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Old 12-31-2012, 05:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Left Hand Cramps

Hey everybody, happy new year!

Guitar player question...

So the other day my band played a show - first time in almost 5 months... During the end of our 35 min set my left hand (right hand player guitar) started to cramp up and it was hard to press down the chords...
Now im trying to understand why this was like this... Which never happened ever in my history of playing live shows...
1. I practice sitting down which is a different style and muscle you use... maybe need to break in my wrist more by practicing standing...
2. Since first time ive played lived song back to back it could of effected my hand since its been awhile?
3. Can be a form of carpal tunnel - which recently a Dr. did a test an said I dont have that - plus maybe too young?

Know any exercises or things I could do so this wont happen on our 20 day tour coming up...

Thanks everybody! Happy new year!!
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Norway
Sounds like fatigue, but it's hard to say if you don't explain the feeling and more precisely the location. Were there pain involved? Do you feel anything now, or the day after?
If the doctor says you don't have CTS, it's highly unlikely that you have it. Tendonitis would be more likely, but in that case you will still be in pain.

Practice your stamina appropriately (standing, back to back songs etc.), make sure you stay relaxed (tensing will increase the chance of cramps and ruin your technique), consider doing stretches or lower arm strengthening and maybe get some wristbands.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
Is SouTaicho Yamamoto-san
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
FML. I've answered this question a thousand times already. What's happening is you are using your thumb apply the pressure needed to fret the chords. The force needed should come from your fingers. Your thumb is there only to support the neck. Nothing more.
Originally Posted by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:55 PM   #4
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Relax. That's all I'm going to say.

Edit: I'll elaborate.

If you're out of shape, it's going to be hard to get the pressure you need to get your notes to ring out clearly. However, if you play regularly, you should be able to play more sensitively. There's no reason to squeeze the shit out of your neck. Your guitar is a woman, you gotta be gentle with her.
Only play what you hear. If you donít hear anything, donít play anything.
-Chick Corea

Last edited by food1010 : 01-01-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:51 PM   #5
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Ah thanks for all the advice guys!! Yah the thumb thing seems to be it... I guess treat her like a nice lady... but yet dont be too gentle... but a nice tough love.. )
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2012
If you have your guitar too low your hand will get uncomfortable if you're not used to it. Do it Beatles-style and wear the damn thing above your waist.
"We are a metal band. Metal is brutal, metal vocals are brutal. I want some coffee."
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