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Question for guitar players
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Stereo Mouse
Stereo Mouse
635 posts

Question for guitar players

I figure there are a fair bit of those who play guitar, some of them even professionally in a band (like Calapia). I'm more of a multi-instrumentalist than a real guitarist, so I definitely hope that some of you could give me advice in one particular area.

Namely, barre chords. Have you ever played a composition that, for its four or five minute duration relies entirely on barring? I've found that even though my preference in terms of composition tends to favor bar chords, it's tough to play some of these pieces. My thumb often feels sore after playing a lot of the chords that require barring (my favorites are the suspended chords, wherein the (major or minor) third interval is replaced with the major second). Looks like barring puts a lot of pressure on the left thumb. How to come to grips with it? Does one need to practice the thumb muscle for that?

Thanks,
SM.

Oct 08, 2008, 16:52


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5922 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

Are you talking about reaching your thumb around? Guys can do that much easier than women with smaller hands. Or just the pressure put on the thumb in back? The only thing I can say is play a lot and build up your muscles and callouses!

Oct 08, 2008, 17:21


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Stereo Mouse
Stereo Mouse
635 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

cyberpainter wrote:
Are you talking about reaching your thumb around? Guys can do that much easier than women with smaller hands. Or just the pressure put on the thumb in back? The only thing I can say is play a lot and build up your muscles and callouses!


I s'pose it's the pressure thing. So I guess the answer is that everything (incl. the thumb endurance) improves with practice.

Oct 08, 2008, 17:25


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easychord
69 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

Well, I play with one.

What do you think about the new moog guitar? I saw it in a Sweetwater catalog.

Oct 08, 2008, 18:32


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EnosEmurf
EnosEmurf
22 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

Watch the angle of your wrist coming up to the neck, that's a big part of people having trouble with chords.

That Moog guitar is ugly as hell and in my opinion doesn't even sound like 1,000 dollars.

Oct 08, 2008, 19:23


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Cheeso
Cheeso
642 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

I think practice and getting used to that position will help ease the fatigue on the thumb. Also, guitars necks all have a different feel. I find Reverend Guitars have the most comfortable necks. They feel broken in, right out of the box. And the shape is very comfortable. Gibson necks, for me, tend to induce less thumb fatigue then Stratocaster necks, for some reason.

Oct 08, 2008, 19:57


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murilix
murilix
87 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

I agree with cyberpainter. I'd say you definitely need to build your muscles and callouses. Maybe messing around with the guitar strap (if you use one) to find the optimal height would also help. Is your guitar properly set up? You can try lighter strings as well.

Oct 10, 2008, 19:45


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Stereo Mouse
Stereo Mouse
635 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

Building the muscles and practicing is all good, but I'm wondering whether or not there's a possibility of developing a repetitive strain injury (which is a common form of physical maladjustment when learning an instrument)? Or does that not apply to the thumb muscles?

Oct 10, 2008, 20:58


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5922 posts

Re: Question for guitar players

I play guitar with an unfixable broken bone in my wrist. I just built up my tolerance over time with the pressure I could exert. I think if you are having some kind of pain that lasts for a long time after you play, you may want to back off and take it slower, or do some other types of exercise to build up your hand and fingers too.

Oct 11, 2008, 03:35