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4stringjonty
11-28-2013, 02:48 PM
How do you guys deal with any back issues while playing. When I've been playing my back quickly feels like its on fire. Are there any positions to get rid of it?

ohmless
11-28-2013, 03:03 PM
I have pretty bad back issues and address it in different ways. First I try to sit up and play for as long as I can(about 15-20 minutes). Then I take a break for a bit and then recommence with a lumbar support. I notice when I slouch my gut pushes the bottom of the uke's body out and I have more tapping from my strumming hand and the fretting is more difficult. My back is most comfortable when I sit sit this way because of facet arthritis. I have to lean forward so that my gut doesn't tilt the uke when I sit this way. I have noticed in the month or so that I have been playing my back is already stronger and my endurance improved.

Mostly my strategy is taking frequent breaks. Best of luck with your efforts.

itsme
11-28-2013, 06:55 PM
I play sitting on a piano bench with both feet firmly on the floor. Without a chair back to lean against, it forces me to sit up straight and not slouch.

The Nada Chair (http://www.nadachair.com/) is good for training you how to sit so your spine is properly aligned, and it's actually really comfortable. :)

For additional sitting comfort, I use a ViscoRide wheelchair buttpad (http://www.amazon.com/ViscoRide-Wheelchair-Cushion-Shipping-16X18X3/dp/B009KO4HII/). Supporting your butt is important, too, since it's so intricately linked to your back. There are a lot of pressure points affected when you sit.

Like ukes, wheelchair cushions come in different sizes, quality and price. I think mine would be considered a "K" brand. The only thing I recommend you stay away from is anything gel filled. My husband went thru a number of them and every single one ended up leaking. He was an online gamer who often engaged in "power sitting" for extended periods of time. He ended up liking this one enough he bought one for me, too. Is that romantic or what? :p

OldePhart
11-30-2013, 04:42 AM
If your back is hurting from playing it is almost certain that you are hunching over the instrument, possibly trying to see the fret board. You should never hunch over the instrument, and you need to break yourself of trying to look at the fret board for reasons beyond saving your back.

An occasional glance at the fret board, especially if you have "slid" the left hand a long distance from one chord or note to the next, is tolerable but anything more will handicap your playing and makes it harder on your neck, back and left wrist.

Fortunately, the uke is a small, lightweight instrument so you can play it in almost any chair. Therefore, choose a chair that you can sit in comfortably and then work on your holding and playing technique until it becomes no less comfortable to sit playing ukulele than it does to sit and watch TV. For myself I find this position to be with the ukulele quite high on my chest (especially with sopranos) supported by the crook of my arm just as if I were standing and playing. My favorite chair has arms, and with tenor ukes I find that it works well to rest the lower bout on the arm of the chair. With baritones I sit in a chair without arms and use a strap just as if I was standing.


John

itsme
11-30-2013, 02:15 PM
If your back is hurting from playing it is almost certain that you are hunching over the instrument, possibly trying to see the fret board. You should never hunch over the instrument, and you need to break yourself of trying to look at the fret board for reasons beyond saving your back.

An occasional glance at the fret board, especially if you have "slid" the left hand a long distance from one chord or note to the next, is tolerable but anything more will handicap your playing and makes it harder on your neck, back and left wrist.
Never gave it much thought before, but I guess maybe there's a benefit to not being good at memorizing... most of the time I'm looking at the music on the stand in front of me and not trying to watch the fretboard.

Yes, if there's a big jump I'll often give a quick glance so I'm more confident about landing in the right place.

But constantly watching the fretboard can be a bad habit.

Fisherman
11-30-2013, 02:35 PM
1. Use a strap.
2. Stand up.

4stringjonty
12-02-2013, 01:17 AM
Thanks guys.