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Feel the burn - or should i?


(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
Topic starter  

i often here about people excercising their hand until they feel the muscle burn, as a way of developing speed and strength.

i dont do this everyday, but i few times a week i will, for a short period of time, practice those exercises which i know will give me a muscle burn.

when i dont do these exercises, i sometimes feel like i have copped out a little and that i havent had a great practice.

however, i dont know why i feel this way.

Do we need to work our fingers so hard we get a muscle burn in our had, or does that actually cause injury - how long would you recommend such intense practice??

one one hand i want to improve strength and speed, but on the other i dont want tendonitis??

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8308
 

if it burns, you're just working the muscle anaerobically and it shouldn't do any damage. however, unless you're learning a new technique and working new muscles, there's really no need to spend a lot of time at that intensity.
if it goes cold or numb or tingly or feels weird, you're harming a nerve.
i am currently taking a couple days off because i overdid it and the back of my hand is throbbing non-stop.


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I agree with the above.
I can add:
strength will come with time too.
after many years my fingers and hands are much stronger at guitar than when I first began.
I never felt I had to work out to get better.
good practices do work.
I had been tired and 'worked out' feeling at times.
the next day felt great.
what I do think is important is the practice parts.
I now keep mine very simple. also, I don't confuse my memory by trying too many parts
in a practice. and the part I want to remember most will be the last part.
I don't like doing anything guitar related after that.
I think it keeps the memory pathways clearer.

if you ever play so hard to have pain then stop and rethink things.
aestheticism and guitar playing do not necessarily go together.
lordy, I am full of typos. aestheticism???? I meant athleticism.

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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

+1 to Jason and Dogbite's posts.

I think that the whole "no pain, no gain" idea has been grossly exaggerated in many areas of life. In my experience gain is often more closely related to the quality of the attention you're paying, and the amount of repeats you do, than it is about pain. Pain is more likely to tell you that you're too close to the limits at which damage can occur than it is a reliable indicator of progress.

My playing ability has made big strides since I started and, apart from the need to build up callus at the start, there's been no pain involved. Most of the improvement has been due to getting better control of the muscles rather than just building up bigger muscle mass, and that's been done by slowly building neural pathways in the brain. Even with goals relating to regular bodily fitness and exercise I find that I can make steady improvement without the need to push into uncomfortable pain zones.

Even the notion of "muscle memory" is misleading. The memory is in the brain not the muscle. I tested that out by trying to play a simple piece by memory on an electric keyboard, but with the sound turned off. Perhaps I have unusually dumb or forgetful muscles, but without the sound cues going back to the brain I was almost immediately completely lost. Any 'memory' in muscle is more likely to be the sort of basic tendency to return to an original state (like the sort of 'memory' that causes a length or wire or garden hosepipe to try and return to its coiled up state). I don't believe that there's any real usable memory in the muscle from a musical point of view, or that playing until it hurts achieves anything useful.

Cheers,

Chris


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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

I would tend to agree with Dog and Chris, just normal playing should be enough and I can't think of a reason why you would want to feel pain.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
Topic starter  

great answers guys!!
i must have taken too much of the shredders "fingers workout" attitude

thanks guys - i can give my fingers a break from now on!!

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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