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Topic Options
#1122373 - 01/15/09 08:35 AM BACKBONE PAIN
danzack Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 31
Loc: high school
It started couple days ago while practising piano. Can anybody tell me why, because i am sitting at propper length from keyboard and the level of my hands is just wright with the level of keyboard. I am practising about two hours per day. I am sitting straight, not leaning forward or backward. Thanks in advance.

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#1122374 - 01/15/09 11:11 AM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hi danzack,

Back pain while playing piano is usually a sign of incorrect posture and/or tension while playing. This is something your teacher would be able to diagnose better than us over the internet. Do you have a teacher?

As for bench positioning, I've heard that it's best if your butt is on the front 1/3 of the bench, and you're far enough back that your knees just barely go under the keyboard. Sitting "straight up" may not be the best, either; I thought it was best to have a slight forward lean from the hips. Let me stress, though, that I am not a teacher so would want you to defer to your teacher's judgment.

If you're sitting at the bench and practicing hard for two hours straight, it could also be overuse. It's important to take frequent breaks, get up and stretch, and walk around. Or break your practicing up into smaller chunks throughout the day/evening.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how you're doing.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1122375 - 01/15/09 11:29 AM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
danzack,
I completely agree with Monica. I used to sit too far back on the bench and too close to the keyboard-although it didn't seem like it was too close until my teacher demonstrated the proper positioning.

I think it would be a good idea to have someone take a look at you while you play or even place a mirror beside you, if you can, to observe yourself. Sometimes we do things and we don't realize it. For example I have a tendancy to to curve my lower back inward (like gymnasts do). I hardly noticed it until someone pointed it out to me.

Doing some gentle stretching can be helpful as well. This might sound silly but I have a pull up bar that I use more for stretching than anything else. I just grap on and hang there and it stretches parts of my back I normally can't do. Just be careful if you start any kind of stretching etc. You might want to check with a Dr. b/c you don't want to pull something.

Best of luck.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1122376 - 01/15/09 11:31 AM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
In my view the problem is obvious. You're
trying to sit at the "proper" length from
keyboard with your hands in the "proper"
position and with the "proper" posture--
you probably got all this out of some
book or from some teacher. But everyone's
height, arm length, hand size, physique,
physiology, etc. is different, and so there
can be no proper anything with respect to
the piano. Moreover, everyone's psychology
is different, and the psychology of playing
is just as important as the physical
aspect, and so there can be no proper
anything with respect to the approach
to playing.

This "proper" way of playing you're trying
to employ is not right for your particular
physiology and psychology, and when you
try to force yourself to do something that
is not natural for your body and your mind,
this is going eventually cause problems.
If you're forcing your body into a posture
or position that is unnatural for it,
this is eventually going to pinch off
some nerve or blood vessel, and this
will be manifested in pain or discomfort
or even serious health problems. If you
force yourself to do something that goes
against your psyche, your mind will eventually
stop you from doing it.

Therefore, you need to experiment and find
what is the right distance from the piano,
the right hand position, the right posture,
etc. for you individually--you can't get
this out of a book, and no teacher is
qualified to tell you this, because no
teacher can know your individual physical
and psychological requirements.

Without further context, I would say
that generally you should move the bench
as close to the piano as possible,
and that you should not sit ramrod straight,
but rather lean forward slightly, as this
will prevent nerves in your spine and
back from being pinched off. But you need
to experiment to see what is best for
you individually. When the pain goes
away, you probably have found the right
position and posture for your individual
physique and psychology.

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#1122377 - 01/15/09 11:44 AM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
Here is a link that shows good posture at the piano. Use the arrows in the right margin of the picture to get to page 4.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0882846167/ref=sib_dp_ptu#

Note that the front of the body is lined up with the front of the bench. Sitting further back on the bench will tilt the body rearward, an uncomfortable posture at the piano which your back and abdomen muscles must counteract, and tire you.

