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Old 01-18-2015, 10:47 PM   #1
Alien Frontier
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Have I been holding it wrong all this time?

Whenever I play fast for prolonged periods I've been getting a slight weakness in my right arm afterward, and I'm thinking it's because of the way I hold the instrument.....
Image on the left is how I've been holding it (sits firmer on my knee), and image on the right is how I think I should be holding it (far less stress on the upper arm/elbow). Can someone just confirm that I've been doing it wrong . . . its hard to tell how forward or backward to tilt the head when every video online is a frontal view


Last edited by Alien Frontier : 01-18-2015 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:56 PM   #2
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I think its a matter of building more strength in what ever muscle is getting weak. How ever feels natural is where the guitar should be.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:05 AM   #3
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Doesn't really look like much a difference. Both ways look normal to me. I probably move around enough to cover both those stances and then some, and everything in between, while I play. Yeah, it's probably just a matter of building strength. Don't think it has anything to do with how you're holding it.
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:01 AM   #4
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Start playing everything that causes u pain really slowly. like whole notes at 60bmp. Be really aware of any tension that might be building up in your right arm and start connecting with that tension and releasing it. it doesnt mean that you have to play with no tension, you can hit the note as hard as u want to get the sound but after you play one note or a chord relax your entire arm and back. you will have to find out how to relax that certain muscle and the only way to do that is by starting slowly.
i've been playing for 17 years and i still start at 60bmp on every new lick/run/riff whatever. It's really important to learn how to play without extra tension.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:41 PM   #5
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Maybe its just my specific anatomy (long arms); the left position just has a noticeable "pull/stretch" on my upper arm ---- it's something unavoidable since its unnatural in general to extend my bent elbow forward.

Thank you everyone for your help.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:47 PM   #6
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What's right for one person may be completely wrong for another with different body structure, so can't generalise by saying "that looks right" based on one's own approach.

So long as you're comfy is the most important thing. You don't want pain ... you can expect some muscle fatigue, but even that should be minimal ... otherwise you've got a potential nightmare waiting to happen (I speak from experience).

You really don't need strength for guitar playing. Just dexterity and the ability to absolutely minimise effiort applied to all movements (left and right hand) to just enough to make the sounds you want. You wouldn't do this all the time (e.g. if you really want to stress some notes or chords), but as a general approach, this will keep you safe, and make it much easier to build up speed (if you want that).

cheers, Jerry

Last edited by jerrykramskoy : 01-19-2015 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:16 PM   #7
Patrick Roberge
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If you dont have a big pain it is probably a matter of stamina or building more strengh; this come with time.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:30 AM   #8
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I used to have the same problem and I switched to the classical position (guitar resting on the left leg and using a foot stool).
Not only did it help with the pain in the right arm and back, but it also helped make the transition between playing standing up and sitting down easier, since the difference in posture is not as significant as that in the "western" position.

Last edited by Scratcher17 : 01-29-2015 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:36 PM   #9
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Just to chime in, I also started playing with the classical position, and it fixed my wrist and back pain. You could try it out.
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