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hassurbanipal

 

Posts: 191
Joined: Jul. 14 2006
From: belgium

strength 

Hey guys,

maybe stupid question or not......
When I play por buleria for example where you are playing mostly with indice and anular por el golpe (at least I do when accompaning dancers), I get after a little while, especially if your playing in the normal speed for buleria, cramps in my hand and fingers. I'm not able to post a video or something but is it normal and will I build up strength after a while and don't get cramps anymore? Or is not normal and do I have to work on another posture or something?
advice is welcome.

Andy

_____________________________

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens."
E. Satie
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 12:37:54
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

Cramps are bad news. Fatigue is natural and if you are only getting fatigue then that is fine and you will develop stamina. Play slower............much much much slower.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 12:44:40
 
hassurbanipal

 

Posts: 191
Joined: Jul. 14 2006
From: belgium

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

hey guitarbuddha,
thanks for answering.

maybe you can describe it better as fatigue......it's not really cramps but I didn't know how to express the feeling in english.....:))
I already practice very slow but is there a way to build up strength in your fingers if you cannot play 8 hours a day? something to strengthen the fingers?.....

thanks

_____________________________

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens."
E. Satie
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 14:34:16
 
seanm

 

Posts: 169
Joined: Apr. 5 2005
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

I sounds as though you are getting tired or worn down due to tension in your hands, arms, shoulder or back. Though you need tension in the hands to press the strings down and to strike the notes, you have to make sure you relax your muscles immediately after these bursts of tension. As the cellist Pablo Casals supposedly said "I relax between the notes". So when you do practice slowly, very methodically ensure and be aware of tension in your hands, etc and practice relaxing when you don't need this tension.

For instance, an exercise for this is to play a fretted note and then immediately after the note sounds, relax the preasure on the note until it just buzzes. You will see how little preasure you really need to hold the note down after it sounds. Do this with all fingers for a while each day as a warm up for instance and eventually when you play your left hand will be playing with a fraction of the tension. Similarly, when you pluck a note or strike a rasqueados, let you hand fully relax before stiking the next. After a while, even when you play fast, you will have built in little momements of relaxation between each note and you won't get that accumulated tension build up the locks your muscles up (lactic acid build up etc).

I focused on this for 6 months or so a long time ago and since then I've never had tension issues and can honestly say that I never get tired when I play. It's just not something I even think about anymore and can play and pracitce for hours. My brain ussually gives out first :) Hope this helps.

Sean
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 15:08:06
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

Your muscles are designed to work in pairs ( a simplification but still useful), flexors (picado) and extensors(rasgueado). In order for you to flex efficiently and quickly your extensors have to be relaxing otherwise the muscles are pulling in opposite directions at the same time. This is what causes tension, pretty much you need to learn to let one set of muscles relax fully so that the others can work unimpeded. This is why sometimes I practice with a slow metronome and only play every second or fourth beat, so that I can get into the cracks and feel whether or not my hand is tensing.

It is better to try and become aware of and deal with tension before you develop a repetitive strain injury, it took me a long time to get rid of mine.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 15:13:27
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to seanm

Agreed Sean.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 15:16:36
 
hassurbanipal

 

Posts: 191
Joined: Jul. 14 2006
From: belgium

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

thanks sean,

I will try to practice slow and build moments in of relaxation like you mentioned.
I hope that it will help......
Thanks guitarbuddha, I never thought about how mucles work like that, maybe stupid ....

Andy

_____________________________

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens."
E. Satie
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 16:18:35
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

Not stupid at all Andy, it would be great if we didn't need to think about these things but usually the come back to haunt us till we do.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 16:22:12
 
hassurbanipal

 

Posts: 191
Joined: Jul. 14 2006
From: belgium

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

indeed, they do.....like I can notice now.......:))
Now I have a time a head of me full of experimentation I guess in which I have to try and feel when there is tention or not and how to relax between movements....
will be quite difficult I guess so if anyone has other recomandations, or more details how to practice this and how to feel it? be sure to write it down here, I will be very glad to hear that I am not the only one.....:))

Andy

_____________________________

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens."
E. Satie
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 16:51:44
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

Alexander technique is very good. I dont know of any teachers in France though there is usually someone connected to the conservatoires. Is there one near you?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 17:34:37
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

Anybody care to suggest some harmony for tremolo and maybe a few of us could try and jam some short examples in different styles using a simple two or three chord progression ? Something novel but appealing would be nice, modal vamps maybe.

