#1
Ok I need a bit of help on a couple of issues.

Firstly: Are there any ways to combat my arm cramping up? When I play more straining riffs, my arm/wrist gets cramped up. While im doing riffs it doesnt matter that much but when I start solos (where my left hand position changes) my arm goes incredibly painful and useless. This is incredibly obvius when im playing standing up, but its apparent even when sitting down. Are there any ways to help with this?

Secondly: My solos are getting quite stale, they always seem to follow pentatonic scales, use all ot of very high speed alternate picking, pinch harmonics and vibrato. Are there any ways to spice up my playing a little bit (I cant sweep pick very well at all), such as tapping licks, etc. Infact I need help witn my tapping aswell, I can do the technique but I cant come up with any interesting tapping licks.
So I need help with tapping licks, and more interesting solos.

PLEASE HELP!
Quote by Rockstar12345
One does not simply walk onto a Chav's lawn
#2
please?
Quote by Rockstar12345
One does not simply walk onto a Chav's lawn
#3
firstly, shouldn't be playing with any tension, you're prolly straining muscles from tension and therefore causing yourself pain. this is bad, keep it up and you can consider yourself the next victim of carpal tunnel syndrome. you say yourself the riff is straining. it shouldn't be, it sounds like you're trying to go faster than what your really capable of. your hand should NEVER hurt, forearm, wrist or hand. play with less tension (no tension) thats the moral of this story.

secondly, learn more and listen more. i always recommend listening to everything you enjoy, start thinking outside the box. tom morello always said he tries to play his guitar like its a synth or a different kind of instrument than a guitar, like a flute or saxophone (not that anything he does really sounds like those, but tries to write lines like its a different instrument) another thing to do is learn alot more scales, the chords they fit over and different solo ideals such as arpeggiating and pedal points (there are tons of different things, these are just 2) i also recommend really using the bends and vibratos, dimebag used to say you can get more feeling out of a really well placed and well done bend than you can out of hitting a hundred notes, remember sometimes simpler is better.
#4
Quote by z4twenny
firstly, shouldn't be playing with any tension, you're prolly straining muscles from tension and therefore causing yourself pain. this is bad, keep it up and you can consider yourself the next victim of carpal tunnel syndrome. you say yourself the riff is straining. it shouldn't be, it sounds like you're trying to go faster than what your really capable of. your hand should NEVER hurt, forearm, wrist or hand. play with less tension (no tension) thats the moral of this story.

secondly, learn more and listen more. i always recommend listening to everything you enjoy, start thinking outside the box. tom morello always said he tries to play his guitar like its a synth or a different kind of instrument than a guitar, like a flute or saxophone (not that anything he does really sounds like those, but tries to write lines like its a different instrument) another thing to do is learn alot more scales, the chords they fit over and different solo ideals such as arpeggiating and pedal points (there are tons of different things, these are just 2) i also recommend really using the bends and vibratos, dimebag used to say you can get more feeling out of a really well placed and well done bend than you can out of hitting a hundred notes, remember sometimes simpler is better.



hey man thanks for the help, specially with the first thing. I dont think its the speed tho, because even with non-fast things it occurs after a while. I think its partly to do with me stretching my hands to far, because this is what seems to build it. And yeah my muscles tense up when I fret, this just seems to happen by itself, the longer I play (and the more I stretch my hands). Are there any ways to relax your wrist muscles so this doesnt occur?
Quote by Rockstar12345
One does not simply walk onto a Chav's lawn
#5
same thing used to happen to me a lot. I just started working out my whole arm more in alot of ways, and when it got stronger the pain seemed to go away, because i wasn't pushing myself past that point anymore.
#6
Quote by Mechanixx
hey man thanks for the help, specially with the first thing. I dont think its the speed tho, because even with non-fast things it occurs after a while. I think its partly to do with me stretching my hands to far, because this is what seems to build it. And yeah my muscles tense up when I fret, this just seems to happen by itself, the longer I play (and the more I stretch my hands). Are there any ways to relax your wrist muscles so this doesnt occur?


well you used the term "strain" so my response was that if your muscles feel strained you're pushing them too hard or using tension. now assuming you're fairly tension-less and the discomfort is occuring due to having to do wide hand stretches (like placing your pointer finger on the first fret of the low E and your pinky on the 7th fret of the high E) your best bet is to work them up, if the distance/seperation is whats uncomfortable only work in the area that is comfortable to start with and add 1 fret/semitone (or however you want to look at it) and play within that area until you are perfectly comfortable playing there, then try to add another one. this will stretch out the muscles of your hand, also subsequently, make sure your hands are adequately warmed up, for me it takes an hour (i do wide stretches and play really fast though, most people take about 30 minutes on average) once your hands are warmed up well your muscles will relax and have a little more elasticity to them (not a ton, but a bit more) also i recommend the gripmaster hand exercisers to everyone who has muscle problems, be it stretching muscles or building mass, i don't use them but the way they are set up i pretty much promise you it will help if you use it consistently over time. hope this helped a bit more, if i misinterpreted or you have any other questions lemme know, peace out!

-z

*BAM* semi wall....
#7
and as an addendum : if your pick hand is having the muscles tense up the more you play then you need to stop, take 5 minutes, rest and go back at it tensionless, as stated before there should be virtually no tension in your muscles, basically just enough to keep a decent grip on the pick. your best bet is to start playing slowly with a VERY relaxed wrist.... i don't want to start a anchor/unanchored debate here but i did notice when i did anchor it would create more tension in my picking hand.i don't know if you do or don't anchor (which is when you place your pinky or other finger against the body for support/stability)just that i recommend not doing it. everyone has there own opinion on it and that is fine, i just personally know that when i stopped anchoring it helped a LOT (it felt weird for a little while too) also as far as tension goes, it may be due to a lack of muscle mass, try working out your wrists with little 1 lb dumbells and see if building a little bit of muscle mass helps.
#8
Quote by z4twenny
and as an addendum : if your pick hand is having the muscles tense up the more you play then you need to stop, take 5 minutes, rest and go back at it tensionless, as stated before there should be virtually no tension in your muscles, basically just enough to keep a decent grip on the pick. your best bet is to start playing slowly with a VERY relaxed wrist.... i don't want to start a anchor/unanchored debate here but i did notice when i did anchor it would create more tension in my picking hand.i don't know if you do or don't anchor (which is when you place your pinky or other finger against the body for support/stability)just that i recommend not doing it. everyone has there own opinion on it and that is fine, i just personally know that when i stopped anchoring it helped a LOT (it felt weird for a little while too) also as far as tension goes, it may be due to a lack of muscle mass, try working out your wrists with little 1 lb dumbells and see if building a little bit of muscle mass helps.



I generally do anchor, but the problem is not at all with my picking hand. I can constantly downpick at high speeds no problem. I think the not warming up is the main point, after ive been shredding warm for a while, I dont have any problems at all really. Thank you very much for all the help.
Quote by Rockstar12345
One does not simply walk onto a Chav's lawn
#9
I crack my fingers and then they don't tighten up... that's probly just a different problem tho.


for soloing..... throw some long notes in there. Bend them and play w/ the rythem. Play on off-beats. Try some blues progressions. idk... experiment