#1
Hey guys,

First post on here, be gentle...

Just picking up the guitar again for the first time in about 5 years or so, I used to be a reasonable jam/bedroom player but this time I want to step it to the next level.

Anyway, I've realised I have a lot of tension in my right arm/shoulder, especially as I mainly play acoustic and need to learn to play comfortably standing up. It's probably due to the size outwards of the guitar but I need to figure out how to be able to relax more.

Also, I know it's a cliche question, but if anyone has tips on what to focus on, how to practice effectively etc, for someone who isn't a complete beginner but needs to brush up on anything, I'd be grateful. I'm aware there is plenty of threads about beginner material and good websites, but sometimes it's easier for someone to recommend just 1 thing! (too much choice - first world problems).

Anyway, thanks for any subsequent advice and see you out there in the forums!
#2
You need to practice relaxing. Every single time you are playing and you start to feel tension anywhere in either of your arms, immediately stop playing and put your arms down at your sides. Rest for 15-30 seconds, relax yourself, and begin playing again. You will soon develop the ability to relax like this without having to stop playing at all. Over time, you won't even have to think about it any more - you will just be constantly relaxed.

Also, check out my youtube channel in my signature. It was launched today so there is only one lesson - but it's concerning arguably the most important skill you will ever learn on the guitar. If there is one place to start, that is most definitely it. There are also many more lessons to come. Good luck!
Last edited by cm880999 at Jan 18, 2012,
#3
Well, I can't seem to even start playing with a relaxed right arm and shoulder!

by the way, good video lesson style, good luck with it!
#4
Quote by jonathanallen
Well, I can't seem to even start playing with a relaxed right arm and shoulder!

by the way, good video lesson style, good luck with it!


It's possible that your muscles just aren't used to the guitar again yet - this problem may well disappear on its own after a couple months. It's also possible that there is some fundamental problem with your posture. I recommend hitting up youtube and watching some videos of your favorite acoustic guitarist. Study his posture and mimic it. Use a mirror if it helps!
#5
First post on here, be gentle...

Just picking up the guitar again for the first time in about 5 years or so, I used to be a reasonable jam/bedroom player but this time I want to step it to the next level.

Anyway, I've realised I have a lot of tension in my right arm/shoulder, especially as I mainly play acoustic and need to learn to play comfortably standing up. It's probably due to the size outwards of the guitar but I need to figure out how to be able to relax more.

Also, I know it's a cliche question, but if anyone has tips on what to focus on, how to practice effectively etc, for someone who isn't a complete beginner but needs to brush up on anything, I'd be grateful. I'm aware there is plenty of threads about beginner material and good websites, but sometimes it's easier for someone to recommend just 1 thing! (too much choice - first world problems).


First off, hey, welcome!

To be honest, almost everyone has some level of tension in their shoulder, it's really hard to avoid. What's really important is realising it's there, and then minimising it.

First off, you want to make sure you have your arm in a sensible place - take some time to sit with the guitar and see if there's a comfier position for your arm. This depends on guitar to guitar and your own personal dimensions.

The next thing is to take it really slowly and try and keep your attention on your shoulder. Every time it tenses up, just take a few seconds break and relax into it again. Over time your shoulder will "learn" what you're trying to teach it.

A less obvious but useful point is that if you're gripping the pick too hard or incorrectly, your whole arm is tenser than it needs to be. Check the first couple of minutes here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT23yafjAN4