#1
I've been playing for around a year now and have recently mastered the song Stellar by Incubus (Acoustic version). The problem I'm having though is that the whole song basically requires you to have your pinky and ring finger in the same position the whole song leading to hand cramps while I'm playing which in turn leads to me having to take a short break during the song to stretch my fingers out, which obviously ruins the flow of the whole song. I know my hand muscles are strong enough by now that I shouldn't be having this problem, so more practice isn't the answer. Could I maybe be holding down the strings too hard or something leading to unnecessary stress on my fingers? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
#2
I've had this problem with some songs. I don't know how to play that particular song but one thing that helps me is to make sure I'm good and warmed up and loose before even starting to play something that might cause discomfort. I've also found that squeezing tennis balls or anything of similar resistance several times a day will help to actually relax your hand later on as well as keep your hand muscles very strong. Perhaps play the song through slowly and pay careful attention to your finger orientation. Is there a way you could do it differently but still be able to play the song? I think the key here, as difficult as this sounds, is to keep the fingers that aren't doing any work as positively relaxed as possible in order to avoid cramping as well as warming your fretting hand up thoroughly, by playing scales, etc. before attempting this song. Your point about pressing the strings too hard could be a problem too as well as your thumb placement on the back of the neck. Make sure you're not inadvertently using too much thumb pressure. Your hand should flow cleanly and unimpeded up and down the neck with your thumb as a guide. If you're using too much pressure from your thumb your hand is surely going to let you know it
____________________________________________
GEAR:

Ibanez SGT520VS Sage Series Acoustic
Yamaha FG720S-12 12 String Acoustic
Schecter C-1 Classic
Crate Flexwave FW65 Combo Amp
#3
Quote by AndrewB24
I've been playing for around a year now and have recently mastered the song Stellar by Incubus (Acoustic version). The problem I'm having though is that the whole song basically requires you to have your pinky and ring finger in the same position the whole song leading to hand cramps while I'm playing which in turn leads to me having to take a short break during the song to stretch my fingers out, which obviously ruins the flow of the whole song. I know my hand muscles are strong enough by now that I shouldn't be having this problem, so more practice isn't the answer. Could I maybe be holding down the strings too hard or something leading to unnecessary stress on my fingers? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

That reminds me of when I was learning 'Paradise City' where you had to finger G in an awkward way that requires my pinky to be placed at a painful position all the way through the intro. Practice worked for me. I'm sorry I couldn't give you a better way to approach this, but practice always worked for me.
The Metal Scale:
e----------------------000
B------------------000----
G--------------000--------
D----------000------------
A------000----------------
E--000--------------------
#4
Ya I've tried using hand exerciser type things such as tennis balls, but I didn't seem to notice any difference after about a month of doing that. I've also tried relaxing my hands more but then I inadvertently (sp?) mute the strings because of not enough pressure on them. I don't know maybe it is just a practice issue, but that would be frustrating since I practice 4-5 hours a day and would think that by this time my hands would be accustomed to playing the way I want to play.
#5
Quote by AndrewB24
Ya I've tried using hand exerciser type things such as tennis balls, but I didn't seem to notice any difference after about a month of doing that. I've also tried relaxing my hands more but then I inadvertently (sp?) mute the strings because of not enough pressure on them. I don't know maybe it is just a practice issue, but that would be frustrating since I practice 4-5 hours a day and would think that by this time my hands would be accustomed to playing the way I want to play.


What is your practice routine? I would assume it's sizable since you have dedicated a lot of time to it. Knowing this might help us to help you better. I would agree that with that much time you should have plenty of control over the things that might cause discomfort but there may be a technical issue we can come up with that is causing the cramping. And of course learning any musical instrument, even after a year of dedication, at times is going to be frustrating. Why don't you post your practice (warm up) routine and the amount of time you dedicate to each portion of it then I bet more advice will start rolling in.
____________________________________________
GEAR:

Ibanez SGT520VS Sage Series Acoustic
Yamaha FG720S-12 12 String Acoustic
Schecter C-1 Classic
Crate Flexwave FW65 Combo Amp
#6
instead of holding your thumb on the top edge of the neck(like for power chords),hold it down lower in the middleish or lower you get more stretch in your fingers and leverage on the strings therefor less strain on your muscles.

its kinda hard to explain but i was having the same problem with the floods solo by pantera but look up some one playing the floods solo and youll probly get what im saying. but anyway its all in the way u hold the neck of the guitar.
Last edited by rickysolima at Jun 17, 2010,
#7
This may sound really stupid and if it doesn't apply please disregard, but:

Are you fingering the song correctly? Like I said I know it sounds really stupid and I'm just randomly throwing it out there in the off chance it hasn't been considered.

I have looked at tabs and tried to play them on my own, found them really difficult to play, and then looked up the artist or a cover of the song on youtube and gone "HHHHHHHHHHHEY! I never thought of fingering it that way before!". And of course everytime without fail it's easier to play that way.

Sorry if that doesn't help, I'm at a loss otherwise
My Gear:

Guitar #1: 1997 Fender MIM Strat
Guitar #2: 2007 Epi SG (G-310)

Effects: Roland DS-1 Distortion (for switching in distortion quickly, NOT cause I want a "l33t brootalz tonz!")
Amp: Roland Microcube
#8
As I am beginner can any one tell me about right positing of fingers and thumbs so that it could not be painful afterwards.