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Author Topic: Guitar Playing Fatigue  (Read 3367 times)

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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #15 on: Time Format »

@Rusty,  good to hear from you mate!
It's not RSI although I was having that about 7 years ago from using the mouse at work all day and it was affecting my right hand.  I believe positioning of my seat in work and my arm was key to fixing the issue.  Also stretching etc.  So my issue is literally I lose power, so I can barely form a chord, sometimes it happens worse than other, last week was bad!

Quote
Its an absolute must to do finger and hand stretches warm ups for about 10 minutes away from your instrument especially as you get older,
And yep, cod liver oil is a good supplement.

I believe this is good advice, makes sense.  Not sure how to go about the stretches.  I've a gig in Wales this weekend, gonna try warming up for an hour before the show.

Yup, dehydration and lack of lubrication. No kiddin'..
Come to think of it.. fat fish, like salmon and herring, is an excellent lubricator.

This makes sense!  I have a bag of fish oil caps I aint used in a while and I am back on them with a vengeance!  I take it along with CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and Sesamin.

I take a daily does of Cramp Eze Forte (for night cramps says on the box).  It has homeopathic copper, magnesium and rutin which all help release the mussels.  Many body builder types use magnesium (high dose, have to get it over the counter from a pharmacy here) as it is very beneficial getting the tight mussels etc to let go after exercise (Mike B swears by it after a gym session).  I get cramps in my right arm/wrist from the mouse so now I've switched to left handed mousing, took a little while to get used to but relieves my right arm so it's much less a problem now.  Also my spots physio dude showed me a couple of good stretch exercises which also help allot.

This sounds like something I could really benefit from also!  It will help with my weights too in that case if it's a body building thing (not that I'm Lou Ferrigno or anything).

I'm really glad I started this thread, lots of good advice on here.  I guess part of this is getting into the mind set that your hands need maintenance just like any other part of your body.
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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #16 on: Time Format »

So played this weekend and was a lot better on the old fatigue.  It still happened despite having a good long hour playing for a warm up before actual show time.  Nerves kick in for me and I start to feel super weird I observed and I think this actually has an effect on me as well and might contribute to the fatigue.  This week I tried to have as relaxed as possible hands so as not to tense up.  Not an easy thing for me.  Defintiely helped warming up as that allowed me to try and relax a little bit bit still got some chord cramp in a few songs near the end of the set.  I basically know how to cope with it but it's still a situation I would like to neutralize completely.  Whilst watching a thrash band after us I was immediately taken by how weak they played and how minimal their effort was with their hands.  You can tell their playing very light and barely touching the strings (their tone was sh;t BTW).  Unfortunately I cannot play the guitar that way.  I'm much too heavy handed (believe it or not I was a lot worse about 5-6 years ago).

So this is probably going to be a work in progress to get to the point where my hands just give up.  Warming up is one step to helping.  In the old days I guess it was just a few lines of cocaine and away you went!!!
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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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rickeb1

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #17 on: Time Format »

Just to throw another thought out there, how low do you wear your guitar when you play?  When I was younger, I thought it looked really cool to have it slung down really low, but doing that also forces you to bend your wrist a lot more, and eventually it started causing problems.  So as I've gotten older, I've tightened up the guitar strap to move the guitar up so there is less bend in my wrist.  Maybe a consideration, hope you find something that works for you!
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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #18 on: Time Format »

Pretty high actually - see attached

Yeah I hope I get something sorted also. 
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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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Soloist

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #19 on: Time Format »

I would consider that mid height Gerry. That's about where my axe hangs as well. You want high look at John Lennon early Beatles era. It's like right under his arm pit.
I too get that hand/finger cramping. I have been doing some arm and finger stretches/excerises my physical therapist gave me. They help, I don't get them as often, but still do get them. I just figured it's the nature of the beast, small price to pay for doing what we love. :metal:
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van Sinn

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #20 on: Time Format »

Guys, are you sure your neck profiles actually do match your ergonomics?
I mean, it is indeed a neck may feel very nice, simply because the player loves that guitar, yet still isn't really the best suited..

