Well, I've made a lot of threads on my picking hand and after I wrote my last one I realized the problem... I DON'T RELAX! So, I was wondering, is there any such thing as an exercise to help me relax? If so, PLEASE post here! I really want to relax my picking arm. From the right side of my right shoulder blade to the tips of my fingers, I don't relax! **Sooo Frustrated**

Please post any possible exercises to help me relax here and if there aren't none, some tips maybe?

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hmm, you could relax your entire body with drugs... or try stretching your arm before playing

if you feel it tense up, just take a little break and shake it out
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i basically forced myself to relax. sounds like an oxymoron i know but i held the pick as loosely as i could without dropping it and let my wrist do all the work. as for your shoulder you shouldnt be using it al all, or your forearm
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For me, sometimes I just need to think about making my arm relax - I'll be playing something really fast and get tense without realizing it. It may be just a matter of reminding yourself to relax.
if you *can't* relax the posture is wrong or your doing something wrong. Rule #1

If you're just tensing up, one thing I do is to play without hitting the string. Sounds simple, but it's actually pretty hard. All your bad tension habits come out. Same with the fretting hand. Play like you normally would expect just gently touch the string(enough to deaden it). Try that for 10 minutes.

edit: just to clarify, your not just randomly strumming without hitting the strings. Your trying to remain as close as possible to the strings without hitting them and keeping your strum as level as possible.

Also, try stretching and breathing properly. If your doing something complex a lot of the times you stop breathing and then your body tenses.
Last edited by capiCrimm at Feb 16, 2008,
Quote by icon_player_5
hmm, you could relax your entire body with drugs... or try stretching your arm before playing

if you feel it tense up, just take a little break and shake it out

Haha drugs, the way to go!

Just stretch and warm up before playing. and practise unstressful picking techniques. analyse what your doing wrong.

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Quote by Dauntless
as for your shoulder you shouldnt be using it al all, or your forearm

except when changing strings or changing they angle that your hand is held at for a different sort of attack. But you shouldn't be using it for straight forward alt picking stuff.

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many sports require "relaxed action", think about bow, or shooting, and similar; there are specific techniques (feedback, relaxation, mind training and so on). basically, you may learn how to do your movements without effort, using the less strenght, and less, and less... this relaxes.

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my dads relaxed when he has a few so he dont care if hesucks @ singing, thing is, hes good at singin when he has a few o.o.. maybe that? lmao
Quote by scguitarking927
i had the same problem, i was told by my guitar teacher to try playing quitely and it worked. and once you can do it quietly you can do it loudly. its weird but try it

that's a biggie, i have to do that one a lot. oddly enough, i found there was less tension in my pick hand once i started learning fingerstyle. dunno why, i just had an easier hand motion. course, i also sucked at picking for a while because i practically abandoned picks for about a month try learning, i dunno, "the trees" by rush. the fingerpicked intro is fairly simple and it's not like you'd need to grow your nails out for it. maybe it'll help you too.
Try holding your hand limp without a pick or anything, then air guitar and try to be as relaxed as possible. Then pick up your guitar and try it, it sounds stupid but it really works. It takes practice staying loose, believe it or not.
I find that, especially when Im practising something fast I sometimes look to my right hand (I know, only sometimes), and I see my forearem shaking like hell.

I just cannot find an excellent picking technique for myself. The search goes on...
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Quote by Dauntless
... and let my wrist do all the work. as for your shoulder you shouldnt be using it al all, or your forearm

Nailed it! Your picking/strumming motion should all be in the wrist. Hold your hand out as if to shake someone's hand. Now, pretend to hold a key in that hand, and pretend to put it in a lock and turn it to unlock the door.

Visualize that same motion, only now with a pick. Notice how gentle and fluid it is? No stress, no strain. Just your wrist rotating on its own axis.

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take any lick or piece you like to play, and play it as soft as possible, just gently stroking your pick over the strings, even barely accenting.. the goal is to get every single note (accept for essential accents) equally soft..
now after that goes well (mind your even timing in speed) add the dynamics again, and play it..

the key is when your playing as soft as that, your picking hand needs no effort making the sound, so it is and remains completely relaxed, while you're still getting used to the speed you want to play it at.
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