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Author Topic: Guitar Playing Fatigue  (Read 3425 times)

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herbyguitar

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #30 on: Time Format »

Well. Getting older does have a bearing on playability but when I was younger, and even today when I play, I always get myself a 1/2 shot of JacK Daniels (anything will work) just before warmup and about 15 minutes before going on. I find it relaxes me and takes the nervous edge off but doesn't hinder playing. Nervousness is a lot more detrimental to my playing than a sip of whiskey...
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van Sinn

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #31 on: Time Format »

Yeah, sure, there's this thing about getting so-called older; however, much of that can be (partially) eliminated by studying how our organism really works, what's required in terms of maintenance and nutrition.

Back @RG: Could it be that
* your neck profile doesn't fit your hand
* your guitar has a slight neck dive
If it's the balance, light weight tuners can help, as can replacing the single strap knob on the body-end with two, using the left-most for the strap, as this moves the balancing point.
Or maybe your hard grip is simply a build-in habit, in need of methodical reworking..
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rnolan

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #32 on: Time Format »

Hey RG, well I'm 58 and playing better than ever (though Mike could probably comment on that as he's witnessed my playing over many years).  As you say there's lots of good tips in this topic and I'll add some at some point though I need to make a video of it rather than try and "word" it.  But key IMHO is controlling that grip.  It's essential that you only ever use "just" enough or the right amount of pressure to achieve each note/chord/energy and be really economical with how you play. Don't let your fingers go too far from the strings when not in use (ie lightly rest them on the notes in the position your in so all you have to do is press the note down, how hard you press should be commensurate with the energy you need in that note).  This also applies to how hard you grip the pick, the note(s) you play are a combination of how you pick, how you fret and the energy you want in that note/chord etc.  Of course all enhanced (or otherwise) by your rig/sound/tone.  BTW playing a bit of acoustic guitar really helps your note dynamics and builds finger strength.

@ herbyguitar, I generally like to have a good triple Tequila  (I've found that Siera Tequila (the one with the Mexican red hat works for me, it has a great energy that make me want to play).  I've also found that cheap shitty whiskey brings me down  :facepalm: so I avoid it.
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Kim

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #33 on: Time Format »

I used to keep my action a bit higher than normal because of my inherit "heavy-handness" but I've been gradually adjusting it down lower over the last year or so.  Now it has that "butter" feel which I am appreciating more and so I've been making a conscious effort to play with a lighter touch and some more finesse.  I find that when my fingers start to fatigue, it's mostly because I'm squeezing too hard so I remember to lighten up some.

But it's not because I lack the initial finger strength; I probably have more strength that what my joints can manage because I've been working in the steel-related business for about 25 years now, (with temporary pauses over those years to do electrician and factory maintenance/tech work) and if I'm honest I'm running out of parts of my body that don't hurt!   
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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #34 on: Time Format »

I used to keep my action a bit higher than normal because of my inherit "heavy-handness" but I've been gradually adjusting it down lower over the last year or so.  Now it has that "butter" feel which I am appreciating more and so I've been making a conscious effort to play with a lighter touch and some more finesse.  I find that when my fingers start to fatigue, it's mostly because I'm squeezing too hard so I remember to lighten up some.

Man this is where I am at!  I think my action is higher than many others.  I cannot tolerate buzz.  But it's brutal on your hands and I obviously cannot handle it very well hence the fatigue issues I get.

I can't control the f**king power when I'm playing live, too much nervous energy.  Also I fear sustain death if I don't strike the string hard enough.  So I tend to have slightly higher action than most metal players anyway.  I have often wondered over the years though if this has actually hindered my progression as well???????  Probably.

So tell me how you strike big power chords lightly?  And how much rattle is too much rattle?  When do you know it's too low, too high, just the right amount and how much power you can use?
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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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Systematic Chaos

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #35 on: Time Format »

The definition of high or low action is/can be very subjective.
e.g. check out Ola Englund's vid on setting string height and action:


I think he sets his low E ~1.8mm at the 12th fret. Low enough for Ola and hes likes it this way/fits his playing style.

I have the low E at ~1.2mm (12th) and the high e at ~0.8-1mm (12th) on my guitars....but that's what works for me




Truth is though, my low string height without buzz/rattle is a the result of a combination of (imho important) things.
Fist and foremost (and that gets you 85% there) is a totally perfect fret level/dress. Take your most favorite guitar to a luthier and let him do a fret job - you'll be surprised! (I was and all my guitars either got complete new frets or had their frets dressed/levelled and polished).
After the fret dress/level I could relly set my neck almost straight.
I play 11-50 (D'Addario Balanced Tension) in Standard E tuning. The polished frets make them feel like 10s when bending (EVO Gold or Stainless Steel frets even more so). The thicker/heaver strings don't oscillate as much as thinner strings (lower action; straighter neck).
I use fairly thick/stiff picks (Dunlop Jazz III 2.0, Dunlop Ultex Jazz III, Gravity Sunrise Mini 1.5 or 2mm) which helped my right hand dynamics. I can riff through Holy Wars or hit big open chords with humogeous sound and sustain and NO buzz.
Important: this is just my subjective approach (YMMV) but it definitely gives me a relaxed und uber-comfy playing experience and a huge left-hand comfort.   

