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Ouch my arm hurts!
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NoirVelours
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April 16, 2012 - 3:04 pm
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To the beginners with 2 months or less playing so far: is your arm holding the violin hurts also after as practice? I try to keep mine relaxed but bringing that elbow under the violin to hit the G and D strings easely and twisting the forearm really make my arm hurts to a point that it's very stiff after 30 min practice. I'm sure it's not normal  and I am wondering if it's my muscles learning a flexibility that was not there before or if I am doing something seriously wrong in my posture! So am I alone or are the other beginners experiencing also some pain in the arm? violin

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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TerryT
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April 16, 2012 - 3:11 pm
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You are not alone. Even though the violin is quite light, you are probably using different muscles in different positions from before, so a little discomfort is to be expected. If it keeps on, or intensifies, it may be worth getting your posture or position checked by Fiddlerman, just to make sure, but generally (and in my case) the aches went away.

 

Except sometimes I get pain appear in my left bicep. the guns are just TOO big you see and not used to being squashed up. (lol, and remember, half my lies aren't true!)

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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ftufc
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April 16, 2012 - 4:08 pm
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NV, I too had a similar problem until an old local fiddler told me about an oft overlooked exercise which helps develop those specific muscles.  This exercise is the only way I was able to overcome my soreness.

You need to work with an approximate 16 oz. weight in your left hand, something that has a vertical handle on it.  You want to use something that isn't quite stable so that it builds the core fiber of those muscles.  You first start by setting the 16oz. on a table in front of you and slowly, smoothly bring that 16 ounces up to your chin, if you can do that repetitively, each time lessening the weight by just a few grams, within a couple of sessions you won't even notice that discomfort in your left arm. cheers

This is probably the same exact technique that Terry used to build that block of a bicep!  Let us know if this works for you NV!

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EJ-Kisz
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April 16, 2012 - 4:35 pm
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I know your pain, NoirVelours!  Literally!  

I agree with everybody above me!  I do some light stretching before I play and it seems to help!  

I'm still not fully used to playing violin yet, so I get some aches and pains in my arms and especially the top part of my left hand.  (been practicing a ton of vibrato lately!)

It's slowly starting to go away!  I can't wait to see what month 3 and 4 bring! cool

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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cdennyb
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April 16, 2012 - 5:47 pm
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Hey, just pop an aspirin about a half hour before practice... takes the edge off quite nicely... and after practice, use the 16 oz pain killer until your thoughts are not on your elbow.

 roflolcheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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EJ-Kisz
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April 16, 2012 - 6:16 pm
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cdennyb said
Hey, just pop an aspirin about a half hour before practice... takes the edge off quite nicely... and after practice, use the 16 oz pain killer until your thoughts are not on your elbow.

 

roflWell, in that case, you might as well have some fun with it and break out the bourbon! LOL  

I have a feeling my upcoming campfire concerts are going to be filled with song....and a heck of a lot of spirits! cheers

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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NoirVelours
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April 16, 2012 - 7:07 pm
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LOL thanks for the answers guys and gals! Look like I'll have to do some fiddler bodybuilding! dancing

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
April 16, 2012 - 9:00 pm
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For me, the pain is mostly in my neck. I wonder if the 16 oz. exercises mentioned above help with that, too.

cheers

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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dionysia
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April 16, 2012 - 9:51 pm
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It took me a minute to get the 16 oz exercise duncecap

roflolroflolroflol

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 16, 2012 - 10:55 pm
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Just take it easy with bringing the arm under. You probably need to build some muscle up slowly and the pain will subside, but don't over do it. I remember trying to touch my toes when I started running about a year ago. I had not chance and began stretching before and after. What a difference after 6 months.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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dionysia
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April 16, 2012 - 11:09 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I remember trying to touch my toes when I started running about a year ago.

Website/forum, store, lessons, gigs, practice, family...You have time to run too?dazed

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ftufc
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April 17, 2012 - 12:59 am
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Haaaaa!  Denny, nice touch with the aspirin.... then the ale,,,

EJ, 16oz. of bourbon would destroy ya!  Good luck on your campfire concert!

Scratchy, absolutely, the 16oz. exercise works for most everything that ales [get it] ya!

