Lever harp- pain in left hand

  • Participant
    Harper Cait on #147656

    Wondering if anyone has any good resources for correcting left hand position / technique- or troubleshooting similar pain. I play celtic lever hard. I’m getting pain or burning sensation in my left wrist when playing. I’m sure it’s due to something weird I’m doing with my hand. The more attention I pay to the hand position the worse it gets.

    Participant
    hannah-roberts on #147657

    Hi Caitlyn,Are you warming up before you play with exercises like the Salzedo Conditioning Exercises or Deborah Friou’s Exercises, or simply scales and arpeggios?I can’t say enough good things about the Salzedo exercises. They really build hand strength and finger independence. It could be that you just need to be a little “warmer” when playing. If I don’t play warm, I sometimes experience stiffness and pain. A few other ideas:Are you keeping your wrist in a straight line with your hand or is it “popping up” when you play? Are you making sure to close each finger fully into your palm after playing the string? Are you lifting after playing each note or chord?Are you playing thumbs up, forearms facing the ceiling (whether the back of your hands face up or to the side, these two points are important).If there’s any way you can have a teacher or even another harpist check your hand position, it would be great – but another idea is to videotape yourself! My teacher has recommended this to me over the years and it really helps. Sometimes we just can’t see what we’re doing wrong from behind the harp :-)Hannah

    Participant
    elinor-niemisto on #147658

    I have noticed that some people who play lever harp, have the left shoulder turned toward the harp so that the angle of the elbow is small, less than 90 degrees.

    Participant
    Harper Cait on #147659

    Thanks for the advice! To be honest I’ve been keeping my eyes on all of that, going back to the basics in terms of warm ups- but I think I’ve solved it: I changed chairs a while back and this one is just not putting me at the correct angle somehow, which I think is causing me to compensate in odd ways. I went back to my old chair and the difficulties are basically gone!!

    Participant
    Harper Cait on #147660

    Didn’t see the last responses- thank you! I think the elbow angle was part of it too. I think I was tilting things to see the strings better, given the odd height of the chair… hard to explain but I think it was just one of those things that snowballed into a chain of incorrect posture and hand position…

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