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Thread: need tips for hand flexibility

  1. #1
    Understatmentologist ginormous's Avatar
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    Default need tips for hand flexibility

    After you've been in the game as long as I have (I started taking lessons at age 9, in 1970), things start getting a bit rusty.

    I was at a recording session for my band yesterday, and while I was in the middle of a solo, my fretting (left) hand started cramping.
    I had taken a few takes of this tune, but it was the one I was least pleased with, when I started to hurt, that they chose for the final.

    Is this something I need to concern myself with, like "see a medical professional" serious, or can I do more limbering up?

    What are some, err, handy exercises?

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  2. #2
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: need tips for hand flexibility

    How's your technique? Thumb firmly in the middle of the neck, or hanging over the top? How thick is the neck that you're playing?

    The times that my hand starts to cramp have all been traced back to playing rhythm for a while on thin necks (especially if I haven't played one in a while), and getting lazy with my thumb positioning.
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  3. #3
    Understatmentologist ginormous's Avatar
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    Default Re: need tips for hand flexibility

    I hang my thumb over the fretboard, like a bad little guitarist.

    I spend a lot of time playing Nile Rodgers-type rhythm parts on a frankenstrat.
    I'll switch to an Agile LP clone with a baseball bat neck for songs with heavy lead parts.

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  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: need tips for hand flexibility

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    How's your technique? Thumb firmly in the middle of the neck, or hanging over the top? How thick is the neck that you're playing?

    The times that my hand starts to cramp have all been traced back to playing rhythm for a while on thin necks (especially if I haven't played one in a while), and getting lazy with my thumb positioning.
    Agree totally.

    The older I get the more, my favorite 60s Gibson SG, LP Special wide flate D shape thinner necks and other shredder necks wear out my hand like crazy -especially on technical passages where my thumb is perpendicular to the neck

    The best neck solution is an asymmetrical neck profile like MusicMan, Warmoth, and really really expensive Fenders offers. Gives you that beef weighted on the topside to support your hand when you are rhythm playing with the thumb over (Like a bad kid) or in any relaxed position. Cheaper option is a fatter neck -especially for thumb over dudes.

    I'm not at Ginormous' age or close yet, but I also get shoulder pains and cramps playing now....Uggggh. I'm falling apart prematurely.

    as for warmups, -I like to put my hands in warm water before I play and if I'm playing many gigs in a row -I'll use a topical analgesic or anti inflammatory cream on the spots where it flares (Between Thumb and index finger, and the plam) -AND NOT A PILL.
    Last edited by NegativeEase; 03-09-2020 at 08:29 AM.
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  5. #5
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: need tips for hand flexibility

    I just play a lot of stuff, randomly whenever I can....even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. I might turn on the TV and noodle along to a serial's opening theme song or a jingle for an ad that's running ..literally anything. it loosens the old digits up & keeps them that way

    Also, never played a gig sober in my life. Mostly it's more fun that way..but it also helps with loosening up.. ('course that's not really a suggestion or advice..just what I've always done )
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    Default Re: need tips for hand flexibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    Also, never played a gig sober in my life. Mostly it's more fun that way..but it also helps with loosening up.. ('course that's not really a suggestion or advice..just what I've always done )
    I just started doing sober totally gigs in the last 2-3 years.

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