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tibor  
27 Jan 2008 14:20 | Quote
United States
Posts: 5
Sorry for double post, I didnt realize first one had posted

Hey all

First time post here so please forgive me if it has already been discussed. I have been playing guitar VERY casusally for the last 9 years and have decided now to do more than mimic the songs of my favourite bands and decided to actually learn to play in all aspects that I possibly can. I will post more questions as I progress with my new learnings.

My first question and the one that has bothered me this entire time is this: while making barre chords for a prolonged period of time, I get a very terrible cramp in the muscle right under my thumb. Now I have been experiencing this the entire 9 years that I have played and nothing seems to aleviate the pain. Different positions, different little hand exercises and none seem to help. I have no trouble in the least in making barre chords as I have had plenty of practice doing so. So I am wondering if it will ever be something I can correct or should I just try playing through the pain?

Thanks
mattmurray  
27 Jan 2008 15:58 | Quote
Joined: 18 Sep 2007
United States
Karma: 5
I have the same problems with barred chords. I don't know if there is any way to completely eleviate the pain, but there are things that I have found to reduce it. Lighter gauge strings certaintly help, and maybe lowering the action a bit so that the strings aren't so high off the fret board. I have a song where the progression revolves around a barred chord so I use a capo where I normally bar it at. But if you are looking for a total cure of that pain I don't have any conventional answers for you.
deefa  
28 Jan 2008 04:04 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
Hi tibor, I've been having the same problem but it's starting to get easier now. At first I was blaming everything from 'chunky' necks to old age (I'm 54 now and thought there might be a bit of arthritis creeping into my joints).But the truth is, it's about the amount of time you practice. I was only practicing for about 20 mins.(on average) every day ,and it wasn't enough. As I practiced more, I found my hands were relaxing more and the problem has now started to go away.Hope this helps.
tibor  
28 Jan 2008 20:35 | Quote
United States
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replys. I have the lightest gauge possible and such but I guess it is something to deal with. Thanks alot for the help.
telecrater  
28 Jan 2008 21:25 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
one thing that I realized I used to do when playing is hold down the strings too tightly. You don't need too clamp the neck together, your thumb is just there for support and leverage.

try playing some bar chords and don't even have your thumb on the back of the guitar neck. you will need to have a firm hold on the guitar with your body and strumming arm. are you still getting cramps? if you answer no then working on loosening that guitar neck death grip. if you are maybe you should see a doctor, ans see if something else is going on.
tibor  
28 Jan 2008 22:52 | Quote
United States
Posts: 5
Thanks telecrater. Ive tried the no thumb thing before and found out my fingers arent as dexteritous as i thought, so i will try to get those guys back up to par some. Plus i am a bit rusty all over from the fact i would only play once or twice a week for a couple minutes just so my poor takamine wouldnt feel lonesome, lol.
telecrater  
28 Jan 2008 23:31 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
i'm sure you know that the more you practice the better you are. i had not touched a guitar in 2 years when i was going to school. now i'm done and getting back into it. but when i set aside 30 minutes just to practice, i saw my playing jump by huge leaps and bounds. If you get back into it and dedicate a few minutes every day, the dexterity will come back.
tibor  
28 Jan 2008 23:56 | Quote
United States
Posts: 5
Oh definately. For not really knowing much about the guitar, when i was practicing i wasnt too shabby. right now my fingers are a bit clumbsy and i just got to a point where i never practiced...just played the songs that i had learned. but ive taken a much stronger initiative to get to the level i should be at this 9 year mark.


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