The shoulders are the base of your arms. If blood flowing through the veins, muscle groups, or ligaments is cut off at the shoulders, the rest of the flutist’s arm will suffer. A major muscle group runs between the collarbone and the ribs through the shoulder. If the elbow is dropped, circulation to the entire arm is cut off and numbness will occur. Shoulder tension also limits arm movement; when performing quick or fast passages, some flutists will tense up their shoulders. When the shoulders are tense, the arm can not be used to its fullest extent(15). When the flutist brings the flute up to his mouth, the shoulder blades and the collarbone must move forward so the keys can be easily reached(16).

Next Section: Elbows

This section is part of an article that can be found here: Arm Pain while playing the Flute.