Also, the bench is flat...if you are using a chair, chairs typically slant back a bit, throwing the body rearwards, with the same result.

Also, you say you are sitting straight, not forward. Most pianists play leaning slightly forward, as the picture suggests. That alone could be your cause of pain.

But, as Monica and Kymber said, ask your teacher for help.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1122378 - 01/15/09 02:41 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
daniel_g Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 13
Loc: Germany
I am very new here.. but I think I am very able to recognize a Gyro post without read the name..

I think I have a similar problem, even when I think that I am using the right posture.. I should review it..

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#1122379 - 01/15/09 03:25 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 920
Loc: North Carolina
Hi daniel,

Welcome.

Yes, it's very easy to
recognize Gyro's posts
when you read them. I
can spot them a mile
away.

\:D
_________________________
Jeff

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#1122380 - 01/15/09 03:52 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
We like gyro here, reading his posts is really relaxing if youre having a bad day...

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#1122381 - 01/15/09 06:45 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4269
Loc: Arizona.
...or if your the person who likes a spoonful of sand mixed in with your morning yogurt! ;\)

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#1122382 - 01/15/09 09:07 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
Hi daniel,

Welcome.

Yes, it's very easy to
recognize Gyro's posts
when you read them. I
can spot them a mile
away.

\:D [/b]
Yes, his ridiculous rejection of word wrap leaves many scratching their heads. :rolleyes:

@ the OP: Get an artist bench if you don't have one. Your back will thank you. \:\)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1122383 - 01/15/09 09:10 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
 Quote:
Yes, his ridiculous rejection of word wrap leaves many scratching their heads. :rolleyes:
That is not the reason I scratch my head at his posts.... :p
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1122384 - 01/15/09 09:12 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
\:D
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1122385 - 01/15/09 09:37 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
 Quote:
Originally posted by mr_super-hunky:
...or if your the person who likes a spoonful of sand mixed in with your morning yogurt! ;\) [/b]
Whatever... I bet that you are a huge Gyro fan. \:D

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#1122386 - 01/15/09 10:24 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
Van Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 1215
Loc: S. California
If you backbone offends you, pluck it out...oh wait...
_________________________

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#1122387 - 01/16/09 01:17 AM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
posture is usually the cause of back pain. you might think you're sitting straight, but your posture might change during your playing when you're more focused on playing notes rather than checking on your posture.

people tend to sit or stand in a 'comfortably straight' position, which however is not exactly straight but in fact a little bend forward from spine. for a short time, it might not cause problem at all, but when you're in such a position for long, as you're practicing on piano, you'd eventually suffer back problem. i noticed such thing myself in fact, when in the middle of playing something, i find myself in such a 'comfortable' position and later on, my back started to feel uncomfortable.

take an example of dancers, why do they stand the way they do (strictly straight, with shoulders down and compressed abdominal) is for a reason: not just to look beautiful, but to be effective in movement and to avoid injury. so, it's the same thing in playing piano. if you can maintain your posture just like a dancer would, you would be less likely to get any back pain.

btw, if you do need to bend over piano when you playing, do it from your hip bone joints rather than waist, which is another way to avoid back problem.

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#1122388 - 01/16/09 01:31 AM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...


This is Rocket's picture. Let arms hang loosely is good but elbows higher than keyboard is not, that is soo 19th century - as is the tense hand held high. The elbow should be about level with the keyboard.

Here's a better one (Matthay):
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1122389 - 01/16/09 09:36 PM Re: BACKBONE PAIN
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4819
Loc: Seattle area, WA
If you play with your wallet in your back pocket you may be causing the problem. This tilts your hips and will result in a lot of back problems.

I also notice that you are in school. Pay attention to how your hold your books. Are you using a backpack weighing 50 pounds? (Not a joke. I'm a teacher). Are you slinging it over one shoulder?

If the problem persists, consider seeing a chiropractor.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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