whenever i play anything for more than five minutes my right bicep (picking arm) hurts like hell. i dont anchor, i tryed switching between resting my arm on the body and not, nothing happened. what am i doing wrong?

P.S. i play a michael kelly deuce phoenix (es-335 shape semi-hollow) if that matters.
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Are you new to playing?

When you're new your arm may not be adjusted to the positioning, causing some pain (until your used to it). I know I had a very short stint with this just because I never played (meaning: my arm was never in a position similar).
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Do you playing standing or sitting down? That happens with me sometimes when sitting down. It's down to me gradually hunching over the guitar. stand up to ease it off. perhaps play standing up more often if your similar to me.
thanks for the quick responses, ive been playing for about a year and a half but im only noticing it now. its only when playing riffs and solo's and whatnot, and no i dont play standing much.

EDIT: pretty much since i got my new guitar. (semi hollow)
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Alternate how you pick, pick with your wrist for a bit then use your fore arm for a bit and switch back.

That way you can just constantly play, maybe it's purely pyschological but it lets me play forever.
You probably just have to get your bicep used to it.
Work out maybe when your bicep pain happens and when it doesn't, eg standing up, sitting down ect.
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If its when you are playing harder stuff are you subconsciously tensing up?
Try anchoring everything from your elbow on up against the guitar. Your bicep should be resting against the top of the guitar's body. I usually only anchor my pinky when I'm playing lead, other than that, my right hand floats as I strum chords.
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If its when you are playing harder stuff are you subconsciously tensing up?

this may be, when i play hard stuff i clench my teeth so after a few songs my mouth hurts like a bitch.
If it's only happened since you got that guitar, it's most likely the guitar. You just need to try out a few picking positions to get one that suits the guitar.
just try focusing on relaxing every part of you arm and play only with your wrist. if you feel anything tightening up, slow down for a second and focus on relaxing that part of your arm
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ya i would say make sure ur pickin with ur wrist. also i bet uve got a death grip on ur pick i went through a similiar problem. pay close attenion to the tension in ur arms and hands make sure theyre relaxed ur arm should be draped over ur guitar just kinda hanin off ur body
try sitting or standing straight keep your shoulders back and most importantly relax like the dude above said you could just be tensing up during harder runs and stuff.
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yeah i guess i should try new picking styles. and kg6 steven, i spend enough time in musician talk to know NEVER ANCHOR ANYTHING!!! not anchoring really actually improved my playing so im not going back. and no i dont think its subconcious its pretty much straight forward riffing/worse when trem picking.

EDIT: Actually its pretty much only when sitting.
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Last edited by Ribcage at Jan 12, 2009,
rest your forearm against the upper part of your guitar. that is not anchoring and will keep your arm resting.

anyway, if your BICEP is what hurts, it may be becuase you pick from the elbow and not from the wrist. try usimg your wrists articulation to pick, cause the wrist almos never gets tired, cause you use more than one muscle to do a tiny motion (in comparison with using your WHOLE arm).

hope i've been helpful. if you think it maybe playing with your whole arm, i can give more detail.

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sometimes that happens if you use your arm for pick movement instead of your wrist
my whole arm tenses up when picking from the wrist. its wierd. yeah i guess ill work out more.
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this may be, when i play hard stuff i clench my teeth so after a few songs my mouth hurts like a bitch.

OMG lol and i thought i was tense... when i try fast/hard stuff i tense up and usually my picking hand freezes up and i just can't do it... i have that problem with a couple riffs i'm trying to get down... like Sea of Madness by Iron Maiden... just can't get it up to full speed