#1
I stopped playing guitar 6 months ago, I got tired of seeing no results.
I sold all my gear, and moved on.

A week ago I got my Behringer UCG102 USB device along with my Stratocaster.
So I'm back, it's fun to play again.

Someone told me that the reason I don't see any results could be that I play/practice with tension. And when I think back, I actually play with alot of tension in my arms. My bicep is always stiff wherever I move my arm. My fingers are tense, so are my wrists. I TRY to eliminate all this tension, but I just can't get my fingers nice and relaxed, or my arms for that matter. Long story short: From my bicep to my fingertips; are all tense... and I can't get rid of it.

Can anyone give me some pointers or help / exercises? I want to "start over again" with my guitar playing and really learn some cool riffs or songs.

Thanks, appericate answers!
#2
Dream Theater- In The Presence Of Enemies Part 1.
It did the trick for me, especially those br00tz riffs on the last two strings.
Earlier I needed to do a bazillion warmups before I could do any for of playing. Now I dont need to- its like im constantly primed for action.
#3
As far as the tension goes, if you've developed a habit you have to constantly check yourself and relax your muscles. To start with you'll almost immediately start tensing up again, then you have to consciously make yourself relax again, etc. Eventually you'll create the good habit of relaxing to replace the bad habit of getting tense.

If you had problems progressing, it could also be your practice routine. I don't know what you are doing, practice-wise, but if you are coming back to it fresh, I would suggest seeing a teacher for at least a few lessons, and make sure to talk to them about coming up with your own practice plans. Also, a good book would be 'Total Rock Guitar' by Troy Stetina. Teaches things in very small pieces and then has you practice in the form of songs. Helps develop timing, tabbing by ear, etc.
#4
Quote by katalyzt13
As far as the tension goes, if you've developed a habit you have to constantly check yourself and relax your muscles. To start with you'll almost immediately start tensing up again, then you have to consciously make yourself relax again, etc. Eventually you'll create the good habit of relaxing to replace the bad habit of getting tense.

If you had problems progressing, it could also be your practice routine. I don't know what you are doing, practice-wise, but if you are coming back to it fresh, I would suggest seeing a teacher for at least a few lessons, and make sure to talk to them about coming up with your own practice plans. Also, a good book would be 'Total Rock Guitar' by Troy Stetina. Teaches things in very small pieces and then has you practice in the form of songs. Helps develop timing, tabbing by ear, etc.


Thanks! : ))
I will try that in my next practice routine.
I downloaded for free Tom Hess' book on Correct Practice and it seems very good.
But I will take notes on where and when I tense up, and eliminate it.
I can already tell that this is going to be hard I think, been playing guitar for 12 years.
#5
Quote by Hckey#
Thanks! : ))
I will try that in my next practice routine.
I downloaded for free Tom Hess' book on Correct Practice and it seems very good.
But I will take notes on where and when I tense up, and eliminate it.
I can already tell that this is going to be hard I think, been playing guitar for 12 years.


To be honest, it is hard, I know because I had the same problem with too much tension, katalyst pretty much nailed it, you have to be aware of when/where you're tensing up and make a conscious effort to eliminate it. The best way to do this is practice SLOW, like 40-50 bpm slow, and work on finger independence. Freepower here on UG has some great lessons on this, definitely look up some of his videos. Also, if you haven't already, look up articles by Jamie Andreas (Guitar Principles I think they're called) for more lessons on reducing tension as well as some exercises.

Hope this helps, good luck man
Between the velvet lies, there's a truth as hard as steel.
The vision never dies, life's a neverending wheel.
#6
Check out John Petrucci - Rock Discipline and Wild stringdome ;D
#7
Quote by edbert
To be honest, it is hard, I know because I had the same problem with too much tension, katalyst pretty much nailed it, you have to be aware of when/where you're tensing up and make a conscious effort to eliminate it. The best way to do this is practice SLOW, like 40-50 bpm slow, and work on finger independence. Freepower here on UG has some great lessons on this, definitely look up some of his videos. Also, if you haven't already, look up articles by Jamie Andreas (Guitar Principles I think they're called) for more lessons on reducing tension as well as some exercises.

Hope this helps, good luck man


Thanks : ))

So in essence then: When I practice S.L.O.W I must be aware of tension, and as soon as I feel ANY tension I must eliminate it? Because I practice using the Guitar Pro software. It lets me slow down tabs to like 10bpm if need be.
And should I go back a few notes if I feel tense or just continue with the section of a song that I practice on?
I have never ever practiced this song before, but do you think I can nail this song by Iron Maiden if I practice slow and without ANY tension? Will my tecnique for this particular song improve? Youtube Upload - Iron Maiden Cover

Never mind my epic guitar solo ugly mug, but if you could please review my playing and tell me what you notice?

Thanks everyone so far, sorry about the delay to reply and sorry about my english.
#9
It looks like you're in pretty good shape to me, just watch the bending and vibrato, but one thing you should be aware of is the affect your mind can have on what your body does.

If you think something is hard then your body will generally become more tense and you might not even notice it because you're too busy thinking about this hard thing that you have to do. Tell yourself that no matter what you're doing, it's easy and you've got it. If you think it's easy your body will relax a lot more I've found: I had some problems with tension until I stopped thinking so hard about everything I do and just started having a whole load of fun with it.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#10
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

If you think something is hard then your body will generally become more tense and you might not even notice it because you're too busy thinking about this hard thing that you have to do. Tell yourself that no matter what you're doing, it's easy and you've got it. If you think it's easy your body will relax a lot more I've found: I had some problems with tension until I stopped thinking so hard about everything I do and just started having a whole load of fun with it.



So true. I find a good thing to help that, is to go back to something that was almost cripplingly hard to you when you started playing, and compare it to how easy it is to play now.