Sudden technical problems

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
kirolak
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:04 pm
Location: South Africa

Sudden technical problems

Postby kirolak » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:29 am

I never had any problems playing barre chords, before I started reading up on how to do them - now I seem to struggle! Perhaps it's a matter of over-thinking? And I have some peculiar aches & pains, such as my left toes hurt from gripping the footstool (!) & the inner side of the right elbow where it holds the guitar, is suddenly red & slightly painful :( I am holding the guitar in as upright a position as possible, with a very high foot stool as advised.

Perhaps this is just an adjustment period - has anyone else experienced any similar out of the blue discomfort? :shock:

tom2977
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:53 pm
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby tom2977 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:35 am

No..........sounds like you need some better advice. Get a good teacher - no one can diagnose your problem from your question IMO! In fact you risk making things worse by hearing or misunderstanding the well meant advice which you might get. None of this should happen - get a teacher please.

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby Michael.N. » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:39 am

Sounds like you are playing with huge amounts of dysfunctional tension. You need a good teacher, someone who is very familiar with such issues.
Historicalguitars.

uptempo
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:29 pm

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby uptempo » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:01 pm

Agree with the above comments. Tension will eventually lead to chronic issues - like what I have - work hard to rectify this even at the expense of everything else.
"Never believe what an artist says, only what they do" - Walter Sickert

simonm
Amateur luthier
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Location: Germany, Kronberg (near Frankfurt).

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby simonm » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:22 pm

kirolak wrote:I never had any problems playing barre chords, before I started reading up on how to do them - now I seem to struggle! ...


For some things it is a case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it." If you have actually been playing for a long time and had no problems previously why did you want to change your method?

My best practical suggestion is to video yourself and contact someone who does online lessons. A few members here do it or know of people who do it. Then ask that person to comment specifically about posture, sitting position etc. If you previously did not use a foot stool, you might be better off with a support.

As for the other symptoms, sorry no idea.

kirolak
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:04 pm
Location: South Africa

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby kirolak » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:41 pm

Thank you all for the kind advice!

Mr Kite
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby Mr Kite » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:48 pm

kirolak wrote:I have some peculiar aches & pains, such as my left toes hurt from gripping the footstool (!) & the inner side of the right elbow where it holds the guitar, is suddenly red & slightly painful :( I am holding the guitar in as upright a position as possible, with a very high foot stool as advised.

Perhaps this is just an adjustment period - has anyone else experienced any similar out of the blue discomfort? :shock:

I've recently switched to this position too. What I find is that, because the guitar is angled away to the right, there is a much greater tendency for it to rotate away from you and slip down the left thigh. Could it be that that is giving you a feeling of instability which you are responding to by gripping with the crook of the arm and even the left foot? If so, maybe a chamois or other anti-slip solution would help.

I am not very advanced but am finding this position better for the LH than my previous one (in which the headstock was just as high but the left foot was out to the side).

Change is strange. I would persevere.

Brynmor
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Location: United Kindom

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby Brynmor » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:13 pm

Why are you holding the guitar "in as upright position a position as possible"?

kirolak
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:04 pm
Location: South Africa

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby kirolak » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:06 pm

Brynmor wrote:Why are you holding the guitar "in as upright position a position as possible"?


I have seen youtube videos of professional guitarists who do this, (eg Gabriel Bianco) & have been told that it is less strain on the left arm & hand to have the headstock more or less over the left shoulder. . . so I have my footstool on top of a book now (Luetzele Weltgeschichte der Kunst!) I was originally trained on a 10-string "Yepes" style guitar, which had to be held almost horizontally, & caused severe sciatica (that was nearly 20 years ago :( )

Thanks so everyone who took so much trouble to reply!

simonm
Amateur luthier
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Kronberg (near Frankfurt).

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby simonm » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:56 pm

kirolak wrote:... . . so I have my footstool on top of a book now (Luetzele Weltgeschichte der Kunst!) ….


Try a guitar support or strap!!! Seriously. Now. I can almost hear your vertebrae crunching on each other from here. Ouch.

Do a search here and you will find lots of ergonomic arguments.

With the money you are going to save from sugar and alcohol, you can buy every kind of support and strap on the market to try them out and save on medical costs too. :-)

Brynmor
Posts: 207
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Location: United Kindom

Re: Sudden technical problems

Postby Brynmor » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:09 pm

I am sure the "vertical" position must work for Gabriel Bianco and it must suite his physique but that does not mean it will work for everybody. I have just tried playing some of my regular repertoire holding the guitar in this position and found that it made my back hurt after a few minutes and it is still hurting now, some 10 minutes after playing. Clearly, for me, the position is not suitable. I would suggest it is not suitable for you as you are experiencing discomfort which I would not think is simply a matter of adjustment. If you are also gripping the footstool with your toes it would seem that the strain is also affecting other parts of your body. If I were you, I would abandon the "vertical" position immediately and seek out a good teacher who can correct any positional faults. In the meantime, go back to holding the guitar in the way that you used to before the barre problem started and forget what you have read about how these should be played, particularly as you had no problem before reading about them!


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