Pain from three notes per string ...

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OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 11262
in Technique tFB Trader
Is it just me or or do other 'old gits' get large amount of left hand pain from trying to use three note per string scales?   I grew up on pentatonic boxes and more limited minor scale form boxes ... now late in life I'm developing my shredding ... and man my left hand is taking some punishment! 
Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog 7 String.org profile and message  

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  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 4368
    edited December 2023
    Is it the stretches where you  are stretching over 5 frets ? 
    Perhaps try & arrange runs in 4 fret spacing sets. It’s still possible to get some speed with caged type scales it’s just figuring out what works best 

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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 11262
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    Yeah I'm plugging away at minor runs with five fret spans ... masochist I know 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog 7 String.org profile and message  

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  • bobaccobobacco Frets: 537
    For stretches, I find it better to work higher up the neck, then once it gets easier, move down one fret at a time. I remember the old Rock Discipline warmups seeming utterly impossible - and I’m 6’5” with banana hands, ha. 

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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 11262
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    bobacco said:
    For stretches, I find it better to work higher up the neck, then once it gets easier, move down one fret at a time. I remember the old Rock Discipline warmups seeming utterly impossible - and I’m 6’5” with banana hands, ha. 
    Of course working on a 7 string makes me a glutton for punishment :-)
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog 7 String.org profile and message  

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  • It helps to not have too much tension in your left hand  try 5  7  9   Or 7  9  11  they're more forgiving 
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  • Yeah I'm plugging away at minor runs with five fret spans ... masochist I know 
    Would sliding from your  second note to third note help you more?
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 10916
    There might be some tension if it hurts. You should be releasing the tension from the previous finger as the next one comes down. It helps me to roll my hand like a bassist might on the lower frets. I have shit tiny fingers and I do okay on 3nps
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  • TanninTannin Frets: 5734
    While I don't do twiddly-widdly single note stuff I face the same issues playing fingerstyle acoustic. Some of the chords I play these days have horrendous stretches in them. 

    The worst one (but a glorious sound in the right place) is a C# powerchord X46699. A year ago that was barely on the edge of the might-be-possible-one-day. Two years ago I wouldn't even have thought about trying to play it. Now I can nail it four times out of five. By the end of summer (that's winter for you lot) it will be reliable enough to use as routine. 

    And that's the secret: slowly slowly building strength and flexibility.

    Slowly.


    On the wrong side of 60 50 40, if you go at things like a bull at a gate and try to hammer moves into the ground with brute force and repetitions, all you achieve is a nasty injury that needs rest and careful nursing for months afterwards, if not years. (Ask me how I know.) 

    Just go a little bit at a time: do the easier stretches first, not too many repeats. Go away and play something else for a while. Don't force it. Don't expect results today or this week or even this month. 

    Does it take time and patience? Sure it does. But if you have got the patience to read all the way through to the end of this longwinded post, then you have got the patience to develop new stretches way beyond what you could do before. Tell us all about it this time next year.
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  • allenallen Frets: 777
    If your guitar has a 25.5 scale length move to 24.75 - it makes a difference.

    If you're already on 24.75 then have a go on 24.
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 621
    Try putting your thumb on the middle of the back of the neck unless you are already doing that ....also better with a gap at top E ...so the only thing really touching the neck is your thumb and fingers most of the time .....a lot of people try and do it with the thumb over the top of the neck 
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  • S56035S56035 Frets: 1271
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 2885
    You gotta change your left wrist position to allow the stretches on the low strings 
    it tends to require a bit of a clockwise twist of the wrist, and playing with the left thumb location from anywhere between extreme left to opposite your middle finger depending on how high up the neck you are 
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 11262
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    Barney said:
    Try putting your thumb on the middle of the back of the neck unless you are already doing that ....also better with a gap at top E ...so the only thing really touching the neck is your thumb and fingers most of the time .....a lot of people try and do it with the thumb over the top of the neck 
    I tend to be a thumb in the back of the neck player ... in my very early teens I had a few guitar lessons from a classical teacher, and the hand position stuck. I've spent a lot of years mixing that with thumb over for the blues rock stuff I was doing, but I'm finding that playing 7 string stops any tendency to 'thumb over' as there's bugger all much you can do with it!  allen said:
    If your guitar has a 25.5 scale length move to 24.75 - it makes a difference.

