stretching exercises

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
jasonCHT

Re: stretching exercises

Post by jasonCHT » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:07 pm

cn90 wrote:Pumping Nylon is definitely a good book to buy.
About $15-20 online.
Worth every penny.
Hi, i checked some online stores. There are 2 editions of Pumping Nylon: 1995 edition costing about $11 and edition 2002 some $32 - big differenc in price! Would 1995 edition be good enough or are there much more materials in edition 2002? Thanks

jasonCHT

Re: stretching exercises

Post by jasonCHT » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:20 pm

There is a video demo by Kevin Gallagher (http://www.guitar69.com) which i find very useful. He posted "Four Exercises in Counterpoint" in pdf which i found very useful exercises for stretching Lh fingers. I think he did attribute the exercises to Scott Tennent's Pumping Nylon

paulrc

Re: stretching exercises

Post by paulrc » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:35 am

Favorite exercises to relieve prevent injuries and pain in fingers and wrist - Role each of your fingers and thumbs individually clockwise 5 times, then counter clockwise 5 times. Do this several times throughout the day. Do this also to your wrist, elbows, shoulders, and neck. Stretch out your neck by rotating clockwise then counter clockwise. Then rotate your neck left to right, right to left a few times. Most tension and pain in the hands and wrist I have been told and from personal experience comes from the neck. It may sound funny but please try exercises first and then judge to see if pain or lack of pain in fingers and wrist are experienced.

Take care, Paul

Jratwen

Re: stretching exercises

Post by Jratwen » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:25 am

Just a newbie player but bought pumping mylon reently. I believe the execises they are referring to are called finger independence exercises. These are pretty fresh to me - just started working on them last week. On the first attempt I thought they were impossible, but felt markedly improved even on the second or third attempt.

derrickstevenson

Re: stretching exercises

Post by derrickstevenson » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:34 pm

I agree. Pumping nylon is an excellent book.

Jratwen

Re: stretching exercises

Post by Jratwen » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:28 pm

JasonCHT wrote
Hi, i checked some online stores. There are 2 editions of Pumping Nylon: 1995 edition costing about $11 and edition 2002 some $32 - big differenc in price! Would 1995 edition be good enough or are there much more materials in edition 2002? Thanks j
V
V
$11 Sounds right for the book. The $32 Sounds like the price for the Book & DVD Combo. The DVD is on backorder at my local music store, and will sell for $20. It has been well recommended to me, and I intend to purchase it when it gets here.

- Jim

Tarquin

Re: stretching exercises

Post by Tarquin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:16 am

As far as my experience on the topic goes, the more regularly you stretch the tendons in your fingers the further the fingers will then be able to reach on the guitar.
I've found that playing chromatic scales in octaves before I begin to practice helps by giving my left hand a stretch, whilst improving my co-ordination between both hands, and even finger and thumb. A very useful excercise.

Hope you find this at least half useful...

Tarquin

Carl Peter

Re: stretching exercises

Post by Carl Peter » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:10 pm

I like Alicia's approach, i.e., stretch away from the guitar to improve reach and then pick up the guitar to work on accuracy and placement. I jam the flat of the opposite hand between the fingers and force them apart, holding for about 10 seconds at the 'this is getting uncomfortable' stage. Part of the warm up routine as per Shearer in his later book.

marvin37

Re: stretching exercises

Post by marvin37 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:20 pm

I too have small hands and sometimes had to use a capo to play pieces with long stretches. I have started stretching my fingers apart throughout the day and it has made a huge difference.

User avatar
Paul
Posts: 6531
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:18 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: stretching exercises

Post by Paul » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:36 pm

marvin37 wrote:I too have small hands and sometimes had to use a capo to play pieces with long stretches. I have started stretching my fingers apart throughout the day and it has made a huge difference.
Hi Marvin,

Welcome to the forum. I hope you'll consider introducing yourself here -> viewforum.php?f=28 so we can give you a run down on how to make the best use of the forum.

Regards,

Paul

AsturiasFan

Re: stretching exercises

Post by AsturiasFan » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:30 am

derrickstevenson wrote: I have small hands as it is and really struggle with some chords.
For a male I have small hands with a span of 8cm exactly from thumb to pinkie tip. I did some research on scale length and by looking at specific difficult chords and the distances between frets, I came to the conclusion that going to a shorter scale like 640mm or 630mm wouldn't help.

