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12 votes

Why can't wearing both ear muffs (whether passive or active) and earplugs simultaneously yield more than 36 dB noise reduction ratio (NRR)?

Small disclaimer about decibels For sound pressures, decibels are defined as follow: XdB = 20 log (p1/p0) with p1 being the amplitude of the pressure field of the sound, and p0 a reference (...
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10 votes
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Physical problems during singing

Not only is this quite normal for a singer, it can actually be a sign that you're breathing correctly in the more intense passages. I first experienced it when learning to breathe from the diaphragm ...
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9 votes

What instruments can a four-year-old with left-side paralysis begin to learn/hope to ever learn?

All of the above. And if none work out, there's always the voice. I wouldn't say that a great singer is less musical, and less musically valuable, than any instrumentalist.
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8 votes
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Why does playing the piano give me a pain in the neck?

I'm a violinist, not a pianist, but it's very common for beginning violin players to have severe pain because they are too tense, especially when they are self taught. I'm going to suggest a few ...
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  • 6,349
8 votes

Effects of regular rock climbing on instrument play

rock climbing does indeed hinder your fingers' range of motion, but not necessarily dexterity. Tenosynovitis: Your tendon sheaths around your joints get inflamed from regular and repeated rock ...
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8 votes
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What vocal techniques are needed to prevent strain when talking into a vocoder?

I suspect that at the root of the problem is the fact that when singing into the vocoder, your brain doesn't get the expected feedback (the natural sound of your voice) and therefore instinctively ...
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  • 6,261
8 votes
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Effects of playing excessive Tabla

There are two questions here: Is it possible to play tabla to the point of injury? What kind of injuries can occur when playing tabla? The answer to the first is "yes". The answer to the ...
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  • 55k
7 votes
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Could the organ I’m selling be a fire hazard?

(This answer is written from the perspective of general knowledge of electronic equipment and is not specific to electronic organs.) Historically, vacuum-tube electronics could more readily start ...
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6 votes

Arthritis In Hands (Playing With Pain In Hands) - Are There Recommended Approaches?

I taught myself guitar. As a result, I started off with crappy technique that caused injury to my hands. In order to stop the pain, I went back to the beginning and analyzed my personal ergonomics ...
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5 votes
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Causes of sharp pain in a fretting finger after playing guitar or bass?

This sharp sensation at the tip of your fingers is usually a combination of a minor bone bruise, damaged nerves and damaged muscle tissue from using too much pressure when fretting a guitar and ...
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  • 1,802
5 votes

How can a guitarist treat and avoid lateral epicondylitis in the fretting arm?

How I prevent it from coming back? To build on atoth's answer and his first point about relaxing your hand and arm: I feel it is worth mentioning to all others who come and see this question, the ...
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  • 51
5 votes

Advice for beginning guitarist for bad fingers

While it's true that some great players have long skinny fingers and seem to control each one completely independently with infinite precision, many others have had to work with less optimal ...
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5 votes

Lip pain when playing flute: how to overcome?

If it hurts, it's wrong. Many players can play higher octaves all evening without pain. But to diagnose what exactly is wrong, someone would need to see and hear you playing. If you're lucky, ...
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5 votes
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Lip pain when playing flute: how to overcome?

There is no doubt that you don't have sufficient breath control here. I have experienced similar problems (clarinet, sax) as have friends on brass instruments while learning and improving our ...
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4 votes

Arthritis In Hands (Playing With Pain In Hands) - Are There Recommended Approaches?

I am a 71 year old woman and have played guitar for years. I have had to change techniques over time as the inflammation and pain has gotten worse. I find that playing an acoustic with strings that ...
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4 votes

Wrist, Age and Very Depressed

I would say to make sure the action on your guitar is at the lowest it can be for ease of playing. Also, you may consider playing slide guitar if it hurts to press strings. Also look into open tunings,...
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  • 2,479
4 votes

Advice for beginning guitarist for bad fingers

Advice on this site sometimes involves getting a teacher. In your case, it's good advice. Maybe not long term, but just a couple or a few lessons. A good teacher will be able to see your 'problems' ...
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  • 173k
4 votes

What instruments can a four-year-old with left-side paralysis begin to learn/hope to ever learn?

In the long run, brass instruments require only one hand, for the most part. There are also several manufacturers who make one-handed versions of woodwind instruments, though these are quite expensive....
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  • 21.2k
4 votes

What instruments can a four-year-old with left-side paralysis begin to learn/hope to ever learn?

TRDR: Singing, from personal experience. Since birth, my right side has been paralyzed, though not as badly as your sister. I have had singing lessons for years, and I still find them very enjoyable. ...
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  • 41
4 votes

Relaxing muscles when playing piano

I used have sore shoulders after playing for an evening at an Italian restaurant in college. I finally figured out that it was because I was lifting my shoulder up to high while playing. In the moment,...
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4 votes

Possible damaged tendon in forearm from playing jumps in the bass. Is it my technique or am I just getting old?

Find a really good physical therapist, preferably one who works regularly with musicians. I had tough issues 18 months ago with (what I thought was) tendonitis. I play sax, clarinet and guitar. It was ...
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  • 3,421
4 votes

Could the organ I’m selling be a fire hazard?

THAT'S not dusty! THIS is dusty! (And by no means unusual.) But sure, clean it out. Don't use a vacuum cleaner on electronics. Static electricity can build up on the nozzle and cause damage when ...
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4 votes

Is it considered bad technique to collapse / lock finger joints?

I am not a doctor, nor an academically trained musician who received formal posture education, but I'll try to answer. Also this is my first activity on here, so If I get anything wrong, please let me ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Back hurts after playing piano

The body is like a Jenga tower. As long as everything is aligned properly it can stand effortlessly because gravity pulls its center of weight straight down. The tower rests upon itself. The second ...
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4 votes

How can I achieve maximum hearing protection, beyond custom-fitted earplugs + earmuffs?

Other than making a lead bucket that goes over your head, or maybe lead ear-caps that go under your earmuffs, I think you've pretty much hit the current technology for hearing protection. The ear plug ...
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4 votes

Why does the formula to compute the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) subtract 3dB?

TL;DR: Subtracting 3 dB is done to avoid the underprotection that could result from variations in compute the rest of the NRR formula. But some manufacturers incorrectly (intentionally?) do not ...
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4 votes

Is it safe to use thumb position in lower positions on cello?

Absolutely fine. Just lift your elbow naturally to place the thumb securely and comfortably. Thumb position can be very convenient and can be used as needed pretty much anywhere on the fingerboard.
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3 votes

What to do when we have back pain from playing guitar after a while?

Don't bend over. You don't need to see the fretboard, the marks on the neck are sufficient for orientation. And electrical guitar is rather thin, it can hang nicely close to your center of gravity. ...
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