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Old 09-21-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
Krieger91
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Problems with tremolo, alternate and fast arpeggi?

Hey, so basically I have this problems holding me back when it comes to tremolo, galloping, fast arpeggi etc.

The problem is the pain I feel in my picking arm...I feel it from my elbow, down my forearm and my wrist.

Any directions towards avoiding this pain? As I actually have to stop every now and then, and it slows my wrist down.

And another thing, in certain riffs consisting of barre chords played fast..my fretting hand starts to hurt. Not the wrist in this case, my actual hand. From the bottom of my thumb through the bottom of hand,and on top of my thumb all the way to the two fingers I'm using the most (index and middle)

Not extremely fast riffs mind you. I've mostly noticed it, seeming that recently I'm playing a lot of System of A down..with B.Y.O.B and F*ck the System.

Any help please?
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
helenskoii
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How long have you been playing? When I first started, my arms began to ache from playing. And as for the hand problem with chords, I have the same problem, which is usually fixed by changing my fretting arms holding posture. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I think its from having the weight against your thumb for such a long time or from your thumb getting stiff.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
Sleepy__Head
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How do you sit when you're playing? Do you sit on the bed? On a chair?

What about the position of the guitar? Where does it lie in relation to your body? Do you feel like it's throwing your body out of whack when you're playing?

Also - how does your wrist feel when you're picking? Is it nice and loose - is the movement you make mainly at the wrist, or do you find your forearm jiggles up and down a lot as you're playing?
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
MatthiasYoung
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The right arm could have too much tension in such a way that it is leading to RSI - you really should get in front of a qualified guitar instructor - one who really understands the mechanics of playing. Then consult an orthopedic if necessary.

For your barre chords, sounds like too much tension again. Barre chords should not be "squeezed," but they should use the weight of the arm to fret the notes. The position of your neck does affect how you can use gravity to your advantage.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
Krieger91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
How do you sit when you're playing? Do you sit on the bed? On a chair?

What about the position of the guitar? Where does it lie in relation to your body? Do you feel like it's throwing your body out of whack when you're playing?

Also - how does your wrist feel when you're picking? Is it nice and loose - is the movement you make mainly at the wrist, or do you find your forearm jiggles up and down a lot as you're playing?

I sit on the bed.

The guitar is on my lap, pretty much horizontally, with my picking arm aroung the body, bent almost at a 90 degrees angle. Although..i've been playing acoustic a lot recently so my arm is pretty wider than it would be with an electric (I don't know if all this is going thtough properly but I can't think of nother way to explain it).
That might have something to do with it..but if so, what to do to change it? I can't think of another way to do it.

Also:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthiasYoung
The right arm could have too much tension in such a way that it is leading to RSI - you really should get in front of a qualified guitar instructor - one who really understands the mechanics of playing. Then consult an orthopedic if necessary.

For your barre chords, sounds like too much tension again. Barre chords should not be "squeezed," but they should use the weight of the arm to fret the notes. The position of your neck does affect how you can use gravity to your advantage.


How do I use less tension and use the weight of my arm?
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Last edited by Krieger91 : 09-21-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:08 PM   #6
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what in the world is an arpeggi
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #7
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I would recommend switching to a classical position or even better installing a strap and play standing-only. Playing with the guitar almost horizontal has never worked for me; it's always felt unnatural -- like my anatomy was working against me.

But it could also be that you haven't been playing long enough to build up the endurance for that kind of playing. It may take YEARS to get there, so be prepared. I used to get tired playing moderately fast metal but I can now play Slayer and Immortal-style riffs for over an hour without tiring. It just takes a long time, patience, and practice.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:38 AM   #8
Sleepy__Head
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krieger91
I sit on the bed.

The guitar is on my lap, pretty much horizontally, with my picking arm aroung the body, bent almost at a 90 degrees angle. Although..i've been playing acoustic a lot recently so my arm is pretty wider than it would be with an electric (I don't know if all this is going thtough properly but I can't think of nother way to explain it).
That might have something to do with it..but if so, what to do to change it? I can't think of another way to do it.

Also:


How do I use less tension and use the weight of my arm?


OK dude, well first thing is: Stop sitting on the bed. Find a firm chair and use that. The chair should be the right height. The right height is: Your thighs and shins make a right-angle when you sit on it. Don't get too anal about it (no need to measure the angle!) but do spend a bit of time experimenting with different chairs. Ideally it shouldn't have any arms on it (because they'll get in the way). Sit towards the front of the chair (don't slip off), sit right on your ass-bones, and sit up straight (don't slouch). If you get a sore arse use a cushion.

Next thing. Guitar practice is no different from any other activity involving a chair. Humans didn't evolve to sit in chairs - we evolved to move around. So when you practice take regular breaks and don't get locked into position. By regular breaks I mean: Every 20-30 mins get out of your chair & walk around (no need for a five-mile hike, just a little walk around the room is fine). Gently rotate your shoulders (like you've seen boxers do before a fight), flex your arms and fingers. Free yourself up a bit, then go back to it.

Next thing. Your guitar neck shouldn't be horizontal - it should be inclined slightly towards the ceiling. Don't get ridiculous about it, a slight incline is fine.

Next thing. Either use a guitar stool or a Dynarette cushion to raise the level of the guitar slightly. Again, no need to get silly. If you're not sure google 'classical guitar posture', but bear in mind that classical posture will need adapting slightly if you're playing an electric or acoustic.

Next thing. Playing standing up usually involves strapping a guitar around your shoulders. If you lift a weight from your shoulders you are going to put strain on your shoulders, neck and lower back. You wouldn't lift a weight that way if you had any sense. If you're going to practice standing up then either:

Practice for shorter amounts of time and make sure you stretch your back and neck and - I can't emphasize this enough - stretch gently. Your neck is very delicate and it's easy to knacker it. For Christ sake don't do that or you'll be seeing the nice physiotherapist who will put you through lovely painful stretching exercises and expect to be paid for it. If you're not sure how to stretch google 'physiotherapy neck stretches' (or shoulder, or back). Whatever you do, don't get your advice from some hippy-dippy yoga guru who advocates tying your legs in a knot and then touching the floor with your forehead*.

Or

Buy a hip strap and use that. Walkers use backpacks that transfer the weight to their hips (because that reduces strain on your lower back). A guitar hip strap does the same.

Take it from an old fart: You don't want a lifetime of back and neck problems.

Next thing. When practicing practice to get it right not to get it fast. Relax your shoulders and pay attention to the tension in them. Relay your fretting hand and pay attention to the tension in it. Relax your wrist and pay attention to the tension in it. Yes, there needs to be a certain amount of tension in order to hold your pick / fret a string, but don't use any more than necessary. If you find that when you're picking your movement is coming from your forearm then you're doing it wrong. Your picking movement comes from your wrist - your upper arm positions your picking hand over the correct string. Your forearm shouldn't be doing much else besides assisting your thumb & index finger to hold the pick and honestly it shouldn't be helping that much.

HTH, and sorry for the massive block of text!



* I have nothing against yoga, but if you're going to do it find a licensed practitioner and only do it under instruction and never force your body to do something it doesn't want to.
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oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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^ top notch advice!

Are you a teacher Sleepy?
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