An Excerpt from Playing (Less) Hurt

Just to give you even more of an idea of the helpful information you’ll find in Playing (Less) Hurt, the book I reviewed yesterday, here are two brief excerpts that Janet has given me permission to share:

10 POTENTIAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO OVERUSE

  1. Body size, build.
  2. Conditioning.
  3. Muscle imbalances due to the demands of playing the instrument.
  4. Fatigue.
  5. Joint laxity.
  6. Stress levels.
  7. Misuse: poor technique, poor habits and/or poor posture.
  8. Abrupt changes or increases of schedule, length of practice, instrument type or weight.
  9. Style of playing and lifestyle choices.
  10. Your equipment setup.

Injury Susceptibility Quiz

  • Does your teacher have an intense teaching style?
  • Is your playing style intense, emotional, macho?
  • Is your position awkward or uncomfortable?
  • Do you have a predilection for difficult, pyrotechnical, challenging, loud repertoire?
  • Do you love to slam your bow or slap your fingers into the strings or slam or squeeze down keys?
  • Do you practice mostly at the forte dynamic range?
  • Do you squeeze your instrument while holding it?
  • Do you jam the keys down, even when playing softly?
  • Do you lose track of time when practicing?
  • Do you have difficulty saying “no”?
  • Do you clench your jaw or grit your teeth?
  • Do you schedule back-to-back rehearsals, gigs and performances?
  • Do you play in spite of fatigue and pain?
  • Do you fling your fingers off strings or keys?
  • Do you grip your bow tightly or grab your fingerboard or squeeze it?
  • Do you play without warming up?
  • Do you play a very large, heavy or very resistant instrument?
  • Do you play with a heavy bow, keep your strings high or use a worn-out, ill-fitting chin rest?
  • Do you stretch to reach notes or keys?
  • Do you hold fingers uplifted and/or curled?
  • Do you hold stretches, double stops or chords down?
  • Do you snap your elbow when changing from downbow to upbow?
  • Are you a tense, stressed person?
  • Are you depressed?
  • Do you neglect to warm-up?
  • Do you sleep poorly?
  • Are you physically inactive?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you consume more than two cups of caffeinated beverages a day?
  • Do you take drugs or drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol?

Share and enjoy!

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