Where is your head located

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, May 23, 2012.

  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    in relation to the neck when you play? Slightly behind the neck and about one hand width to the side?

    Thanks for reading!
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The head belongs in its natural position. Deviation leads to injury and pain of varying degrees.
    The natural position of the head is forward from the spine and centered (i.e. equidistant from each shoulder), not fixed in any particular type of tilt. Balanced but free to move as the body moves. The head, while forward, should not sag or droop so as to overload the supportive muscles.
    To see what's wrong with what you describe, stand with your behind and shoulder blades touching a wall, feet a few inches away from the wall. Then force your head back to touch the wall. To my students, it feels awful. If it doesn't, you've already formed a habit which you will eventually pay for.
    That's all I can say without seeing you.
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The title of this thread should provoke some uh, interesting answers.
  4. jaff


    Jun 7, 2006
    I think it depends somewhat on an individual's age, physical structure, and vision. I'm up there a bit on years and at various times find myself 'peering' at the page. At such times I have to do what I can to have proper focus on the page and maintain a sense of body alignment. I also have a moderate congenital rotoscoliosis and I think this affects the position of my head and neck. Definitely a list to the right that I have to be aware of.
    As we age, progressively unstable vision frequently can become a postural problem.
    I think that both Feldenkrais and Alexander techniques with some instructors come from a rigid idealized symmetrical body image. As I learned in martial arts, we have to find 'our' posture. Of course there is an 'ideal' but we have to use that as a formal reference point.
    (Just thinking out loud with the big head....)
  5. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    typically, on my shoulders.
  6. Witjas


    Dec 4, 2010
    I think Andy may have meant your head in relation to the neck of the bass, rather than in relation to your own neck :D

    Andy, if that's what you're asking, there are too many variables and a straight answer could be misleading, so I won't give one. Sitting or standing, what size bass, playing in which position, and so on.. it depends on quite a number of factors.

    If you did mean your own neck though... I'd advise against putting your head one hand width to the side of it!
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    You're right.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. As an Alexander teacher, since I'm working with the neck and head every day, I read the post with my own tunnel vision.
    And your not giving advice was spot-on. Too many variables to be giving advice via the net.
    Good work on two counts.
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Sorry, but your perception of the Alexander Technique is off course by 180 degrees. 'Rigid' is anathema to AT teachers. We speak about 'posture' only because it's a word the public seems to need to understand what we're about. We are concerned with fluidity and poise in movement, and we're never not moving, even when standing still.
    As for symmetry, no one is symmetrical. None of my students, and not me, their teacher. If asymmetry is the result of harmful habits, the condition will correct itself as an indirect consequence of learned thinking skills. We do not address the condition directly. If the condition is structural, as in birth defects (my situation) no amount of lessons or therapy from anyone is going to change it.
  9. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    On top of my neck!?!
  10. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    If you ask my wife, she'll probably tell you it's up my backside. :bag:
  11. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Thanks for the replies, all. I am putting some of my neck strains to different factors already mentioned by some in this thread and I'll see how to best address.
  12. Definitely

    Definitely Inactive

    My head's on my neck, one hand width to the side sounds painful...
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    Primary TB Assistant

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