PDA

View Full Version : Tension



paularve
03-02-2003, 01:59 PM
Hi,
I'm playing in a countrydance-band (very popular in Scandinavia, don't know if you have any of those in other parts of the world...)with two guys that's 30 years older than me. Sounds a little weird, huh? ;) Well, don't start thinking that I WORSHIP country music, this is more like a musical prostitution... I get 3-400 bucks each time I play with them, and it'sa great way to develop improvising-abilities over major and minor scales...
Anyway, this is not the main point. But yesterday I were on the road with theese dudes once again, and I registered some interresting things about playing live.
I'm using a cheap nylon strap on my guitar, and I've always been using that. But last night, even though I warmed up correctly; after about half an hour on the stage, it started to hurt in my shoulders, the tightened up like REALLY BAD! I'm almost hundred percent sure that this was caused by the nylon strap. Is there any suggestions for good comfortable straps out there?
And Eric, I've started doing like you, and sit in the sofa and "cuddle" with my guitar while watcing the TV, but I happen to sense a certain tension in the shoulders then too. I guess that's pretty obvious, since a sofa often is lower than a chair... But don't you get tensed in your shoulders when you're playing in the sofa?

szulc
03-02-2003, 02:04 PM
There are much better straps out there you need a wide strap to spread the weight over a larger surface area. I have a solid maple strat which weighs about 9 lbs and it hurts on an all night gig. So I have a wide padded strap for it.

paularve
03-02-2003, 02:14 PM
OK,
I have a Blade RH4 Standard (strat look) with a Sen Ash body, and it's quite heavy too...

EricV
03-02-2003, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by paularve

And Eric, I've started doing like you, and sit in the sofa and "cuddle" with my guitar while watcing the TV, but I happen to sense a certain tension in the shoulders then too. I guess that's pretty obvious, since a sofa often is lower than a chair... But don't you get tensed in your shoulders when you're playing in the sofa?

Depends on what I am playing. I donīt do strict alternate-picking exercises like the PG-lick. I mostly left hand exercises ( legato-stuff ), or simple synchronisation-exercises ( sometimes right hand only ).
To avoid cramping up or tensioning up, I need to relax even more, which is good.
When I do picking, I like to sit up straight on the edge of the chair or sofa, so my back is kinda straight.
So, when I "noodle", I donīt do the really demanding stuff, just some exercises to keep the fingers moving...
Eric

paularve
03-02-2003, 02:23 PM
But isn't it important that the knees are bending 90 degrees or more to avoid high shoulders?

EricV
03-02-2003, 02:37 PM
See, I think that it depends on your physical aspects. For some it works, for some it doesnīt.
When I sit there on the sofa, leaning back, relaxed, legs stretched out, I have the guitar leaning backwards a bit, and my shoulders and arms are relaxed. If Iīd tense or cramp up, Iīd sure stop immediately, but it works.
For big stretches, or stuff that involves fast, simultaneous playing from both hands, I sit up straight, but for the "noodling", I am rather relaxed.
The term "noodling" has less to do with where you sit or how you sit... itīs just that I sit there, watching a movie or something, and I do exercises and stuff without really paying attention.
Which is a nice addition to the regular "All focussed"-kinda practising. Itīs just to get the fingers moving, without paying too much attention, to give your mind a rest
Eric

Alex Pires
03-02-2003, 02:53 PM
I always spend some time of the week playing in front of a mirror...so i can check what iīm doing from another point of view...I discovered that after some heavy metronome training my picking hand get very tense...so i changed my way of picking...But please...Play the same things live and in front of mirror(Some people do easy things in front of the mirror...To be more relaxed...please donīt cheat...LoL!)