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Beginner Not sure about ache.

saxysax

Member
Messages
53
I nearly added this to the bad posture thread as I'm pretty certain that's what this is about.

I know none of you are doctors etc, (well you might be, but not expecting a proff reply) but I'd like to know if any other new-to-sax players have ever had chest ache.


The pain I have is kinda odd, definitely not heart or anything, but sometimes my chest 'clicks' or even 'cracks' when I adjust position. I'm thinking it's something to do with sax playing as it only started shortly after I took it up.

Just looking for some confirmation that it's sort of normal, I suppose.

I'm kinda hoping it'll just go away ... along with the squeaks and honks.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I'm an ex paramedic (all be it a bloomin' long time ago) so I have a bit of an understanding of the way we work internally. You say it's not heart, so I presume you don't have pains any where else, left arm, lower jaw, that sort of thing and I presume that your pulse is nice and steady with a nice regular beat?
What is your posture like when you play? Do you hunch over the sax? Do you perhaps stand straighter than you normally would?
Without seeing you it's very difficult to diagnose anything.
There are many elements that make up the chest and any number of them could cause a clicking sound. There are your ribs to consider, they are quite free to move both up and down and obviously in and out. They are connected to the sternum at the front/centre of the chest by cartilage, these joints can click.
In my opinion, you should see a chiropractor. They will diagnose by manipulation and hopefully get to the bottom of this problem.
 

saxysax

Member
Messages
53
Thanks for the reply, Taz. I'm very certain it's nothing horrid. I've always been disgustingly healthy and no, no jaw, arm or neck ache. My pulse is regular and am fit and healthy in every way. And it's been about 6 months or more - I'd have dropped by now if it was anything yukky.

I tend to play mostly standing up and wonder if I need a stand or put the music higher. I do tend to stoop, I think. At least the music is propped on the table. Think normal table and I'm normal height (5ft 7 maybe)

It's just odd that it all started at about the time I took the sax up and wondered if I was alone.
 

Filton

Member
Messages
243
If you are standing to play but reading music on a table you are probably not doing your posture much good... I would definitley invest in a music stand. It must be heard to breathe and focus properly if you are looking 'down' while playing.
 

saxysax

Member
Messages
53
Yeah. I'm thinking it's my posture.

I'm going to prop the music on the book shelf until I get a stand.

Thanks for replying, Filton.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,945
I am not a medic, but have had back issues for many years....

If you're standing to play, you need to have a posture similar to a singer's: well-balanced; feet shoulder width apart; stand straight, but relaxed (i.e. not at attention!); your head should be level and centred over your spine; your shoulders should be relaxed and down; you should be breathing diaphragmatically - not just from the upper chest.

One of the biggest problems we get, mostly due to using computers, is we lean our head forward. This means that the tendons in your neck are under constant tension holding you head up, which in turn leads to hunching the shoudlers (my osteopath calls it "PC Humpitis". Therefore, music stands (and PC monitors) ought to be positioned so that our heads are level....
 

Filton

Member
Messages
243
It has always been a bit of a bugbear for me - at 6'2" music stands are never tall enough!
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,552
My teacher got me to stand with my heels against the skirting board, and my shoulders touching the wall. Then shorten your neck-strap so the mouthpiece of the sax tips into your mouth with just the use of your right thumb to pivot it in and out.
I was surprised just how high the sax needs to be.
And now, if I have upper body / shoulder aches it's almost certainly because the sax has dropped down and the neck-strap needs shortening. (I have painted a white line on my strap to indicate this good position).
Also, with the sax up here, I get much better intonation and control.
So good all round.
 
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