How do I play with a shoulder surgery recovery

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mage1345, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Mage1345

    Mage1345 New Friend

    Nov 7, 2007
    I am just looking for some advice as to how to manage playing while trying to allow my right shoulder to heal from surgery 1 1/2 weeks ago. I am still required to play in band, and really need to continue with my lessons but as of last week, I haven't practice just gone to my lesson and rehearsals but that is painful any suggestions to help that would allow me to play with little discomfort?
  2. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    May 29, 2007
  3. Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    You should be supporting the horn with your left hand. Tell us how your shoulder surgery is limiting your range of motion, or what the problem is. Also, have you talked to your doctor about this?
  4. PhatLips

    PhatLips Pianissimo User

    Oct 28, 2006
    Pineville, La.
    had left shoulder repair 4 weeks ago but it did not involve tendon repair which take 6-8 weeks to heal. i managed to hold the end of the bell in my left hand for support and play after a couple of days. however the right hand is a different story.if you can get your fingers on the keys and support the horn completely with the left hand you might work out an angle you can still play with. good luck
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Adding a couple of useful alternatives like buzzing on the mouthpiece and the pencil trick ( can keep your chops in shape without having to hold the horn as much. You can also practice fingerings with the horn on your lap - really bang the valves down!

    As we are not talking about years of recovery, this may just be enough relief for you!
  6. Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    You can also practice in your head. It's actually very effective for ingraining good habits, and no physical strain at all.
  7. Mage1345

    Mage1345 New Friend

    Nov 7, 2007
    I have raw bones in my shoulder because they had to shave it down to prevent further tissue damage when I moved my arm. I am required to still be in my college band playing and at my applied lessons. I support all of the weight with my left arm, but I cannot find a comfortable shoulder position in order to play. I have been playing but at a cost of pain and popping in my shoulder. My doctor said pick a different instrument in the meantime but, yeah right. I was also told heat it first and then ice it down afterwards but that too is proving difficult to do. I am in a sling until the raw bone has healed and what fun that is.

    I will do the practice suggestions in the meantime to keep my chops but I just have to for 3 more weeks or so figure something out.
  8. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    Since you only have a couple of weeks... trying bending over at the waist with the bell towards the floor instead of picking the horn up to your face... sort of "meet in the middle". Not the perfect posture... but it will allow you to actually play your horn without moving your shoulder as much. I had my neck in a neck brace for about 3 weeks in high school... and this was the only way that I could still play my horn and not be in pain. Or you could play the french horn for the next month or so.... ;)
  9. clousemiester

    clousemiester Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2007
    Boca Raton
    One of my cousin's, years ago, had a similar situation to yours and used a crutch to support the horn. It looked odd but on radio gigs no one ever knows the difference!
  10. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    Has the music/band director told you specifically that you are required to play while recuperating from surgery? What does your doctor say about this? (If you're in high school, what in the world do your parents think?) Attending practice - that I can see, but lifting the arm to play before everything's healed can't be necessary. Or wise, anyway. Ok, when you're a pro it's different, but in a school band? Come on.

    If you want to practice at home you can lie down with your upper body slightly elevated and rest the horn on your chest with your arms at your side. I know it's not good for keeping the airway open, but you can practice playing whisper quiet for a while - that has all kinds of benefits.

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