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The fretting hand 
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When playing fast, how tense should my fretting hand be???

I've been practicing the 1234 4321 thing, and my hands tense up especially at the B and high E string... should I maybe bring my thumb up the back of the neck as I go up the strings??? I need some help...

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Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:50 pm
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from what little i remember of actual guitar lessons, you should have your entire forearm loose enough so that if somebody grabbed your elbow while playing, they could move it around freely, and you're really only supposed to put what pressure it takes to fret the strings with your left thumb being a fulcrum, and resting around the skunk stripe on your guitar.

so not a lot.

fat lotta good that advice did me. :lol:


Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:55 am
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What about my wrist??? that's usually the part that tenses up... so does the top knuckle of my fingers.

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Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:06 am
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Bugera1960 wrote:
What about my wrist??? that's usually the part that tenses up... so does the top knuckle of my fingers.


loosen up all around! my teacher used to walk around when i was playing and he'd grab my elbow when i was playing and he'd invariably shout 'LOOSEN UP YOUR ELBOW'.

focus on having a light touch. also if you're standing.. maybe get your strap higher. i know playing slung too looks rock, but low fucks with my wrist really bad. i look kinda geezerly with a high strap guit.. but i'm playing long game here and don't need me no carpal tunnel :lol:

what my teach used to stress: keep your thumb as the fulcrum point centered on the neck. go light enough to fret and keep balance between fingers and thumb-- thumb always centered, and use more leverage, less muscles. your elbow should generally be loose and at a 90 degree angle. relax!


Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:42 am
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So the thumb should be stationary???

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mamberg II


Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:52 am
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Bugera1960 wrote:
So the thumb should be stationary???


only if you have 22 fret long fingers with 9 joints each. :lol:

no-- you should just keep your thumb roughly on the center of the neck most times so you can muster leverage so you're splitting the dif between your thumb and the pressing force of your fingers so you don't wear out your forearm tendons.


Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:59 am
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I think it's ok if your thumb moves around. When I'm on the high strings, my thumb moves to the other side of the neck a bit (depends on what I'm playing). When I'm bending, my thumb almost lops over the low-E. But when I'm alternate picking, it stays closer to the middle.

I try to keep my hands and forearms as loose as possible. Any tension slows you down.

When I have a tricky section coming up, sometimes I consciously relax my forearms to prepare for it.

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Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:56 pm
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tensing up is a sign of uncomfortability in what your playing. my thumb looks like im giving a thumbs up on the back of the guitar, and when i play higher strings, my thumb goes lower on the neck. when practicing, sometimes its important to force your fingers to tense up and fret the strings harder and move in a stiffer manner in order to strengthen them.

my best advice for you is to not over think it.


Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:59 am
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