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Topic: The pencil, the paper, the piano...owww...my back!

  1. #1

    The pencil, the paper, the piano...owww...my back!


    What do you pen & paper guys do about lower back pain and general fatigue? I sit at my keyboard, play, write, play, write...and then my back hurts. Any advice on solutions to this problem? What do people do when writing out by hand? In general I either write on the music stand or keep a pad on a hard surface resting between my lap the and edge of the keyboard. I've dreamed up some fancy solutions but before I start building (or hiring people to build) I wanted to see what others are doing.


  2. #2

    Re: The pencil, the paper, the piano...owww...my back!

    Hi Zaque!

    I would THOROUGHLY reccommend attending to this because sometimes it can lead to a serious problem (as it did for me). And to do this, you need to understand the mechanics involved. A wonderfully informative book on causes and treatment of cases like these is the Trigger Point book:


    which may help you understand exactly what you are doing in your posture to cause you backpain, and what to do about it.

    Other than that, what has REALLY benefitted me for years is the daily practice of a Qi Gong routine (a gentle system of movement related to Tai Chi and practiced by millions of Chinese people every day)

    Good luck and best wishes

    ps I have nothing to do with the promotion of this book!
    Sibelius, ProTools, Cubase
    on Mac OSX
    + plenty of coffee

  3. #3

    Re: The pencil, the paper, the piano...owww...my back!

    I try to maintain some semblence of good posture at the keyboard and force myself to take stretching breaks if I'm going to be at the piano for hours. I clip my manuscript paper to a document holder stand (the kind that business people use?) and taped it in place on my piano. So, to notate something, all I have to do is pick up a pen and move my arm, not stretch my back. I also took up yoga, which seems to have helped.

    I haven't really had back problems, but I do get hand cramps, especially when I'm working on large works. I have computer software that would allow me to write out parts with far less strain, but old habits die hard...

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