At the end of the day: You WILL sound best with the setup/strings/pickups/amp/gain settings/cab/...... that you FEEL most comfortable on. If it feels comfy/good = I play [positive adjective]. Otherwise: Shit in -> Shit out
« Last Edit: Time Format by Systematic Chaos »
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Dante

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #36 on: Time Format »

I used to keep my action a bit higher than normal because of my inherit "heavy-handness" but I've been gradually adjusting it down lower over the last year or so.  Now it has that "butter" feel which I am appreciating more and so I've been making a conscious effort to play with a lighter touch and some more finesse.  I find that when my fingers start to fatigue, it's mostly because I'm squeezing too hard so I remember to lighten up some.

Man this is where I am at!  I think my action is higher than many others.  I cannot tolerate buzz.  But it's brutal on your hands and I obviously cannot handle it very well hence the fatigue issues I get.

I can't control the f**king power when I'm playing live, too much nervous energy.  Also I fear sustain death if I don't strike the string hard enough.  So I tend to have slightly higher action than most metal players anyway.  I have often wondered over the years though if this has actually hindered my progression as well???????  Probably.

So tell me how you strike big power chords lightly?  And how much rattle is too much rattle?  When do you know it's too low, too high, just the right amount and how much power you can use?

 :lol: :lol:

I love you Gerry, you kill me. I too keep my action kinda high and keep running into other guys that say I run "big" strings (.010 on the bottom). Whatever, I still have a couple guitars that play like BUTTER and some that don't. The higher action makes you stronger, but never overdo it...take a break if you're sore, don't try to power through muscle strain. I only practice with the guitars that have the BIG action and gig with the ones that play like butter. It works for me. I try to keep the action as low as I can, but I just settle with the buzz being gone and deal with what I got.

Now, as to your picking attack (aka, how hard you bang the f***king strings), I like a low gain tone that will get dirty with 'pressure' of banging the f**k out of the strangs. I use medium-to-high gain pickups and turn the gain on my rig as low as I can stand it. You'd be surprised how good you sound when you pick softly on a 'gainy' patch without all that volume-knob fiddling around, and how little gain you really need to sound awesome.

This works for me, your mileage may vary (YMMV). Of course, I am in perfect physical shape...round is a shape  :wave:
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rabidgerry

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #37 on: Time Format »

@SC I'll check out that video and may be try revise my own set ups.

@Dante, yes I have a way with words sometimes  :lol:  On the gain situation, I bump it up until I feel a certain depth is obtained.  It's less than I used to have it set.  Also my playing is a lot of legato, and I actually need a certain amount of gain to play the way I do successfully.  However perhaps with higher action I find I need more gain to be able to do the legato otherwise it's just to stiff feeling to pull it off.  Legato was my way around speed picking I guess.  I'm getting better at the picking though, but I like that I do it all legato sometimes, it makes me, me!
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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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rnolan

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Re: Guitar Playing Fatigue
« Reply #38 on: Time Format »

Apart from SCs wise words regarding fret level, the place to start with a setup (before going anywhere near the action/string heights) is to get your neck relief right (for you).  Like SC I like a very flat neck.  To check your neck relief, with the guitar at pitch, on bottom E (and later top E) press down the first fret and also the fret the neck joins the body (probably 16th on a squire, 12th on a classical).  This forms a straight edge (bottom of the string) over the frets.  Rule of thumb is you need about a business card gap above 5th, 7th, 9th frets.  But business cards vary in thickness and neck relief is a very subjective and personal thing.  But you do need some relief as strings spin when you pluck them. Adjust the truss rod in small increments (tighten to reduce relief, loosen to increase) and retune and check again in between each adjustments.
Once your happy with the relief you can adjust the action height. I stopped bothering to measure it years ago, I adjust the height down until it buzzes then raise it until the buzz is tolerable (I don't mind a little buzz, you don't hear it (but each to their own)). Now this process (for me) takes a while of tooing and frowing, retuning in between, making sure notes aren't buzzing out and sustain appropriately. It takes longer on a strat bridge as you do each string individually.  Once that's done I play it a bit and adjust the top strings (if required) so they feel right under my fingers (eg I may raise the top E a little so it feels right transitioning from the B).  Then I do the intonation (repeated retunes as required) and check it all again, the intonation adjustment changes the action height.  Then I let the guitar settle for a while and check it all again, and also after a week I've found the instrument settles some more and then it gets the final adjustment.
I play quite hard with stiff picks (Dunlop tortex purple) I don't want the pick to flex.  I use 10 - 46 DR tight wounds on most guitars, 11 - 52 sometimes on a shorter (= less string tension) Gibson scale length, particularly for dropped D tuning.  I find I can belt chords as hard as I what (and I do  >:D ) without buzz.  I can't use lighter string gauges than 10 - 46 as the chords go out of tune when I belt them and the notes have less body.
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