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Author Topic: I think I need to slow down.  (Read 3708 times)
eded
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2016, 07:12:33 PM »

I'd echo the setup thing...  get an exhaustive setup done.  And (have your tech) pay attention to the nut slots.  Just a tiny bit high, and it can really make a difference, and not just close to the nut.

And, work into it.  2-15 min sessions on day 1 through day 7, then 2 20 min sessions (or whatever you decide you are comfortable with time-wise).  I have always take the approach that if it hurts, you're doing it wrong.  That goes for playing, working, exercising, and all things.

Ed
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2017, 04:47:38 AM »

I'm enjoying this thread as I no longer feel so outside this group.  Like a couple posters here, I didn't start til my mid 50's and am as hooked as the rest of you lot!  Ahhh, nothing like group therapy.  So I do have a question, I recall a couple posts from a poster named Todd who recommended using a more classic guitar positioning with the left foot elevated and the neck angle more vertical.  He presented some good arguments and I've started to use this but I have to say, some of my in the bank cords got messed up for a couple sessions.  I'm wondering if this sort of arm/wrist change would help with your aches?   Just a thought

All the best -
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Davy Vanthuyne
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2017, 07:42:55 AM »

My advice, learn to play the open chords with the thumb on the back of the neck, put the thumb on the center of the neck pointing to the headstock. Try to find the place where you can strum the open chords without moving your thumb, with a little practice, you' ll see it's possible with a minimum of movement. It will strenghten the thumbmuscle, learns you to pick the bassnote accurate and most important it gives you a good technique ( no more angled wrist, it learns you to stretch your fingers).
When you got that with the easy open chords, you release the thumbpressure on the neck, leave a little space ( 1-2mm) between the neck and the thumb and threy to make an easy chord, use your thumb just as a guide. Get the pressure not  with your fingers on the fretboard but pulll your entire arm and shoulder backwards, just enough to let it ringout clean notes.
Your bodyposture needs to be straight up with the body of the guitar close to the body.
You'll see that with a little practice you will develope a good technique.

I will try to make some pictures cause I don't know if my explanation is good enough.
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2017, 08:03:27 AM »

Davy, I wish I had had your advice when I started playing over 50 years ago!  By all accounts my playing posture, and especially my left hand placement, is not ideal.  Other players I know, and instruction books I have read, tell me not to wrap my thumb around the back of the neck but to keep it in the center like you suggest.  Of course I taught myself without the benefit of a teacher, so I've always wrapped my thumb around the neck.  It is ingrained in my playing now and likely too late to change.  I have actually tried to keep my thumb more centered, and I can do it if I concentrate, but as soon as I loose myself in playing a song that I've played forever, I slip back into my old placement without even thinking about it.

Anyone just starting out would be wise to follow your suggestions, I think.
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« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2017, 08:42:21 AM »

It's even harder to take the right pictures then to explain it.
A few more things to think about, your thumb on the back should be allmost on the same spot of your index on the fretboard. Important that there is a gab between the palm of your hand and the neck when you fret a chord. Imagine there's an electric wire on the bottom of the neck that you can't touch.
Once your are used to the fact that the power to fret a chord comes out of the entire arm, schoulder by pulling it slightly backwards your thumb will be relaxed and usable to mute the bassstrings when needed or to place around the neck for bending.
I do hope this will help some people. When you change a habite realise the playing will get worse at first, stick to it and get the benefits even after a few weeks.
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« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2017, 09:10:08 AM »

Arthritis doesn't stop him. # KeithRichards#Rollingstone
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« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2017, 09:28:25 AM »

I was thinking about an easy exercise to let you feel which muscles should do the work and which not.
You could do it easy by playing the Aminor pentatonic scale.
Place the guitar while seated, open your palm of your hand and place it under the neck while the palm isn't touchin the neck. Fret the A note on the fifth fret with your indexfinger. Don't use your thumb at all, keep on having an open hand.
Play up and down the scale, very slow by pulling your arm backwards to get pressure on your fretted finger. You will realise there's allmost no pressure needed to let the note ringout clear.
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« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2017, 01:56:08 PM »

I guess I need to learn this. I use a semi classical position but my thumb muscle does all the work, and it cramps a lot, especially playing barr chords.
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« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2017, 03:44:56 PM »

"I got blisters on my fingers!"   
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« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2017, 04:56:14 PM »

I guess I need to learn this. I use a semi classical position but my thumb muscle does all the work, and it cramps a lot, especially playing barr chords.

I have the same issue.  I'm trying to visualize the arm/shoulder bringing the pressure on the strings while the left hand fingers remain fixed rather than the thumb/finger pinching.  It would put more pressure on the guitar's body as it would want to tilt outward.  I'll have to give it a try.  One thing I have done is lower the action on all my guitars where I don't really need that much pressure to begin with but over an hour or more, it adds up.  I'm leaning a song at the moment which has F cords that I'm using my thumb wrapped over to fret the low E.  I normally barr it but I have to say, the wrap sure seems easier.  Of course if there's a bad habit out there, I'll find it.  Just ask my golfing teacher who told me to find another sport!   

 
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2017, 05:35:36 PM »

I have the same issue.  I'm trying to visualize the arm/shoulder bringing the pressure on the strings while the left hand fingers remain fixed rather than the thumb/finger pinching.  It would put more pressure on the guitar's body as it would want to tilt outward.  I'll have to give it a try.  One thing I have done is lower the action on all my guitars where I don't really need that much pressure to begin with but over an hour or more, it adds up.  I'm leaning a song at the moment which has F cords that I'm using my thumb wrapped over to fret the low E.  I normally barr it but I have to say, the wrap sure seems easier.  Of course if there's a bad habit out there, I'll find it.  Just ask my golfing teacher who told me to find another sport!   

 

My hands are just small enough to make fretting the E with the thumb, very hard to do.
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