#1
When ever I play really fast tremelo picking, my elbow tenses up like crazy and it is ******* my playing up. I have gotten to the point where I barely even play anymore because it is holding me back. And no I don't pick with my elbow, I play with my wrist but my elbow tenses up as if I am trying to flex my arm and show off my muscles. I can't play full songs because my arm just gasses out and I can't continue. Playing guitar should be effortless and this is really bothering me. I've also heard that it could be tendinitis but I have no clue. Any help?
#2
just practice slower tremelo picking and build up speed without tensing up
#3
Do you stick out your elbow a lot?
When you have tendonitis you usually have tenderness around the area and it's kinda swollen, it's also accompanied by a burning sensation. You say it only hurts when picking though so I honestly wouldn't know if that's actually what it is as I'm assuming it would probably hurt during just about any use of the arm.
You could do some stretching before playing to see if it helps. I also recommend you look at some videos of people playing guitar then play in front of a mirror and see if there are any major differences that could be causing the problem.
#5
Quote by DudE132
When ever I play really fast tremelo picking, my elbow tenses up like crazy and it is ******* my playing up. I have gotten to the point where I barely even play anymore because it is holding me back. And no I don't pick with my elbow, I play with my wrist but my elbow tenses up as if I am trying to flex my arm and show off my muscles. I can't play full songs because my arm just gasses out and I can't continue. Playing guitar should be effortless and this is really bothering me. I've also heard that it could be tendinitis but I have no clue. Any help?

do you tense up and feel pain when you tremelo pick slowly also?
#6
You know the same thing happens to me as well, i'm going to try slow and then speeding up until i don't tense up
GEAR:
Schecter C-1 Plus (Emg 81/85)
ESP/LTD Viper 400
Bugera 6262 Head
Marshall 1960A Cab
Bad Monkey OD
ISP Decimator
#7
Quote by cringer
do you tense up and feel pain when you tremelo pick slowly also?

Most of the time, but it is not so much pain as it is soreness. My arm just kind of wears out after a while.
#8
You can't play any faster without tension because that's the limit of your speed. If you want to get faster, keep practising and stay loose and you'll gradually be able to play faster.
#9
You guys are probably right that I have to start practicing slower, but I have one more thing that could be the reason.

I know that most people say technique is the most important thing and that exercise won't really help, but I think exercise might be a reason. I do not work out or get much physical activity. I am in no way fat, but I don't have much muscle in my arms and was wondering if exercising would help build up my stamina.

Edit: I also played in front of my mirror and watched my technique, and I look perfectly relaxed. My technique looks pretty good.
Last edited by DudE132 at Sep 20, 2010,
#11
Quote by DudE132
You guys are probably right that I have to start practicing slower, but I have one more thing that could be the reason.

I know that most people say technique is the most important thing and that exercise won't really help, but I think exercise might be a reason. I do not work out or get much physical activity. I am in no way fat, but I don't have much muscle in my arms and was wondering if exercising would help build up my stamina.


Lack of overall body exercise is going to help... to get you fitter.

What everyone said about relaxation is the key here. It doesn't matter if you're skinny, fat, or `normal'. Practise slow, when you feel muscles tensing up STOP PLAYING immediately, fully relax your arms, hands, fingers and try again. It helps to read this http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com/technique-2/building-finger-speed-relaxation/
#12
This is really starting to make me mad now. No matter how I play, I tense up. No matter what. I can play everything perfectly clean whether I play slow or fast yet I still tense up and have to stop after a while. My fretting hand is almost always relaxed yet my picking hand has to tense up. It's like a curse.
#13
Quote by DudE132
When ever I play really fast tremelo picking, my elbow tenses up like crazy and it is ******* my playing up. I have gotten to the point where I barely even play anymore because it is holding me back. And no I don't pick with my elbow, I play with my wrist but my elbow tenses up as if I am trying to flex my arm and show off my muscles. I can't play full songs because my arm just gasses out and I can't continue. Playing guitar should be effortless and this is really bothering me. I've also heard that it could be tendinitis but I have no clue. Any help?


Hey Man,

You should check out my basic videos on picking on my YouTube page. They might help. I will also be making a video soon on my technique for tremolo picking, which you can see me do on the demo for my channel which can be found here along with the lessons Free YouTube Lessons
#14
I think I might know what my problem is. In the past, I would usually play for hours and hours every day. Recently for the past month, I would play like 10 to 20 minutes a day. I just now played for a while like I normally used to, and although I had tension at first, it seems to be going away the more I play and I am playing better right now. Maybe it was just because I didn't practice that seriously. I still feel tension though and no matter how slow I go, I still get that feeling. It's just not holding me back anymore. Should I just continue to play like this?
#15
Quote by DudE132
I think I might know what my problem is. In the past, I would usually play for hours and hours every day. Recently for the past month, I would play like 10 to 20 minutes a day. I just now played for a while like I normally used to, and although I had tension at first, it seems to be going away the more I play and I am playing better right now. Maybe it was just because I didn't practice that seriously. I still feel tension though and no matter how slow I go, I still get that feeling. It's just not holding me back anymore. Should I just continue to play like this?

Tension gets to be normal if you don't get rid of it. Other words if you keep playing with tension it will never go away.

If I were you I would practice playing with absolute zero tension... and keep practicing that way so your body gets used to being relaxed at all times.
Repetition is key.... You're already conciously aware of it which is good, so it's just a matter of breaking the habit.
You already got good advice on how to go about that. ^
Good luck
#16
Here is the thing most people don't understand, I can not play without tension. No matter how slow or relaxed I play, I always end up with tension in my elbow and shoulder. When people say "practice slower", that doesn't help. I can play perfectly fine at a slow speed. I don't know if they are called 16th notes, but when I start picking really fast, I have to tense up. And when I say fast, I mean only my picking hand is fast. My fretting and can be moving around very slowly while my picking is extremely fast. I can play cleanly but tension is always there. I probably will get checked for tendinitis.
#17
If you're totally serious about finding and removing tension you should probably buy Jamey Andreas' "Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar". In your case if you can't play without excess tension then you need to practice just sitting with the guitar without tensing up. Seriously. Practice not playing without tension before you play.

And, once again - You can't play any faster than that without tension because that's the limit of your speed. If you want to get faster, keep practising and stay loose and you'll gradually be able to play faster.