Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

25
Fiddle Lovers Online


Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Aug 9, 2018 - 10:45:15 PM
823 posts since 7/26/2015

Fiddle-Related Muscle Building...

Your thoughts on this topic? Which arm muscles need to be strong in order to maximize bow control? Somebody suggested that building my upper-body strength would make me a better fiddler.

Aug 9, 2018 - 11:25:36 PM

1918 posts since 8/23/2008

Good fiddling is all in the mind...…..

Aug 10, 2018 - 4:32:42 AM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2319 posts since 2/3/2011

Strength isn't it so much as endurance and stability. If you're going to do it, do core building exercises. From the pelvic girdle to the upper back and shoulders. That'll give you both. Yoga is a good one but there are plenty others. Heck, going for a brisk walk every day would help. Throw a ball around for a little while. When I think of exercise, I think of my mother's frequent adjuration to "Get out and blow the stink off!"

Aug 10, 2018 - 5:53:18 AM

Earworm

USA

13 posts since 1/30/2018

I have a belief that spine exercises that focus on flexibility and strength are key. Spine twists are great for this. Arm and finger stretches on can also help. I have found a good list of finger / wrist stretches - I have tried them out a little bit but have not really used them much, I'm afraid. They remind me of the kind of stretches my mom was given to help with arthritis pain, btw. Finger Warm-Up Exercises to Extend Flexibility

Aug 10, 2018 - 6:12:20 AM

1482 posts since 10/22/2007

Maybe it's just a rehearsal consideration; Not speaking for all but , I can imagine most practice, seated/sitting down. I know I do. Then time comes for a some gigging or jamming standing up. I wonder why my endurance isn't there? Well, I'm lazy.
My advice would be, if you're going to be standing for three hours, practice standing and playing for three or four hours. I don't, and I pay for it.

Aug 10, 2018 - 11:23:21 AM

6572 posts since 3/19/2009

Full-range exercises involving the fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulder are Very effective in keeping muscles strong and flexible...Works for me. At one time I was ready to 'quit' because my muscles hurt so badly...Then I discovered full range movements and my problem went away quickly..Fiddling is a mid-range activity and surprisingly, the muscles don't move very far through their range possibilities. Minimal movement can cause cramping or 'tennis elbow'...I know..So... Large, slow, full range arm circles. Full range bending of elbow and wrist and fingers..You'll not regret it .. I've demonstrated full range exercises to a few guitar players and they Love them....Full range movements when done properly stretch AND build muscles...

Also, remember, you don't have to do on-the-floor pushups to build muscle..just leaning against a wall and doing easy pushups, standing, can build significant muscle mass..I'm living proof..

PS.. Didn't you say somewhere that you would be at CLifftop this year??

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2018 11:27:16

Aug 10, 2018 - 12:31:06 PM
likes this

1321 posts since 8/27/2008

I don't think building upper body strength ifor playing fiddle makes sense. Most people have the strength to play fiddle, barring injury or illness. Instead of muscle strength it is good to build indurance, which you do by relaxing muscles, not strengthing them. Removing tension is the key to strong playing.

Aug 10, 2018 - 12:39:03 PM

6572 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by abinigia

I don't think building upper body strength ifor playing fiddle makes sense. Most people have the strength to play fiddle, barring injury or illness. Instead of muscle strength it is good to build indurance, which you do by relaxing muscles, not strengthing them. Removing tension is the key to strong playing.


"barring injury or illness".. Repetitive activities can cause injuries.. While I don't disagree with you, I AM an advocate of overall conditioning.. looks like it is debatable... wink  I"m only speaking from MY experiences.. you may have had other experiences..........

