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My Fretting Hand Is Cramping Up


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#1 OFFLINE   Jimbo70

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

I've been playing for nearly four years and practice 45 minutes to an hour 6 days a week but still find my fretting hand cramps up especially when I play Barre chords for more than a few minutes. Does anyone know of any hand excercises I can do to help increase the strength and dexterity in my hand?

#2 OFFLINE   mset3

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:56 PM

Jimbo,

Check how you are holding the neck when making a barre chord. You are probably holding the neck too tight when fingering the chord. Watch how hard you are pressing down on the strings. A light touch works. As far as a type of exercise goes, rest when you feel cramping coming on. Squeezing a rubber ball can help build up hand and finger strength.

Mike

#3 OFFLINE   starsailor

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

It does sound like a tension problem Jimbo, try and see if you can relax a bit more when playing, like most physical pastimes it also needs a bit of a warm up before you start the serious stuff so maybe spend ten minutes just noodling around on the fretboard, here's a couple of basic exercises, really just stretching which you can fit in anytime, just monitor what you do though, if those cramps persist and it's causing you pain it may be worth seeing a doctor to see if there might be something else going on.

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#4 OFFLINE   nickcallear

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:26 AM

I always start my sessions with about 10 - 15 minutes of chromatic exercises which works wonders for warming both fretting hand and picking hand.

Stuff like this, gradually building up speed
Attached File  exercisechromfix.gif   17.76K   2 downloads

Then i spend about 10 - 15 minutes working on chords
Then about 10 - 15 minutes doing scale work.

Normally all nice and warmed up then to work on whatever song your working on.
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#5 OFFLINE   tinsmith

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:41 AM

Wrist curls with light weight helped me....
I have other issues though

#6 OFFLINE   karcey

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:13 PM

View PostJimbo70, on 19 February 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

I've been playing for nearly four years and practice 45 minutes to an hour 6 days a week but still find my fretting hand cramps up especially when I play Barre chords for more than a few minutes. Does anyone know of any hand excercises I can do to help increase the strength and dexterity in my hand?

It could be the way you hold your mouth.
Don't laugh. Some folk find that with their mouths closed they tense up more easily and with their mouths open they relax quicker.
Just a thought. Try it and see if it's like that for you.
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#7 OFFLINE   Doug

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

View Posttinsmith, on 20 February 2012 - 09:41 AM, said:

Wrist curls with light weight helped me....
I have other issues though
:yes:
don't we all?
"we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are" - Anais Nin

#8 OFFLINE   pHGTRSpider

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:55 AM

Hey there Jimbo70, all above sounds like good advice, not sure about the mouth one, you never know.

A point that no one else has raised yet, it could be you are holding your guitar incorrectly. That is, leaning it back so you can see over the fretboard. Have a look and if you get that guitar back straight up and down you will not have to "stretch" your hand around as far and this should ease your cramps if it's the problem. cheers,
Don't dream it, be it.
from the Rocky Horror Picture Show

#9 OFFLINE   tinsmith

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:59 PM

I also try to make sure I play the acoustic as it requires more finger power than the electric.

#10 OFFLINE   Jimbo70

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:53 PM

Thanks to all for the advice. I have begun stretching and playing scales again and watching my posture and it is making a difference but like eveything else it takes time to see the results.

#11 OFFLINE   dbuck

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

mset3 ....said it right. You should also watch what you drink. to much caffeine, sodas and such will dehydrate you and will cause cramps. Sounds crazy but this happens to me when I play out if I dont hydrate myself.
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