#1
Hey, I'm having trouble playing a lot of rhythmic stuff because my right hand is too tense, I think.
I'm obsessed by tremolo picking because a lot of my favorite guitarists always use it (Jonny Greenwood, Matt Bellamy, Mark Engles...). I can kinda play Misirlou but I'm unable to play it relaxed. I always tense up a lot and I quickly feel pain in my upper arm. I have the same problem with "galloping" metal riffs (like in Iron Maiden's The Trooper) and even punk rock songs with lots of palm muted power chords down strummed quickly.
What should I do to be more relaxed?
#2
Are you trying to do this with just your wrist? You should be moving your whole forearm to play this stuff. You may want to double check your technique.
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#3
Quote by ryanbwags
You should be moving your whole forearm to play this stuff. You may want to double check your technique.


I disagree. There's no right or wrong way to play guitar. If you're comfortable playing in a way that people consider 'bad', it's fine.
It's usually accepted that you should keep your thumb behind the neck at all times, but I have such big hands that I can use my thumb to mute the low E string when playing bass. Hendrix did the same on guitar.


OP, if you have a technique that you are otherwise comfortable with, try practising by getting a metronome (app or physical) and slowly building up playing speed 5BPM at a time.
#4
Quote by ryanbwags
Are you trying to do this with just your wrist? You should be moving your whole forearm to play this stuff. You may want to double check your technique.

No, you absolutely shouldn't.
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#5
Quote by steven seagull
No, you absolutely shouldn't.


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The point is, something in his technique is screwing with his arm. He needs to figure out what that is.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
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ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#6
Quote by ryanbwags
The point is, something in his technique is screwing with his arm. He needs to figure out what that is.


yea, it's that he's probably using too much of it. i assume you only say this because you tremolo pick with your arm...but you'd be more efficient if you use your wrist more.

TS, check your basic picking movement. if instead of just "doing tremolo picking" you can be conscious of every downstroke and upstroke, you will be able to relax more. every time you pick the string, imagine that the only time you tense up is when you have to give your pick the initial push downard or upward. you don't need to stay tense through the entire movement.

you may have to reorient your picking hand slightly for fast picking, but not so much that it causes tension just to maintain that position.
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#7
Quote by CorrosionMedia

It's usually accepted that you should keep your thumb behind the neck at all times, but I have such big hands that I can use my thumb to mute the low E string when playing bass. Hendrix did the same on guitar.


nah it's not, it's perfectly fine technique, at least for certain styles of music and types of playing. Bends and vibrato, for example, become much easier with your thumb round the neck.

but other than that i agree with you- as long as you're sure it's not actually doing you any harm and/or holding you back.

if it is though the best thing is probably to try to fix it.
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#8
Quote by ryanbwags
Are you trying to do this with just your wrist? You should be moving your whole forearm to play this stuff. You may want to double check your technique.


I disagree with this. Playing fast is all about economy of movement. You're likely to get Tennis Elbow using your whole forearm if you play like that for a number of years.
#9
Quote by arv1971
I disagree with this. Playing fast is all about economy of movement. You're likely to get Tennis Elbow using your whole forearm if you play like that for a number of years.

Now that I think about it, I kind of do both. I guess when you've been at it almost 20 years, you stop thinking and just do it.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals