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Too tense to play?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jade, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. jade


    Mar 8, 2002
    I find that my plucking fingers feel really tense while I'm playing. It's so bad that I'm missing notes and forcing my fingers to move. First of all, is this normal? Should I be streching before I play? What kind of streching do you recommend?
  2. Although this is common, the tensed playing is not good. Besides being physically unhealthy, that tenseness also comes through the music you play.

    So just take some time working on relaxing. Start out playing simple, with the focus being on playing relaxed.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I had this same problem when I first started playing, and I'm going through it right now with learning upright bass. When you play, go out of your way to make sure none of your arm muscles are tense. If you feel them getting tense, relax them and try again. Sometimes you actually have to force yourself to relax, which sounds odd, but it's true. Stretching may help. Can't hurt, that's for sure.
  4. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    You could try running your hands under hot water from a faucet. Not so hot that it burns though, just hot enough to get the blood flowing and to help relax the muscles.
  5. Nirvana4ever


    Aug 2, 2005
    This may or may not help, but stretching and exercising both hands is important. Stretch your fingers as far as they will go and flex your hand out. Shake your hands heavily when your hand aches while your are playing. And clenching your fingers repeatedly. These are good exercises for keeping your bass hands strong. Rock on.
  6. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    My fingers sometimes get tense to the point where I can barely move them. In fact they've frozen up on me during gigs before. Finally I realized that it happens because I'm concentrating too hard and I'm not breathing well.

    Just like yoga or Thi Chi now I concentrate on breathing instead of playing, and I play much better.

  7. Do some warm-up exercises and some stretching. It helps me immensly, especially since I have psoriasis (causes my hands to get tight).
  8. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    i allways hyperventilate into a paper bag before playing.
    sometimes i leave the bag on .