    If you're already on 24.75 then have a go on 24.
    I'm building speed on my Les paul, but all my other guitars are 25.5 so I'm going to have to man up at some point.
    sev112 said:
    You gotta change your left wrist position to allow the stretches on the low strings 
    it tends to require a bit of a clockwise twist of the wrist, and playing with the left thumb location from anywhere between extreme left to opposite your middle finger depending on how high up the neck you are 
    Yep I hear you ... rotating like bugger and it's helping. 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog 7 String.org profile and message  

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  • @OilCityPickups one thing that I would say is be careful, and don't just think it is supposed to be painful. I used to have some left hand sort of aches after gigging on keyboard and switching back to guitar the morning after or whatever. Take regular breaks, and yeh if I start getting an ache I try to do something less strenuous for a while until the ache/pain subsides.

    Also try garlic supplements which supposedly help with inflammation if that's not bullshit?
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 4427
    Another late blossoming shredder here. Not the biggest hands so stretches aren't easy. Things I've found to help:

    - posture...moved to holding the guitar in a more classical position rather than resting on my picking hand leg. Feels poncey but everything is easier to play
    - light strings, obvs. Doesn't necessarily have to be low action, but sod anything heavier than 9s. If you're shredding you've got gain to do the work for you
    - don't practice unplugged, plug in and use gain, not clean. That way you'll avoid doing more than you need physically and with the added benefit that you're practicing noise control at the same time
    - don't leave fingers planted when you don't need to. If you're going for a stretch to fret a note with your pinky, relax and even lift off any other fingers behind it. 
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 11262
    tFB Trader
    Lewy said:
    Another late blossoming shredder here. Not the biggest hands so stretches aren't easy. Things I've found to help:

    - posture...moved to holding the guitar in a more classical position rather than resting on my picking hand leg. Feels poncey but everything is easier to play
    - light strings, obvs. Doesn't necessarily have to be low action, but sod anything heavier than 9s. If you're shredding you've got gain to do the work for you
    - don't practice unplugged, plug in and use gain, not clean. That way you'll avoid doing more than you need physically and with the added benefit that you're practicing noise control at the same time
    - don't leave fingers planted when you don't need to. If you're going for a stretch to fret a note with your pinky, relax and even lift off any other fingers behind it. 
    super useful advice 

    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog 7 String.org profile and message  

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  • Lewy said:
    Another late blossoming shredder here. Not the biggest hands so stretches aren't easy. Things I've found to help:

    - posture...moved to holding the guitar in a more classical position rather than resting on my picking hand leg. Feels poncey but everything is easier to play
    - light strings, obvs. Doesn't necessarily have to be low action, but sod anything heavier than 9s. If you're shredding you've got gain to do the work for you
    - don't practice unplugged, plug in and use gain, not clean. That way you'll avoid doing more than you need physically and with the added benefit that you're practicing noise control at the same time
    - don't leave fingers planted when you don't need to. If you're going for a stretch to fret a note with your pinky, relax and even lift off any other fingers behind it. 
    I too am a late learner with small hands and I have always found the classical/hybrid classical position much more comfortable to play in. I have played barre chords much more comfortably from very early on and think this position helped tremendously. Of course you dont have to play full barre chords but learning them helps you also learn their abridged versions too and ergo more comfortable chords.
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  • CrankyCranky Frets: 2631
    edited December 2023
    I’m getting older, but not an old guy per se.  I just am prone to tension in general, have been for some time, so I feel op’s pain.  3 per string can have a negative impact.  I’ve done on again off again legato drills from a Quayle course, and he does remind me to relax and kinda trust the frets to do the work, and he’s right and I have been able to retrain myself to relax my grip a bit.

    So idk if it’s an age thing or a temperament/grip thing or just good old “start basic and build strength patiently”.  @Lewy makes great points.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 14893
    edited January 5
    Is it just me or do other 'old gets' get large amount of left hand pain from trying to use three note per string scales?
    Bus pass qualifier here, currently attempting to adhere to the Steve Vai ten and thirty day workout book whilst "enjoying" the early stages of Trigger Finger in the third finger of my fretting hand. 

    Some times, the finger goes where I intend. Some times, it stays where it is. Some times, it hurts. Some times, it does not. (There is no direct correlation between movement, stillness and discomfort.) Bizarrely, my speed playing seems to have improved despite the reduced mobility of one digit. I must be doing the lifting off mentioned by Lewy. 

    I have a GP appointment booked for later this month. Hopefully, I will be referred to a specialist. Fingers crossed, I receive the steroid injection treatment before the end of 2025.
    You say, atom bomb. I say, tin of corned beef.
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  • guitarjack66guitarjack66 Frets: 2028
    I saw a recent video(well about a quarter of it so far) from a man named Desi Serner (sp?) who was basically telling viewers not to worry about their little finger being involved and play with just your strongest three fingers if you like. Especially when playing scales.
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