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#1260333 09/01/09 01:27 PM
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Astra Offline OP
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Hey everyone,

for a few times now I've experienced pain in my right arm after playing. Specifically, the muscle that hurts is:

BRACHIORADIALIS (the one on the up side of the forearm)

LINK: http://thecyberdojo.brinkster.net/arm_front.jpg

It never happened before (been playing for around 3 years) before recently, when I started playing rocknroll, more specifically, right hand Jerry Lee - like solos.

So, after this soloing (mostly block chords played fast with blues scale runs and riffs) that particular muscle of my right hand hurts. Not much, and it only hurts when the muscle is used (when its not relaxed), but anyway.

So, what am I doing wrong?

I really do try to play relaxed and nothing ever hurts or tires except of that particular muscle in my right hand after soloing.

Has anyone experienced anything like that? What to do? Will I end up injuring myself?

Thanks very much!

EDIT: I should add that the muscle needs a day or two to totally recover.

Last edited by Astra; 09/01/09 01:29 PM.

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Man, I hope someone has something to say about this. I am experiencing the same thing. I thought maybe my body was reacting to stress because I can get terrible stress knots in my shoulder/shoulder blade area, and maybe that pain just moved down the arm. And it's the same for me, happens a lot on rock gigs.

Cheeze...

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I should add, it often hurts when I am not doing anything at all. Like i'll be reading a book and it'll be throbbing.

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This is a difficult question to answer from a posting, without actually seeing how you play, and what technique preps you do to prepare for playing like that.

It is a very vigorous style of playing that does require some physical preparation, just like any new and intense physical activity would.

I play a lot of Jerry Lee and related boogie-woogie music, and have found that sometimes there is a bit of pain or almost-pain, but nothing serious that does not go away very quickly. On a gig, we play for four hours, with three short breaks. Not all is intense music like that, but there is no time off.

When I do have some pain, which is quite rare, I take some ibuprophen (Advil), just as I would for any other mild muscle pain.

I wish I could help you more, but without actually seeing you play in person, and creating an exercise regimen to prepare for that music, there is not much more I can say other than play what you play quite slowly, and see if the pain occurs.

If not, increase (use a metronome or drum machine) your speed a TINY bit (say, from 100 bpm to 101), and play again. Do this for a week or two, increasing by tiny bits and resting, until you reach the speed where the problem occurs.

Then, practice below that speed until your body becomes used to it, and gradually up the speed again.

Hope this helps.



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Originally Posted by Astra

So, what am I doing wrong?
Playing Jerry Lee Lewis.

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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Astra

So, what am I doing wrong?
Playing Jerry Lee Lewis.


Maybe that's why Jerry Lee sometimes played standing up and with his feet!

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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Astra

So, what am I doing wrong?
Playing Jerry Lee Lewis.


So that's where I went wrong!


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Rocket88, I LOVE your display picture. I used to ALWAYS do that to my cat, until he'd bite, but he wouldn't ACTUALLY bite cuz he knows not to do that or he'll get a wee licken!

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Astra Offline OP
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Thanks Rocket88,

Ill try out your suggestion and report back if the problem wont go away.

And keyboardklutz - good one. laugh


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The strain comes from the "pushing" action, obviously it is too much for you. I don't play Jerry Lee Lewis so I don't know if you have an alternative. So maybe calibrate the pushing to just the lighest you need to get the job done.


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Given time, the body can work engineering miracles. I think you have latent strengths that haven't been called up until now... so now, you need to ramp up, over time, listening to your body, doing a little bit more each time, until you get to where you want to be. Just like at a gym,

Meanwhile, back off or even quit if you have pain all the time, even when you're not playing. Consider that you could come back anothr time--- maybe evebn a other gig, after you;ve ramped up and got the chops you need and the strength you need so you can play the job with no more trouble.


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Originally Posted by Astra
Hey everyone,

for a few times now I've experienced pain in my right arm after playing. Specifically, the muscle that hurts is:

BRACHIORADIALIS (the one on the up side of the forearm)

LINK: http://thecyberdojo.brinkster.net/arm_front.jpg

It never happened before (been playing for around 3 years) before recently, when I started playing rocknroll, more specifically, right hand Jerry Lee - like solos.

So, after this soloing (mostly block chords played fast with blues scale runs and riffs) that particular muscle of my right hand hurts. Not much, and it only hurts when the muscle is used (when its not relaxed), but anyway.

So, what am I doing wrong?

I really do try to play relaxed and nothing ever hurts or tires except of that particular muscle in my right hand after soloing.

Has anyone experienced anything like that? What to do? Will I end up injuring myself?

Thanks very much!

EDIT: I should add that the muscle needs a day or two to totally recover.


The only time I got serious pain from playing is when I started teaching myself some blues progressions and I was pounding out chords very repetitively which led to base of thumb joint pain which lasted for about 6 months. And it was after just one session.

I've noticed since I started playing on my digital piano that I tend to play harder, especially when I'm on the headset, I think because the digital keyboard is less responsive to touch than an acoustic.

I think that if you stay really aware of either repetitive motions, or of tension while you're playing, the awareness alone will help. Although we're constantly reminded to play relaxed and with weight in classical, it's harder to do with rock or blues because you can get into it in a different way.

You should check out freeingthecagedbird.com, although it's about classical music. She has a video but she also has some stuff on U tube and it's all about avoiding injury by playing with complete relaxation. Her main point seems to be that as SOON as you strike a note your arm, hand, shoulder, fingers should completely relax, and you should never really be driving into the base of the keys.

"what every pianist should know about the body" is another good resource.

I am very cautious now and if I feel discomfort when I'm playing something like a big hand stretch, I just stop. There are pieces I won't play if I think they will cause muscle strain.


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