Swinging from the trapezius

Ooooch. I woke up Wednesday morning this week with a nasty little crick in me neck; oww. Sore. I think it was caused by me sleeping kind of funny on it, but I’m also thinking that it has something to do with a couple of other things: (1) the computer-based desk job I sit at for a significant proportion of the day (let me tell you a secret here…..guitar aint paying the mortgage at this point peeps!) and (2) my playing position.


I’m thinking the latter has quite a bit to do with it in fact. Over the last few years I think I’d gotten into a few bad habits, which as we all know can be hard to fix. With a little persistence, however, and someone to redraw ones attention to these things when the mind wanders (thanks Ben), one can begin the journey of rectifying our little foibles. The sore bit in question for me is my trapezius on the right-hand side. For a bit of potted laymans anatomy, the trapezius is a big triangular-shaped muscle stretching from the base of the skull, down to the middle of your back and over to the top of your shoulder blade. It’s used to move the shoulder blade and support the arm. You have one on each side of your body and it’s a superficial muscle.


So me, with my posture-in-progress, I am stressing out this poor little (well, not so little actually) right trapezius of mine. I think it has become overloaded (and hence all knotted up and sore) with:
(a) me sitting slightly round shouldered with the guitar
(b) me not sitting up entirely straight when playing
(c) me getting too overtly physical and tense when dealing with spots in the music I think are “difficult” or “tricky” (which when sitting back and approaching with a view point of “ease” are fine….. The brain is a funny thing).
(d) not taking frequent breaks in my practice to stand up, move, change position, stretch.


It’s a work-in-progress realigning my posture, but worth persisting with to give me years of pain free and trouble free playing ahead. All I’ve got to do is keep the above points in mind, assimilate and forget about them! Easy right?


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