I practice the mandolin throughout most of the day. I’ve been sitting on an exercise ball, and it was good until it wasn’t. I do get up and move around quite a bit and even lately switch off to a recliner. But lately I am finding that my mid-back bothers me. I was even thinking about buying a chair designed for mandolin players if they exist. I would be grateful for any suggestions.
I sit on a stool and rest my feet on the ring at the bottom or a footrest that I made from an old shoeshine kit. If you’re sitting, having the feet in the proper position makes a difference. That being said, I’ve never had any real back problems, playing or otherwise.
I like to practice standing up. It’s not always the most comfortable, but it’s more realistic and for me better since that’s the position I play in for performance. If I have to work on something tricky for a long time, I’ll sit in a regular kitchen-type chair.
Oh, and be glad the mandolin is a light instrument; it’s definitely easier on the back than a banjo!
simply put…move more.
take more breaks, do some stretching, move arms, legs, back, shoulders & neck to get blood flowing and warmup and relax muscles…if you stat tightening up when back playing stop and go back to moving around for a bit.
These breaks can be as simple as swinging arms, shrugging shoulders, and moving back & neck side to side a couple times each (takes only a few seconds).
Also, try to define where the tension is coming from in your posture. You may find you are tensing up at certain times…work on relaxing when playing.
I find that high speed and high concentration are two areas where I really need to monitor the tension certain muscles come under.
It’s not always just posture, but can be the length of time we’re rigidly holding that posture also.
Hope this helps some,