Posts Tagged ‘playing tension’

Gig Grips Drumstick Grips

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

“The most dangerous musical instrument is the drums,” says Dr Jaume Rosset i Llobet, Director of the Institute of Physiology and Medicine of Art-Terrassa, Barcelona (and co-author of the excellent, The Musician’s Body, A Maintenance Manual for Peak Performance).

For the last couple of years the Institute has been testing the effectiveness of Gig Grips Drumstick Grips, which were developed to enable drummers to play without over-gripping their sticks. “We have used Gig Grips for those patients who need to reduce the grip force used to play, such as those with traumatic hand injuries or over-use symptoms. We are very pleased with the results and will continue using Gig Grips with our patients.”

Over-gripping can also be caused by the tendency to grip harder as sticks start to slip whilst playing. This happens mostly during gigs where sweaty conditions and the pressure of performance combine. Over time, tension combined with the impact of hitting drums can lead to career-limiting injuries. The idea behind Gig Grips is to help by enabling drummers to play with a more relaxed and natural grip, reducing muscle tension, vibrations and impact shock.

They are produced by Think9 Ltd, a company focused on innovative percussion product development. You can learn more about Gig Grips at the website: www.giggrips.com.

Note: We haven’t tested Gig Grips here at BAPAM and can’t provide information on their effectiveness (though they’ve had lots of good feedback from professional drummers). We’d love to hear from any drummers out there who’ve tried them – what do you think?

Violinists and Viola Players Research

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Violinists and viola players – would you like to find out more about how to optimise your playing?

Photo: Mel B.

Postgraduate student and violinist, Dr Alison Loram, is looking for student, professional and amateur violinists and viola players for her study.

The study, in collaboration with University College London and Manchester Metropolitan University, aims to understand more about the neuromuscular aspects of playing the violin/viola, and the effects that these may have upon musculoskeletal and other playing-related problems.

Alison believes that violinists and viola players taking part will benefit from the insights gained: “You will have the opportunity to see how your neck and shoulder muscles are involved in holding and playing your instrument, the bodily movements you make, and how these may be optimised to enhance your playing and reduce/prevent muscular tension”.

The study is open to any student, professional or experienced amateur (regardless of whether or not you have playing-related problems), and will involve attending one individual 2-hour session during May, July/August or September.  The confidential session (to be held at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester City Centre near to the Royal Northern College of Music), will involve standing and playing your instrument for very short periods whilst your muscular activity and movements are recorded and analysed using ultrasound scanning and movement analysis equipment.  No preparation is required.

Participation is voluntary and you can leave the research at any time. If you agree to participate in the study, you will be given a detailed information sheet and a consent form.

For further details or to sign up for the study, please contact Dr Alison Loram directly by emailing alison@loram8.freeserve.co.uk

Please share this article amongst any family, friends or colleagues you think may be interested in participating.

Note: This research project is not being conducted by BAPAM. The project has official ethics approval from UCL (University College of London) and is covered by UCL’s data protection protocol.

Pianists Research

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Pianists, are you interested in taking part in research into arm tension and other painful conditions? 

Medical doctor and pianist, Dr Hara Trouli, is looking for advanced students and professional pianists to take part in this project. Dr Trouli explains:

I am a medical doctor and a pianist, currently also a student of the first Masters Degree on Performing Arts Medicine at University College London that was developed by BAPAM (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) in collaboration with the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban.  I am conducting research on pianists’ arm tension and other painful conditions under the supervision of Professor Howard Bird who is a UK specialist in performers’ health.

We need to see advanced students or professional pianists who have suffered at some point a medical or painful condition (either diagnosed or not) of the upper limb or the cervical spine (hands, wrist, arms or neck) and analyse their piano playing through a triple method of video/ MIDI/ Electromyography.

The idea is to see whether these conditions show signs on the graphs of muscle tension in the arms and neck (electromyography), velocity, force and articulation of piano playing (MIDI) and on postural images of the hand and arm (video). We are aiming to bridge the technical pianistic accomplishment with the clinical history and to measure parameters that would be reproducible and available to both the pianists and the doctors for evaluation. We are also trying to see whether these parameters can be used in monitoring the progress of the pianist during recovery from a painful condition or an injury, and to also enable the pianist to use this method as biofeedback when they re-train.

The assessment of each pianist lasts 2 hours, it takes place in a studio in North London and travel expenses are covered up to £10.00.   Full information and consent sheets will be given to you before your assessment. We would need to see you in April or May and appointments can be made for any weekday or the weekends. We will also be pleased to share the results of your assessment with you and send you a full report of the recorded images. All information that we will receive from you is kept strictly confidential.

Please contact Dr Trouli directly if you’d like to get involved: haratrouli@googlemail.com  

Photo by David Denicolò