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2018 12:43:37

Aug 10, 2018 - 1:09:55 PM

823 posts since 7/26/2015

I notice that after playing for close to three minutes, I have discomfort in the outside of my bowing arm. Maybe it's radiating from the deltoid. I don't know.  I wasn't able to make it to Clifftop, sadly.
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Full-range exercises involving the fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulder are Very effective in keeping muscles strong and flexible...Works for me. At one time I was ready to 'quit' because my muscles hurt so badly...Then I discovered full range movements and my problem went away quickly..Fiddling is a mid-range activity and surprisingly, the muscles don't move very far through their range possibilities. Minimal movement can cause cramping or 'tennis elbow'...I know..So... Large, slow, full range arm circles. Full range bending of elbow and wrist and fingers..You'll not regret it .. I've demonstrated full range exercises to a few guitar players and they Love them....Full range movements when done properly stretch AND build muscles...

Also, remember, you don't have to do on-the-floor pushups to build muscle..just leaning against a wall and doing easy pushups, standing, can build significant muscle mass..I'm living proof..

PS.. Didn't you say somewhere that you would be at CLifftop this year??


Aug 10, 2018 - 1:13:34 PM

6572 posts since 3/19/2009

"outside of the bowing arm".. Do you mean the elbow joint? The word arm covers a lot of territory.. I have always been an advocate of NOT seeking professional advice  here on the Hangout.. While many people have good opinions, None of us can give YOU a good opinion without knowing your specific, pain and general health.. Any advice you receive here is probably anecdotal and may or may not apply to YOU...SO.. even though I have 25 years experience 'in the field', I hesitate to keep the conversation going...but rather encourage you to start with a visit to your doctor..  Your privacy settings do not allow for email contacts, I notice..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2018 13:22:01

Aug 10, 2018 - 1:38:25 PM

1321 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by abinigia

I don't think building upper body strength ifor playing fiddle makes sense. Most people have the strength to play fiddle, barring injury or illness. Instead of muscle strength it is good to build indurance, which you do by relaxing muscles, not strengthing them. Removing tension is the key to strong playing.


"barring injury or illness".. Repetitive activities can cause injuries.. While I don't disagree with you, I AM an advocate of overall conditioning.. looks like it is debatable... wink  I"m only speaking from MY experiences.. you may have had other experiences..........


True, repetitive activities can cause injuries. But it is usually unnatural stress that causes the injury, not the motion itself. How many times a day do you chew food without injuring your jaw? So, this raises the issue of whether playing violin requires unnatural movements. For the most part I don't think it does. Having unneeded tension while making those movements is unnatural and can cause injury. However, some people doubtless do have particularly weak joints or tendons and may get injured more easily. Regardless, are you saying that increasing muscle mass will help prevent those injuries?

Aug 10, 2018 - 1:46:04 PM
likes this

6572 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by abinigia
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by abinigia

I don't think building upper body strength ifor playing fiddle makes sense. Most people have the strength to play fiddle, barring injury or illness. Instead of muscle strength it is good to build indurance, which you do by relaxing muscles, not strengthing them. Removing tension is the key to strong playing.


"barring injury or illness".. Repetitive activities can cause injuries.. While I don't disagree with you, I AM an advocate of overall conditioning.. looks like it is debatable... wink  I"m only speaking from MY experiences.. you may have had other experiences..........


True, repetitive activities can cause injuries. But it is usually unnatural stress that causes the injury, not the motion itself. How many times a day do you chew food without injuring your jaw? So, this raises the issue of whether playing violin requires unnatural movements. For the most part I don't think it does. Having unneeded tension while making those movements is unnatural and can cause injury. However, some people doubtless do have particularly weak joints or tendons and may get injured more easily. Regardless, are you saying that increasing muscle mass will help prevent those injuries?


I don't know the true source of his pain...Generally (and I mean Generally,) full range conditioning is good for everyone..even fiddlers..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2018 13:57:09

Aug 10, 2018 - 2:06:32 PM

3733 posts since 9/26/2008

Forearm muscle just below elbow? Could be "golfer's elbow". I've had it. Sleeping with your arms at your side (even going to the extreme of tying the arm to your waist) will help. I haven't had that condition since I have been consciously keeping my arms away from my head while sleeping. If I wake up in that position, I correct myself. My issue was with my noting arm though, not bowing. Ultimately, building up endurance is the secret. Hammering nails will build up a nice bowing arm if that is what you're looking for laugh

Also, I agree with Lee: range of motion exercises are good for everyone.

