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stiff hands


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#1 OFFLINE   hoodpin

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 07:11 PM

hello folks,
my question is that I am 51 years old and just really getting started with the guitar. I have been a carpenter for 30 yrs and my joints have really taken a beating over time, can you recommend anything to help stretch them and loosen them up?
thanks

#2 OFFLINE   allthumbs

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 07:58 PM

Standard finger and wrist stretches will do the trick. Do some stretches using the fretboard is a good idea too. 1 finger per fret over 4 frets to start. Use the Capo Lane lesson in Kirks lesson for a warm up. It works very well for that. I am sure other members will give you lots of help with stretching exercises.

#3 OFFLINE   X4StringDrive

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 08:06 PM

Hi hoodpin I agree with allthumbs advise and let me add the word "time". It gets easier, your only 1000 give or take days older than me and I too worked with my hands...give it time, start out slow and just practice they'll limber up and out in no time :)

#4 OFFLINE   scott58

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 12:45 AM

Don't forget the motrin. helps me alot.
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#5 OFFLINE   tomg123

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:31 AM

You may have a head start on the calluses being a carpenter

#6 OFFLINE   skinnybloke

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 02:42 AM

Hi hoodpin
You'll be right, follow allthumbs advise and as X4StringDrive said "start out slow and just practice they'll limber up and out in no time ".
I'm 50 yo carpenter, got the battlescars from misdirected estwings:thumbup: .
Only problem I have is it takes my fingers a bit longer to warm up than it used to.
I got blisters on my fingers........!

#7 OFFLINE   starsailor

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 03:08 AM

hoodpin said:

hello folks,
my question is that I am 51 years old and just really getting started with the guitar. I have been a carpenter for 30 yrs and my joints have really taken a beating over time, can you recommend anything to help stretch them and loosen them up?
thanks

I have the same problem as a result of my work, I got a book called Mel Bay's Finger Gymnastics by Charles Chapman, which has excercises you can do when your not playing and as warm ups before playing, I always do warm ups before playing sometimes just running up and down the fretboard, I also use hand exercisers which you can just stroll around with, since I've used the exercises my hands have got better and it has benefitted me, when I started I think I underestimated the physical side of guitar playing if your not careful you can cause yourself problems.

Cheers

Chris

#8 OFFLINE   AeroHudson

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 07:37 AM

I'm a bit relieved to find out I am not the only one with this problem. I started playing about 2 weeks ago and my pinky finger is very sore and stiff every morning when I wake up as a result. It takes me about 5 minutes of playing for it to limber up and not be as sore.

I'm guessing this happens with new players quite a bit as your hands get used to doing what you are asking them to do.
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#9 OFFLINE   Lexxweb

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 02:00 PM

hoodpin said:

hello folks,
my question is that I am 51 years old and just really getting started with the guitar. I have been a carpenter for 30 yrs and my joints have really taken a beating over time, can you recommend anything to help stretch them and loosen them up?
thanks

Just the other day I was flipping through one of my old Piano books and found an exercise you can use for stiff hands/fingers. Clenching your hand and fingers into a fist for about 5 seconds (squeeze hard) and then extending your fingers and shaking them off a few times is a good start.
Then go over to your sink and soak your hands in warm water for a minute or two. That should help to loosen them a bit.

#10 OFFLINE   dreamofgilgamesh

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 02:07 PM

I know its not exactly what the OP asked but what do you chaps think to these,,,

http://www.gripmaster.org/

For someone with weak or stiff hands i can see how they may be of some benefit.

What do you think?

#11 OFFLINE   hoodpin

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 04:41 PM

thanks all appreciate the advice maybe the old estwing hasn`t gotten the best of my fingures yet!

#12 OFFLINE   rstora01

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 04:15 PM

Soak your hand in warm water for a few minutes the warmer the water the better. Best is hot as you can take it but be careful don't burn yourself. The heat definitely loosen up my hand.

#13 OFFLINE   stringslinger

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 08:45 AM

Sorry if I'm repeating anything already said, but I didn't have time to read every post already...

I'd say the best beginning excercises are chromatic in nature. Here they are...

1234 just alternate pick (down up down up) with one finger per fret. Do it forwards and backwards! GET A METRONOME, work your way up to 208 beats, could take you a year or two todo this... in the mean time... try add these excercises too...

three finger per string...
123 same as before but using only your first three fingers, forwards and backwards. This must be repeated with the last three fingers, YES THE DREADED PINKY!

Ok, so if you name your fingers 1,2,3,4 with the forth being the pinky, then you need to also do these combos...

124
134

and lastly, the one that will stretch your hand good... the 1, 2 and 4 with two frets between the 1 and 2, and the 2 and 4, big stretch.

If you do all these, and work your way up on the metronome, you'll be able to play very fast, easily, and your hand will get stretched out some.

Honestly though... the absolute best hand stretching for me comes from playing Jazz chords! Their are some that just kill my hand, but over time, they get second nature.

Brian

#14 OFFLINE   Europa

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:56 AM

I don't know if this is what you're looking for. It helped me stretch and develop technique. :)



It's very hard in the beginning, and I don't know if this is what you're looking for. :leadguitar:
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#15 OFFLINE   stringslinger

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 01:19 PM

That video on youtube is good, but he is dead wrong about doing the techniques slowly. Yes, slowly at first, but no runner EVER won a race by walking, then NEITHER will anyone go into the shred zone (if thats a goal at all) by playing slowly. Yes, one can speed up slowly over time by playing slow, but pushing yourself to the limit with a metronome will take your playing as far and as fast as you want. If only playing moderately fast is your goal, then still do the techniques, but don't push yourself beyond 104 on the metronome.

anyhoo... just my thoughts on the video, great otherwise. Also try instead of hammers and pulls, todo alternate picking, up-down/up-down etc etc... with the same techniques on the video.

#16 OFFLINE   Europa

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 11:11 AM

True, but I understand where he's coming from. By doing it fast you're likely to not do the hammer-ons very well. :yes:

But yea I've been practising quite alot, and can do it faster now :)
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