#1
Hello there!

I got a terrible problem. When I'm playing barre chords on my acoustic (I know it's wrong, but that's the only guitar I got) my left hand tends to cramp after a few minutes, for instance I can't even complete Jesus of Suburbia before it hurts too much.

Is this anyhow common, and what can I do about it? I'm playing with the correct fingers, and i'm supporting with my thumb rather than my palm.

//Max
#3
I dunno if it's common, I never get any pain from guitar playing any more, I've only played a year, but I do play ALOT, almost obsessively. Maybe there's something wrong with your arm position?
#5
I've got the same problem. But only when i play fast and hard (as always ) for a longer time.
I think the solution is just to keep playing until your hand gets used to it
#6
There is nothing wrong with playing barre chords on an acoustic. How long have you been playing barre chords? It could be that you're not used to them. If that's the case keep playing them and you'll get less cramps.
Impossible is just a word people say to make themselves feel better when they quit.
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#7
normally id just say practice, but make sure youre not tensing to hard, as well as try lowering the action if possible to allow for less pressure.
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#8
Alright thanks for the tips guys.. I guess I'll just take some pain pills and play until I don't need them anymore! ^^
#9
First of all, if you're feeling pain in your hands while playing, DO NOT CONTINUE PLAYING. This is a terrible idea, and will likely lead to you injuring yourself further.

To answer your question, Barre chords require a fair amount of strength on the part of your left hand, but at the same time, you need to make sure you're not trying to strangle the neck, as this will create a great deal of tension, which is never a good thing. The strength will come with practice, until then, just try to find a good balance between strength and relaxation. And only practice for as long as your hand can sustain the effort.

Good luck, and don't stress. Soon enough you'll be wondering what you had trouble with!
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#10
Quote by Maxxaren
Alright thanks for the tips guys.. I guess I'll just take some pain pills and play until I don't need them anymore! ^^

No, don't do that. It's a silly idea.

Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong, and that you should stop doing it.
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#11
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No, don't do that. It's a silly idea.

Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong, and that you should stop doing it.


this. don't confuse pain and discomfort. if you feel discomfort, you just need to get used to it. if you feel pain, you need to stop.
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#12
it takes a lot of time to get used to barre chords and actually play songs with them. So give it some time and always stop when you feel any pain.
#13
this. don't confuse pain and discomfort. if you feel discomfort, you just need to get used to it. if you feel pain, you need to stop.

This is good advice.

Discomfort - hand cramping, fatigue etc is completely normal. Actual PAIN is not. Be patien, move the barring finger around until you don't have to grip too hard - it'll seem like it's never gonna happen at first but stick with it and it will come.
#15
Quote by guitarocker100
Ya, listin to other replies above. But...why are you playing barre chords on Jesus of Suburbia? Why not just use power chords?


power chords on an acoustic?

sounds crappy
#17
Alright. I guess it's mainly discomfort, but sometimes it's really been terrible. The last day I've made sure to relax the hand as much as possible while still pressing down the strings, and it hasn't been just as bad as it was sometimes before.

And I think that Jesus of Suburbia sounds quite a bit better on acoustic nylon with barre chords. It's probably just a matter of opinion though, and I happen to not care about what others think of my playing.

//Max
#18
I had the same problem starting out with barre chords; my hand would always cramp up, especially in the center. Just keep trying to play them, and i can tell you from experience it'll get more comfortable and you'll forget that your hand ever was hurting from doing barre chords.