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How to Avoid Injury When Playing a Musical Instrument

Useful tips to avoid injury when playing a musical instrument

Released on July 31, 2013

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Meera Thadani on August 2, 2013 @9:13 pm PST
I am one of those oldies and I had progressive bifocals made and it made a big difference to my sight reading. I also chose a slightly bigger frame than the skinny fashion ones and that helped a lot also.
Thanks for all the tips.
Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on July 31, 2013 @7:35 pm PST
I would like to mention a very important thing for those oldies like me who wear byfocals. Make sure you get a pair of bifocals made with the intermediate distance lenses at the top and the reading lenses at the bottom. Don't attempt to read music with the reading part of your glasses, your neck won't like it! And you will find how useful is that pair of intermediate/reading lenses for other tasks around the house, like painting the ceiling or the walls.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on August 1, 2013 @8:04 am PST
That's a really good point Fulvia, and I agree with you 100%! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Robert - host, on August 3, 2013 @10:04 am PST
I finally had to succumb to reading glasses a few years ago. (My distance vision is still 20/20.) When I read music, I place the glasses high on my face so I can see the keyboard without looking through the glasses! You must find what works for you.
Lois Uscher on July 31, 2013 @6:20 pm PST
Good advice about how to avoid injury. So important to break up practice time and move about and then return fresh to your instrument. Stretch your upper body so that your shoulders and neck do not become problems.
Maria * VSM MEMBER * on July 31, 2013 @4:58 pm PST
Hello Robert,
great suggestions as always! I have found Tai Chi before starting practice, or before a concert, is also very useful and helps to "settle" the body.
Eileen Sephton on July 31, 2013 @6:59 am PST
Hi Robert,
I was just watching your advice on avoiding injury and thought I'd share my experience as I only discovered my problem after playing for 15 years. As a violinist, I used to get very sore round the base of my neck. When I upgraded my instrument the problem disappeared. The reason - my new better violin was much lighter. I hadn't realised how heavy my particular student model was, nor that this excess weight was causing my problem. Weight of the violin in relation to the person playing it is now something I consider when guiding students in their purchases.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on July 31, 2013 @8:17 am PST
Thank you Eileen for sharing your experience, as a violinist myself I can confirm that what you wrote is 100% true! The weight of the instrument plays a big role on that as well as having the right shoulder rest.

For violinist like you, be sure to check out Lora's video about the Best Violin Posture:

Thank you again for sharing and, please, let me know if you have any additional questions.
Robert - host, on July 31, 2013 @9:59 am PST
You bring up such a good point! Problems can develop with any instrument that is either faulty or not the right fit. Finding the right mouthpiece can be critical to keeping a relaxed, healthy approach on a wind instrument. Pianos with excessively heavy actions can certainly cause problems. Many violists struggle finding an instrument that isn't too big or heavy. So this is an important subject for all musicians.
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