Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

157
Fiddle Lovers Online


Discussion Forum

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

 All Forums
 Playing the Fiddle
 Music Theory
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: strange question


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/53429

old cowboy - Posted - 05/07/2020:  07:01:43


OK. Please don't think I'm nuts. When I practice for a length of time I begin to get light headed. Sorta swimmy headed. I take a break and everything is ok for awhile. Is this normal? I have some age on me so I just contribute it to that. So what ya think? Am I nuts?

Flat_the_3rd_n7th - Posted - 05/07/2020:  07:37:26


I assume you have played long enough to get the steady breathing down while you're playing. Lots of people get the breath holding and sleep apnea going when they hit a hard part.

Maybe just sitting on one position too long? Hypoxia (lack of oxygen to brain) can happen, there's a thing called stagnant hypoxia where the blood pools in one place and stagnates the O2 flow.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 05/07/2020:  09:24:04


How tightly do you clamp down with your chin? You might be pressing into a nerve or a vein.

old cowboy - Posted - 05/07/2020:  10:55:04


rich and scott I think you two might have hit on it. I paid particular attention to what I was doing. When I sit down to practice a particular tune or hard part I am all tensed up and yes I am pressing down hard with my chin. I am now starting to go thru a relaxing routine before starting to play. So far it seems to be working. Feel very excited about this. Thanks for the advice!

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 05/07/2020:  14:29:35


Holding both your arms up. Clamping down with your chin.


Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 05/07/2020 14:29:53

ShadeTree - Posted - 05/07/2020:  19:26:38


There is also a body condition which occurs with rapid shallow breathing (nerves) and it causes the face to feel as if the skin is going to sleep. It can be rather disturbing.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 05/07/2020:  19:38:49


quote:

Originally posted by old cowboy

rich and scott I think you two might have hit on it. I paid particular attention to what I was doing. When I sit down to practice a particular tune or hard part I am all tensed up and yes I am pressing down hard with my chin. I am now starting to go thru a relaxing routine before starting to play. So far it seems to be working. Feel very excited about this. Thanks for the advice!






Glad to hear you're finding a solution! 

Schreech - Posted - 05/08/2020:  07:45:48


I wonder if trying a higher chin rest would help? It would keep your head more upright and feel more secure under your chin. It might help fight the urge to clamp down. Or maybe a pad on the chin rest.

old cowboy - Posted - 05/08/2020:  08:12:44


schreech
Been thinking the same thing my self. I'll give it a try.

rosinhead - Posted - 05/09/2020:  16:51:07


Have you ever tried using a shoulder rest? I feel that would be a better solution than raising or padding the chinrest. They provide a lot of help in supporting the fiddle.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 05/09/2020:  17:54:27


I would suggest focusing on the amount of tension at the chin. Adding more height to the chinrest or a shoulder rest is likely to add to the tension—use them only if you’re unable to achieve a proper hold.

rosinhead - Posted - 05/10/2020:  05:34:59


quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

I would suggest focusing on the amount of tension at the chin. Adding more height to the chinrest or a shoulder rest is likely to add to the tension—use them only if you’re unable to achieve a proper hold.






I agree that a proper hold could alleviate the problem.  For me, as well as many other old-time fiddlers, there is nothing "proper" about the way we hold the fiddle though.  I place the fiddle bellow the collar bone between my left shoulder and chest.  I have even removed the chinrests from most of my fiddles since they aren't really serving any purpose for me.  I realize that this kind of hold can be limiting and certainly wouldn't work well for some genres of music, but it is what works best for me.  I started out using my chin and over the years my hold migrated to where it is today.  I'm not trying to downplay this advice, just conveying that there's a lot us that aren't doing things by the book.  I didn't intentionally do things improperly I just adapted to a hold that felt more comfortable and worked for me.

Joel Glassman - Posted - 05/11/2020:  14:36:39


Put a pad or a little pillow between your chin and the chin rest.

Schreech - Posted - 05/11/2020:  17:34:40


quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

I would suggest focusing on the amount of tension at the chin. Adding more height to the chinrest or a shoulder rest is likely to add to the tension—use them only if you’re unable to achieve a proper hold.






I just switched two of my fiddles to WAVE chin rests and feel more comfortable with a better hold on my fiddle.  They are built higher off the fiddle and keep your head and neck straighter.  A world of difference now in playing comfort . The fiddle is more secure with little chin clenching and tension.  They have different heights available and a great return policy to try out up to four different models and keeping the one you like best.  Made in Kentucky.   Check out the website.  It explains a lot about proper fit.

bsed - Posted - 11/28/2020:  18:38:29


I didn't read any replies above, so I'll just say 'No', it ain't normal and you should probably get thee to a doctor.

