Control shoulder tension?

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bigtiny
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Control shoulder tension?

Post by bigtiny » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:30 pm

Hi all,

I've been experiencing a lot of tension (and pain) in my left shoulder while playing. I have an underlying condition that causes pain in my shoulder, but it seems to get exacerbated when playing. Other than the obvious "just don't tense it up" advice, does anyone have any insight on avoiding this kind of tension and its cause?

thanks in advance,

bigtiny
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Neo Bri
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by Neo Bri » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:35 pm

I don't have much advice. I sometimes notice when I haven't played a long rehearsal in a while that I have muscle soreness and fatigue. Sometimes my 'traps' get very tense, too. I pay for that for a few days afterward.
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timothy42b
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by timothy42b » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:38 am

I think we need a good counterweight design that really balances the horn both fore and aft and side to side.

I'm envisioning an attachment with two clamps on the gooseneck tubing and an L shaped rod, with the ability to adjust the weight and the distance.

Either the ergobone or the cantilever type supports can do the same thing, but I've started thinking they may be unnecessary. I think the ergonomic problem with the trombone is less the amount of total weight, and more the nose heaviness and rolling torque.
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Matt K
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by Matt K » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:50 am

timothy42b wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:38 am
I think we need a good counterweight design that really balances the horn both fore and aft and side to side.

I'm envisioning an attachment with two clamps on the gooseneck tubing and an L shaped rod, with the ability to adjust the weight and the distance.

Either the ergobone or the cantilever type supports can do the same thing, but I've started thinking they may be unnecessary. I think the ergonomic problem with the trombone is less the amount of total weight, and more the nose heaviness and rolling torque.
Someone on the TTF had an alto trombone counterweight made that is similar to what you describe. I've been really digging the neotech lately myself, even on altos, but having such an option could be cool for sure!
timothy42b
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by timothy42b » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:06 am

Matt K wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:50 am
timothy42b wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:38 am
I think we need a good counterweight design that really balances the horn both fore and aft and side to side.

I'm envisioning an attachment with two clamps on the gooseneck tubing and an L shaped rod, with the ability to adjust the weight and the distance.

Either the ergobone or the cantilever type supports can do the same thing, but I've started thinking they may be unnecessary. I think the ergonomic problem with the trombone is less the amount of total weight, and more the nose heaviness and rolling torque.
Someone on the TTF had an alto trombone counterweight made that is similar to what you describe. I've been really digging the neotech lately myself, even on altos, but having such an option could be cool for sure!
Yes, I saw his invention, and it's very impressive.

I suggested two clamps as an improvement, partly because that high tech clarinet lyre is not widely available in the US. With one clamp, friction must resist the moment forces in two directions. With one clamp, the major cantilever force (pitch) is easily countered without having to tighten the clamps as much. Roll might still be a problem but I think is less of an issue. You could do a proof of concept with EMT tubing clamps, in various sizes at big box stores for about 75 cents each.
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tbonedude
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by tbonedude » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:14 pm

Consider the ergonomics of the instrument you're playing. Is it unbalanced (bell or end heavy)? How comfortable is your left hand when holding the instrument? Shoulder issues related to playing can often be caused by poor ergonomics of the instrument you are using. If this isn't the issue, you might consider lifting some weights if you arn't already. Shoulder/head/neck/upper arm lifts can help.
baileyman
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by baileyman » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:22 am

timothy42b wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:38 am
I think we need a good counterweight design that really balances the horn both fore and aft and side to side.

I'm envisioning an attachment with two clamps on the gooseneck tubing and an L shaped rod, with the ability to adjust the weight and the distance.

Either the ergobone or the cantilever type supports can do the same thing, but I've started thinking they may be unnecessary. I think the ergonomic problem with the trombone is less the amount of total weight, and more the nose heaviness and rolling torque.
When I had wrist pain about ten years ago I made such a device that put the counterweight behind my head. It worked brilliantly.

But as it is now I also get shoulder pain. It's from muscles tensing up and needing convincing to let loose. My massage gal worked on the shoulder to her satisfaction but was unable to loosen the pain I felt. What does help is to roll a lacross ball on the tender areas until they let loose. Typically this means leaning against the ball against a wall and rolling it onto the tender parts. They let go rather dramatically.

I have not found a way to prevent this, only a way to compensate.
tanstaafl49
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by tanstaafl49 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:15 am

I'm getting the equivalent but in the inside of the left elbow and the upper arm. Would a bit of weight lifting help? This is relatively new, but there again I've only been playing a few years.
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mooretrombone
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by mooretrombone » Wed May 02, 2018 7:34 am

I highly suggest visiting a physical therapist and bringing your horn along! Anatomy is complex, and there are any number of things that can be affecting you. I went in at the beginning of the year for shoulder discomfort and discovered that my issue (to put it simply) had more to do with the fact that my back was weak and my shoulders had essentially learned to do all of the work in supporting the horn (which I would've never discovered on my own). I feel better now and am much more aware of my body while playing, which I've found has let me feel a lot less tense, especially in more stressful performances, etc.

Think of it like a private lesson – even if you can't afford to go often, try it once so that the effort you're putting in at home is going down the proper path.
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Gribnes
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by Gribnes » Thu May 03, 2018 5:28 am

I will be presenting on this topic at the upcoming International Trombone Festival in July. Speakers are allotted 45-ish minutes so I can at least cobble an outline of the principals that we trombone players experience from a physiological perspective. A more detailed set of notes will be posted on my website as the conference draws near.
While a generalized physical conditioning program will be helpful to most players there are subsets of owies particular to the trombone. First we are humans. Any postural faults may be amplified given the constrained and repetitive acts of tromboning.
I do believe it would be helpful if there were a parallel course for college level students to better prepare for the rigors of the profession.
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Inspector71
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by Inspector71 » Thu May 03, 2018 6:31 am

I have been plagued by problems with my left arm and shoulder for the past 5 years or so. Aching, burning pain running from my shoulder down my left arm. The longer I hold the horn, the worse it gets. Makes graduation gigs almost unbearable. (Pomp and Circumstance...over and over)

I also have some fairly advanced carpel tunnel in both hands... more so in my left hand since I am a southpaw.
The Dr. thinks that the two are related...but I have yet to see the surgeon. That's is Monday(5/7)

Any others have similar symptoms?
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Kbiggs
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Re: Control shoulder tension?

Post by Kbiggs » Thu May 03, 2018 7:44 am

I’ve had wrist, elbow, and shoulder problems in the past—tendonitis in the wrist and elbow, and frozen shoulders (both at the same time!) I’ve used the ErgoBone extensively in the past. I’m currently using the Sheridan Get-A-Grip, which works better for me.

I remember seeing a cantilever type arrangement from a post on TTF ages ago. Any one have a prototype or a good picture of what this might look like?
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