

Currently due to restraints I have to press down on the chinrest with my head because I am holding the violin closer to my body and I have a relatively long neck

I have been watching James Ehnes' style of playing on youtube and I was hoping for something similar or even better for the shoulder.


Those are some big challenges you had and great to hear you picked up the violin again!
I recently discovered an iPad app that can help improve you posture.
It was actually derived from a sports app and it might help you with physiotherapy also.

The app for violin playing is: Music Delay Cam
https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/delay-cam/id818502346?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Sports app for shoulder exercises is: O'See Sports Video Delay
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plusot.osee

Keep on practicing!
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have recently purchased and received this:
https://www.violins.ca/accessories/shoulder_rests/shoulder_rests_bonmusica.html
and I am finding it VERY helpful with my limited range of motion because I can literally hang the violin off of my shoulder after bending the should rest the way I need it to be.

The only one down side I find is that the shoulder rest is too large for my violin case.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good news to know. Yes....we get the same feedback from customers who buy the Bonmusica.
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