Right Shoulder Problems, anyone?

bribasbribas ✭✭✭
edited February 2011 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 5
Just wondering if anyone else has pain in their right shoulder, right around the top of the blade. It could be because i'm a fat bastard, but there is a tendency for me to roll the shoulder forward, and i think this stretch is causing me problems. Anyone else suffering? and yes, i know the admonition to shed the pounds and exercise and all. It just seems since the gypsy picking that the shoulder problem flared up.



  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    im 33 years old and it happened to me for about 6 months while I was playing rhythm for a monster player... it finally went away and I think my arm got stronger. you need to eat a lot and sleep a lot so that the muscles grow. LOL In the movie "Swing le Film", Tchavalo tells his guitar student that he has to eat all the chicken. Tchavalo knows what he is talking about. LOL
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154
    I'm not that great diagnosing these sorts of problems....I've been lucky to never suffer from any tension or pain.

    My guess is that you're doing something which is causing tension. Probably the best thing to do is to pay really close attention when you're practicing to any tension you might be feeling from your wrist all the way to your shoulder. If you notice any do what you need to keep it relaxed.

    Sorry I can be of more help,

  • Colin PerryColin Perry Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 115
    I agree with Djangology completely on this. I have problems with my left shoulder and wrist from time to time. Watch what you eat and try not to drink too much. I think sleep is even more important. The jazz festival just finished here, and I was playing one or times a day. Eventually your body just gets run down and you lose your strength. It' amazing what a couple of good night's of sleep can do for you. Beyond this, pay attention to your posture while you play. If I am not careful, I can start playing in an awkward position, and do most of the set without realizing it. Hope you can clear it up soon.
  • nuagesnuages central ar.✭✭✭
    Posts: 16
    I'm also experiencing pain in my right shoulder now (hurts like hell at times) . It started about 3 months ago. The doctor told me it was an inflamed rotator cuff (tendonitis). I can't help but think it's do to all the practicing on the guitar I've been doing, holding my right arm in a raised position for long periods of time. Taking Ibuprofin and using an ice pack seems to help alleviate the pain some.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Hi! I been working with the Gypsy Picking book for about a month and last week I started feeling discomfort on my right shoulder too, in my case I realized that I was trying too hard to hold the guitar in place with my arm so I began concentrating real hard on relaxing it, after a few days I´ve got it and now the guitar keeps shifting and sliding away from me ( like the book said it should) and since I´m still working only with the open strings I use my left hand to get it back in place every now and then.
    Also finding the correct height of the chair was critical, not too low and not too high, for me it has to be about the same height as my knee.
    Hope this helps and you get well real soon! Keep me posted.
  • phil_gphil_g UKNew
    Posts: 28
    Man I know about playing through pain this year :x

    Mine is left side & is the result of a ripped rhomboid which has trapped my radial nerve resulting in a dead left thumb and a sore wrist.

    Some of the things I'm doing to try to correct my body position.

    1. Use a footstool to adjust the height of the guitar, this should help the right shoulder problem.
    2. Play in front of a mirror. Get a good relaxed position & after 5 mins play see how much it has slipped & correct. Repeat until natural with a good position. Can be shocking how much you go out of shape.
    3 Try and be aware of any tension creeping in & try to nip in the bud.

    Cheers, Phil
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    if your "rotor cuff" (the hinge of your arm) is hurting then I would make a quick guess that you are not using your wrist correctly and you are putting too much energy into your arm. with experience i think most people would learn to adapt by adjusting technique and SO, while you are playing, try to think about relaxing and conserving energy.
  • Gminor7Gminor7 Near Chattanooga, TNNew
    Posts: 4
    I'm familiar with this having played classical guitar for many years. I agree with the suggestions to use a footstool, practice in front of a mirror, do relaxation techniques, etc. Another thing that has helped is to use some light dumbbells, 2-5 lbs., and do some shoulder exercises with the dumbbells for approx. 20 minutes per day. I know some players who cannot play at all without doing their shoulder workout every day.
  • RKatzRKatz London✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 184
    make sure you are resting your arm on the guitar.
  • TitiTiti New
    Posts: 9
    If you look at photos of Joe Pass or Wes Montgomery, you'll see they look natural (with both shoulders down) with a guitar in their hands.

    However, because the bodys' of gypsy guitars are so large, almost every gypsy guitarist has his right shoulder sticking way up in the air. This cuts off muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood flow etc in the entire neck and shoulder area and can also affect the arms and wrists.
    Therapeutic massages can really loosen up the area and learning some yoga stretches that help you should be done every day.
    I went from excrutiating pain in my arm, wrist and neck, to being able to play all day in a few months by learning how I was hurting myself and how to keep the nerves from getting pinched. I'm not kidding, you really can straighten it all out.

    Maybe I should write a book with Michael, "Django's Shoulder"? :roll:
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