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> Something I'm Trying To Increase Fretting Hand Strength, Hopefully it can help you too :)
Phil66
post Dec 7 2015, 08:38 PM
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Hello everyone,
Here's something that might help you all in one way or another. For me though, I've found that I'm fretting chords too hard and making them sharp. The possible reason for this is tension in the fretting hand due to an unnatural position being held so you tend to "clamp" the fingers around the neck to hold the shape of the chord. Now obviously, given time this will get better as your hand strength increases but, as you may know, resistance training is one of the best ways to increase muscle strength.

I've just had my acoustic guitar set up with the action not too low and a set of strings with 4 wound strings on. They are .011-52 D'Addario EJ26. Compared to my electric it's like running the hurdles.

What I have started to do for my warm up is play the following TAB first but carry the pattern on as far up the neck as I can. You could also do it with a metronome for added benefit wink.gif
-----------------------------------------------------------------1-2-3-4-------
-------------------------------------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------
-------------------------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------------------
---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------------------------------------
----------------------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------------------
------------1-2-3-4------------------------------------------------------------
1-2-3-4------------------------------------------------------------------------


5-4-3-2---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------5-4-3-2----------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------5-4-3-2----------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------5-4-3-2--------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------5-4-3-2----------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------5-4-3-2----------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------5-4-3-2-3-4-5-6


After doing this I play all the open chords I know, then I play some power chords and barre chords.

I am hoping that as my hand strengthens to the acoustic, which has more tension than my electrics, then the electric will be much easier to play smile.gif Once my hand strengthens to the acoustic and it is no longer a challenge, I will increase the string gauge. So go on, dig out your acoustic and have a go. It may even be worth finding a second hand acoustic just for this purpose, it doesn't need to be a super hot guitar.
ONE WORD OF WARNING. IF IT STARTS HURTING, STOP PLAYING IMMEDIATELY.

It would be nice to hear how you get on with this. Hopefully it will help whoever tries it smile.gif

Have fun folks smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 7 2015, 11:28 PM
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Thanks for sharing Phil.

I have done a similar thing which worked quite well: I practiced bending on a guitar with heavy string gauge (0.11).

There was a noticeable difference in my bending strength just after 1-2 days of practicing, which could really be felt when I went back my normal string gauge! (.09)


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Phil66
post Dec 8 2015, 09:25 AM
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Thanks Kris,
Many people will have an acoustic up in the attic and only one electric guitar so it's a good opportunity to put it to use. Even if it doesn't hold tune that well you can just do the fretting hand guitar hurdles smile.gif
Cheers


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fzalfa
post Dec 8 2015, 10:14 AM
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you can do this with Guitar speed trainer software

Laurent


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Phil66
post Dec 8 2015, 12:11 PM
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Yes Laurent, that would add another aspect. That's why I mentioned using a metronome wink.gif
The main reason for me using the acoustic is that they usually have a higher action in order to get their tone and volume so the adds extra range of motion to the muscle contraction wink.gif
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fzalfa
post Dec 8 2015, 01:19 PM
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the real goos side with this software is about increase speed step by step from the range you choose.

you start with the lower choosen speed, you choose the faster, and you choose the linear speed, so you start per example at 60, go to 150 in 10 step, then you reach down a linear sequence in 5 step, then the linear part is a set of 5 other sequence at the same speed.

you can use the buildin sequence or do yours.

i so it with the Todd's lessons since two week, i do it for any tricky part i need to learn, et of course for warming up and shape drilling

and it works.....

where to find ? google is your friend biggrin.gif

Laurent


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Phil66
post Dec 8 2015, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Laurent,

Yes I already have Speedbuilder, I'm not keen on the interface myself but for sure it works and I think combining the acoustic with Speedbuilder will yield synergistic results.
Speedbuilder will increase strength in the Type 11b Fast Twitch muscle fibres whereas the higher action and bigger string gauge of the acoustic will be more suited to strengthening Type 11a Fast Twitch muscle fibres. Of course there will be a fair amount of crossover here which is why the synergistic effect will happen.
Thanks for your interest Laurent.smile.gif
Cheers


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 8 2015, 03:06 PM
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Hey guys! This is a very interesting thread. I find the acoustic idea really good as well as Kris trick to get better with bending. This ideas are similar to how people is trained for sports and this makes me thing that there must be more tricks and ideas that we could take from it and transpose to music in order improve our technique and mechanics.



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fzalfa
post Dec 8 2015, 03:27 PM
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i have owned an acoustic bad quality guitar to keep it at job in the only way to get better fingers muscles.

i called it "the torture stuff", it was near unplayable .... but it make me have enought strengh and stamina to play hours and learn chords without have tired muscles..... my brain is tired before them !!

Laurent


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Phil66
post Dec 8 2015, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Dec 8 2015, 02:06 PM) *
Hey guys! This is a very interesting thread. I find the acoustic idea really good as well as Kris trick to get better with bending. This ideas are similar to how people is trained for sports and this makes me thing that there must be more tricks and ideas that we could take from it and transpose to music in order improve our technique and mechanics.


Thanks Gab,

I think even just trying to bend on acoustic will also strengthen fingers but it should be done a a later stage of muscle development and only micro bends for the beginner as an injury could occur which is why I didn't mention it in the initial thread wink.gif

Cheers


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fzalfa
post Dec 8 2015, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE
I think even just trying to bend on acoustic will also strengthen fingers but it should be done a a later stage of muscle development and only micro bends for the beginner as an injury could occur which is why I didn't mention it in the initial thread wink.gif


i agree bending on those guitar is quite impossibles !

Laurent


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PosterBoy
post Dec 11 2015, 03:28 PM
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I'm not sure the fretting hand needs strength, certainly it needs finger independence, but the only thing playing on an acoustic guitar with high action has ever given me is the habit of fretting with a vice like grip which has impeded my progress with speed and fluidity.


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Phil66
post Dec 11 2015, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Dec 11 2015, 02:28 PM) *
I'm not sure the fretting hand needs strength, certainly it needs finger independence, but the only thing playing on an acoustic guitar with high action has ever given me is the habit of fretting with a vice like grip which has impeded my progress with speed and fluidity.


Fair comment mate, this is why I only suggest it for warming up. You should still be able to fret lightly though as muscle control should still be there, like a strength athlete doesn't break an egg when he holds it, or doesn't crush his girlfriend's hand when he holds it. smile.gif

I guess someone who has only ever played acoustic might take a while to adjust but it should be achievable. My thinking is not so much the fingers but the muscles in the hand that hold the fingers in place when fretting a chord. In the past, when I have had a spell on acoustic only for a week or two and then gone back to electric I've found it much easier but, I do agree that some people will struggle to adjust the mind/muscle link,

We have to try these things anyway, each to their own, what works for one might not work for another.

Thanks for the input smile.gif


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