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Thread: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

  1. #1
    We're all mad here elbent's Avatar
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    Default Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    Hi again, sorry for posting so much. Iíve been playing for nine days and Iím starting to get a tightness in my left shoulder, my fretting arm, probably from having my arm bunched up while playing. I have a teacher who says my posture is correct. It doesnít hurt constantly but sometimes does if I move a certain way. It almost feels like a knot. Is this something that will go away with time or are there some stretches I can do to help alleviate the stiffness? Thanks all!

    El

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    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    No offense to your teacher, but a PT is likely a better judge of your posture. I have chronic right shoulder issues, much of it due to bad posture (and which isn't easy to correct at age 68!). But if you feel it is tight, maybe a good massage will be helpful.
    Russ Jordan

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    We're all mad here elbent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Jordan View Post
    No offense to your teacher, but a PT is likely a better judge of your posture. I have chronic right shoulder issues, much of it due to bad posture (and which isn't easy to correct at age 68!). But if you feel it is tight, maybe a good massage will be helpful.
    Well, I would assume he would know about good mandolin posture, which is what I was referring to. Iíll tell my fiancť to break out the massage oil

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    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    I am still a beginner at this. I noticed I was developed pain in my upper arm
    while practicing. I recognized it as muscle pain that signaled time for a break.
    My interpretation is this is like many new activities. At first it is easy to focus
    on the detailed motion while being tense in other muscles. After a while it
    becomes easier to relax. I don't get that upper arm pain now. Maybe I am
    making a little progress.

    I don't know if this applies to you, but it is something to consider.

    Thanks,
    sounds_good

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    Registered User Ken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    I've got tendonitis issues in my left bicep/rotator cuff. PT exercises have helped a great deal to lessen pain and increase mobility but its not quite as good as new (neither am I) What mostly works for me is to keep the left arm as far to the left as I can and still play. If I play in front of me or to the right it seems to be pinching something off that aggravates the pain. I'm not discounting that there is good posture and bad posture, but I've never been a fan of only one way is the right way. I also agree with sounds-good regarding tension, especially as you indicate this is new to you. I've been playing a lot of years, but when I am learning a new style or song, I still find myself tensing up as I try to work it out. Relax as best you can, have fun!
    Peace

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    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    There is a Mike Marshall video on YouTube in which he says many problems with the mandolin are associated with posture. Similar statements on the mandolessons.com web site and his YouTube videos. My teacher emphasizes posture even though I am a slow to correct it.

    I guess it would be worth the time to get a second opinion.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    IMHO, the only place that pain goes away with time is with calluses on your fingers.

    Every teacher I have ever had (guitar/mandolin) stress that pain in playing is NOT GOOD. Find out what is causing it
    and correct it before going on. You can only make it worse.

  8. #8
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shoulder pain in fretting arm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dukesdad View Post
    There is a Mike Marshall video on YouTube in which he says many problems with the mandolin are associated with posture. Similar statements on the mandolessons.com web site and his YouTube videos. My teacher emphasizes posture even though I am a slow to correct it. I guess it would be worth the time to get a second opinion.
    Take a lesson with Pete Martin, who has trained extensively in and teaches carefully to proper ergonomics.
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