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:


  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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