#1
Hi,
So I used to pick by anchoring my forearm in a single position on the body of my guitar. However I altered my technique so that now my forearm moves up and down when I move strings, so that my picking hand could stay in the same position while alt. picking, providing fluidity, accuracy and consistency. (As in, when I move down to the next string, the pick stays in the same position relative to the string and bridge, and my wrist doesn't have to change angle to compensate).

However, it appears the action of moving my arm in such a way causes strain in my shoulder, I believe it is mainly when I start going down to the low E string. At first, the problem was that the guitar was too high (yes, you can have your guitar too high), but I've lowered it as much as I can without compromising my left hand too much.

I was just wondering if anyone else who plays with a floating arm like this gets the same thing, and if so, if they every worked out exactly what it was that caused the problem and how to fix it? Obviously I could go back to anchoring my forearm again but this causes more awkward movements, specifically in my right wrist (which I previously had problems with and this was half the point in my changing the technique in the first place). I suppose it could just be that my shoulder needs to get used to the action of me raising my arm up and down.. Any input is appreciated.
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Oct 23, 2011,
#4
I don't play with floating arm.
My opplaying turns into a mess, and I feel uncomfortable as hell.
I don't get how your accuracy can get better by doing that, and you are forced to play being more tense when not anchoring.
Using the elbow to pick usally ends up giving you shoulder pain, so stick with anchoring.
#5
OK I'll stretch before I play... and I suppose I could try to find a compromise between the two. I don't pick with my forearm, I pick entirely from the wrist but use the forearm to move between strings. It stops your wrist having to go at odd angles. I think I'll try to find a way to rest my forearm on the body while still maintaining a similar technique. Also just realised that resting your forearm on the body helps steady the neck..
#6
So I discovered where the problem was coming from (just for reference in case anyone else gets the problem). To be honest, it's going to sound odd..

So this morning is was quite cold, so I was practising with my hoodie on. I didn't get anywhere near as much strain. It was because usually, I play in a tshirt and my forearm sticks to the body of the guitar, making it difficult to rest my arm on the body while also moving it up and down the the strings, hence why I had to float it. Either that or I have a magic guitar jumper.

Of course, I don't want to have to wear a long sleeved top all the time so... sweatbands.
#7
Read chapter 2 in my FREE Ebook.

You have a muscle memory problem, you first have to get used to the "feeling" of being relaxed so that you remove the tension.

Once you get used to the feeling (without having th guitar in your hands)

You have to start having the same feeling when you play guitar.

It will be awkward first because once you get used to the feeling of being relaxed without guitar you will immediately notice when the te4nsions starts to build up when you play.

You will have ti discipline yourself to stop whenever you feel tension. In a short time it will become a habit so you won't need to worry about it .

Also, when practicing things start at a tempo where you are completely relaxed and you can play perfectly.

This is also a very good technique for developing playing habits about NO TENSION

Hope the exercise in the book and what i told you here helped you.

Cheers,

Paul
#8
Well, what I suspect is that you've moved your hand too far from the strings.

Go back to your "anchored" posture - now, just stop pressing into the guitar. If you've "lifted" your arm an inch away you're going to feel strain, but in reality you don't even need to do that much to unanchor.
#9
Quote by Freepower
Well, what I suspect is that you've moved your hand too far from the strings.

Go back to your "anchored" posture - now, just stop pressing into the guitar. If you've "lifted" your arm an inch away you're going to feel strain, but in reality you don't even need to do that much to unanchor.


Yeah that's what I ended up doing. My arm touches the body, but isn't anchored to a specific position. The problem was that my forearm was sticking to the body so I lifted my arm away from it (probably further than necessary) to compensate. However when I wore a long sleeved top, this wasn't an issue, so I could touch the body with my forearm yet still move it freely - I experienced no tension whatsoever and played better as a result. My shoulder already feels much better for it. Unfortunately it means I either have to wear a jumper, a sweatband, or somehow deal with the fact my forearm sticks to the body of the guitar.
#11
Hah! This post is a bit old now :P

Actually I have been meaning to update it:

I found that resting my hand on the body didn't give me the freedom I wanted, not like I was getting when I didn't rest my arm at all. I have since gone back to the initial shoulder-pain inducing technique and it no longer causes pain. I believe it was just an adjustment period as my muscles strengthened, much like when you first learn barre chords.