#1
I've noticed that, when playing either scales up-tempo, or a stubborn acoustic requiring some extra strain on the fret hand, my four fingers, index to pinky, will contort with the effort. This also tends to deaden my ring finger. Of course, this seems inevitable near the headstock. I have smallish hands, and this seems to demand I pay particular attention in avoiding this. Does anyone else pay such careful attention to the tension in their fret hand, and does it seem to help? I also have a "lazy thumb", which drags along behind my four fingers.
Last edited by pointnplink at Apr 25, 2015,
#2
after a while you'll learn to play with a much lighter touch and this won't happen as much. have you had your guitar setup it may be an action issue just as much as a technique issue. newer players often have a death grip on the neck which casues finger fatigue.

B. T. O. fan, cool, don't run into to many these days.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Apr 25, 2015,
#3
Quote by pointnplink
Does anyone else pay such careful attention to the tension in their fret hand, and does it seem to help?


Everyone who plays guitar should try to minimize the tension in both hands (and anywhere else on your body) because it's basically the key to actually being good (technically) at the guitar.

Always try to play with a relaxed body, it's a lot easier to do anything when relaxed. You'll need probably need to slow down on those scales for example, probably to some crazy slow boring speed; the idea is to only play things at a speed you can play them with relaxation as opposed to the tension in your hands you've been feeling with.

This applies to both practicing and playing.
#4
Quote by Anon17
Everyone who plays guitar should try to minimize the tension in both hands (and anywhere else on your body) because it's basically the key to actually being good (technically) at the guitar.

Always try to play with a relaxed body, it's a lot easier to do anything when relaxed. You'll need probably need to slow down on those scales for example, probably to some crazy slow boring speed; the idea is to only play things at a speed you can play them with relaxation as opposed to the tension in your hands you've been feeling with.

This applies to both practicing and playing.


not what most guys want to hear but totally agree.
#5
Yep, you have to swallow your pride and go at your own comfortable pace.

Think about it. How much good will you do yourself if you go too fast and make lots of mistakes? It's just not good.
"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. This is my religion." -- Abraham Lincoln
#6
Quote by Virgman
How much good will you do yourself if you go too fast and make lots of mistakes? It's just not good.


I don't know. A lot of musicians have made careers out of that. Mostly playing jazz.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
I've taken the Shawn lane approach at times and played things as fast as possible and gradually clean it up, rather than playing as clean as possible and gradually speeding it up. This won't work if you're having tension issues though as it might wind up in injury. It only works for me if I have the notes memorized to the point I can play them blindfolded.
#8
Quote by Anon17
Everyone who plays guitar should try to minimize the tension in both hands (and anywhere else on your body) because it's basically the key to actually being good (technically) at the guitar.

Always try to play with a relaxed body, it's a lot easier to do anything when relaxed. You'll need probably need to slow down on those scales for example, probably to some crazy slow boring speed; the idea is to only play things at a speed you can play them with relaxation as opposed to the tension in your hands you've been feeling with.

This applies to both practicing and playing.



Agree 100%, Jamie Andreas has written books about this.
#9
Taking a short break instead of just playing nonstop can help with the relaxation/tension thing too. If you're like me you get completely engrossed in playing guitar and don't want to stop, but it really can help just taking a few minute break once in awhile. I find I get more tense if I've been playing for hours. Even from a purely mental standpoint it helps to take a break (like anything you do that requires a lot of concentration)
#10
Quote by bptrav
Taking a short break instead of just playing nonstop can help with the relaxation/tension thing too. If you're like me you get completely engrossed in playing guitar and don't want to stop, but it really can help just taking a few minute break once in awhile. I find I get more tense if I've been playing for hours. Even from a purely mental standpoint it helps to take a break (like anything you do that requires a lot of concentration)



This is all true, but I will say that you can train yourself to play all day long, non-stop, at full speed without any pain, tension or anything. My hand used to cramp up after a few hours of intense practice, but now I've yet to find a limit My hand become fatigued now before it starts cramping or hurting. Of course I stop to eat or listen to a song, but I have actually done improv with my looper for 3-4 hours without a single break.

That being said, I don't do this every day, and I'm sure I'll eventually have carpal tunnel, but my point is that with enough practice you'll get to where you don't even have to think about relaxing the tension and can play for hours.
#11
Quote by jlowe22
This is all true, but I will say that you can train yourself to play all day long, non-stop, at full speed without any pain, tension or anything. My hand used to cramp up after a few hours of intense practice, but now I've yet to find a limit My hand become fatigued now before it starts cramping or hurting. Of course I stop to eat or listen to a song, but I have actually done improv with my looper for 3-4 hours without a single break.

That being said, I don't do this every day, and I'm sure I'll eventually have carpal tunnel, but my point is that with enough practice you'll get to where you don't even have to think about relaxing the tension and can play for hours.


Hmm you are probably right. I think part of my problem is just that I badly broke my left arm when I was younger. When I hold that hand out with my palm facing me it gets stiff/sore holding it in that position for a long time (even without a guitar). There is a visible indentation by my wrist too and I have slightly less rotation in that wrist, which I think is one reason I prefer the "classical" position so much.
#12
Quote by Anon17
Everyone who plays guitar should try to minimize the tension in both hands (and anywhere else on your body) because it's basically the key to actually being good (technically) at the guitar.

Always try to play with a relaxed body, it's a lot easier to do anything when relaxed. You'll need probably need to slow down on those scales for example, probably to some crazy slow boring speed; the idea is to only play things at a speed you can play them with relaxation as opposed to the tension in your hands you've been feeling with.

This applies to both practicing and playing.


+1. This is incredibly important. Don't damage yourself.

If you're using loads of stength, you're either too tensed up in anticipation, or your guitar action needs lowering, or truss rod needs adjusting, or use lighter strings. Worst case, change guitar.

cheers, Jerry