Musicians are like athletes, they need exercises to keep their bodies in good shape. An athlete who doesn’t exercise will certainly not perform well.
The same thing goes for musicians. You may feel sore or stiff after playing the violin for some time because of the positioning and poses involved. This happens to most players too.
We have prepared some tips and healthy ways you can play the violin without experiencing neck, shoulder or back pain. Read on and enjoy playing with ease.
7 Ways To Play Violin Pain-Free – Follow This ways
1. Wear Proper Shoes
Playing the violin with comfortable shoes on your feet is very important. And if you are still wondering what does feet has to do with violin playing? Then, reading on to find the answer.
Have you ever stood for hours with shoes you are not comfortable with? What was the feeling like? You probably got tired of standing and felt like taking those shoes off right? That’s what happens when you wear shoes that are not comfortable when playing the violin.
So what’s the right shoe to wear?
Wear comfortable shoes whenever you are practicing. Tennis or cushioned flat shoes will give you proper balance. It will take pressure off your lower back region.
2. Practice on a Cushioned Rug
If you are serious about playing the violin, you need to treat yourself well. Find a suitable corner in your home and make the place even more comfortable for you.
It could be your study, bedroom, or living room. Just make sure the place is conducive to practice and also keep your instrument.
Since you will be practicing with your bare foot at home, place a cushioned rug on the floor. You may also use a floor mat if you like but make sure it is comfortable to stand on. You can still invest in a memory foam mat if you want.
Now, what will this do for you?
Apparently, playing the violin while standing on a cushioned rug will remove stress off your lower back.
3. Use a pillow or cushion on your chair
We love to play the violin while standing. But standing for hours can be very tiring. Your leg might ache and you may feel like sitting down to avoid being too exhausted.
My advice is sit down anytime you feel like. It is not compulsory that you must stand throughout the practice session. Stiffness can set in as you practice for an extended period.
When it happens, don’t neglect sitting down. Don’t sit down and relax, alternate between sitting and standing.
The chair you sit on must be comfortable. The cushion in the chair should not be too much but sit on something comfortable, not something that will put pressure on your spine.
How should I properly sit?
Sit up tall. Make sure you are straight. Sit on the edge of the chair and do not rest your back on the chair completely.
As you sit, your leg should form a right angle while your feet should be completely flat on the floor. Remember, you need to make yourself very comfortable to practice well.
4. Practice in segments
A lot of beginners are so motivated that they want to start playing like the professionals they listen to. Having such mindset is good, but one should never forget that learning the violin is a process.
Just the way we progress in class so is learning the violin. You grow as you practice not by the number of hours you spend on each practice session.
In fact, a player that practices less than an hour consistently on a daily basis may perform better than someone who practices 10 hours twice a week.
When you practice, please do not overdo it because it can cause physical strain. You have to develop your muscles and flexibility properly.
These are needed for you to practice and play like a champ. Your body needs to get used to the unusual poses needed to play the instrument.
So which is the best way to practice?
First, plan to practice daily but in segments. That is, do not practice for extended periods once or twice on a weekly basis.
As a beginner, practice for at least 20 minutes each session. You may decide to extend it to an hour, once your performance starts improving.
5. Have some breaks as you practice
I always take breaks to stretch whenever I practice. It is good and very important. It is very easy for violinists to get carried away when they practice long periods, but don’t fall for it.
Take breaks in between scales or songs. You have to put down your instrument, stretch different parts of your body like wrist, arms, hands legs, shoulders, and neck.
In fact, you will see how relieved this would make you feel.
So what are the benefits?
Stretching before and after playing for a while offers has many benefits. It can help you to prevent injury, strain and other issues that may crop up as you play. In fact, this is ideal for beginners.
6. Relax, Breathe and Get Rid of Tension
Breathing is very important. Most players forget to breathe when they get carried away with the passion of what they are playing or encounter some difficulty while playing.
Always remind yourself to breathe as you practice. You need to relax after playing for a while because your shoulder and neck muscles may tense up. It is normal for this to happen as you practice.
7. Do Some Daily Exercises
Exercises done regularly help to alleviate aches and pains associated with playing the violin. You should also not forget to stretch before and after practicing.
Some players use yoga to stretch their back and neck after playing for extended periods. It is a great way to get rid of stress and pains too.
Playing the violin without pains makes the process more enjoyable. That’s why as a beginner, you need to develop healthy habits listed in this article.
These tips will make playing the violin more interesting and should guide you as you continue learning the violin.