Aug 10, 2018 - 2:12:09 PM

6572 posts since 3/19/2009

x

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2018 14:21:45

Aug 10, 2018 - 2:24:05 PM
likes this

966 posts since 4/6/2014

do something else as well as fiddlin, it will send a person mad, and give them pain otherwise.. but most things do that anyway, done to extremes... which is what it takes to be a fiddler, i just get the pain, and the madness, just got to get the fiddlin thing....

Aug 10, 2018 - 2:58:28 PM

1321 posts since 8/27/2008

 

I don't know the true source of his pain...Generally (and I mean Generally,) full range conditioning is good for everyone..even fiddlers..


 I couldn't agree more. I was in constriction all my life but I didn't just hang drywall all the time, or just hammer nails all the time, or any of that. I did everything but always changed around because I worked for myself. Now I'm getting old but I don't need no yoga like my fancy ass contemporaries. I still climb ladders and balance on rafters a bit, though mostly I'm retired. Be active but vary the extremes is my motto. What does this have to do with playing fiddle? I forget.

Aug 10, 2018 - 4:54:01 PM

6572 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by abinigia
 

I don't know the true source of his pain...Generally (and I mean Generally,) full range conditioning is good for everyone..even fiddlers..


 I couldn't agree more. I was in constriction all my life but I didn't just hang drywall all the time, or just hammer nails all the time, or any of that. I did everything but always changed around because I worked for myself. Now I'm getting old but I don't need no yoga like my fancy ass contemporaries. I still climb ladders and balance on rafters a bit, though mostly I'm retired. Be active but vary the extremes is my motto. What does this have to do with playing fiddle? I forget.


It has a LOT to do with fiddling... I met a talented old fiddler a few years ago who said he quit fiddling because his upper arms hurt so much.. I wasn't bold enough to tell him the full range motions could loosen up his arms... Of course I didn't know the EXACT reason for his arms being frozen... but last year when I pesrsonally got tight bicepts I thought of that old man and immediately began full rang movement.. Problem went away in a week... ALso I was a carpenter for a while after I retired.. I could wield a six pound nail gun all day, and carry the heaviest boards and get up on a ladder like a monkey... One day I was down on the floor working and I had to have someone help me up..!!! go figure.. I knew my carpentry days were limited after that.. I was a massage therapist for 25 years and am USUALLY keen about spotting flexibility issues.. but not always.. I've now got my own problems!!!

Aug 11, 2018 - 9:07:38 AM
likes this

4027 posts since 6/23/2007

I think most physical problems result from damaging playing techniques. We are told to relax as much as possible. The weight of a relaxed hand/forearm create all the pressure needed to create a better and effective sound. When noting, we are told to use as little finger pressure an necessary.

The closest advice advocating more pressure seems to be pushing down with the index finger while pressing up with the thumb. And this isn't that strenuous.

Aug 11, 2018 - 10:46:38 AM
likes this

1321 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by abinigia


 I couldn't agree more. I was in constriction all my life ...


Just saw my typo. Cracked me up.

Aug 14, 2018 - 8:47:51 PM

196 posts since 8/10/2017

If you want to be strong, do your barbell squats, deadlifts, presses and chin-ups. And do a lot of brisk walking, especially hills, for good cardio health.

Aug 15, 2018 - 4:14:15 AM

3733 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

If you want to be strong, do your barbell squats, deadlifts, presses and chin-ups. And do a lot of brisk walking, especially hills, for good cardio health.


What, no burpees or push ups?

Aug 15, 2018 - 5:50:49 AM
likes this

1482 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

If you want to be strong, do your barbell squats, deadlifts, presses and chin-ups. And do a lot of brisk walking, especially hills, for good cardio health.


I got winded just reading this. : )

Aug 15, 2018 - 6:08:48 AM

196 posts since 8/10/2017

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

If you want to be strong, do your barbell squats, deadlifts, presses and chin-ups. And do a lot of brisk walking, especially hills, for good cardio health.


What, no burpees or push ups?


And planks. Don't forget your planks. And curls for the girls.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.25