Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

186
Fiddle Lovers Online


Dec 30, 2020 - 7:26:35 AM
6 posts since 12/30/2020

Hi-- newbie here.
Short version; I injured my left shoulder 4 years ago,ended up with some limitation of range of motion, and I can't get my left arm under the neck of the fiddle, which makes playing the G string difficult.
A longer version here which might make recommendations more useful. I injured my left shoulder about 4 years ago; slipped on ice and caught myself stiff armed in a sort of piston motion. When I got up I couldn't lift that arm at all. When I got home I put on the sling I'd worn when I had a major rotator cuff repair on the right shoulder,iced it and waited a few days to see how it went. I was very soon able to use the arm again, but with limited motion and quite a bit of pain. Over a couple of weeks the motion increased and the pain decreased but I went to see an Ortho guy for an opinion. He wasn't very much help. Didn't even want to order an MRI or other injury unless I was interested in possible surgery. I was opposed to surgery on my left (dominant) arm. By that point it wasn't interfering much with my daily activities and the pain was manageable. The surgery on my right shoulder gave me 100% relief and full strength and range of motion, but the recovery was BRUTAL, and I couldn't afford to go through that with my dominant arm.
I had intermittently played a bit of Irish fiddle over the years before the injury but was impatient for results. I already was pretty decent on penny whistle, mandolin and tenor banjo so it's not like I didn't have instruments I could enjoy at home and at sessions. Recently I got the fiddle bug again so I hauled out the fiddle and found I had great difficulty assuming a "correct" position, especially getting that elbow pointing downward. Anything I've tried doesn't quite work and/or is painful. I've tried playing with and without a shoulder rest.
I have found tons of information on how to PREVENT left shoulder injury from fiddling but nothing on how to deal with an existing injury.
Any and all suggestions would be welcome. Don't be hesitant to use medical terminology. I'm a retired podiatrist and know my anatomy, plus I worked for 20 years as an OR nurse and had experience working on shoulder cases. If you're still with me after this long winded post, thanks!

Dec 31, 2020 - 6:37:48 AM

Apltrez

USA

159 posts since 2/1/2008

Long story short, 20 years ago, as a ski patrolman in Idaho I tore my right rotator cuff and was advised to pass on surgery and do PT. I recovered 90 % range of motion but only 50 to 75% of strength(Iam am a gym rat and very aware of these things in myself for other reasons than the shoulder)

In January of this year I injured/tore Left rotator cuff and followed advice from an orthopod to do the surgery because the tear was not very large. By the time surgery rolled around tear was complete and by the time my first return visit after surgery and an MRI they determined the tendon had torn again. The doc is great at what he does. I am 75, and challenged by time spent as a cowboy, many years as a farmer, several motorcycle wrecks.....get the picture I was not kind to my shoulders or body. After 15 weeks of PT and I could start getting back to fiddle add 4 more weeks since stopping PT and I am playing in a mostly normal position but still very tight.
If you want to know more PM me and I will send my phone number.

Greg

Dec 31, 2020 - 8:28:03 AM
likes this

311 posts since 3/1/2020

It’s much easier to suggest methods of prevention than of treatment. I would strongly recommend you contact a medical professional who has experience dealing with musicians. Injuries are not straightforward—each case is different, so treatment has to be appropriate.

Once you’ve had some professional advice, a luthier might be able to help you come up with a solution in conjunction with the medical professional’s advice.

I’ve worked with a few players who had physical limitations before. In some cases, it’s possible to modify the instrument to suit. Sometimes it’s a matter of changing playing posture, sometimes it can be a matter of finding a new setup that’s more ergonomic.

Dec 31, 2020 - 8:36:08 AM

11705 posts since 9/23/2009

Hope it gets better soon and you're back to being able to hold it as you are used to. If not, there are other ways to consider...sounds like though it might be on the road to recovery...hope so.

Jan 1, 2021 - 5:08:38 AM

6 posts since 12/30/2020

One fiddle playing friend has a center cup chin rest that she had installed to help with a shoulder injury. With sessions cancelled due to COVID I haven't been able to try it out. Anyone have experience with this type of rest as regards to shoulder problems? I notice that there are a number of center cup styles-- suggestions?

Jan 1, 2021 - 6:21:39 AM

8933 posts since 3/19/2009

I see that you are from Frederick Md... home of Member (RIP) Jerry Holmes? Did you know him? He'd have a solution for your problem for sure... Jerry was very active here on the Hangout...I miss him.

Jan 1, 2021 - 6:32:04 AM
likes this

6 posts since 12/30/2020

At 4 years, I'm relatively new to Frederick, and I didn't know Jerry.
Frederick is a great place to live and I've found some great sessions (on hold of course) and made some terrific musical friends including some first rate fiddlers. One of them is actually sending me a center cup chin rest, for which I offered to pay shipping of course.

Jan 3, 2021 - 6:09:16 PM

7 posts since 12/22/2014

I don’t have a shoulder issue and have experienced the same issue with reaching the G string. I’ve played close to 10 years and still have not found a shoulder rest, chin rest, or a position that has made it easier for me. At this point I’ve learned to use the G strong sparingly.
Hope you figure it out, I’d love to know the trick.

Jan 4, 2021 - 5:37:15 AM
likes this

6 posts since 12/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by FiddlinFoster

I don’t have a shoulder issue and have experienced the same issue with reaching the G string.


It's good to know that I'm not the only one! On the plus side, I play mainly Irish tunes, and most of them don't dip down to G very often.

Jan 4, 2021 - 2:27:48 PM

5016 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Brewerpaul

One fiddle playing friend has a center cup chin rest that she had installed to help with a shoulder injury. With sessions cancelled due to COVID I haven't been able to try it out. Anyone have experience with this type of rest as regards to shoulder problems? I notice that there are a number of center cup styles-- suggestions?


I liked that sort of chin rest the only time I tried one. I feel like it wouldn't help you reach the G string though, might even make it harder. 

Jan 4, 2021 - 7:41:53 PM

311 posts since 3/1/2020

Hello Brewerpaul ,

You’re not too far from Bethesda. Get in touch some time and I’ll be happy to meet you at The Violin House of Weaver on a day I’m working there so you can try a few designs.

Chinrests are either side or center mounted, but the cup position and shape varies considerably. Pay attention to where you place your chin when you play. If it’s right over the tailpiece, you might benefit from a model that has a centrally positioned cup. Once you know your chin orientation, you can start trying models to see what fits your chin and jawbone best.

Jan 5, 2021 - 3:40:39 AM

6 posts since 12/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Hello Brewerpaul ,

You’re not too far from Bethesda. Get in touch some time and I’ll be happy to meet you at The Violin House of Weaver on a day I’m working there so you can try a few designs.

Chinrests are either side or center mounted, but the cup position and shape varies considerably. Pay attention to where you place your chin when you play. If it’s right over the tailpiece, you might benefit from a model that has a centrally positioned cup. Once you know your chin orientation, you can start trying models to see what fits your chin and jawbone best.


Thanks! I'd love to meet up some time and I'd value your advice. You could also check out my violin. It's a Stradavarius! Says so right on the label inside... wink.

I don't really know where I put my chin on the fiddle. I'm trying to figure out what's best, given the limited range of motion in that shoulder. The shoulder also gets painful pretty quickly when I try to play. I'm planning on taking my current chin rest off altogether and padding the fiddle with cloth as I experiment with positions.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

6.640625E-02