As an example.. I always had problems with my fretting hand thumb when doing barre's thumb-under style on my D├╝esenberg, which has a very flat neck, like a predecessor to the Ibanez wizard necks.
I still always loved that guitar, but when obtaining an inexpensive Fillmore V6 Stratcat very soon realized it's classic rounded neck profile simply was a better fit for my hand.
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Kim

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #21 on: Time Format »

I tried a few of the suggestions here.  It really seemed to help a lot!

First off, I changed to a slightly thicker gauge strings.  I was using D'Addario EXL145 set (12-16-20-32-42-54) and they were actually beginning to feel a little flabby.  I bought a 7 string set EXL110-7 to try simply because it was available at a local shop.  Not using the 10 string at all, but using the remaining six (13-17-26-36-46-59) resulted in a much tighter sound and actually easier for me to play believe it or not.  Kind of a shame to buy 7 strings just to bin one of them, but I'm after the results and if I order them online from MF the 7 string set actually costs the same as my previous 6 string sets from the local store.  A very slight truss rod and intonation adjustment and it's ace.

Secondly, I adjusted my strap up just a little higher.  That also helped, and combined with holding the neck up a just a little closer to vertical than how I held it previously seemed to make the problems go away.   
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rickeb1

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #22 on: Time Format »

Really glad you found some solutions, I'm sure it's a big relief!
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MikeB

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #23 on: Time Format »

Find a good massage therapist and get them to go to town on your forearms. You may be getting adhesions in the connective tissues. A good therapist can break that up. Adequate hydration is important. Water is what keeps the system lubricated which will help to prevent the adhesions in the first place.

Technical note: each layer of muscle tissue (down to individual fibres) is wrapped in fascia,  which is a type of connective tissue, mostly made of collagen.  This stuff covers everything: bones,  muscles,  tendons,  organs etc. It keeps everything separated and is a fundamental part of the structure of the body.   All these layers of fascia have to slide smoothly over each other in order to allow freedom of movement. When they start to get sticky,  you get a problem. The initial restriction will then cause inflammation which makes it worse and then leads to other restrictions down the line. And so on and so on...
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Chucky

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #24 on: Time Format »

Would you say you clench down hard when you are playing?
Because you say also that you are very tense before/while doing shows.
You may just wear your strength away by pressing too hard, which is a quite common mistake to do.

To fight this you can play exercices or whatever you play without using your thumb at all.
It feels really weird and tricky at first, but as you keep doing it, you get better control over your fingers.
The idea is not necessarily to play fast, but rather to feel in control.
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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #25 on: Time Format »

Would you say you clench down hard when you are playing?
Because you say also that you are very tense before/while doing shows.
You may just wear your strength away by pressing too hard, which is a quite common mistake to do.

To fight this you can play exercices or whatever you play without using your thumb at all.
It feels really weird and tricky at first, but as you keep doing it, you get better control over your fingers.
The idea is not necessarily to play fast, but rather to feel in control.

Yes I would say I do that, like death grip.  And yes I reckon this is a problem not helping my fatiguing issue.  I shall give your suggestion a go man, thanks for that tip.  It's so hard not to though, particularly when you are trying to play as aggressively and as energetically as possible.
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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

Effects:  Ada Mp1, Peavey Rockmaster, Boss GX700 Boss SX700 * Amps:   Rocktron Velocity 300 - Harley Benton GPA400
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Chip Roberts

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #26 on: Time Format »

Here I was thinking I was the only one with trouble; my hands have hurt for three months!  I've been to acupuncture, herbalist, massage therapy, chiropractor, occupational therapy, just about everything under the sun!  The most recent OT I've been to said my nerves are jacked up from a lifetime of poor posture and extreme weight loss in 2013, so she's been giving me some stretches and exercises which I THINK help.

