Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
nmshu1
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Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:09 am

Shoulder pain while playing guitar:

The should pain is from high tension strings applied ?
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:10 am

I think the shoulder pain is from incorrect posture while playing the guitar. I have experienced shoulder pain as well some times.

khayes
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by khayes » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:00 am

Is playing guitar the only time you experience shoulder pain? It could be something besides posture.
Ken

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Beowulf
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by Beowulf » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:11 am

Both shoulders? Or just left or right?
1971 Yamaha GC-10

nmshu1
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:08 am

Beowulf wrote:Both shoulders? Or just left or right?
Two years ago, right shoulder first especially in Winter. Now left shoulder happens in Winter....
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

nmshu1
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:11 am

spanishguitarmusic wrote:I think the shoulder pain is from incorrect posture while playing the guitar. I have experienced shoulder pain as well some times.
It was not incorrect posture. It happens in Winter only.

And only plays one special guitar.
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

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Beowulf
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by Beowulf » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:28 pm

nmshu1 wrote:
spanishguitarmusic wrote:I think the shoulder pain is from incorrect posture while playing the guitar. I have experienced shoulder pain as well some times.
It was not incorrect posture. It happens in Winter only.

And only plays one special guitar.
Aging of ligaments and tendons, as well as prolonged muscle pressure on nerves may lead to discomfort that appears gradually. Seasonal temperature/humidity differences may also be a factor. If it happens with only one guitar, compare that guitar's parameters to one that does not produce the problem, e.g., scale, string tension, body size, bout size, body depth, neck shape and depth, etc. Using a process of elimination, see if you can isolate the parameters that my be contributing to your discomfort...it may be a combination of factors. Don't discount posture/position, as an issue may appear over time...our bodies change.

Example: my left hand does not warm up as quickly (remains cold to the touch and stiffer) as my right in the winter. This issue has appeared gradually over the last 10 years. The room I play in is kept at a good temperature, however there are many windows and thus heat radiates from my body towards the colder window surfaces. I can resolve this issue by wearing a sleeveless sweater which keeps my shoulders warmer and thus allows better blood flow to my hand. The problem could also be resolved with heavy, insulating curtains.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

simonm
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by simonm » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:38 pm

If you don't have a teacher than at least make a video or two and get an online class consultancy with a really experienced teacher to check out your posture. My teacher has a large mirror behind him on the studio so that I can see my posture. Just looking at you own posture in a video might help.

The winter summer thing might just be that you take other exercise in the summer and you are generally in better shape then. One thing not to forget is that job related things can be a cause. In my case I had should problems due to a laptop bag. I changed to a rucksack and also to lightweight 12".

As for strings - go for a lower tension the next time you restring and see if it makes a difference. Very easy and cheap test.

nmshu1
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:53 am

simonm wrote:If you don't have a teacher than at least make a video or two and get an online class consultancy with a really experienced teacher to check out your posture. My teacher has a large mirror behind him on the studio so that I can see my posture. Just looking at you own posture in a video might help.

The winter summer thing might just be that you take other exercise in the summer and you are generally in better shape then. One thing not to forget is that job related things can be a cause. In my case I had should problems due to a laptop bag. I changed to a rucksack and also to lightweight 12".

As for strings - go for a lower tension the next time you restring and see if it makes a difference. Very easy and cheap test.
Thank you for your comments. Because I use same posture with different size guitars. I guess.
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

nmshu1
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:56 am

Beowulf wrote:
nmshu1 wrote:
spanishguitarmusic wrote:I think the shoulder pain is from incorrect posture while playing the guitar. I have experienced shoulder pain as well some times.
It was not incorrect posture. It happens in Winter only.

And only plays one special guitar.
Aging of ligaments and tendons, as well as prolonged muscle pressure on nerves may lead to discomfort that appears gradually. Seasonal temperature/humidity differences may also be a factor. If it happens with only one guitar, compare that guitar's parameters to one that does not produce the problem, e.g., scale, string tension, body size, bout size, body depth, neck shape and depth, etc. Using a process of elimination, see if you can isolate the parameters that my be contributing to your discomfort...it may be a combination of factors. Don't discount posture/position, as an issue may appear over time...our bodies change.

Thank you for your information.

Example: my left hand does not warm up as quickly (remains cold to the touch and stiffer) as my right in the winter. This issue has appeared gradually over the last 10 years. The room I play in is kept at a good temperature, however there are many windows and thus heat radiates from my body towards the colder window surfaces. I can resolve this issue by wearing a sleeveless sweater which keeps my shoulders warmer and thus allows better blood flow to my hand. The problem could also be resolved with heavy, insulating curtains.
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

nmshu1
Posts: 291
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Wed May 17, 2017 2:28 pm

After changing from 12 holes tie to 6 holes tie, the shoulder pain disappears! I had 3 guitars with 12 holes tie.
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

nmshu1
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:16 am
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:19 pm

Aging of ligaments and tendons, as well as prolonged muscle pressure on nerves may lead to discomfort that appears gradually. Seasonal temperature/humidity differences may also be a factor. If it happens with only one guitar, compare that guitar's parameters to one that does not produce the problem, e.g., scale, string tension, body size, bout size, body depth, neck shape and depth, etc. Using a process of elimination, see if you can isolate the parameters that my be contributing to your discomfort...it may be a combination of factors. Don't discount posture/position, as an issue may appear over time...our bodies change.

Example: my left hand does not warm up as quickly (remains cold to the touch and stiffer) as my right in the winter. This issue has appeared gradually over the last 10 years. The room I play in is kept at a good temperature, however there are many windows and thus heat radiates from my body towards the colder window surfaces. I can resolve this issue by wearing a sleeveless sweater which keeps my shoulders warmer and thus allows better blood flow to my hand. The problem could also be resolved with heavy, insulating curtains.
[/quote]

Yes, when I keep my shoulders warmer, the shoulders' pain disappears...
2014 Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Cedar/Brazilian Rosewood
2015 Juan Hernandez Torres 640, Spruce/Indian Rosewood
2016 German V. Rubio Concert 635, Spruce/Flamed Maple
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 630, Double Top(Spruce/Cedar)/Flamed Maple

Scott88
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by Scott88 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:57 pm

I recently had a session with a biomechanic physiotherapist which has completely changed how I practice in terms of getting aches and pains. Having taken my guitar in and talked posture with him he had the observations that my posture was generally very good but that some things are inescapable (such as a little head tilt to the left towards the fret, a small rounding of a shoulder under concentration etc). As such he gave me a series of 4 really simple stretches to do with the guitar as the 'weight' or tool to basically just reset my body either during a long practice or at the end of my sessions.

This has totally made playing so much more comfortable - I've been introducing it to all my students and getting some great feedback.

As for the weather - I always thought it was an old wives tale but since i developed arthritis I can tell if its raining! (No, not cos Im wet..)

Rasputin
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Re: Try to find the shoulder pain's reason while playing guitar

Post by Rasputin » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:28 pm

Posture is important, of course, but tensing the shoulder while playing can also lead to muscle knots, muscle tightness and pain, and you would not necessarily notice it by looking at posture. You can feel it though, or just ask yourself whether it is possible to relax the shoulder at all, or whether the arm is hanging freely from the shoulder rather than being held stiffly in place. I am getting better at catching myself tensing it but I still have a definite tendency to do so, and it makes playing harder as well as causing pain and stiffness.

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