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Thread: relaxing the tension in my picking hand

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    relaxing the tension in my picking hand

    i have been using eric v's supportive fingering excercises for about a month now and im really starting to feel the tension in my left hand going away when i play, at any speed which is great. thanks eric, those excercises are excellent

    i was wondering whether anyone has any techniques they would use to erradicate the tension that i develope in my picking hand

    i have found that my left hand is now far more relaxed at both slow and faster speeds, whereas before it was always tense, no matter whether i was playing at my fastest or really really slow.
    i have also found though that at all speeds, my picking hand is tense and i think this is why i feel as comfortable (or uncomfortable) playing 100 bpm as i do when i play 130 bmp

    any suggestions??

  2. #2
    Registered User ReinierK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Ofcourse the pickinghand has to hold the pick (rather firm), so the right hind might always be a bit more tensed then the fretting hand. You might want to look at EV's picking article (it's about holding the pick in different ways). You might wanna try holding the pick with 3 fingers instead of two, or you might want to support your hand by resting it on or behind the bridge, which eliminates at least the stress of keeping your hand 'in the air'.

    also, you might try doing excersises with your right hand (like training the muscles), you have special training devices for this, don't know what it's called, but they fit in your hand and have a spring, so you train the muscles by pressing the spring.


  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Personally, I think it's mostly a question of slowing everything way down. And I mean, practicing at 60 bpm for a week, or however long it takes. I've gone through exactly what your talking about, and it really holds you back from developing good picking technique. Just try to play everything slowly enough that you can really isolate the movement and concentrate on the muscles you are using. Once you figure out what it feels like to be relaxed, it becomes easier. After that, when you start to feel yourself tensing, take a break and stretch out your wrist/forearm area. That should help - it worked for me anyway.

    Also, check out some of Jamie(?) Andreas' philosophy on playing in a relaxed manner. He has some great ideas.
    Last edited by debaser; 03-04-2004 at 08:59 PM.

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