going to dentist today for jaw joint-- seems to be getting better after not playing much for three days -- I get a bit obsessive and thought I was making breakthroughs so kind of couldn't quit playing. Any suggestions on taking care of this? I notice I play with my mouth open a bit -- does it help to play with teeth closed on each other?
Jaw open...causing jaw muscle aches. Jaw closed...causing grinding & loosening of teeth. Back of neck and chin either too loose to keep fiddle in place, or tight enough for aches & pains... Stress on left shoulder... But hey, the fiddle sings so sweetly!
I used to play with a crayon (the non-toxic, Crayola kind) between my teeth because of strange things my jaw would do as I tensed up trying to play stuff too hard for me to handle. Sounds silly...don't know if it would help you, but maybe stabilize your jaw until you stop tensing it up? Hope it feels better soon.
I was hurting my teeth clenching up. I found a shoulder rest actually helped because I could prove to myself that I'm not going to drop my fiddle. Also a string around my neck and around one of the points of the fiddle helped a little, but people tease you for that, so the shoulder rest is better.
whoever invented under-the-chin fiddle holding was out to get us all....lol!
If you don't have a shoulder rest, try one.. If you have one, try a taller one..
Thanks to all -- easing back in today and notice the way I hold my mouth affects tone too. Seems everything is related. Liked tone without shoulder rest, but will try shoulder rest again and like the idea of the crayon. Strangley, when I close my teeth together the e string seems to sweeten up some not sure if its intonation or an acoustic harmonic in my head. What an instrument.
As an old fiddler once told us "The vibe-a-rations go through your jaw right into your brain." That's why so many fiddlers go crazy.
You don't need to clamp the instrument so tight - you don't even have to use your chin. There are lots of ways of holding a fiddle, unless you're trying to swoop up to sixth position. Relax. I suspect the variations you hear when you open or close you mouth are the "vibe-a-rations" in your heat, not anything that anyone else would hear.
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