Right Hand Pain on FR guitar ?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by TheUnknownOne, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Hi guitar mates,

    I'm experiencing some trouble with one of my guitars (and old modded LTD MH400FR), when playing fast right hand rythms (let's say, "Crown Of Misery" by Bleed from within for exemple), it tends to give me some wrist cramping...

    Could be the shape of the body, could be the fact it has a FR brigde, could be both of those things, or could be an anatomic issue (I try to stay fit so my wrists are enduring some action throughout the week) ?

    The fact is : I do not experience that kind of thing on my basic Jackson JS22-7, or with my other TOM bridge guitar...

    So I would like to know if someone here has experienced the same thing, and how to deal with it :( ?
     
  2. AC.Lin

    AC.Lin Master of the 0-string guitar

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    First of all.... CHAMPION DU MONDE PUTAIN :french::french::french::french::french::french::french::french::french::french:

    Ensuite,
    I had the same problem before in my thumb and later in my wrist. I found out later that is was due to the pick i was using and the tension of my strings.

    Basically, my pick was really hard and not smooth enough while the strings had a really high tension.
    It was like poking your finger into a wall for hours, causing pain in the hand.
    I'm not saying this is the reason of your problem, but this is a possibility.

    If that's not it, i don't think it would be the shape of the body or the shape of the floyd, but more like the way you position your hand on/near the floyd.
    You might want to look into that.
    Again i might be wrong but that's what comes to my mind.
     
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  3. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    Sounds like technique more than anything to me.
     
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  4. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Hahaha :woot:

    Sounds like you're on something... I recently started using ultex 1.40mm / 2.0mm because I thought they felt better for leads and soloing.
    Before, I was using more softer ones like 1.0mm. And you know that ultex is already really stiff... !

    Plus this guitar has the heaviest tension and string gauges I use since it needs to hold Drop B in 25"5. I guess it might have something to do with it, because I don't experience such pain on my other guitars, and It only happens when playing heavy rythms on this one (so mainly on the low, ultra thick strings I use for this tuning)

    I'll try to mess around with my settings and see if this helps, thanks ;)


    Could be, but why would It happen only on one my guitars ? I have no problem with the jackson which has a classic hardtail and a longer scale or the 25'5 T.O.M. one. Plus, In years of playing death metal and stuff in bands I never experienced something like that :(
     
  5. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    Maybe its a tension thing, but i haven't experienced what you are describing myself :2c:
     
  6. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    I have the same thing where my wrist gets tired after I play through Mouth for War by pantera. It is something i just power through so oh well
     
  7. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    Stupid question, but does the guitar have a forearm contour? I found on my guitars that did not have one, I experienced wrist pain as I was essentially cutting off the circulation after a period of time.
    Do you play stood up? If so try moving your strap up or down.
    Do you play sat down? Try moving the guitar to the other knee (I.e. go classical if currently playing traditional or vice versus).
    All things I’ve done when getting mystery aches etc.
    Do you fully warm up before firing into that first riff of Crown of Misery? It’s that explosive triplet/tremolo picked bit that may cause issues if you’re all cold.
     
  8. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    @JimF Might have a point when it comes to the forearm cut.
     
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  9. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Ergonomics is everything.

    From what it sounds like, it's a combination of the guitar, string guage and your picking technique.

    Guitar: At 25.5" scale length with drop B, you would have to use a thicker guage string to hold tension. If you had an extended scale length, say 27.5", you could use lighter strings. I've done Drop A with 10 guage with a .54 on the 6th string with a guitar that was 27.5" scale length. Secondly, floating trems absolutely SUCK for anything lower than drop C. Things to consider: Getting a different guitar with a longer scale length to accommodate lower tunings or ditch the Floyd for an Evertune.

    String guage: I'm guessing you're using 11s with a .56 or .60 on the bottom, Yeah, that's gonna hurt. You can get away with lighter strings on the top if the wound strings can compensate the tension being slightly thicker, but it sounds like you're having issues with tension on the wound strings so maybe try the reverse. Heavy top, low bottom. Ultimately, this balancing act won't go away unless you use a longer scale length.

    Picking technique: Like all metalheads, you probably use a Jazz III style pick. While they're comfy to play and offer lots of speed, with higher tension and lower tunings, they get unwieldly. Go for a standard Tortex in 1.14mm. You'll be able to hold more of the pick with less effort, effectively reinforcing the pick on either side with other bits of your digits which is something you can't do with a Jazz III style pick. If you angle the bottom face of the pick towards the nut because you're a double jointed circus freak in the thumbs, stop doing that. Fist that pick like a pornstar and change your angle of attack so that the top face is angled towards the nut and bottom face towards the bridge.
     
  10. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Yes sir, this guitar has a forearm contour even if its not very pronounced
    I play sat down most of the time when I'm doing covers, and indeed the classical posture seems to give me some relief
    Yes, I do warm up before, but I tend to believe there's also something going on with the extensive use of my mouse through the day. I just bought a vertical mouse to see if it helps :cheers:

    Very insightful, thanks ! :cheers:

    I use 11/56 for drop B. One interesting thing to note is that I do not experience such issues when playing in Drop C with hybrid lthb 10s/.54 or 56 for the low string.
    I should give this song a try on my 7 string 26'5 and see if that helps !

