#1
Besides from the obvious ... are there any exercises to teach myself not to grip so hard on the neck?

I get cramp in my thump when playing a lot of bar chords and I can't seem to MAKE myself stop haha.
#2
You shouldn't need to grip the neck at all when you're playing, you don't need to hold it up and your fingers don't need to do so much work that what they're doing could be described as 'gripping' at all.

Aside from that I'm not sure there's anything anyone can tell you, I mean you might want to look at your posture and make sure there's nothing wrong there but aside from that... stop gripping so hard.
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#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
You shouldn't need to grip the neck at all when you're playing, you don't need to hold it up and your fingers don't need to do so much work that what they're doing could be described as 'gripping' at all.

Aside from that I'm not sure there's anything anyone can tell you, I mean you might want to look at your posture and make sure there's nothing wrong there but aside from that... stop gripping so hard.
Yup, pretty easy actually.
#4
Try playing with your thumb in different positions and see if it improves.

Also basic hand exercises - claw your fingers in a tense position, then stretch them out the other way, again with tension. Another is to curl your thumb in the middle of your palm and apply pressure with your four fingers. A hospital recommended masseuse told me to do this before playing.

Stretches out your muscles or tendons or something.
#5
You should stretch you wrists, hands and fingers well prior to doing a relaxed warm up routine like running scales. I've found this to be very useful. I learned it from a John Petrucci video.
#6
Start trying to apply the least amount of pressure on the strings and still get clear notes. This does not require you to grip the neck and your hands will not get tired as fast. It is going to take some practice but focus on how much pressure you are using in your fretting hand.
#7
Can I add something to this? When I'm playing power chords (drop D), I would just barre the first 3 strings and mute the rest right? Well if that's right.. sometimes when playing consistent chords will get my thumb tired.. Is that normal? I just started playing guitar a year ago lol so yeah :P (oh and I'm on acoustic )
#8
Quote by ThisIsBS
Can I add something to this? When I'm playing power chords (drop D), I would just barre the first 3 strings and mute the rest right? Well if that's right.. sometimes when playing consistent chords will get my thumb tired.. Is that normal? I just started playing guitar a year ago lol so yeah :P (oh and I'm on acoustic )


It's normal but it's not good, what it means is that you're generating the fretting power from your thumb rather than the fingers which isn't the way round you want it to be.

Unfortunately I haven't come up with a really effective way of correcting it yet, I can't even remember how I sorted out the problem for myself so someone else will have to help you on that side of things.

For now I think you should just try and make sure that you're fretting with the right muscles and correct it if you catch yourself doing it wrong.
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.