#1
Hey all,

I am practicing technique from a book full of excersises. I am busy doing thrill excersises.

The one thing I can't figure out as the book doesn't say anything about it. When is pain considered good? Doing these thrill excersises, I have mild soures. But it's the same as if I would go to the gym and lift weights. It feels like that good pain, not like a cramp.

Is this pain considered something good, bad, or neither?
#2
You mean trill exercises right?

If it's the same "pain" as when lifting weights, I assume you mean that after a trilling for a while you start to feel a burn in your forearm (similar to the burn feeling from lifting)? This is fine because it's just your arm getting tired from repeatedly trilling, as long as you can still perform the trills with good technique it's ok. The more you practice trills the longer you'll be able to perform them without the burn, again similar to lifting weights.

If you feel actual pain or a pain in your hand, fingers or other places it's probably an indication of bad posture and/or technique issues. If the burn in your forearm causes your technique to get worse you should stop playing for a few minutes and let your body rest.
#4
The certain pain your feeling is your hands/fingers getting worked. You haven't developed the muscle memory yet. Once you do, you will be pain free. Of course there are certain factors such as using really heavy gauge strings ala SRV that will cause pain over time but other than that, keep on fighting through it.
#5
Quote by liampje
Hey all,

I am practicing technique from a book full of excersises. I am busy doing thrill excersises.

The one thing I can't figure out as the book doesn't say anything about it. When is pain considered good? Doing these thrill excersises, I have mild soures. But it's the same as if I would go to the gym and lift weights. It feels like that good pain, not like a cramp.

Is this pain considered something good, bad, or neither?


The gym thing in your forearms is good. I think of that as the feeling of improvement. Other pain, is usually bad, but can be sort of good, like when you build callouses, your fingers will hurt, because you stressed them, and your body will compensate, and and come back with a vengeance with stronger skin.

There's a bit of a fine line. You want to train your body to do what it could not do before, that won't be effortless, but you also don't want to over do it, and hurt yourself.
#6
General soreness and warmth in the muscles is normal with any exercises. Play as much as you can tolerate, and then some.

What's not good is very focused, sharp pains that burn like fire.
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#7
Okay, so the pain is good. But should I continue untill I really can't execute them properly anymore? Or should I just continue for a little bit after pain occurs, then stop.
#8
Quote by liampje
Okay, so the pain is good. But should I continue untill I really can't execute them properly anymore? Or should I just continue for a little bit after pain occurs, then stop.


Try to figure out what's causing the pain and relax that muscle.

If it's feeling like general muscle fatigue, that's ok and to be expected if you haven't been practicing as much. If it feels like your hands or arms or fingers are tightening up/slowing down, you need to find where you're applying too much pressure or slow down the exercise.

A good litmus test is to try and play as quietly as possible. Try to barely touch the instrument and get a sound. Slow it down significantly if you need too. See how that feels. If it's feeling a lot better, you were probably playing with way too much tension earlier

If you can't play the exercise without it hurting, it might be best to give your hands a rest for the day. Fish oil and some Ibuprofen in the morning before practicing seems to help immensely for me.
Last edited by mjones1992 at Oct 17, 2014,
#9
Quote by vayne92
Pain is pretty much always a bad thing

Pain is always a good thing. It lets you know something is wrong with your body.
The more you say 'epic' the less it means.
#10
No pain, no gain.
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#11
For the burn in the forearms I push and go and go until I can't anymore, but the timing and execution must be correct. If I have to slow to do that, I will. I push as much as possible because that's the feeling of me getting better.

Usually in one sitting you can notice improvement, but that's not the full extent of the improvement. You'll notice even more improvement the next time you pick up your guitar.
#12
Quote by metallicafréak
No pain, no gain.

Perfectly applicable to working out and other physical activities where the aim is to promote muscle growth.
Absolutely ludicrous when applied to learning to play the guitar though, where muscle growth is irrelevant. There isn't a fit, healthy adult alive who's muscles aren't already sufficiently developed for them to be able to play anything they want on the guitar.


Pain when playing the guitar is usually a sign you're doing something wrong, quite often it'll involve being too tense. If you regularly feel pain then either see a doctor or at least start doing things differently. Don't confuse pain with fatigue though, obviously you're likely to get tired when playing but even then the sensible thing is to stop. Unless you're being paid to play then this macho notion of "pushing through" is just childish and foolish.
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#13
Quote by steven seagull
Perfectly applicable to working out and other physical activities where the aim is to promote muscle growth.
Absolutely ludicrous when applied to learning to play the guitar though, where muscle growth is irrelevant. There isn't a fit, healthy adult alive who's muscles aren't already sufficiently developed for them to be able to play anything they want on the guitar.


