#1
My forearm muscles are pretty weak. I don't usually need to use them but I find when doing scales and stuff on the 17 -> 24th fret, I end up using muscles in my forearm that I just never use. It means I can shred my heart out for a minute and then I'm pretty much toast after that.
Fingers are fine, it's just the forearm muscle (specifically one between the radius and ulna on the top of my forearm.


Should I enter a muscle building exercise routine?

OR

Should I just keep playing guitar and eventually my muscles will adapt?


Before someone says both, going with the exercise routine will be a bitch due to having to make time for it. I'll only go there if I can't accomplish the latter option.
Personal constructive advice on what you've done is always welcome.
It's spelled wiener.
#2
things I tend to do to develop forearm muscle include:

Tensing your hand up, making sure your fingers are practically locked into a nice arch, like your grasping an object, imagine a softball in your hand -- and releasing and then flexing back into that position. this is to activate the muscles in your forearm, as youll come to realize the forearm muscles are the key to strong grip and agile fingers. or, actually, the opposite is what I once realized, the FINGERS are the key to forearm development, but thats from a bodybuilding perspective

but anyways, flexing your hand, activating the muscles, and thenmoving on! to what I like to call Wrist Curls! and can be done in many different directions to hit every muscle in the forearm.
i usually start with a upward curl, as in your forearm parallel to the floor, and your hand in a semi fist curling upwards! you should see little tendon-like muscles in your arm moving, those are those under-developed muscles youve been missing then, hit a downwards curl, but find the position where it doesnt make a tendon "pop" (youll know what i mean if/when you feel it) and it works the underside of your forearm.

Try other directions, and also emphasize a thumb movement and see if you cant hit a muscle that way.

When you do this right, your arm will be totally Swollen and on fire feelin. this is a muscular response to the resistance you put on them, and is totally kick ass. working out rocks, almost as much as shreddin guitar does

Sooo, Hope my novel Helps you out friend !
#3
Quote by JLane HxC
things I tend to do to develop forearm muscle include:

Tensing your hand up, making sure your fingers are practically locked into a nice arch, like your grasping an object, imagine a softball in your hand -- and releasing and then flexing back into that position. this is to activate the muscles in your forearm, as youll come to realize the forearm muscles are the key to strong grip and agile fingers. or, actually, the opposite is what I once realized, the FINGERS are the key to forearm development, but thats from a bodybuilding perspective

but anyways, flexing your hand, activating the muscles, and thenmoving on! to what I like to call Wrist Curls! and can be done in many different directions to hit every muscle in the forearm.
i usually start with a upward curl, as in your forearm parallel to the floor, and your hand in a semi fist curling upwards! you should see little tendon-like muscles in your arm moving, those are those under-developed muscles youve been missing then, hit a downwards curl, but find the position where it doesnt make a tendon "pop" (youll know what i mean if/when you feel it) and it works the underside of your forearm.

Try other directions, and also emphasize a thumb movement and see if you cant hit a muscle that way.

When you do this right, your arm will be totally Swollen and on fire feelin. this is a muscular response to the resistance you put on them, and is totally kick ass. working out rocks, almost as much as shreddin guitar does

Sooo, Hope my novel Helps you out friend !


<3 you, TYVM
It's spelled wiener.
#4
Training your forearm will be good for rhythm playing as well like those thrash metal stuffs.
#5
You don't need to train your forearm muscles, the most effective things you can do to improve your stamina for playing are improving your technique and just playing.

Just to restate: you will never need to work out to play guitar well and for hours. NEVER.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
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Album.
Legion.
#6
Zaphod.... You are wrong.


It is obvious that paul gilbert has spent hours and hours in the gym to get as good as he is. The dude loooks like a powerhouse.
#7
Quote by mrbabo91
Zaphod.... You are wrong.


It is obvious that paul gilbert has spent hours and hours in the gym to get as good as he is. The dude loooks like a powerhouse.

+1

He could totally give Chuck Norris a run for his money :P

Seriously though, if you want to build your forearm muscles, build your forearm muscles but don't do it for guitar; you don't need to work out to play guitar. If you're fatiguing your forearm when you're playing, or even getting tired at all, you need to work on your technique. You'd do better to invest the time that you would spend working out on your forearms by working out what's wrong with your technique.

All working on your forearm muscles would do is allow you to tense up for longer - but why are you tensing up in the first place? It takes very little force to push a string down as much as it needs to to ring out.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Dec 1, 2011,
#8
I always try to use minimal technique an minimal pressure when playing.

For some reason this just always seems to get my muscles weak after 20+ seconds of playing it


Eb tuning, 180 bpm, sixteenth notes:

Eb||------------19-22-19----------------19-22-19--------||
Bb||---------21----------21----------21----------21-----||
Gb||---19-22----------------22-19-22----------------22--||
Db||----------------------------------------------------||
Ab||----------------------------------------------------||
Eb||----------------------------------------------------||


Dbdim7 seems to make me get tight muscles. I try my best to use minimal pressure but I can only go ~20 seconds. Is that normal or is that bad technique? How long can you do it at that speed?
It's spelled wiener.
Last edited by AtomicBirdy at Dec 1, 2011,
#9
Quote by AtomicBirdy
I always try to use minimal technique an minimal pressure when playing.

For some reason this just always seems to get my muscles weak after 20+ seconds of playing it


Eb tuning, 180 bpm, sixteenth notes:

Eb||------------19-22-19----------------19-22-19--------||
Bb||---------21----------21----------21----------21-----||
Gb||---19-22----------------22-19-22----------------22--||
Db||----------------------------------------------------||
Ab||----------------------------------------------------||
Eb||----------------------------------------------------||


Dbdim7 seems to make me get tight muscles. I try my best to use minimal pressure but I can only go ~20 seconds. Is that normal or is that bad technique? How long can you do it at that speed?


I'm not particularly great at 3 string sweeps so I doubt I could just read that, play it at 180bpm and test how long I can play it for :P I did try with a Gm 5 string sweep at the 22nd fret though and didn't notice any problems after 20 seconds.

It sounds like you should stop trying to do it at 180bpm for now. Slow it right down, make sure you're not applying more pressure than necessary, then gradually bring it up to speed until you notice your technique isn't as good. Drop by 5bpm and keep practicing at that speed for a while.

The thing is, you have to make sure you're honest with yourself. The amount of times I used to read guides that said "when you've mastered this, up the tempo" and I'd just ignore the "when you've mastered this" bit. Basically, don't lie to yourself about what tempo your technique starts to fall apart. If it's at 70, who cares, just work on it and you'll see greater improvement than someone who kids themselves they can play perfectly at 180.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#10
Quote by AtomicBirdy
<3 you, TYVM



No problem dude!

and while they are right, you don't have to work out to play guitar,
it does help get chicks to your shows.
#11
working out will help you get better at working out

playing guitar will help you get better at playing guitar
#12
You don't need to
BUT you will feel better if you train them. As you get stronger the way the guitar neck feels in your hand changes. It's a good thing.
I know Lucifer so well I call him by his first name...I say, "Hey Lou!"
#13
What on earth are you using forearm muscles for?

I would guess there's two main problems here - your posture is off. You're having trouble getting a comfortable hand position on the higher frets (really common! some guitar shapes make it impossible to get comfortable up there). You probably need to have the guitar a little higher and tilt the neck up a bit.

The second thing is plain ol' lack of practice.

So, solve those problems in that order and you're good to go.