We could then discuss the results, kind of an online workshop. Maybe tomorrow dinnertime as a deadline might be fun.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 17:45:02
 
hassurbanipal

 

Posts: 191
Joined: Jul. 14 2006
From: belgium

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

I like the idea a lot, just let me know, I'm not in the opportunity to record something today......
so maybe a deadline like next week or so? maybe we shouldp ut it another post?
what do you think?

In general we don't talk a lot about harmony but it's very important when you try to write your own music....:))

what do you mean by alexander technique? I'm not really familiar with that, is that sort of an expression?
thanks

_____________________________

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens."
E. Satie
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 20:24:54
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

Hi, H. I just found this in the Wikipedia and it seems like a reasonable explanation. I learned it to recovery from my crippling repetetitive strain injuries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Technique

I realised that I needed a new thread, so hopefull there will be someone kicking about some suggestions soon. I thought a one day would help keep things quite infromal workshoppy and not allow too much time for perfectionism. Also it gives everyone (and me with my broken i and m fingernails most of all ) and excuse if it is not polished. Maybe a few days?

D
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2007 20:36:57
 
carlos soto

 

Posts: 126
Joined: Oct. 22 2005
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

The way it works for me is to have the basics such as posture, technique, playing in a relaxed way at all times. I also try to practice some endurance exercises but only for warm up and to work on things I have issues, I focus mostly on timing, tempo is never fast but at different normal and slow speeds.

On the other hand the things that are not basics and to some may seem unrelated but as I said it works for me. First, I don't pick up the guitar and play some billion note per second picado over and over again or anything that is going to be challenging in a physical way if I didn't had a good sleep having in mind I played a lot the day before, in other words if you killed yourself playing the day before let your body regenerate with a good sleep, otherwise practice will probably result in an injured hand.

Another thing is when you are just into a new chord and it's killing your hands, I'd say do that chord everyday until you are dead tired but stop right away if you feel pain.

And for your right hand mate, I believe you are not practicing your endurance properly, so when you go at full speed with the dancers at the first 5 mins you might do it perfectly but after a half hour of fast tempo if you haven't done that same half hour or maybe one hour of very very slow tempo then you will very hardly do it the fast way smoothly. This is like sports, if you are not in shape for a rugby or soccer match chances are you will get hurt. But, you don't get in shape by playing a match since its obvious you'd get hurt, so you do other simplier stuff first and build up a good shape, it could save you from tendinitis or any other hand problem, additionallly slow tempo practice will also improve your timing, rythm and patience with the guitar.
cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 10 2007 2:48:20
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12403
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

If you are digging in real hard to be loud, but only using the index the whole time, that might be the problem. When accompanying dance and my dynamics need to be FORTISSIMO and constant with no let up, I tend to free the burden from my poor index finger and start moving the whole hand from the wrist. Same rhythms with contras and accents and stuff, but just hard and loud and fast as it needs to be. It is not what I consider a "nice" sound, but it gets the job done for sure.

If even this is not enough power, then get a bigger sound system and play relaxed.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 10 2007 5:52:17

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

More discoveries= Picado (in reply to guitarbuddha

quote:

Your muscles are designed to work in pairs ( a simplification but still useful), flexors (picado) and extensors(rasgueado). In order for you to flex efficiently and quickly your extensors have to be relaxing otherwise the muscles are pulling in opposite directions at the same time. This is what causes tension, pretty much you need to learn to let one set of muscles relax fully so that the others can work unimpeded. This is why sometimes I practice with a slow metronome and only play every second or fourth beat, so that I can get into the cracks and feel whether or not my hand is tensing.


Ive noticed lately that focusing on not allowing the extensors to flex after
a rest stroke (in picado runs) has helped with speed and stamina.

I naturally have a tendency (and im sure many of us do) to want to pick each finger up with the extensor after a picado stroke. Index wants to "exchange" with middle, and vice versa.
As GB says, this does cause un-needed tension. Even around 16ths at 165bpm, i find you dont need the help of the extensors to return the fingers back to the "ready to play" position between strokes. Or actually, to be more exact, you dont need to "concisously" flex the extensor. Just the naturaly existing tension in the extensor is enough to return it in time.

