Hot answers tagged

14

After a mononucleosis I had tendonitis twice in my right forearm. The things you can do: RELAX WHILE YOU PLAY!!!! That's the most important. Period. Ridiculously small amount of force you need when you play guitar. The approach of most people (including me, before I get to know methods of Jamie Andreas) is to use a lot of force, to ensure the string is ...


12

Without seeing a picture of your playing position or watching your technique, it is difficult to offer proper advice. Let me preface my answer by saying that it would be a good idea to see someone about it - a friend of yours who teaches guitar, a guitar professor at a local university, even a doctor such as a physical therapist could help you and probably ...


11

Sounds like you need to address several issues. You're probably squeezing the guitar neck way too tightly using your thumb more as a vice than a guide. Not necessary at all. You may need to change the angle you hold the guitar at- it could be pulled into your body.Let it out so that your fretting arm has fresh air all around it : too many players have the ...


9

First, I've been a professional musician, but I'm not a professional singer - nonetheless, I've recently started working with a teacher that has made a huge difference in my singing, and the lessons are fresh in my mind. The trick, I believe, is learning to tell the difference between your voice being tired vs. strained. If you are straining, you are tense,...


9

Nowadays I always get a close shave before playing the tuba in a gig. I started doing this when I realized that after longer breaks from playing I had trouble getting a distinct attack and tone when I had facial hair around the lips. I also had trouble playing pedal-notes. I then experienced getting a close shave as "gaining" one or two weeks of practice, ...


9

Overbite would only inhibit brass playing potential if your jaw caused your lips to close in a really odd way. You don't need straight teeth to play a brass instrument. If you're using your teeth / jaw to play brass, then you're headed for trouble. If your lips look like everyone else's when your mouth is closed / relaxed, then I can't anticipate you ...


9

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.


8

Permanently? Not really; there's nothing that would be generally called "food" or "drink" that would immediately and permanently have a detrimental effect on your singing voice. However, avoid cigarette smoking (really any type of smoking or tobacco use) and alcohol, as these can have a cumulative effect that builds up over time. If you stop now, before any ...


8

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 generic techniques to start minimizing tension. When you sit down at the piano, think about how you are sitting. Look for any tension, especially in your neck and ...


6

I've worried about this same thing in the past. Unless the symptoms are unbearable you should be able to make some simple adjustments and avoid further harm. The easiest way to describe the most gentle picking hand position is to straighten your wrist so it isn't bent at all and then position your guitar in such a way that the strings end up in the proper ...


6

Psychotropic means mind-altering. The most common use of the word is in psychotropic drugs -- that is drugs which alter mood, perception, consciousness and behaviour. Psychotropic Music is a term used by some people to describe music which they believe alters mood, perception, consciousness and behaviour in a similar way to such drugs. It's likely that ...


6

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 when I first began taking voice lessons. When we sing intensely, we tend to go through a lot of air. Compared to normal breathing, this looks an awful lot like ...


5

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 and then changed my technique. What I found worked for me was: Practicing fretting notes cleanly: My fretting fingers are close to the frets and press as ...


5

It absolutely, absolutely can! You need to get a set of stretches specific for your issues to try to make sure the awkward muscle balance you're developing doesn't throw your body off so much that it becomes a long term problem. Proper posture and proper activation of postural muscles is KEY to making sure you don't get pain in your back and shoulders. As ...


5

I can't speak definitively on this since I haven't had a full beard and mustache before, but I've always made a point to keep what facial hair I do have out of the way of my mouthpiece placement. Not knowing the full magnitude of your facial hair, it's hard to make specific suggestions, but I wouldn't want a lot of hair cushioning the mouthpiece against my ...


5

According to a post at the New York University Medical School answer center, smoking and exposure to smoke irritate and dry the tissues of the throat, particularly the vocal cords. This leads to improper vocal cord vibration and function. Smoking also may promote acid reflux, which can affect the vocal cords. Finally, smoking degrades lung function, which ...


5

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 possibility of changing your seated guitar playing position to help in the prevention of these sorts of problems. Having started with a classical guitar and its ...


5

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 biological toolsets. Exhibit A would definitely be Django Reinhardt, whose left hand was severely burned in a fire in such a way that he only had full use of two fingers....


5

See a doctor. The question "how long..." depends on several factors including (1) time away from playing, (2) proper diagnosis of the problem, (3) physical therapy, (4) use of anti inflammatory drugs, etc. Too many variables to say 1-2 weeks and you're fine. You haven't stated what you play, I've had some fairly long term RSI type issues from guitar ...


5

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 climbing strain and they start to build up scar tissue. They thicken and drastically reduce range of motion, especially limiting your fingers' ability to touch your ...


5

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, posting a video would work. But more likely, you need a teacher or a more experienced colleague in the room with you to ask you to try different things and observe ...


4

Calloused or not, you're putting a lot of pressure on a very small area of your skin. this will cause some tissue damage (minor, of course), which your body will then send more blood to in order to repair. This slight swelling can sometimes put pressure on the very sensitive nerves in your fingertips. It's nothing to be terribly worried about. It is a sign ...


4

I have played trombone with varying degrees of facial hair. I just trimmed the area around my lips so that I could sort of tuck the mouthpiece under my moustache in order to contact only skin for a seal. It was fairly easy, and with care to let the upper hairs grow long and hang over that area, unnoticeable. There was no real difference in my playing when I ...


4

There are some things you can do to make your voice happy: Stop talking. Don't sing. Don't even whisper. The more you let your vocal folds rest, the more quickly they will settle their inflammation. Drink tea with honey - natural, organic honey is best. Also, I personally like green tea but I think black or another favorite brand will work also. As ...


4

Your reliable source is correct. The earplugs may not change shape over time, but your ears do. I don't think you need a rule of thumb -- you'll know when your earplugs aren't fitting well anymore, as they'll become either uncomfortable or ineffective. You should be able to feel whether they fit snugly in your ears. If they no longer fit comfortably, it's ...


4

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, you may find songs that are easier to play as well. Hope some of this advice helps and don't give up.


4

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' and turn them into positives for you, far better than answers here. Rockin Cowboy is spot on. Do not let the problems get in your way. Others with much worse have ...


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