27 May 2010

The Dreaded Bar Chord Cramp, Me Too!

Earlier this year Curt of the Rock House Blog talked about Bar Chord Cramp.

"Ahh yes......The dreaded bar chord cramp!!! After all the time I've played guitar I still get the occasional "bar chord cramp" when doing a rhythm that uses all bar chords. I remember in the beginning it seemed like my hand was going to fall off!!!

The good news, the cramp should become less painful and less frequent as your experience progresses and your hands become stronger. Doing consistent exercise routines will help to develop hand strength and coordination and help to ease the pain."

I've been playing guitar for 20 years now and I too still get pain in my hands when I play lots of bar chords. Maybe it's because I play acoustic guitar, bar chords require more effort to play than on an electric guitar.

Hand strength does improve with time as we practice and play more guitar, but after 20 years I have little hope that simply playing for longer will get rid of this problem for me. So, is there a solution to this problem?

I recently purchased Jamie Andreas' book The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar. I'm hoping that the information about how my guitar muscles work and learn will help me to train and develop them better and improve my technique.

My copy of the book arrived from Amazon 10 days ago. I've read through it and picked one of the foundation exercises to get started. I'll be reporting back on my progress from time to time here (if you want to follow along be sure to sign up for free RSS updates).

Anybody else out there have solutions for bar chord cramp? Please let us know by sharing your experience in a comment using the link below.

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Photo by pacomexico

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