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ANDI_3K's Photo ANDI_3K Posts: 1,535
7/19/13 12:08 A

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Are there any routines that you have found helpful before or after practicing?

Stretching, I find that the stretches that my martial arts teacher taught me about 2 years ago when training for iron palm to be really helpful.But they would not be good for someone not in the art.

My violin teacher is an advocate of holding your violin ( or a stick of some sort) while watching TV - as if you were playing on the "G"" string, so you develop the muscles needed to do it comfortably. He says you should shift up and down the strings that are hardest for you to reach


What would happen if one had more emotional and physical relaxation, even in the midst of active playing, such as bowing, shifting and awkward fingerings?

Honestly, Go see the adults at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton. They are surrounded by so much encouragement and acceptance that they learn like sponges. I went there a few years ago and went from never having held a vionlin before to being able to play several Tunes ( Morag of Dunvegan, Piper's Cave, Leaving Lisomore, and few others), in two weeks. It's amazing what that type of environment can do for even the most scared folks ---I know, I lost 6 pants sizes in the two weeks before I went!

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INSH8P's Photo INSH8P Posts: 1,340
4/29/12 6:36 A

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Little ones who fall when they are surrounded by love just pick themselves up, and keep playing and exploring their surroundings.

What happens to grown-ups when we are pushing our way through deadlines, uneasy working relationships, and uncomfortable physical environments?? Is it no wonder that there are physical reactions to those stresses. What would happen if one had more emotional and physical relaxation, even in the midst of active playing, such as bowing, shifting and awkward fingerings?

This mental stretching, viewing your playing from a different perspective, is just as valuable as the physical practice with the body and its component parts.

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INSH8P's Photo INSH8P Posts: 1,340
4/17/12 5:33 A

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In a recent concert we played Borodin Polovetsian dances and Beethoven's 7th. In this ensemble I play viola, and there are lots of repeated rhythmic phrases which are done with a limited range of motion. This sets up tightness in the chest and overall weakness of bowing. To overcome this in rehearsal, I did seated twists and neck stretches.

Total time - 30 seconds at a time. Frequency - as often as needed in rehearsal. As a section leader, I would take opportunity to stand up, walk through the section to offer kudos and explain points; as a section player, it's fine to stand to put markings in your part as a conductor works with another section.

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INSH8P's Photo INSH8P Posts: 1,340
4/10/12 11:50 A

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After moving your body in ways that promote general circulation - large arm circles, walking around, going up and down one step at a time, alternately moving feet to the side and back to center - try some chest stretches and maybe the overhead triceps stretch.

Total time - six minutes before playing.

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4/9/12 5:40 A

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Many movement programs related to waist management emphasize cardio and strength. Two of the other components of fitness have special significance to string players: balance and flexibility. [Some SparkPeople members may have interests in body composition and overall health, too.]
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Are there any routines that you have found helpful before or after practicing? Maybe some types of playing situations that led you to include a stretching component to being a string player...
There may be more of a story there than you think, so think about this topic and share in a post or blog.

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