Tutorials

Soreness

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
I've gone from Alto to Tenor and I'm a bit concerned because although I am getting a half decent sound out of it - I have developed a slightly sore shoulder (on the top - level with my shoulder blade) on the left - even though I have a history of neck and lower back problems my neck and lower back are alright thank goodness!

I have been alternating between a harness and a Neotech soft sax neck strap. I have only had the sax for 2 weeks - could it be just a period of building up my muscles for the heavier weight? Already it doesn't feel as heavy when I'm playing as it did the first few days. Any thoughts? should I give up now :( or battle through it? :sax:
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,855
Location
McLean, Virginia
Weight and/or posture.

Make sure you do lots of exercise before and during practising, just warm up body stuff like a few star jumps, relaxation exercises, shaking your arms, gentle toe touching bendy kind of things.

Not one big practice session, several shorter ones with relaxing inbetween.
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Yep, I get similar problems, have neck and shoulder pains after nearly every session, been putting up with it for two years now. At least an hours practice every day I can. I don't think it's doing any permanent damage, the pains go after an hour or so. But, at my age, with aches and pains in all places, I am used to bearing it. I did wonder if a harness would help, along with a few exercises as Pete suggests. If I did those exercises I'd be too knackered to play the sax anyway:)))
Conclusion? Try a harness, spread the weight:welldone
 
OP
ArtyLady

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
Yep, I get similar problems, have neck and shoulder pains after nearly every session, been putting up with it for two years now. At least an hours practice every day I can. I don't think it's doing any permanent damage, the pains go after an hour or so. But, at my age, with aches and pains in all places, I am used to bearing it. I did wonder if a harness would help, along with a few exercises as Pete suggests. If I did those exercises I'd be too knackered to play the sax anyway:)))
Conclusion? Try a harness, spread the weight:welldone
Hi Pee Dee, Yeah I have a harness, and a soft padded neck strap which I alternate, so am assuming it's a combination of not being used the extra weight of the Tenor compared to the Alto, and my age (wrong side of middle age!) ;}
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Weight and/or posture.

Make sure you do lots of exercise before and during practising, just warm up body stuff like a few star jumps, relaxation exercises, shaking your arms, gentle toe touching bendy kind of things.

Not one big practice session, several shorter ones with relaxing inbetween.
Pete,
I know it was well meant but with my gut, I can't see my toes.
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
638
Location
Enfield, North London
Just a thought.
Are you tensing-up? Is your posture relaxed? (Make sure your shoulders aren't hunched). Is the mouthpiece at a comfortable height, or are you 'craning' your neck to connect?

Are you having this problem when standing or sitting, or both?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,855
Location
McLean, Virginia
Thanks Pete, is it just a case of building up the muscles?
To a certain extent, but just using them regularly without overdoing it for long sections of time and/or straining is probably more important than increasing the size, though that may be a side effect. So it's really a case of quality rather than quality.
 
OP
ArtyLady

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
It's definately improving thank goodness! I have concentrated on relaxing and having the sax in the most natural position so that there is no neck craning - I'm playing little and often and it isn't causing any pain anymore - and it doesn't feel as heavy! :)

The problem I'm struggling to resolve still is intermittent screeching and squawking on the upper register :( I think this is either tired embouchure (seems to resolve if stop for a minute or so and then comes back) or maybe I need to go up another reed number? I'm on #2.5 rico royals with a Yam 4c mouthpiece. In all the time I played the Alto I never had a problem with screeching or squawking!! :confused:
 
OP
ArtyLady

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
Never mind the instrument of torture :))) what about my screeching and squawking problem? ;}
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,983
Location
The Athens of The North
You could also try going down a reed number and play your tenor with a looser and more relaxed embouchure. Less firm than the alto works for me. No hard blowing. No blowing at all in fact. Try and produce the sound, as easily as possible, on a gentle stream of exhaled breath. A softer reed might help you here.

If your sax is OK your problem is just down to a lack of experience on the tenor. You'll get there. I hope some of this helps.

Jim.
 
OP
ArtyLady

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
You could also try going down a reed number and play your tenor with a looser and more relaxed embouchure. Less firm than the alto works for me. No hard blowing. No blowing at all in fact. Try and produce the sound, as easily as possible, on a gentle stream of exhaled breath. A softer reed might help you here.

If your sax is OK your problem is just down to a lack of experience on the tenor. You'll get there. I hope some of this helps.

Jim.
Hi Jim,

I bought a #3 reed today and it was bloomin hard work :shocked: so that's no good!

I'll try going back to a #2 as I think I definately am blowing way to hard - I often accidentally go up an octave.

From what you say I'm pretty sure now that the difference is the instrument -which I know is ok as it is brand new :) It was the main difference that hit me when I first played it - how easy it was to blow!

Progress report to follow in a few days :D
 
Top Bottom