Sore Shoulders

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by natetpt, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. natetpt

    natetpt New Friend

    Hi guys,

    Im pretty sure that this has been covered before but here goes!!

    I find when i'm playin I'm gettin a lot of tension in the tops of my arms and shoulders.

    I thought i had been relaxing more than i used to, but this has started to happen, and it hurts!!

    Any ideas?!


  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Just the obvious... concentrate on relaxing. Check your breathing.
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    You might benefit from the use of the Shulman System.
    I find this very beneficial when I start getting tense. It helps me focus my mind on what I am supposed to be doing (playing the trumpet) and lets me relax about everything else.
  4. Tom_MacNiven

    Tom_MacNiven Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2003
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    Yeah and if you get it mail order you might as well spend the extra 10 bucks and get his CD - it's great!!!!! I broke my shulman system recently and the guys there are sending me the replacement parts - free of charge!!! Now that's after sales service!!! :woop: Woop indeed!!!
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Ok. Here goes...Manny, this is one of your excercises; please correct me if I've missed anything.

    You seem to be breathing inefficiently. Try this:
    Take in as much air as you can, as quietly as possible. Imagine yourself 4 sizes larger than you are. Hold the breath, and relax the shoulders down. Take note of what that feels like; to be full and relaxed. Sip in more, and relax the shoulders again. Continue to do so until you are absolutely full, then release it.
  6. mattdalton

    mattdalton Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2005
    Newcastle, WA USA
    While the other advice is good, your description of the pain location makes me wonder if it is related to something you are doing when you aren't playing the trumpet, yet becomes noticeable because you are holding up the horn for a period of time.

    For example, I know that if I spend too much time working on the computer (especially at a laptop that isn't connected to a separate monitor and keyboard) I get tension and pain in the shoulders. Carrying heavy things or home improvement projects can sometimes cause these symptoms too. Removing/limiting stress and tension from non-trumpet activities can help my playing, and maybe yours too.

    In addition to getting enough fluids and rest, you may need some stretching exercises, a chiropractic adjustment, or massage therapy to knock this out.

    Just a thought...hope it helps and that the pain subsides soon.
  7. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I used to have this same problem, make sure you're sitting up straigt with your feet flat on the floor. I used to play all crouched up and I noticed that it was actualy hurting my arms and shoulders after a while, so perhaps that is it. Imagin that you are going bald (if you arnt already), you have one more hair on the very top of your head right in the middle and someone is pulling on it just about to pull it out, so lift yourself up high with a straigt back and try to keep that last hair aslong as you can. Then shrug your shoulders up real high and tence, then just let all the muscles in your arms relax and let them fall down nice and relaxed, all while keeping your back nice and straight and tall.

    This might not be what the problem is, but it turned out that way for me, as soon as I fixed my posture my muscles stoped hurting.

  8. natetpt

    natetpt New Friend

    Thanks guys, I'll certainly try some of those ideas out!!

    By the way, i am totally bald, but its by choice!!


  9. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada

    When I was a student Trumpeter years and years ago, my problem was pain in my lips...IE Embouchure development. But muscles are muscles so I would say the best thing to do is relax your posture and try to devlelop an effortless approach to playing. IE concentrate on your breathing technique. The practise habbits you develop now will stay with you a lifetime! I dont have any of Dave Monettes products but he does have some good concepts on this stuff. Specially breathing. You can get further info at or order one of his trumpet brochurs. Lots of detailed stuff there.

    Good Luck!

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man

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