After reading an article about tension while playing guitar, I realized that I might have a little bit of tension in my shoulder (everything else is fine though). I noticed that when I play sitting down, I slightly lift up my shoulder, but not to the point of my shoulder being level with my ears. I analyzed my playing, and realized that I don't think I'm tensing up my shoulder, but rather my shouldler is slightly lifting up my picking arm so that my forearm is at a better angle to the guitar. Would that be considered tension, or is my shoulder just supporting my arm?
I get the same thing

But during fast alternate picking my shoulder proper tenses up Maybe just me being Only new to guitar
I find that every guitarist I've met has that problem, I think its just the way we are lol.

Btw, nice pic of Hizaki =P
ledzeppelin7510 wrote:

come on guys, this could be great for Portnoy; remember when Neil Peart left Rush to join My Chemical Romance? Oh...wait...
Your shoulder doesn't need to lift at all, you're tensing up.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
If you're not feeling tension in your playing using that position, then you don't have it.
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

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Quote by El Cumanés
If you're not feeling tension in your playing using that position, then you don't have it.

That's just not true, plenty of people can't tell they're tense because the body learns to associate that tension with playing guitar, essentially they think that's what playing guitar is meant to feel like.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
I find that myself sometimes as well, I can get my left hand/arm relaxed perfectly but I do notice my right shoulder lifts a bit and sometimes it will even ache a little.

Ive found I have to sit in a pretty rediculous position to be 100% comfortable, and by rediculous I mean I would have to have my guitar jacked up to my nipples if I were to play standing up and wanted it to feel somewhat similar. My guitar strap doesnt tighten up enough

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
This happens to me too especially when I'm palm muting fast on the lower strings.

Helps to stretch a bit before you play! Also try sitting up straighter if you're slouching so your shoulder drops as far as it can go.

My weird tension problem is my right leg, it always tenses up and lifts when I'm trying to do faster stuff.
Last edited by Suhnder at Jul 29, 2010,
Quote by Magnificoamar
Btw, nice pic of Hizaki =P

Haha thanks xD

Anyways, I'm finding it hard to support my picking arm without "tensing" up my shoulder at all. How am I supposed to position my picking arm without using some muscles in my shoulder? I've noticed people like Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie slightly lift their shoulders too to support their picking arm (when sitting down). I'm not completely sure if this is tension or not though, because I play the same standing up (the guitar is lower), without lifting my shoulders.
Last edited by zincabopataurio at Jul 29, 2010,
How do you tell the difference between "tensing up", and just using your muscle to support your picking arm?
Hmmm, I'm pretty sure that you shouldn't feel tense. But your arm will still ache after fast rhythm playing right?
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