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sore shoulder

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by MikeInZion, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Help -

    the more I practise, the more my left shoulder hurts. Anyone feel this? What did you do. It seems like it starting to get a bit serious.

  2. Do you have a teacher? You need someone to critique your stance. However, its possible your stance could appear correct and you would still experience the problem.

    I can't comment specifically on the left shoulder, but I did have a fairly serious pain in my lower right back when I first started playing and again the when I first started playing on a stool.

    I didn't go to a doctor or anything (not saying you shouldn't), but instead focused on playing with my body more relaxed, with a feeling of the entire body while playing. When you can do this, you feel how muscles you didn't even think you were using are being used in various ways by the process of playing. You will feel (probably) at this point something you are doing that puts more or less pressure on certain areas. Remember, don't overcompensate by liberating the sore muscles at the risk of hurting others, but rather reducing the amount of stress on that part of your body.

    Specifically, with the left hand, I would think this could do with the position of your thumb or your elbow when playing. It could also be an excessively tense left hand if your action is too high (this is completely relative), or you are playing things that are difficult/challenging and not able to let your left hand relax. Some learning does come with pain, however the learning process needs time. I had to climb anthills before I got to the small sand dunes I am now climbing. Ya know?

    Finally, I would think that your stance could be the culprit. The more I think about it, if you are having trouble with your left shoulder, it could be the right leg/arm that are the culprits. You may not be letting the bass 'come to you' enough, instead leaning into it in an overly agressive stance that tends to hurt your shoulders and back. I still get back pains when I try to play in thumb position very long, which tells me I need to adjust something myself.

    One of the other folks should chime in with a better and less verbose answer, but there's my $.02
  3. Speaking of verbose, how's the broken jaw lerm?
  4. The causes of muscle pain are 1) misuse and 2) new use. To distinguish, you need a teacher.

    My Alexander Technique training compels me to say that unless your spine, neck, and head are in natural (as distinguished from "normal")alignment,
    you are using yourself improperly.
  5. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    At first I was going to poke fun at all the good misguided people who seek free personal medical advice on a doublebass enthusiast message board, but I think our learned moderator Mr. Donosaurus has composed a much more elegant argument.
  6. I'd say the best thing you can do it have someone watch you play and tell you what you might change; either a teacher who is open minded and famiiar with how the bass playing body works, or some sort of body worker who can tell you what positions and movements work and don't work. It would probably be a good idea to take it easy until you figure out what's going on; no use hurting yourself as it will just take longer to get back in the swing of things.