Dionysia, no duncecap, you're just not as corrupt as the rest of us, lol

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Fiddlestix
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April 17, 2012 - 1:23 am
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Somewhere in here I have two post's. In one post are photo's of my chin rest which I added two wood blocks, in order to build it up so I wasn't squashing the violin with my neck, which made it more comfortable.

In the other post I wrote instructions on "how to" and what material's I used to build it up.

Oh, there was a third post just a couple days ago about moving my chin rest to the center, over the tail piece. There is another photo of that also.

By moving the chin rest to the center it has brought my left arm farther under the violin so now I don't have to force it. It's much easier to reach the G and A strings and has greatly improved the path that the bow makes across the strings. It has moved my right arm around so i'm not having to stretch as far with the bow. It brings my right forearm and hand closer and i've notice straight bowing as opposed the the bow sliding all over the strings. It come's almost automatic.

I really like the change.

FM suggested I should make a special "how to do it" post which would be nice, but i'm all out of chin rests for a demo.

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NoirVelours
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April 17, 2012 - 8:10 am
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I cannot make my chinrest higher, I had to make it the lowest possible because my neck is kinda short. It took a while to ajust it so I felt really comfortable and was able to hold the fiddle with my chin without any stress. (test as if I was left handed) When I turn my bow arm palm up an place the fingers in position the same pain occurs so it really might be that my muscles.

I blame it all on computers!!! No really, our palms are down all the time typing or mouse clicking! I'm studying in accounting so even in my non-leisure time I am at the computer in that downward position.dazed

I don't kave Bourbon, can a bottle of Beaujolais do the trick also? crossedfingers

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlerman
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April 17, 2012 - 8:28 am
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Actually NV, you are one step ahead of the game if you don't have to build your chin-rest. Makes it easier for you. What do you have under the violin? Is that comfortable?
Fiddlestix suggestion to try a center mounted chin-rest is actually a great one. Obviously the over the tailpiece chinrests are slightly higher though as they must clear the tail-piece. As Fiddlestix says, your violin would come up automatically bringing it closer to your arm and making the reach to the G string less. I don't know if you have a shop nearby but keep that in mind. It's not necessarily the solution but definitely worth trying. Remember that you haven't been playing the violin for very long and all of a sudden you are doing yoga with your arms on the violin. You probably just need to get used to it keeping in mind (as you have) to stay relaxed and not over stretch.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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NoirVelours
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April 18, 2012 - 12:14 am
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Thanks to a link Denny sent me I'm all set for fiddle yoga! Check out the exercises from 11:30 and my favorite the one at 18:04 exactly call me crazy but I really plan to do them haha.

feature=player_embedded#!

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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ftufc
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April 18, 2012 - 1:19 am
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roflol At any point during this film, I fully expected Larry, Curly, & Mo,,,,, or better yet, the Von Trapps, to skip through the frame!!! 

Okay, so as hysterical as this film is, I'd totally agree NV, this would be a GREAT warm-up to the exhilarating sport that is Violin!  I really believe the 16oz. exercise makes a whole lot more sense, but personally, one of the things I've been working on this past week is to more fully relax my right shoulder..... so I'm gonna try this stuff too. dancing

Denny, did you happen to attend this school, lmao!

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NoirVelours
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April 18, 2012 - 7:49 am
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Actually I think the warm ups are good even for computer stiffness. We can sneak a few neck exercises and shoulders even at the office, though I'm not sure how the collegues would react if I did the candle in front of my desk roflol That said, I'm in love with these videos and am watching them all.

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlestix
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April 18, 2012 - 8:24 am
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I found this video to be very informative in regard to when he had the instrument to his chin. If you happened to notice when he was holding the violin, his chin was to the opposite side of the chin rest, which put him over top of the tail piece. The violin was actually more over his left shoulder as opposed to being on his upper chest. Consequently forcing his left elbow to be more under the violin.

I thought his demonstration was actually very good up to the part of all the exercises. If anyone saw me doing all the contortions, i'd be commited to a rubber room. Plus you would have to make your practice session about two hour's long.

I like the video, thanks  NV.  I'm going to watch the other parts of his instructional vids.

        

                              dancing

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Fiddlerman
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April 18, 2012 - 9:43 am
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Good point Fiddlestix.  He has the violin quite high for that time. How about Heifetz?

heifetz.gif

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