Pain when playing the guitar is usually a sign you're doing something wrong, quite often it'll involve being too tense. If you regularly feel pain then either see a doctor or at least start doing things differently. Don't confuse pain with fatigue though, obviously you're likely to get tired when playing but even then the sensible thing is to stop. Unless you're being paid to play then this macho notion of "pushing through" is just childish and foolish.

I would consider it fatigue. It's just the muscle that makes my fingers move starts to hurt after a while. Which doesn't matter at what bpm. I feel super relaxed when doing this. I know the pain of being really tense, as I've had it. At some point I just can't execute them anymore. Because the muscle gets really numb and weak.
#14
Quote by steven seagull
Perfectly applicable to working out and other physical activities where the aim is to promote muscle growth.


I agree with everything else but this is wrong. If you are lifting weights or whatever and you feel pain you need to stop before you injure yourself.

You should feel exhausted, tired and a burning in your muscles from fatigue (like the forearm burn if you pick for ages). You should never feel actual pain when lifting weights correctly.

"No pain, no gain" should really be "no exhaustion and fatigue burn, no gain". I can't think of many activities that pain would ever actually be something you want to occur.
#15
Quote by steven seagull
Perfectly applicable to working out and other physical activities where the aim is to promote muscle growth.
Absolutely ludicrous when applied to learning to play the guitar though, where muscle growth is irrelevant. There isn't a fit, healthy adult alive who's muscles aren't already sufficiently developed for them to be able to play anything they want on the guitar.




I don't think this is accurate, especially for acoustic guitar. A lot of it is finger strength, but for a lot of stuff, you need to develop tremendous power so that difficult things become so easy.

A lot of the time it's not the body building sort of power you need, but more the cardio sprinter kind of thing, because you will train your self to do intricate and precise movements, but that is still muscle training. I still come across the odd form here or there which requires more strength than I possess. Like this F voicing tommy shows us in this video. Start watching at around 0:50.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYt9VSseS2A
#16
Quote by fingrpikingood
I don't think this is accurate, especially for acoustic guitar. A lot of it is finger strength, but for a lot of stuff, you need to develop tremendous power so that difficult things become so easy.


You don't need to develop finger strength really, you need to develop control. Most beginners actually press far too hard when they fret notes, the reason they suck at legato, tapping and so on isn't because they don't have the strength for it; it's because they don't have the accuracy or control over their movements to hit the string with volume while not pushing it into the fretboard.

I don't really follow your last sentence, the thing that makes difficult things easy on the guitar is practice and muscle memory. Even stuff like percussive playing, tapping with your right hand etc... requires little strength but a lot of accuracy and control.

A lot of the time it's not the body building sort of power you need, but more the cardio sprinter kind of thing, because you will train your self to do intricate and precise movements, but that is still muscle training. I still come across the odd form here or there which requires more strength than I possess. Like this F voicing tommy shows us in this video. Start watching at around 0:50.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYt9VSseS2A


This isn't muscle training, this is teaching your brain how to control you movements which leads to this information being stored in your muscle memory. There is no muscle growth whatsoever from learning to play the guitar except for perhaps a very, very slight forearm growth from gaining picking stamina.

This F voicing does not require any more strength than any other chord on the guitar, it simply requires a lot of stretching. This excess stretching will cause tension in your hand which makes it harder to finger the chord correctly with relaxation, which can seem like you don't have the strength to press all the notes down but it isn't actually a strength issue.
#17
Quote by Anon17
You don't need to develop finger strength really, you need to develop control. Most beginners actually press far too hard when they fret notes, the reason they suck at legato, tapping and so on isn't because they don't have the strength for it; it's because they don't have the accuracy or control over their movements to hit the string with volume while not pushing it into the fretboard.

I don't really follow your last sentence, the thing that makes difficult things easy on the guitar is practice and muscle memory. Even stuff like percussive playing, tapping with your right hand etc... requires little strength but a lot of accuracy and control.


This isn't muscle training, this is teaching your brain how to control you movements which leads to this information being stored in your muscle memory. There is no muscle growth whatsoever from learning to play the guitar except for perhaps a very, very slight forearm growth from gaining picking stamina.

