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Posture, posture, and more posture

Posted by Mandogryl on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Posture. First there was bow hold posture to learn, bent thumb (except for bluegrass chopping) and all.

Then there was the left hand, specifically the wrist, posture. No pancake hand on the neck shaft. I have pretty much over-come that, although it is amazing how many professionals play with a pancaked left hand.
Right arm posture, or technique, is a tough one. I’ve read about the door jamb idea and all. Sometimes I sit playing with my back to the piano on the bench, and rest the crook of the elbow against the piano to remind myself.
Now I have a new posture to bear in mind while playing the violin. Last Saturday I played at two jam sessions for a total of seven hours in one day, first OT then country/western backup-the-singer. Toward the end I noticed how tired and achy my back and shoulders were. I decided that I needed to have better posture. Sitting with a straighter back, curve the spine inwardly somewhat, shoulders back. This also brings the left hand and the instrument up in the air higher, and that makes it easier to keep that left wrist straightened. After a year of lessons it is slowly coming together.
On another note, this morning I played Appalachian Waltz for the first time completely from memory. I’ve been working on this tune for six months. This evening I performed a house concert to an audience of three, and played AW a second time, from memory.
And finally, I am preparing myself for playing at my first Contra-Dance. I have the set list and the music. This will be interesting. April 17th. I can’t wait. I have noticed that I have a fondness for performing.
Boy, do I love playing the violin.


10 comments on “Posture, posture, and more posture”

bj Says:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 @8:33:04 PM

You're gonna do fine at that dance, ya know!

Re posture, do a lookup on "centering". You'll find it in relation to all kinds of movement, whether it's modern dance, horseback riding or martial arts. You can "center" yourself while you're fiddling, and it takes the strain off. Those 20+ years of dance training came in useful for something. :-)

Mandogryl Says:
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 @3:06:33 AM

That's a good idea on 'centering'. I will check that out.
Thanks!

daniellestanleyful Says:
Thursday, March 4, 2010 @3:21:23 AM

Hey! Watch out for playing more than 2 hours at a stretch. One teacher told me to break for 10 minutes at each hour. You don't want to sustain injuries. That would be quite a setback. Do some nice easy stretching and relaxing now and then.

I do admire your dedication. Would love to hear you play.

Mandogryl Says:
Thursday, March 4, 2010 @3:35:08 AM

Thank you, daniellestanleyful, that is a good idea about the stretching. I will have to play for you some time. You could observe my 'posture'. Thanks!

ChickenMan Says:
Friday, March 5, 2010 @4:09:09 PM

Yeah, I'm with Danielle - it would be nice to hear you. Post us a couple of contra dance tunes and the Appalachian Waltz.
:-)

daniellestanleyful Says:
Friday, March 5, 2010 @5:33:04 PM

OK Mandogryl, we're waiting.

albert52 Says:
Saturday, March 6, 2010 @8:56:10 PM

I guess nobody told you that you have to chew gum as well (laugh). so many things to remember, so many things to do. Keep up the good work, and remember...HAVE FUN!!!!

daniellestanleyful Says:
Saturday, March 6, 2010 @9:07:32 PM

Yes fun is all and what is more fun than playing fiddle?

Mandogryl Says:
Sunday, March 7, 2010 @2:28:49 AM

That so much, everyone, for the advice. Albert52, I tried chewing gum and blowing bubbles while playing the fiddle. I ended up having to get new strings. But you're right, have fun is what its all about.
daniellestanleyful, there isn't much that is more fun than the fiddle, maybe one or two things.

daniellestanleyful Says:
Sunday, March 7, 2010 @5:48:39 AM

OK, then

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