Author Topic: Dealing with uneccesery muscle tension  (Read 1209 times)

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Offline Snirkd

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Dealing with uneccesery muscle tension
« on: January 25, 2016, 02:31:42 pm »
**i posted this on the Genereal Questions sub forum, part 1 is in paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 is a couple of weeks later, still no good though. hope it is not considered spamming but some people here don't visit there and vice versa, and i think help can come from here as well.**

I have this problem that i have seen been covered up a bit but it can't seem to get rid of.
so, recently i have been trying to speed up my picking, alternate picking to be exact, and got into a problem that is carried on to all of my playing, even while not practicing this specific technique. whenever i pick now i have serious tension in my right shoulder and arm, which as you can imagine after several minutes starts burning and hurting and i really dont know what to do with it! i have tried changing posture, anchoring, not anchoring, sitting differently, nothing works. how in the world do i fix this? it sucks and it makes me play suckishly whenever i try to speed up, and is painful even if i don't try speeding.

but i tried some stuff and it's no good. i took notice that it mostly don't happen when i play the acoustic or classic without a pick, only when i try making quick runs (again without the pick). whenever i pick up the electric guitar i get this autmated tension in my arm again. you can guess how much it disturbes making music... i tried doing some relaxing exercises and nothing. i still get this crazed up tension in the trapezius and in the shoulders muscles. i probably need some other method, something more comprehensive, in depth for fixing this up. i bet i am not the only one who has this problem and probably someone in this forum already fixed his up...

Help a fellow guitarist please? and may this post help anyone else who has this problem!

Best regards,
Snirkd

Offline Constantin

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Re: Dealing with uneccesery muscle tension
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 03:38:20 pm »
Hi there!

I also had pain in the right hand and shoulder when I started playing the electric guitar. In my case it had nothing to do with the type of picking, I realized it was simply because the electric guitar was smaller than the acoustic I've been playing for some time. Note: I play both guitars while sitting down on a chair, bed, something, not standing up.

I don't know if it's the case for you too, but I was used (and still am, actually) to rest the right hand on the acoustic guitar when playing (basically from the elbow). With the acoustic, being bigger, this was ok. But when I got the electric, I suddenly wasn't able to rest the hand, the guitar being smaller. So I keep my right hand somehow in the air, thus putting more presure on the muscles than I put when I play the acoustic. The pain was mainly to the right shoulder.

Honestly, in my case, the pain was only when I began to play the electric (fortunatelly). I didn't do anything special, I suppose my hand simply got used to the position, so that now it doesn't hurt that bad anymore. Sometimes, after I play some more the electric guitar, it kinda hurts a bit, but nothing too nasty.

I'm sorry I don't have any solution for you, from what I've read you tried several things without success. Just be safe.

Offline Snirkd

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Re: Dealing with uneccesery muscle tension
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 10:22:29 am »
well, thanks for that. i have been doing some "researching" though, and found out my problem is probebly coming from these:
first of all, i am a student. so i don't have much time to play mid year the same as in the summer. with that, its supposed to be like riding a bike, but its not. when you don't play a long time, you still got to start small again and only then it starts being bike'ish. the problem started when i tried playing on a day off on the electric after 2 months of not touching it. you think you are still able to go full eric johnson but in fact you need to take a couple of "warmup" days to gain it back. i jumped into it, and even more, tried to go crazy with alternate picking, which is basiclly like not riding a bike for a couple of months and then going to the first ride on a bumpy downhill slope. of course it won't be easy.
second of all, i switched my desk chair, the one i play on, to another chair, which seems to be lower than the old one, and i sit all the way back instead of the sort of tip of tip as i should. result? i tried to play stuff i could with another setting way too fast, and by having a different posture, the muscle memory could'nt even do it's thing i guess.

the point is, i checked again how it works, i used to go to a teacher and he gave me a level scaling program which starts from basic solos and goes all the way up to facemelting. by restarting at the bottom i believe i "pushed myself" to work slow and go back to the old posture. the pressure isn't 100% gone and it is something to work on alot, but it did help to go completely back to the roots, and more importently, the roots that i know how to play from memory, so the body kind of regains all muscle memory back from when i didn't have this weird tension. hopefully in a couple of weeks this will be gone, and i can go back to playing with no tension on the electric.

i will update here how it worked, and maybe even make a guide out of it, for others who experienced similar problems.

Best regards,
Snirkd

Offline Mellow22

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Re: Dealing with uneccesery muscle tension
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 03:30:19 pm »
Snirkd, after reading your first post, my reaction was to encourage you to see a teacher. Someone has to really observe exactly what you are doing to help. If the teacher can't help, go to another one or even seek out a very experienced player. Good luck to you.

Offline MetallicAnut

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Re: Dealing with uneccesery muscle tension
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2016, 12:42:25 am »
I'm not sure if this is allowed to post, since I will be recommending something away from Justin's site, but the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to purchase "The principles of correct practice for guitar." The book is essentially all you will ever need to know about muscle tension and how to get rid of it (THE NUMBER 1 REASON FOR PLAYING THE GUITAR LIKE CRAP).....IMO the greatest book for technique. PERIOD. Apply those teachings to Justin's site and you can and WILL go far....as far as you want to anyway. :)

 

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