#1
Howdy Gents (and ladies)

I've been playing acoustic off and on for about 8 years now, by NO MEANS an expert. But a particular problem I have had all along (aside from being a lefty playing standard, AND being a chick with munchkin hands) is that whenever I am playing repetitive arpeggios and fingerstyle songs my RIGHT forearm will ache and cramp till I have to stop mid song and massage my arm. Is this a problem you gentlemen have as well? And do any of you have suggestions for techniques to improve my fingerstyle/stamina?

Am I holding my arm/hand/wrist wrong? Or am I just a weakling?

I welcome all suggestions!
Time makes you bolder children get older and I'm getting older too
#2
A pic of your playing position would help. Fingerstyle playing should be essentially effortless.....
Take a look at the way classical guitar players hold their instruments. This is called the "embrochure", and it's designed to maximize playing efficiency.
#3
I've never heard of embrochure being used with guitar - though embrochure is used with wind instruments as it's the muscles and position around the mouth that allows one to play. I'm going to assume for a moment your playing using a non-classical posture. That said, you may need to simply find a position which is more comfortable for your right hand - this may include raising or lowering the neck or even twisting the guitar a little more forward or backward to accommodate your hand. If you want to try it, you can try the classical posture but depending on your overall arm length and the size of the guitar in relation - that may not work out. I recently had surgery on my wrist and had to basically learn guitar all over and I had the same problem with trying to play. What worked for me was exercises to strengthen and stretch the wrist, fingers and forearm. Specifically - Wrist flexion and extension, forarm pronation and supination strength, wrist flexion and also grip exercises (like with a tennis ball or stress ball). This may help - give it some time 2-3 weeks.

http://www.orthohyd.com/_/rsrc/1262512739663/exercises-yoga/wrist-joint-exercises/wrist%20exercise.jpg
#4
Back during the 10 years or so I subscribed to Guitar Player magazine, I would read the Classical Guitar column even though I wasn't really interested in classical playing.... Hehe... I was just enthusiastic.
The guy that wrote the column referred to the classical playing position as the "embrochure"...I don't know if that was quirky with him or is commonly used in classical instruction.
I know it's the normal term used for playing wind instruments.
#5
Quote by Vada*Strums
Howdy Gents (and ladies)

I've been playing acoustic off and on for about 8 years now, by NO MEANS an expert. But a particular problem I have had all along (aside from being a lefty playing standard, AND being a chick with munchkin hands) is that whenever I am playing repetitive arpeggios and fingerstyle songs my RIGHT forearm will ache and cramp till I have to stop mid song and massage my arm. Is this a problem you gentlemen have as well? And do any of you have suggestions for techniques to improve my fingerstyle/stamina?

Am I holding my arm/hand/wrist wrong? Or am I just a weakling?

I welcome all suggestions!


I've never had cramps, but fatigue for sure. All of your finger muscles are in your forearms. There are no muscles in your hands. If you are getting fatigue, and feeling a burn, then that is the feeling of your muscles getting stronger. If you get cramps that is a different story, and although I can't speak for cramps there, I have found that cramps will generally go away when you get stronger at doing whatever is causing you cramps.

So, I would say more practice, and that's about it. If it's just fatigue and burn, then push push push. If you get cramps, then take it a bit easy, but as you get stronger it should happen less often I think.