    Could you explain me why floating bridges are bad for tuning down ? This one is locked down with a tremol-no + composite wood blocks, but I'm interested to understand the mechanics behind that

    As for picks, I mainly use standard Ultex sharp 1.14 or 1.40mm, the Jazz III does not feel ergonomic to me for rythm playing
     
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  11. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    We’ll get to the bottom of this mate!
    Perhaps get a gel wrist pad for your mouse as well. That helped me!
     
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  12. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    As I said, floating trems for anything lower than drop C is terrible. My drop C guitar (RG320EX) is a floating trem with 11s and they're slinky even at 25.5' scale length. Drop B? It's completely unplayable on that guitar.

    The reason floating trems suck for lower tunings is because of how delicate the balance between string and spring tension has to be. All of my floyds use 3 springs, which allows me to use 10s without having to dial up the string tension in standard tuning. The bigger issue is that if you add springs, that's more tension on the block, pulling it back, so you have to add tension on the strings using thicker gauges. I think it's not until you get up into 13s that it starts to become slinky again. But, once you get up that high, the tension on the thicker gauge strings is still murderous so you don't get away from the string tension. If you went down to 2 springs, that's less pull on the block, leading to less tension on the springs, but you have to angle the springs kinda like this /\ so that the two points furthest away from each other are in the block and that the whole piece receives equal tension. This doesn't mean that two springs will let you get away with a lower string gauge for low tunings, however. A floyd with 10s in drop A will just not hold tuning because there isn't enough tension on the springs, so you have to add one back. 1 spring will add a lot of tension, then you'll be tuned to high and you'll have to get thicker strings to compensate. Floyds just require this kind of careful thought process and balance of spring vs string tension that's a pain in the arse to maintain. The higher the tension is, the harder the balance is to achieve and maintain. Not that it CAN'T be done by a good tech that knows what they're doing, but you'll always get the problem of higher tension the lower you tune. And then you have to worry about truss rod adjustments which can add even more tension to the strings.

    The nice thing about an Evertune, Tune-O-Matic on a string thru, or fixed bridge is that you remove spring tension from the equation altogether. It makes the whole process much easier and smoother. You're not adding any additional tension beyond the string gauge so it's easier to find a lower gauge that will hold a lower tuning. If you take get a fixed bridge guitar with a longer scale, you're in business for a fuss-less drop tuning monster. This is the whole reason baritone guitars were made. You still need to use thicker gauge strings, but they're under less tension than they would need to be on a trem'd guitar because they don't need to balance string and spring tension, and there's more mass of the string to spread the tension across.

    Even though you've blocked your trem off, it won't solve the problem because of your scale length. Remember that tension has to spread across the whole string to hold tuning. The less of the string there is to spread the tension across, the higher the tension will need to be. More string (both in gauge and length) = less tension.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  13. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Very insightful thanks, I always believed that blocking the trem would solve the equation. It explains the difference in feel I get between this guitar and my other TOM one !
     
  14. fantom

    fantom Misses his 6 strings

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    I'm sorry, but this is just bad information. The total string tension needs to match the tension from the springs. If you downtune, the string tension goes down. You need to compensate for the force by putting on thicker strings (or having a longer neck, which is less feasible). By having 2 equal forces, the springs and strings are in equilibrium. The spring itself is being stretched though, so spring elasticity could matter... But...

    Most of the time when changing tuning, people try to match the tension. For example 9s in standard, 10s tuned down a step, and 11s in c or c# are pretty comparable. The string elasticity really only changes how "stiff" the trem will feel (more force pulling it apart, the more stiff it will feel). So increasing the tension will only make the spring more stable. But most people intentionally try to keep the tension acting on the springs the same...

    The only time you need to think about this if you intenionally make the strings put different force (feel looser or tighter).

    You don't need to be a tech to do this. You just need to find an equivalent tension string set when changing tunings. If you do something drastic, you just go buy new springs with slightly different elasticity (but I never had to do this).

    Fwiw, I have Floyds or Kahlers on most of my guitars ranging from E-standard tuning to B-standard and most notes in between. I've never run into a stability or "tension" issue with a floating bridge tuning down in 20+ years now.
     
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  15. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Hello folks,

    Just a little update here

    Figured the source of my problem recently : it's the combination of thick guitar body + not a deep forearm cut + flat bridge + the fact that I have my guitar sitting pretty high while standing.

    Tried a bunch of different guitars last days because I had a lot of spare time. I did not experience the same issue on :

    - Arched body guitars with Tune O Matic
    - Flat top guitars with a deep forearm cut (think RG7321 for example)
    - Arched top guitar with a SLIM body shape (Ibanez S series, Jackson JS22-7 feels nice to)

    So, lesson learned for me. I might think about selling that one, or keeping it only for short recording sessions.

    The good thing is, it prevented me to buy the ltd 1000 evertune I planned to buy without trying first. So I guess i'll look for a T.O.M. equivalent, or one of those Solars or new Ibby prestige !
     

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