If you're fuzzy on what im talking about, try this. Simply play 2 notes quickly.
Play a note with I, quickly followed by M, and see if I finger jumps out as
M finger comes down.
If it does, focus on not letting that happen. Of course, the fingers have to return to the string they need to play next, but i think its good to practice not letting them return at all, just to expirience what it feels like.

I had an especially bad habit with this. My fingers want to jump way up after every stroke.
So im trying to change that by going drastically the other direction. Of course, practicing super short staccato picado helps this, but im trying to go further with it.

Mostlly, just trying to relax in between every stroke as much as possible.

Its working REALLY well.
TK

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2010 18:49:03
 
Estevan

Posts: 1856
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: More discoveries= Picado (in reply to ToddK

quote:

i find you dont need the help of the extensors to return the fingers back to the "ready to play" position between strokes. Or actually, to be more exact, you dont need to "concisously" flex the extensor.
So just 'let go' instead of lifting them up, right?

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Me da igual. La música es música.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2010 20:02:53

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: More discoveries= Picado (in reply to Estevan

quote:

So just 'let go' instead of lifting them up, right?


Yes.

Your extensor will return your finger on its own, if you allow it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2010 20:07:30
 
minordjango

 

Posts: 918
Joined: Feb. 26 2005
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

and i think Scott tennant talks about after you play the stoke is as important, meaning most players focus on just getting the note , not the release time ----------so todd hear what ur saying.

body tension i still cant get through etude number 1 lobos (Great Arps study) astoo much tension i loss energy at about 1 mins, body position and back to basics for me .

i guess the best way for us with Technical probs is upload vids playing , we can all give feedback
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2010 0:53:35
 
guitarristamadrid

 

Posts: 133
Joined: Jan. 27 2010
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

It took me a long time to build up to 8 hours a day, every day.... When I was in university (18 years old) I started playing one hour a day. By the time I left university a year and a half later, I was playing probably 4 hours a day. I stopped going to my classes and just played guitar..

Over the years I was studying with Entri the hours just kept going up.... 4 hours in the beginning, then 5 hours, a year later 6 hours, until within the last couple years I started doing 8 hours monday through friday, then 9 hours, even hitting 10 and 11 hours some days. It helps if you write it down, I got a calender and each day I would write a number so it looked like

DOMINGO 2.5
LUNES 7.5
MARTES 8.0
MIERCOLES 8.5
JUEVES 10.0
VIERNES 6

Build up to it man, it's like a sport. I think consistency is more important than raw hours. 3 hours a day is great, 5 days on, 2 days off, I think that's better than 8 hours one day, then not playing for 3 days, etc

_____________________________

Sometimes music is all you got in this world. Why do I create music? Because there was a time when I had nothing, and music kept me alive.

www.myspace.com/evancary
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2010 3:44:34
 
minordjango

 

Posts: 918
Joined: Feb. 26 2005
 

RE: strength (in reply to hassurbanipal

i think its like a sport also , but thats as it suits me , like when i go to the gym 4 days a week 30 mins doesnt tdo it, but everyday think exercise can help me , get the results (It did with Jazz guitar!).

but some people prolly cant hack it !! especially with work and stuff.

what does Entri suggest man ? and how much time for the likes of Rolls, tremlo, picado ?
be interesting to know
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2010 4:02:33
 
guitarristamadrid

 

Posts: 133
Joined: Jan. 27 2010
 

RE: strength (in reply to minordjango

Entri says something like (to translate it into english)

"You should divide your studies into three parts: technique, practicing repertoire, and creating something new. So whatever time you have, divide it equally into those three things."

When I told Entri I could give him 7 hours of practice a day, he told me to practice technique for two hours, practicing my repertoire for two hours, work on composing new stuff for two hours, and then spend one hour listening to flamenco CDs.

Personally, I'm kind of technique crazy, and I like to spend a good three days in a row doing 8 hour technique sessions before I really feel prepared to record or perform. However, I definitely don't do that all the time, because it take a ton of effort and I have to suspend everything else in my life for three days. But whenever I am going to perform an important gig, or I need to produce a truly high quality recording. that's what I am to do.

_____________________________

Sometimes music is all you got in this world. Why do I create music? Because there was a time when I had nothing, and music kept me alive.

www.myspace.com/evancary
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2010 4:36:15
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