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Re: Brain Dead (was Re: Nerve Damage)

Well as a weak and feeble female who plays BBb bass I thought I'd add my 2
pennths worth on this topic.

I too have been a manual handling course (that's lifting to everyone else) but
didn't really cater for the lifting I have to do with my bass.

We don't march (thank goodness) but I would have difficulty with that anyway
because I'm so small (5ft 2in) - when I have marched my bass just bounces on my
leg as I march and I nearly knock my teeth out (and I get a bruised leg). 
However I did march with a euph once and my arms really ached afterwards - I'm
sure the cornets etc. must also have that problem (or are they just used to

We sometimes have to play concerts in small and cramped positions - which makes
it difficult sometimes to lift correctly.  I also have great fun trying to get
my mute in and out - that bells an awful long way up when you've got short
arms.  On the topic of mutes - most players have their mutes on the floor.  To
lift them correctly we should all get off our seats and bend our knees with our
backs straight to pick them up!!!  Could be comical to watch.

Carrying my bass from A to B is a problem cos' when its in the case it only
comes 2ins off the ground and steps is almost impossible - all good lifting
techniques go out of the window but I do struggle on.  My case need a
reinforced bottom as it gets banged on the floor so much - one day I will
persuade my band to buy me a case with wheels but that won't solve the steps
problem and would probably make the case heavier.  Some people say 'why don't
you let the guys carry it'?  Well I do sometimes but I chose to play the
instrument.  The only time I refused to cart it from A to B was when I was
pregnant - good enough reason I think.

I'm not complaining - I wouldn't swap my instrument for any other - I accept
the problems as part of playing the instrument.  In general brass bands
probably is a little bad for your health - when you think about it we all hold
our arms in very strange positions which is putting strain on some muscle or
other.  Most band rehearse in small rooms and when you sit near the drums, as I
do, it can get somewhat loud.  We often go dizzy after playing certain pieces. 
But I think I little discomfort (which is probably all that most get if
anything) is outweighed by the enjoyment we all get - we wouldn't do it

I do sympathise with those who do get problems which is down to playing but it
could happen in whatever we do - driving a car, getting out of the bath,
playing with our children.

Incidentally I've had more trouble with my back, wrists etc. just using a PC
terminal and sitting at a desk than in the 25 years I've played bass!!!

Carole Spry
BBb  GEC Marconi Avionics Brass Band

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