#1
Hi guys, I've got some problem that starts after playing for about 5 mins barre chords only. I tried many different positions and problem is still there. Maybe that's because of my small hand and I have to put more pressure to play all notes clean. Here are some pics to see how I press them.


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First two are relaxed positions, others are under tension; I know it's hard to see anything but it's visible how my tendons are much more visible. I try to use classical position but it's not comfortable too place my thumb right in the center. I circled problematic muscle.
Last edited by lapy at Jan 11, 2012,
#2
I try to use classical position but it's not comfortable too place my thumb right in the center. I circled problematic muscle.


Then the problem is somewhere else - ie, you're not sitting in a way that allows you to comfortably get the thumb opposite the first two fingers.

Because of this, you have to press far harder to get enough force where you need it.

That said, barreing down at the first fret is hard and if you haven't been doing much barreing before it's going to be tough for a while.
#3
Just some time. Dude, I started to guitar with classical, before starting to electric guitar for basics, and man, when i took electric guitar in my hands, i didn't even use any force to make barre chords or power chords. Just the thing you need is more practice. Barre chords are always difficult. But seriously, if you took some basics with classical guitar, that wouldn't be a problem.
#4
Sounds like muscle fatigue to me. I also learned on a classical guitar and about the third song I learned was Radiohead's Creep using only barre chords. Holy crap did that work my thumb hard. the exact muscle you circled would ache and start to burn. I'd have to stop and give it a rest. I'd stretch it out take five minutes get a sandwich wash my hands then come back and play something that wasn't so barre chord heavy. then I'd finish out playing that again for as long as i could till it started aching. Then I'd come back the next day and try again.

Eventually barre chords got really easy and it got to the point where looking back it seemed like all that time I'd been pressing much harder than I actually needed to in order to make the chord sound.

But this was only because my hands, fingers, and thumb were much stronger than they had been and it took far less effort to get the same amount of pressure that I had previously needed 100% effort to achieve.

and like cemges. When I went to an electric it was like the softest strings ever. i couldn't believe how easy they were to fret. but an acoustic guitar (steel string) was quite hard and stiff.

After playing steel string for a while that too became easy and natural.

don't overdo it and hurt yourself butpush yourself and give it time and your hand will strengthen.

If you have been playing for years and have never had this problem before then it is something else.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jan 11, 2012,
#5
Find a way to bend your thumb more without pushing the base knuckle into your hand.
#6
Quote by 20Tigers
Sounds like muscle fatigue to me. I also learned on a classical guitar and about the third song I learned was Radiohead's Creep using only barre chords. Holy crap did that work my thumb hard. the exact muscle you circled would ache and start to burn. I'd have to stop and give it a rest. I'd stretch it out take five minutes get a sandwich wash my hands then come back and play something that wasn't so barre chord heavy. then I'd finish out playing that again for as long as i could till it started aching. Then I'd come back the next day and try again.

Eventually barre chords got really easy and it got to the point where looking back it seemed like all that time I'd been pressing much harder than I actually needed to in order to make the chord sound.

But this was only because my hands, fingers, and thumb were much stronger than they had been and it took far less effort to get the same amount of pressure that I had previously needed 100% effort to achieve.

and like cemges. When I went to an electric it was like the softest strings ever. i couldn't believe how easy they were to fret. but an acoustic guitar (steel string) was quite hard and stiff.

After playing steel string for a while that too became easy and natural.

don't overdo it and hurt yourself butpush yourself and give it time and your hand will strengthen.

If you have been playing for years and have never had this problem before then it is something else.


Well I didn't play much acoustic guitar because as soon as I learned basic chords I changed onto electric. But I'll try what you wrote on the beginning because pain is as you described it. Thanks guys for help Acoustic guitar here I come!
Last edited by lapy at Jan 12, 2012,
#7
You shouldn't be really pressing in with your thumb, it's mainly there to keep your hand in the right place. Try playing barres by pulling your arm inwards toward your body rather than squeezing your hand. Most people make the mistake of pressing way too hard, when playing and accurately, you need only add JUST enough pressure.
#8
Most of the time I could float my thumb off the neck and not lose a whole lot of dexterity.
#9
It also looks like you might be resting your elbow on your knee by the angle of your thumb. Let your arm hang freely if this is the case. It's a very common technical mistake that I was guilty of years ago.
#10
I used to have this.
Just stop trying to add your thumb above the neck, classically trained musicians hold their thumb in the middle and sometimes under that point.
The song that gave me this terrible ache was strutter by kiss.
It has got alot of stretches as I tried to hold my thumb visible.
#11
My arm hangs freely. I'll try to practice more on classical guitar so I can strengthen my fingers.
#12
Quote by lapy
My arm hangs freely. I'll try to practice more on classical guitar so I can strengthen my fingers.

Not on a classical guitar, a grip that's meant for classical players.
#13
Well I play like that when trying to play fast and when playing barre chords, other than that I use "baseball" position; I think that I'll have to change my whole left hand technique to do that.
#14
Quote by lapy
Well I play like that when trying to play fast and when playing barre chords, other than that I use "baseball" position; I think that I'll have to change my whole left hand technique to do that.

Never try to force your thumb over the neck and if it starts hurting try pulling it a bit back.
#16
Quote by Vlasco
Most of the time I could float my thumb off the neck and not lose a whole lot of dexterity.

You need a counter force pushing the neck in the opposite direction to the pressure you apply with your fingers, especially when fretting barre chords.

Without such a counter force then the whole neck will move backwards because you're pusing on it and there's nothing pushing back to keep it stable.

I believe you can take your thumb off the neck, so can I but what happens is you then use you increase or introduce pressure on the body of your guitar with the forearm of your pick hand and use your body pivot point creating a kind of lever.

so you will have your body in the middle and applying pressure on both ends of the guitar.

If you take your pick arm off the guitar completely and try to fret a barre chord without your thumb you will see what I mean.

i have no idea if this is proper technique or not. when it comes to technique I would defer to freepower.
Si
#17
A resting forearm is all the counter pressure that is necessary.