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Post new topic stretches for steel players?
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Author Topic:  stretches for steel players?
Joan Rueter

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 22 May 2022 7:34 am    
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Hi, I'm a new steel player, and I'm wondering - anyone have any good tips on stretches and posture to prevent body pain from playing? I'm primarily a fiddle player, and had some issues with neck and wrist pain until I discovered some great stretching exercises that fixed the problem. I'm hoping to find something similar for steel to prevent pain before it starts!
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Jon Voth

 

From:
Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 22 May 2022 8:11 pm    
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Hi and welcome. Hopefully it won't-when playing steel the arms and hands are forward in a natural way, and you sit in a normal way. I play a little classical guitar and the wrist does some contorting-and the way violin players bend it looks very uncomfortable. I don't think playing steel will be like that at all.
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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 8:03 am    
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I searched on some keywords and found this old post that still has some good information, experiment with the SGF 'Search' feature and you'll get a lot of other hits.

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=354285

It seems that there may not be one single 'right' answer for everybody, but I found a couple of 'keys' for me that really helped. Keeping my elbows in (arms hanging naturally) relieved a lot of shoulder pain in my case, and that right arm position also tends to put your right hand in a good angle. Lots of players have problems with wrist pain, tendonitis on the picking hand, and it's related to the hand angle in at least some cases. I also tend to 'hunch' over and I've tried to concentrate more on sitting upright, that's also helped my shoulder and neck pain.

Everybody is different, YMMV.

Good luck with steel! (I tried picking up fiddle for about a month, until my wife hid it... Smile)
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J D Sauser


From:
Wellington, Florida
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 8:04 am    
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Maurice Anderson insisted on good posture. Actually, one can still see Maurice play sitting "upright" on youtubes and pictures. He was VERY conscious about that

Jeff had the same discipline. I don't know if he was on his student's case as much as Maurice was, though, as I never had the opportunity to take private classes from him.

BE played pretty well positioned, sometimes even leaning back. Lloyd Green the same.

I quite well remember Maurice to summon me to "reposition" and check my posture every once in a while during our classes.
It goes down to not just one's back, but arms and the resulting hand position.

Too may steel guitarist, even some famous ones, bend over the instrument like Bill Evans was famous for over his piano or a tired accountant over some boring tax filings, resulting in back aches and their forearms to come onto the instrument way too low and again resulting in bad hand position.

A word about stretches:
- They should NEVER be ballistic... meaning they should always be smooth and slow, 40 sec. per movement.
- Stretches are NOT a warm up exercise, movement is. One can get HURT doing stretches "cold" or in an abusive manner.
- MOVEMENT is as important as stretching!

... J-D.
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Tablature KILLS SKILLS.
The uses of Tablature is addictive and has been linked to reduced musical fertility.
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 9:15 am    
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I could stand some changes. These days, twenty minutes at my steel and my shoulders are on fire. I have to stop.

I don't recall it being a problem before it recently began happening.

There aren't many activities that aren't more easily accomplished when one has the proper posture. I need to check this out.
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(Real men play 'Day'! Smile )


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Samuel Phillippe


From:
Douglas Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 12:31 pm    
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Roger Rettig wrote:
I could stand some changes. These days, twenty minutes at my steel and my shoulders are on fire. I have to stop.

I don't recall it being a problem before it recently began happening.

There aren't many activities that aren't more easily accomplished when one has the proper posture. I need to check this out.



My kids call it old age.... I use to play for 5 hours with minimal breaks,
friday and Saturday nights, never an ache or pain. Now i only play out on Friday nights for 5 hours and can hardly walk afterwards....Must mention sitting position for 6 string and lap steel. Of course at 83 they ask why I'm still playing.

So Roger, what I am trying to tell you is ...........age

Sam
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 12:33 pm    
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Smile

Everything aches when I stand - I bet you're right!
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(Real men play 'Day'! Smile )


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Dave Magram

 

From:
San Jose, California, USA
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 2:47 pm    
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“Essential Hand Stretches For Guitarists or Any Instrumentalist”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSrfB7JIzxY

Created by the folks at http://www.guitarlessons365.com/
(in case the YouTube video disappears).

- Dave
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Robert B Murphy


From:
Mountain View, Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 11:03 pm    
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I gave myself a blood clot from sitting for too long that almost did me in. I learned my lesson, Samuel. My friends and I stop playing, stand and flex at least every hour now.

I also had some hand cramping, particularly with my left that gave me trouble with the bar. I think it's caused by over exerting the muscles from playing regular guitar, medium strings-high action. Stretching didn't help but drinking a lot of water does. I keep a large mason jar of spring water which gets lots of jokes about white lightnin'.
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Floyd Lowery

 

From:
Deland, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 24 May 2022 5:44 am    
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What gave me the most pain as a petal steel player was moving the equipment. When I was young, I would help move the PA speakers as well as my stuff. I think some of that got to me when I got older. One of the reasons I stopped playing at age 75.
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