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Too much Tension !


BreeeZe_

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Hi all,

 

I discovered that I'm much too tense when playing, gripping the neck too hard and sometimes pushing the guitar against my body when playing sitting down.

 

I never had any proper training so I learned myself a lot of bad habits :-s

I'm trying to play smoother and faster by being relaxed, but it's damn hard.

 

I always keep my hand slightly twisted with the thumb on top of the neck, and when I need to reach the lower E and A string I need to reposition my hand.

 

I read that the 'classical' position should be best for maximum reach, but not being used to it makes me feel like a complete beginner when trying :-s

 

Surely there must be more players out there that have gone through the same ordeal, so any tips to help would be greatly appreciated !

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My playing style is much like yours except the part about pushing the guitar against my body. I hear ya - I tend to put a death grip on the neck as well which definitely makes it harder for me to work on speed. I wish I had an answer for you except to just try to be more conscious of what you're doing and try to relax your hand more.

 

As for your thumb's position, I quit worrying about that years ago; I tend to move it around from how you have it on top of the neck as well as the "proper" position on the back depending on what I'm playing. I don't know of any issues I might be having from playing like that and it actually is a benefit sometimes as I can use my thumb to mute or finger a note on the low E string. Besides, much better players than I grip the neck the same way you and I do anyway and they seem to be doing just fine.

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My playing style is much like yours except the part about pushing the guitar against my body. I hear ya - I tend to put a death grip on the neck as well which definitely makes it harder for me to work on speed. I wish I had an answer for you except to just try to be more conscious of what you're doing and try to relax your hand more.

 

As for your thumb's position' date=' I quit worrying about that years ago; I tend to move it around from how you have it on top of the neck as well as the "proper" position on the back depending on what I'm playing. I don't know of any issues I might be having from playing like that and it actually is a benefit sometimes as I can use my thumb to mute or finger a note on the low E string. Besides, much better players than I grip the neck the same way you and I do anyway and they seem to be doing just fine.[/quote']

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Well sometimes I 'rest' my right arm on the guitar to much, and that causes it being pressed against my body.

Sounds a bid weird, but I noticed it while reviewing my playing habits =D>

 

I also change thumb position a lot, especially when playing chords, and that really doesn't bother me.

 

But I really would like to improve my lead techniques, and If that involves learning a different right hand position, so be it.

I'm curious what others have to say about this, maybe I'm worrying to much about the position and it's just that i need to relax more :)

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I am self taught as well. I found out I played using the classical style for my fingers (tips to fret, not the pads) but my thumb was not in the classical position, either (I hold mine perpendicular, not parallel). Like Rich said... it allows me to catch that E string with the thumb whilst my fingers are elswhere.

 

Mostly, if you are aware of the issue, you're halfway there. Just focus on relaxing your grip (a strap?) over the next several practice sessions. If you feel yourself tense up, just stop playing, focus and relax, then start again....

 

 

 

Good Luck!

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I think the "Classical" thumb position comes from the fact that classical guitars have huge neck with a 2" nut width and a flat or no radius fingerboard. They also have nylon strings that are easier to push down. If you are playing a guitar with those characteristics yea you may need to use the so called "proper" hand position.

 

I think the guitar itself ditactes a lot of the technique. My Les Paul has a really fat neck while my Casino has a very thin neck and a bigsby which makes string tension and feel really different.

 

Scale lenght and string gauge changes the feel and how you get around the neck so every guitar will "ask you" how to be played.

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