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Learning Roadie
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Joined: 20-January 09
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7 Feb 2010
First post ever on GMC - I think. Been lurking long, long time... Bought the original Quick-Start Course DVD from the site many many moons ago...

Definitely first REC post. Been playing for long long time - but not too seriously. Now that I hit 40 I decided I'd try my hand at trying to actually trying get good...

Here's the link to the lesson:


First video to do as well.

20 Jan 2009
Hi there folks.

Long time beginner player. Never had any lessons to speak of, but used to play every day for a number of years when I was younger before marriage and children... ;-)

Got decent enough to play lead in a few cover bands back in the mid-90's but never considered myself that good.

So now I'm older. Every couple of months I throw the guitar back on for a few weeks and decide I'm going to get 'good and fast'... ;-) But I think I have a ton of bad habits I need to break in order to do that...

So after all that - I have this question.

I'm trying to play through a Fates Warning song that uses a lot of repeating patterns around the first through fourth positions on the fretboard. When I play through this, after a few patterns my hand starts cramping and my thumb sets stiff as a board almost like I'm hitchhiking. I have to assume that's not good. I'm having a heck of a time breaking myself of it though. And I can't play the patterns more than 2-3 times before my hand gets so tense and I have to stop. I can play the patterns further up the neck without pain and my thumb stays much more relaxed. The patterns use a lot of the 1-3-4 finger pattern. This is much more difficult for me than a 1-2-4 pattern for some reason.

I'm trying to figure out if I need to have my elbow out further away from my body to keep a better angle on my wrist. Or what the proper posture, thumb placement, etc. should be when playing faster runs lower on the fretboard.

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