hey gang.  i went to a physical therapist yesterday.  the good news is that the pains in my elbows and forearms are not due to tendonitis, but rather a muscle imbalance.  the bad news is that the pains i have in my shoulders are caused by light rotator cuff tendonitis, likely caused by a combination of playing, typing, lifting, and posture (especially posture).

has anyone else had experience with any of these?
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i used to have the bad habit of tensing up (hunching up) my shoulders when i played the piano.  this can cause severe tendinitis.
i had a piano teacher in high school who broke me of the habit.  
she herself used to have the same habit, and she ended up with tendinitis in both shoulders, so severe that she had both of her arms in slings for months.
well, that's my story.

we have to learn to use the body correctly to avoid injury.
a friend of mine had to quit the her jazz piano education at the conservatory because of shoulder injuries. be careful. i have had some problems with it.... it is really dangerous...take it seriously.  

take a week and just listen to some recordings. pick a few recordings and try to get really into them. it is really important to listen carefully to music in order to develope your playing. this can be a good time to really listen. stop playing, and just listen. don`t listen to it as backround music, but do it instead of practising. listen carefully. then you save your arms, and develope your ears and creativity. :)
i've had the shoulder problems for about 6 months, though they've never become delbilitating.  the therapist gave me rotator cuff strengthing exercises to do and told me how to fix my posture. in the last 24 hours my abs have gotten a hell of a workout from standing me up straight.  trying to do it while playing as well.
talk about coincidence.  i have an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow morning for pain in both shoulders that started about a week ago.
i had terrible left shoulder pain for a while once, i couldn't even turn the steering wheel in my vw bus without amazing pain.

the reason for it was because of playing music wrong... i had a house gig where i stood up and played a keyboard. because i was standing, i would often get too close to the keyboard so that my elbows were below my shoulders or even further behind.  

when i played, it didn't hurt, but lifting, turning the steering wheel, and other motions hurt like heck.

after six months, the pain went away.  next time i had a stand up house gig, i put a 2x4 board in front of the keyboard stand legs that forced me to stand back and the pain never came back.

teachers: do not lean over to play on your student's keyboard/piano!  either have a second piano or make them get up. you'll screw up your piano playing for a year doing that.

players: don't sit too close and make sure your bench is low enough.  people sometimes sit too high and that's a great way to mess yourself up.  make sure your wrists are not above your elbows. i don't care what teacher say, i'm talking from over 4000 nights on stage.  

your wrists need to be level or above your elbows. might feel funny at first, but you'll never hurt yourself that way.
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"make sure your wrists are not above your elbows. i don't care what teacher say, i'm talking from over 4000 nights on stage.  

your wrists need to be level or above your elbows. might feel funny at first, but you'll never hurt yourself that way. "

now which is it?  wrists not above your elbows, or wrists above your elbows?
i've always tried to keep them about level.
heh, i must have been tired.

just don't let your wrists fall below your elbows, that's looking for trouble.

level or above the elbows will fix a lot of physical problems before they even start.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
you're definitely right about that.  even having the computer keyboard too low will mess up your wrists and hands.
so what do really tall players do?  i think i remember someone suggesting sawing off the bottom of the bench legs.  sounds a little extreme to me. i must remember to check the relationship of these two joints today.
oh god...i type with my wrists below my elbows all the time.  thanks for the tip...wow.
to be more specific, i usually type with my laptop on the floor or on my lap, both of which create undesireable angles.  i've already found some better positions though.
scott (sdm), regarding adjustable piano benches...  
back in music school, where i majored in piano performance, i don't ever remember using a standard piano bench.  
a tall person such as yourself might find it worth the money to invest in an "artist's bench" or "artist's chair".  these are fully adjustable.  it makes more sense than sawing legs off...
hmm, a thought.  as you say, makes more sense.  thanks cyn.
...however, a saw is cheaper & you probably have one.
actually, i'm trying a chair right now.  odd!  by the way, a nice, standard, 4-legged bench is all i've ever had.
i've got a standard bench right now, but in school it was always artist's benches -- those square padded ones with the adjustment knob -- in the studios and on the stage.
yeah, i've got one of those at my lessons.  unfortunately, i can't afford the 9-foot steinway it comes with! so it goes. the chair feels very strange -- i don't know if i'll stick with it but i'm doubtful at this point.  i don't have any current shoulder or back issues.
if you're used to playing with your elbows above your wrists, as a lot of taller people are, it might feel strange at first, but it in the long run there will be less chance of pain.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
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