I've been playing guitar for 5 years, but I still have trouble with my hands clamping up and getting sore from songs like Creeping Death and World Painted Blood, Does anyone have any hand exercises or advice to prevent my hands from tightening up? Thanks!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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This. You're tensing up too much and using too much force. It doesn't take a lot of strength to play guitar. You don't need a death grip. Use only what you need to. Nothing more.
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
Its two in the morning. I have nothing constructive to say, I'll eRECTIFY that in the morning. Meanwhile, here's a placeholder:

Play through the pain. Pain is for the weak & the weak listen to Bieber.

Nah, seriously. Don't over strain yourself. Is it your palm hurting or your fingers?
As everybody else suggested - Relax.

Your fingers should be flying over the fretboard like a butterflies not barely moving all tensed. Don't put more pressure on the strings than needed for the strings to sound and it is actually not too much. Put your fingers all relaxed on the strings, just touch them very lightly (if you try to pick that string it will be muted). Then gradually press the string with one finger so it is half way to the fret (string will be muted), then relax to the original position. Do it several times. Next from the relaxed position press string with one finger until you can get note sound from the fretted string. This is as much pressure as needed to fret the notes. Do it several times with each finger. Of course do it very slowly.

Or another advice - find a good teacher.

There is a great book that I found recently - The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar by Jamey Andreas. It solely focused on hand relaxation, hand positioning and correct movements. There is also a video by this author.
Last edited by guitarist1977 at Nov 14, 2012,