This F voicing does not require any more strength than any other chord on the guitar, it simply requires a lot of stretching. This excess stretching will cause tension in your hand which makes it harder to finger the chord correctly with relaxation, which can seem like you don't have the strength to press all the notes down but it isn't actually a strength issue.


Were that the case, then you would only feel improvement in your hands, as they stretch, and not in your forearms, where your hand muscles are.
#18
number one panic is shooting pains down your fingers/wrist. If you're getting them you need to make sure you're bending your fingers. If you are curving your fingers, consult a doctor.
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#19
I used to practise technique up to 8 hours a day, at progressively higher speeds, with very little breaks. One day it ruined me for several months (RSI big time). Be careful.

Weights ruined my left hand/arm for around 7 years until an operation (used to train heavy, and ulnar nerve came out its groove and jammed in elbow socket). During that time, 2 fingers and one side of my hand wasted. I couldn't control those fingers at all in the end, until the operation. Be careful.

Advice given to me: Stretch neck, shoulders and arms before playing. Don't play more than about 40 minutes without a break for 5 - 10 minutes.
#20
^ Yeah stretching is good advice, I would also add stretching your wrists since they are an "at risk" body part for guitar injury.

Quote by fingrpikingood
Were that the case, then you would only feel improvement in your hands, as they stretch, and not in your forearms, where your hand muscles are.


You are implying that you can stretch your hands without using the muscles in your forearm. Try stretching your fingers while looking at your forearm, you will see the muscles and tendons moving. However, stretching does not directly make your muscles stronger and strength is not a requirement for a nice hand stretch.
Last edited by Anon17 at Oct 19, 2014,
#21
Quote by Anon17
^ Yeah stretching is good advice, I would also add stretching your wrists since they are an "at risk" body part for guitar injury.


You are implying that you can stretch your hands without using the muscles in your forearm. Try stretching your fingers while looking at your forearm, you will see the muscles and tendons moving. However, stretching does not directly make your muscles stronger and strength is not a requirement for a nice hand stretch.


Obviously you need your muscles to stretch your hand, but the the feeling in your arms, is not your hand stretching it's your muscles. Right? That's your muscles getting overworked and they will come back stronger. That feeling is your muscles getting stronger. If they weren't, you would feel anything in your forearms, just like 90% of the time when you're using your muscles every day.

If you practice with the mentality that it's your forearms you need workout and improve, then you will see that you progress much faster and more efficiently. If you practice with the mentality that you need to improve your hands, and go by how your hands feel, to know if you are breaking new ground, you will progress much more slowly.

But whatever, you can think what you want. I'm gonna side with the guy who is arguably the best acoustic guitar player on planet earth, on this one.
#22
Quote by fingrpikingood
Obviously you need your muscles to stretch your hand, but the the feeling in your arms, is not your hand stretching it's your muscles. Right? That's your muscles getting overworked and they will come back stronger. That feeling is your muscles getting stronger. If they weren't, you would feel anything in your forearms, just like 90% of the time when you're using your muscles every day.


Strength is not endurance, and the amount of "strength" you gain from stretching is so minimal it will not make a difference to how well you can play the guitar. You can have incredibly weak forearms and make the most incredible stretches on the guitar if you practice.

If you practice with the mentality that it's your forearms you need workout and improve, then you will see that you progress much faster and more efficiently. If you practice with the mentality that you need to improve your hands, and go by how your hands feel, to know if you are breaking new ground, you will progress much more slowly


That is a bad way to look at practicing.

You don't need to improve your forearms, or your hands. What you need to improve is your brain and by extension your muscle memory. You already have the ability to move your wrist, your fingers and your arm; what you need to do is learn to control them to the point you can make relaxed, precise small motions that sound the notes just as you want them to.

Guitar isn't about working out your body, it's about controlling it.

But whatever, you can think what you want. I'm gonna side with the guy who is arguably the best acoustic guitar player on planet earth, on this one.


Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. For example, some of the biggest bodybuilders in the world claim their size mainly comes from a specific routine, or water intake, or whatever. You'd be a fool to believe that this is the case rather than the huge cocktail of steroids they have to be on to even compete professionally.

Likewise, a professional guitarist can give some terrible advice (I believe Michael Angelo Batio did this in his instructional videos, could be wrong though) and still be an amazing guitarist themselves.