ChickenMan - Posted - 11/28/2020:  18:48:52


Have you resolved your issue, old cowboy?

gapbob - Posted - 11/29/2020:  16:39:50


Agree with Bruce, go to a doctor—it is possible to have your neck be amiss and pressing on the blood vessels
to your brain.

old cowboy - Posted - 11/30/2020:  03:40:19


I went to a specialist and he said I have nerve damage in my throat. I have also started having extreme pain in my throat. It is in the same area where my fiddle sets. Dr said it is what they call nerve pain. He gave me some meds. for it and wants me to go to a nerve pain specialist. I have been experimenting with other ways of holding the fiddle. I took the shoulder rest off and took Rosinheads advice and started holding the fiddle lower and with less chin pressure. Helped a great deal and The pain and dizziness have subsided a lot. My age probably has a lot to do with it . I am77. I thank all you guys for your advice and concern. I plan to keep on playing. I enjoy it too much to quit.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 12/01/2020:  08:40:51


The awkward way of holding a fiddle gives a lot of people problems. My grandson had to quit because of a problem he had with it. It's just not natural no matter what type chin rest, shoulder rest or whatever, in my opinion, which means nothing.

I have a viola too, which seems to be easier on the body just because it's bigger. Still awkward to hold. I've seen some people really do great by holding the fiddle more like a cello, upright on a chair between their knees...it would be hard to get used to, because you are bascially bowing upsidedown that way, but I've seen one guy just burn up Orange Blossom Special that way, so it's possible, for sure. Other people use or invent a variety of straps, etc. I don't know why they don't have a fiddle strap like banjos and guitars and stuff...seems like it oughta be a popular item every fiddler would have...it would be helpful.

There's also shoulder holding, or as I do, because I can't get it to hold still along my arm resting against my shoulder, I rest it on my knee sometiimes and do a sort of shoulder hold...but of course then if you leave first position you're gonna need to hold it under your chin.

I've seen people do a shoulder hold and hook their thumb behind the nut to stabilize it...I can't...I think my hand isn't large enough to give me enough finger utilization with my thumb hooked behind the nut.

But what I'm saying here is the instrument is totally awkward and not ergonomic at all...possibly even dangerous in ways. If it's fiddle we're playing and not classical violin, we're free to explore all kinds of ways to deal with that...thankfully, cause it ain't easy. Good luck...I think you'll find a way to make it work.

bulltrout - Posted - 12/01/2020:  14:44:20


I sometimes get a crick in my neck if I spend too much time looking at the finger board. Don’t know about your set up. Mine is a typical violinist set up which presumes one is looking at the sheet music/conductor so the most comfortable position is with my face pointed maybe 45 to starboard.

boxbow - Posted - 12/01/2020:  14:51:57


I am not making this up. I saw some documentary made involving violin traditions in India. Among other things, I saw video of some of them playing while sitting cross-legged on the ground with the scroll of the fiddle resting in their toes or tucked up into the arch or something like that.

Never been tempted, myself.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 12/01/2020:  14:53:54


For me at least, a good part of being able to fiddle is to not have to look at where your fretting fingers ought to go. It's just one of those issues you have to deal with if you want to play the thing and not tie your neck up in knots. If I stare anywhere it's at the point where the bow meets the string...so I can try to keep my bow at a ninety degree angle and have it drawing on the part of the string that generates the best tone.

Old Scratch - Posted - 12/01/2020:  18:03:41


Over forty years ago, I was working in an East-Indian restaurant - the cook and I often talked about music generally and fiddle specifically, and he told me then about that Indian way of holding the violin. So I believe it!

GeoB - Posted - 12/31/2020:  11:34:13


quote:

Originally posted by old cowboy

I went to a specialist and he said I have nerve damage in my throat. I have also started having extreme pain in my throat. It is in the same area where my fiddle sets. Dr said it is what they call nerve pain. He gave me some meds. for it and wants me to go to a nerve pain specialist. I have been experimenting with other ways of holding the fiddle. I took the shoulder rest off and took Rosinheads advice and started holding the fiddle lower and with less chin pressure. Helped a great deal and The pain and dizziness have subsided a lot. My age probably has a lot to do with it . I am77. I thank all you guys for your advice and concern. I plan to keep on playing. I enjoy it too much to quit.






For example... here's how Indian carnatic violists hold their viols. When I was rehabbing from a shattered wrist I tried it a bit, it was,  for my purposes at the time, not too uncomfortable. BTW don't fall off of ladders... my playing will never be as it was, but I still enjoy a challenge.



youtu.be/sNOojay39dg



 

christym - Posted - 01/04/2021:  09:42:26


quote:

Originally posted by old cowboy

... nerve damage... I took the shoulder rest off... I plan to keep on playing. I enjoy it too much to quit.






Old Cowboy, I had a similar complaint due to clamping down too much on the chin rest.



I ended up removing my chin rest all together so that I have nothing to clamp onto.  I kept the shoulder rest, as the added friction helps stabilize the fiddle, and added a fiddle strap.  The strap is not perfect, but it allows me to get my chin out of the equation completely and hold my head upright with neck in a more relaxed position.



Homemade fiddle strap (photo and description)


Edited by - christym on 01/04/2021 09:43:55

old cowboy - Posted - 01/12/2021:  05:52:41


thanks for the info. I have been working on relaxing my chin while playing and not bearing down with it and letting the fiddle sort of just sit there. It is much better now that I have made a concerted effort to relax.

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.046875