There are two chords that are at the limit of my ability to stretch and were originally painful to form. By regular practice my hand adapted most likely by the development of the necessary tendon strength (a slow process). My stretch isn't any greater but being to form the chords without pain tremendously helps with accuracy. One idea for practicing a stretchy chord is to isolate the stretch that is causing the problems. For example, my two chords involve a horizontal stretch between the annular and pinkie fingers. So I might practice the chords with just these two fingers or maybe with the middle finger thrown in. This helped me discern the nuances necessary to form the full chord. I also think it helps to try to get as much separation as possible before the fingers touch the strings so you don't force excessive finger separation that you might not need. I practice getting the correct finger configuration "in the air" so that all fingers can come down simultaneously.

derrickstevenson

Re: stretching exercises

Post by derrickstevenson » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:18 am

That sounds like a good method asturiasfan. The problem I have with most stretching exercises is rather than feeling the stretch I feel a lot of tension in the other parts of my hand from holding the position while I reach with the fingers I'm trying to stretch. To be honest I haven't made a great deal of progress with my left hand flexability, however I had a terrible left hand position before and now that I have improved that most of the stretches I had difficulty with before are now easy/easier to reach.

AsturiasFan

Preperation for the Asturias Bar Chord

Post by AsturiasFan » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:09 pm

derrickstevenson wrote:The problem I have with most stretching exercises is rather than feeling the stretch I feel a lot of tension in the other parts of my hand from holding the position while I reach with the fingers I'm trying to stretch.
I have the same experience and believe this is something one with small hands has to go through. IMHO it's very clear that since the tendons and connective tissues need adapting, learning to form difficult stretchy chords is a slow process.

Asturias Bar Chord:
  • Bar 8th fret with index finger.
  • Annular finger on G of A string at the 10th fret.
  • Middle finger on E of G string at the 9th fret.
  • Pinky finger on E of high-E string at 12th fret.
When I first learned Asturias a couple of year ago I had to give up on this chord. I injured my wrist from practcing it too much. I could never comfortably form the chord and when it was formed there was great difficulty holding it. There would always be a couple of strings that wouldn't ring. Even though I have not currently practiced the Asturias chord, the extensive practice I did with the three chords below has allowed me to form this chord quickly so that all six strings ring. However, it is still tension filled and I would not want to practice it for long periods of time.

Three difficult chords I found helpful in preparation for the Asturias Chord.

These chords, listed in increasing order of difficulty, have annular-pinky stretches at roughly the same level of difficulty as the Asturias bar chord but are otherwise much easier on the hand. For those with larger hands, these chords won't be a problem and the whole discussion is moot. For someone with smaller hands the chords would have to be shifted right.

F-Major 7th chord:
  • F with index finger on D-String at 3rd fret.
  • A with middle finger on low E-string at 5th fret
  • C with annular finger on G-string at 5th fret
  • E with pinky on A-String at 7th fret


It took nearly two months of practice to secure this chord. I originally placed some fingers down to use as leverage to stretch the others into place. However, this chord became a natural stretch -- I now position my wrist/hand and configure the fingers in the air so the fingers come down simultaneously without having to leverage anything.

F-Major chord:
  • F with annular finger on D-String at 3rd fret.
  • A with index finger on G-string at 2nd fret.
  • C with middle finger on A-string at 3rd fret.
  • A with pinky on low E-String at 5th fret.
Quick progress on this chord was made when I started playing it with just the annular and pinky. This forced a certain hand/wrist position that turned out well since the other two fingers would then pretty much fall into place. I can prefigure my fingers without forcing leverage on this one also.


F-Major 7th chord:
  • F with annular finger on D-String at 3rd fret.
  • A with index finger on G-string at 2nd fret.
  • C with middle finger on A-string at 3rd fret.
  • E with pinky on B-String at 5th fret.
The annular-pinky stretch for this chord is more difficult than the one in the Asturias Bar chord. This chord is still great to practice on since overall it is much easier on the hands and wrist. This chord exceeds my natural stretch. I have to plant my annular finger first and force a little rotation of it towards the fretboard to get the pinky closer to its target. Mildly painful when first learning.

derrickstevenson

Re: stretching exercises

Post by derrickstevenson » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:49 am

Hi asturiasfan. Just tried out your stretches. I can't do any of them. I'm impressed how you can position your fingers above the frets before placing them on the fret board. How much time do you spend on strecthing exercises and how long did it take you to manage those chords?

derrickstevenson

Re: stretching exercises

Post by derrickstevenson » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:54 am

Carl Peter wrote:I like Alicia's approach, i.e., stretch away from the guitar to improve reach and then pick up the guitar to work on accuracy and placement. I jam the flat of the opposite hand between the fingers and force them apart, holding for about 10 seconds at the 'this is getting uncomfortable' stage. Part of the warm up routine as per Shearer in his later book.
I'm sorry for being simple but I've read this and have been trying out different ways of stretching my fingers with the opposite hand and I am not sure I'm doing it properly. How exactly do you put the opposite hand between the fingers?

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”