Here are a few things that have helped me so far (pain is chronic, but to varying degrees):

Acupuncture - This won't be a one-time fix, but after 3 or 4 sessions on a weekly basis I found it easier to cope.
Moxa smoke - Go to your local Chinatown and see if you can find an herbalist to do this for you; it's basically an herbal blend that they burn and then put close to your skin to relax the tendons and muscles.  Expensive, but effective.
Chiropractor - They'll be able to get you aligned, which will help with your overall posture to mitigate doing/holding things incorrectly.
De Graston/gua sha - This can be done by a chiropractor or physical therapist.  They take a rounded metal bar and essentially scrape it across your problem area.  Hurts like Hell, but it breaks up any adhesions that might form; leaves a gnarly bruise for a couple of days.

Things to be careful about:

Make sure you consult a licensed medical professional before getting a deep tissue massage, as certain areas can become aggravated and actually make you feel worse.  Cupping is helpful when done by somebody who knows what they're doing (again, a traditional Chinese herbalist would know).  My herbalist gave me a massage, cupping, and moxa treatment and I felt like $100 for about 4-5 days.  I went to a different gal who gave me a deep tissue massage and cupping and the pain was excruciating.

Additionally, I got a guy, I suppose you could call him a kinesiologist, who comes and moves some stuff around, messes with my carpal bones to align them properly, then I'm good for about a week, but again, very expensive.

A lot of you guys are across the pond or down under, where healthcare is way better than here in the States, so hopefully you can get help easier than me.  :dunno:  Just remember that everybody's body is different so certain methods may work for you that don't work for others.  I really f*cked up my body when I got an eating disorder.
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herbyguitar

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #27 on: Time Format »

It's called getting older. Nothing is going to cure you. I'm sorry, but you're stuck with an aging body and all the symptoms of it. It's a totally natural process and the only way around it is to push through it and do the best you can with what you've got. Pay attention to other high end musicians that are getting up in years and you'll notice something profound. They all suffer from the same atrophy. It's normal. I notice the same thing. I used to be able to play at lightning speed and with great accuracy. Not so much anymore. I have to work a lot harder now to produce the same results that I did 20 years ago. It's normal...
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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #28 on: Time Format »

It's called getting older. Nothing is going to cure you. I'm sorry, but you're stuck with an aging body and all the symptoms of it. It's a totally natural process and the only way around it is to push through it and do the best you can with what you've got. Pay attention to other high end musicians that are getting up in years and you'll notice something profound. They all suffer from the same atrophy. It's normal. I notice the same thing. I used to be able to play at lightning speed and with great accuracy. Not so much anymore. I have to work a lot harder now to produce the same results that I did 20 years ago. It's normal...

This isn't quite my issue.  My problem is definitely gripping too hard and then tiring my band from doing so.  Nothing to do with age at all, I'm 35 and I'm much better at playing the guitar that I ever was.  It's always been a bit of a problem for me this fatigue thing.  I need to learn to stay loose.  I have the strength in bucket fulls, I just have death grip on my neck and this definitely is my issue.  I know limbering up is the key, all the advice for warming up given by folks on here is definitely good advice for my issue.  I also need to mentally remember to try and stay loose.  I just struggle to do this because I tense up before show and I can be a bit like that in general, just a stiff white guy  :lol:

I'll beat this issue I have I'm sure.  I also know I need to look after myself better on the road.  Sometimes nerves will kick in for a show and I'll defer eating until after I've played, this obviously dehydrates me and reduces energy etc.  I need to get into better habits.

The age thing may be an issue for me in the future or other guy's on here I'm sure, but I guess there are ways to deal with that as well!
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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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MarshallJMP

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #29 on: Time Format »

It's called getting older. Nothing is going to cure you. I'm sorry, but you're stuck with an aging body and all the symptoms of it. It's a totally natural process and the only way around it is to push through it and do the best you can with what you've got. Pay attention to other high end musicians that are getting up in years and you'll notice something profound. They all suffer from the same atrophy. It's normal. I notice the same thing. I used to be able to play at lightning speed and with great accuracy. Not so much anymore. I have to work a lot harder now to produce the same results that I did 20 years ago. It's normal...

Well I can relate to that  ;D
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