Posture, and balance.

Posted: 9/6/2007 10:16:27 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

I inadvertently (re-)discovered a useful diagnostic trick:

1) Videorecord your playing.
2) Rewind, playback...
3) ...and during playback, fast-forward.

I was pleased to discover that even though I was wearing a shirt with a floral design, my torso didn't move appreciably (or rather: the floral design made clear that my torso was still).

Yes, I still have work to do... in particular, my neck and shoulders contract, and even though this seems to facilitate maintaining pitches precisely, I can't imagine that this would be comfortable over long stretches... so, in practice sessions, I have to make a conscious effort to lift my head and extend my shoulders out... i.e., to practice what I've preached in previous posts here.
Posted: 9/6/2007 11:10:35 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

In the barbershop quartet I sang with, we did videotape ourselves, and learned a lot. I never thaught about playing back at faster speeds. This would show up stuff we'd miss at normal speeds. I'll give that a try. Thanks.
Posted: 7/5/2011 9:57:38 AM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

Hi all. :)

I thought I'd revive this topic by covering footwear at the theremin. I know there was a thread a few years back that covered thereminists practicing and even performing bare-footed at the theremin. I can't seem to find the thread to save my life, and since the kind of rootwear worn at the theremin can affect balance, I thought I'd just put the topic here.

I do practice barefoot a lot because I get much better balance. But not on stage in performance. Just does not look right. So, I thought for a moment, and rememberd that ballet dancers wear flat soled shoes, and other dancers wear a splt soled shoe that's still quite flat.

Yeh, sneakers, and flip-flops are flat, but those just don't look right with formal wear. LOL. :)

I went over to Amazon, and looked up ballet shoes, and noticed several types that actually look like they'd be acceptable to the audience, and provide a thereminist with the right floor-feel experience while maintaining proper balance at the theremin.

A couple of brands that seem ok appear to be Capezio, and Leo's.

Why these types of shoes? Well, they're flat, and offer maximum stability.

Regular shoes are designed for walking. They have a curve to the sole from heel to toe, like a wheel, which makes walking comfortable. They're not really designed to let someone stand still and balanced over a long period of time. This makes performing at the theremin a dodgey experience with regards to intonation stability.

IMPORTANT! Jazz/ballet shoes are measured differently than regular shoes. Just stand on a bit of paper, trace your foot, and measure distance from tip of longest toe to heel. Then compare that number with the size chart to select accordingly based on your region's measurement systme.

Soooo, will I be seen sporting a pair of ballet or jazz shoes at HO11? Stay tuned! :)

Posted: 7/5/2011 12:46:07 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

It is really interesting, Thomas.

Not all people can wear flat shoes. Especially people with flat arches or ones that suffer from Plantar Fasciitis.

My feet cannot function in flat shoes - they hurt almost immediately. Also, I am barely 5'3" and it's nice to have a little extra height.

Dansko Clogs are made for standing for long periods of time and are the most favorite brand of the health care professionals. I have 1 pair and I just love them. My feet agree! :)
Posted: 7/5/2011 2:40:27 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Being one with flat, narrow feet, I concur with Amethyste. I am much more comfortable and stable with a wider, properly fitted shoe with supplimental arch support.

Another thing to avoid is standing on carpeting if at all possible: especially thick plush carpeting.

One thing many of us are are probably in denial about is the lack of sufficient muscle tone! Lets face it, some of us could use more exercise, and a good walk on a regular basis can provide a steadier base from which to play.
Posted: 7/5/2011 4:23:30 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

I have a solution - which is actually really a good one.

Go to a beauty supply store or a kitchen store and look for an Anti-fatigue mat. The thickness varies from mat to mat, but they are designed to reduce fatigue on the feet and in the legs when you stay in one position for a long period of time. I have one at home and it is fabulous.

PS: Jeff - Ditto on the exercise. I have been doing more yoga and walking since I have taken the Theremin and it REALLY does help the stamina!

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