#1
Plain and simple. My thumb gets pretty sore when I play a lot of barre chords. Is there a certain place that you're supposed to put your thumb, or will it go away after I make it stronger?
#2
practice
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#3
how does your thumb get sore??, mine is usually placed on the neck of the guitar and gets sore after about 2 or 3 hours straight
#4
Is it happening on that first joint of your thumb (underside of your thumb, of course)? I had that problem when I started. Now I have a callous there, so I don't feel pain unless I play them for extended peroids.

Honestly, you just need to give your thumb some time to toughen up. You are probably pressing hard to grip the chord and it's causing pain. Over time your hand will get stronger and you won't need to grip as hard. And you'll also get that callous to toughen your thumb up. Don't force it though. It takes time to develop the muscles in your hand.


Also, RHDIII --- brilliant reply. I'm sure everyone reading this thread will appreciate you finding time in your busy day to type a one word response that couldn't be more vague. Way to contribute.
Last edited by Bob Sacamano at Jul 6, 2006,
#5
How are you fingering your barred chords? I've never used my thumb for 'em... is there a certain alternative way to do it?
Try barring all 6 strings with your index finger, and then use your other 3 fingers for whatever else needs to be fretted. Seems to me like the thumb-fretting thing would be a little uncomfortable... of course, that's just the way I was taught.
#6
Seth -- I think he means pain from pushing his thumb against the back of the fretboard to grip the chord.
#7
Quote by Bob Sacamano
Is it happening on that first joint of your thumb (underside of your thumb, of course)? I had that problem when I started. Now I have a callous there, so I don't feel pain unless I play them for extended peroids.

Honestly, you just need to give your thumb some time to toughen up. You are probably pressing hard to grip the chord and it's causing pain. Over time your hand will get stronger and you won't need to grip as hard. And you'll also get that callous to toughen your thumb up. Don't force it though. It takes time to develop the muscles in your hand.


Also, RHDIII --- brilliant reply. I'm sure everyonereading this thread will appreciate you finding time in your busy day to type a one word response that couldn't be more vague. Way to contribute.


That's exactly what's happening to me. I was pretty sure it would go like that, but I just wanted to make sure. Thanks a lot!

To Sethmega...It's the muscle in the thumb that gets sore, from squeezing the chord too hard I guess.
#8
Right on. Glad to help.

Are you doing this on acoustic or electric? I remember having issues on both at first, but if you practice these on acoustic (which will really be a bear if you're just doing them on electric right now) you will get a lot more hand strength. My hand still tires from doing barre chords on acoustic for too long, but it makes barre chording on electric like a knife through butter.
Last edited by Bob Sacamano at Jul 6, 2006,
#9
Quote by tweeres04
To Sethmega...It's the muscle in the thumb that gets sore, from squeezing the chord too hard I guess.

Oh, of course!
You'll have to excuse me, I'm not paying attention today, it seems. I actually know exactly what you're talking about, now that I think about it.
What I usually try to do it, once my thumb starts to hurt, I keep playing the barre chords anyway. I just try to see how much farther I can go before I can't take it anymore, kind of like exercise. It's like how they say if you keep eating even after you're full, you can expand your stomach. Think of it as your hand endurance is your stomach, and barre chords are your food. I know I'm sounding like an ass, but that's really what I do. You'll eventually get more and more used to it, and will be able to endure longer lengths of barre-chordage, so in a way, it's like literally an exercise for your thumb.
#10
Seth -- I did that for awhile also. Holding an F Barre chord as long as I could. I remember the pain being intense after about a minute. I did that out of frustration but I honestly don't know if it's the best way to do it. It will strengthen your hand more, but I think it's trying to force it too fast. You want to play those barre chord relaxed and holding onto them for dear life will really add a lot of tension and pain to your hand. On my acoustic, I never experience that type of pain anymore because my hands are stronger. I still get uncomfortable playing barres too long but it's not the type of pain I had early on.

I think this technique could work in moderation (try to push yourself to play for 10 or 15 seconds longer than you feel comfortable) but don't just ignore the pain. That pain is telling you that what you're doing is hurting your muscles. Even if your form is perfect, you naturally won't have the strength when you first start.
Last edited by Bob Sacamano at Jul 6, 2006,