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Hand Fatigue - Common Cures?


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Hello fellow music gamers,


I just wanted to see if anyone else finds that they suffer from hand fatigue really quickly while playing.  I notice it a lot when I am playing songs at full speed and especially down tuned songs.  Sometimes, it might happen during my first song, other days I can go for a good 2 hours.  This doesn't happen when I'm practising scales or doing slower tab playthroughs. 


I do try to relax my hand, and use less pressure.  I've even lowered the action on my bass so that a gentle touch is all that's needed, but sometimes that just doesn't work for me.  Any tips from long-time players

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Finger exercises. Warm up a bit before you play, The reason your hand gets fatigued is the same reason you can't be expected to go run 5 miles if you've been on the couch for a year. You have to play to get your muscles stronger. Scales will help some with this but honestly finger exercises are going to help you get stronger faster. When I first started playing guitar I played the Peter Gunn theme as an exercise ( my instructor showed me it ) and I still play it often as a warm up. But now I add string skipping and a much faster tempo, but it's the same pattern. I think Izzy posted some exercises on here. Or maybe it was just warm ups http://customsforge.com/page/customsforge_rs_2014_cdlc.html/_/pc-enabled-rs-2014-cdlc/bass-finger-exercises-r9 But anyway, practice, practice, practice, it should get better with time. Also, just out of curiosity, how long do you play when you DO play. If you get used to long sessions that should make it take longer before you get sore. Some days I start playing and my hand hurts very early, other days I can play for hours. And a few more exercises for you http://search.customsforge.com/?a=You .

 I'm Allergic To Stupidity. I Break Out In Sarcasm.

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I guess most often I play for about 45 minutes 3 or 4 times a day.  Other days, I hit a groove and I look up and it's been 3 hours.  I had a few days like that about a week and a half ago and since then I've only been able to get about a half hour in, unless I stick to simple things that are more around the 7th and 9th frets as oppossed to the 3rd and 5th. 


Also thanks for the response Jack. 

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I only really get fatigued after I've played for around 6 hours, but I've noticed that if I don't do warm ups and stretch my arms and shoulders area I get tired quicker so it is certainly good to get your hands and arms warmed up before doing anything. The John Petrucci video has some really good exercises IMO (Rock Discipline I think it's called), but they're for guitar, not 100 percent sure if they will be the same with bass. But the warm ups and stretches for sure will work.

Guitars owned:

Schecter Damien Platinum-6 FR (EMG 85-81) | Ibanez GRG20Z | B.C. Rich NJ Deluxe Warbeast (EMG 85-81) | Jackson Pro King V KVT (Duncan SH-6).


Playing since:

November 11, 2013.


Favorite Genre:

Heavy Metal \m/ (specifically Death Metal, Power Metal, etc. and the heavier stuff) 



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  • 1 month later...

Even thou I liked that funny porn things, I would like to give a serious answer to this issue, as it occurred also to me and got pretty bad.

I always dreamed to learn to play guitar but until RS my life always pulled me away from it. (you'll see why I say this).


Than, at the age of 34 I started to invest more time in guitar as music became as a soul saver for me (on some other personal issues). So I just found myself many times trying to play and at a moment I just started to feel pain in my hand and I was even unable to move my fingers properly when I stopped playing. 

I could not accept the idea of taking a break, so when the pain became more and more present I had to go to see a doctor. The remedy? One month of hand rest and we'll see....The moment I stepped out of his office I was thinking only to go and play, so I went to see someone else, to get a second opinion. There, I got some massages and something as an order: "you started playing at 34, your body is not so young anymore you cannot rush it into things. You need to train your muscles and you need to do that gradually. Pay attention to your body needs and he will be your friend. Otherwise you'll just end up quitting." Three months ago, my hand was swollen at the wrist. So I started to exercises...some from RS (already mentioned by Attitude) and some I did for myself to repeat things that I was unable to play comfortably in songs. Now, my hand is normal, the pain went away, there is not one day when I'm not playing and sometimes when I have time I just find myself playing for hours and my mind and concentration loses focus before my hand.


So, I just laid out a story, a real event which I have experienced, but the idea is this: warm up, exercise and build your own exercises focusing on what you cannot play properly. Do it alone, to be able to allow your body to set the pace, but no matter how slow you go do it correctly and in time you'll just see that in songs your hand will respond naturally. 





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