Recently, I've been ramping up my practise time from an hour a day to 3 or 4 hours and I'm starting to get extremely sore in my trapezius muscles right below the back of my neck and all of the muscles in behind my shoulders and rotator cuff.
Does anybody have experience with this? Is this normal and is it just "weakness" that goes away after your body adjusts to the new demands being placed on it?
It could be a lot from you sitting positions and how you feel when you play. Is you back arched when you play? This would also force your shoulders forward and cause more weight to fall on the tabla. Also when you play are you playing tense and hitting the tabla hard, or are relaxed and keeping your body loose. You would be amazed how much of a difference proper posture helps. I have been able to play 6 hours straight and the only thing that bothered me were my legs had fallen asleep from being locked so long.
1. BREATHE! 2. Head up, back straight. 3. RELAX! Especially the upper arms and shoulders. Also your face. Elbows should be pointed towards the floor. This isn't as natural to most people as it should be so you will have to remind yourself about every 2-5 minutes of practice until it becomes natural. If you are not breathing naturally and you are not relaxed you are also likely playing incorrectly. Eventually you will have to un-learn and re-learn everything you thought you knew besides having a bad back to boot.