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Thread: overcoming the forearm cramp

  1. #1

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    Default overcoming the forearm cramp

    so since I've started taking lessons and have been working on rudimants and various note patterns I've been having problems with getting any decent type of speed when playing single hand 16th and 16th note triplets. my forearm cramps up as bill cosby once said "like someone shoved a lead pipe down my arm"

    whats the trick to overcoming the arm cramp? I'm assuming it just comes with time and repetition but are there any tips for making it a little easier?

  2. #2

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    I imagine you might be cramping up because you're too tense when you play. It feels like you can't play fast this way at first and might seem awkward, but you want to be loose and relaxed. Maybe something is slightly off with your position and is straining you more than normally, no way I could really tell though I would just say keep practicing and it will go away with time but if it persists and becomes a large issue maybe get professional help to be safe.
    zerOrings are bad people.

  3. #3

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    Take your practice slow and easy and do not be overly concerned about "Speed." That will come naturally and without you even being fully aware of it. Instead, be focused on proper technique and form as this will make your playing much cleaner and more effective. Have fun practicing as you do playing.
    There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value.

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  4. #4

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    Be relaxed when you play. I used to stiffen up and use my whole arm to hit the snare. But when I relaxed, my back pains started to go away.
    - Zack

  5. #5

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    stretch before you play.

  6. #6

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    I had the same problem - I used a strap for tennis elbow and used it on my forearm. It works. The strap has a gel pack you place that part on the muscle it relaxes it and the pain will be gone.

  7. #7

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    If relaxing and stretching don't help your cramps... there's always Midol.

    Getting enough potassium?
    "Life is backwards. Happiness isn't something you seek, it's something that finds you when you are doing the right thing." - Zone47

  8. #8

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    bananas/potassioum/warm ups

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadcam79 View Post
    so since I've started taking lessons and have been working on rudimants and various note patterns I've been having problems with getting any decent type of speed when playing single hand 16th and 16th note triplets

    you only just started taking lessons and your doing one handed single stokes

    ok......

    ....something doesn't sound wright.......either your teacher is pushing you way to hard or your trying something far out of your league

  10. #10

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    the pain can come from the impact of the sticks also

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by itchie View Post
    you only just started taking lessons and your doing one handed single stokes

    ok......

    ....something doesn't sound wright.......either your teacher is pushing you way to hard or your trying something far out of your league
    guess I should have ben a little clearer on that, I played for years but had a 15 yr break and just started playing again a few weeks ago and decided to take lessons this time. When I try and play say a straight 16th note pattern on the hats (Rush- Tom Sawyer, for example) my right forearm cramps up and I'm pretty sure i just need to slowly develop my speed but I was wondering if others had issues with something like that

  12. #12

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    use both hands on the hats if there 16th's

    especially if there fast

  13. #13

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    I could but that would be the easy way out lol

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadcam79 View Post
    so since I've started taking lessons and have been working on rudimants and various note patterns I've been having problems with getting any decent type of speed when playing single hand 16th and 16th note triplets. my forearm cramps up as bill cosby once said "like someone shoved a lead pipe down my arm"

    whats the trick to overcoming the arm cramp? I'm assuming it just comes with time and repetition but are there any tips for making it a little easier?
    No. There is no shortcut. Practice! Nothing good comes easy! Starting very slowly, learning proper technique and conditioning your muscles is the best advice. Don't give up, you can do it.
    Last edited by Reverend D.; 04-06-2009 at 09:03 AM.
    A good drummer will sound good on anything(even stock drum heads). A bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

  15. #15

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    I remember when I started playing I couldn't get through Rock 'n Roll by Led Zep without my arms cramping up but as I played more and practised I believe I increased my arm strength and can get through fast, long songs which cause your arms to ache a lot easier. Just go out and play
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  16. #16

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    I think I just figured out my problem, I was sittin here messin around with the practice pad and realized that as I speed up I'm gripping tighter on the stick with my thumb and pointer finger and thats using my forearm muscle which causes it to tense up

    now if I can figure out how to break the habit life will be good

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadcam79 View Post
    I think I just figured out my problem, I was sittin here messin around with the practice pad and realized that as I speed up I'm gripping tighter on the stick with my thumb and pointer finger and thats using my forearm muscle which causes it to tense up

    now if I can figure out how to break the habit life will be good
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend D. View Post
    No. There is no shortcut. Practice! Nothing good comes easy! Starting very slowly, learning proper technique and conditioning your muscles is the best advice. Don't give up, you can do it.
    Start any exercise very slowly making sure to not over tighten your fingers. DO NOT speed up until you can play the exercise properly with your fingers completely relaxed. If your fingers start to tighten, STOP, slow down again and correct your grip. Continue this until your fingers are conditioned to be relaxed when you play at any speed. If you get frustrated, tough, deal with it. Have patience and things will work out in the end. It will be worth it.
    Last edited by Reverend D.; 04-08-2009 at 10:19 AM.
    A good drummer will sound good on anything(even stock drum heads). A bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadcam79 View Post
    so since I've started taking lessons and have been working on rudimants and various note patterns I've been having problems with getting any decent type of speed when playing single hand 16th and 16th note triplets. my forearm cramps up as bill cosby once said "like someone shoved a lead pipe down my arm"

    whats the trick to overcoming the arm cramp? I'm assuming it just comes with time and repetition but are there any tips for making it a little easier?
    Relax, mate.
    You are playing faster than you are ready for. What you need to do is work on improving you relaxed speed. IE: the speed you can play while staying relaxed. Your "cramped up" speed is irellevant.
    Hope that helps mate.
    Last edited by Vinnysimmo mk:II; 04-10-2009 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Additional niceness added. Im a nice guy!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnysimmo mk:II View Post
    Relax, mate.
    You are playing faster than you are ready for. What you need to do is work on improving you relaxed speed. IE: the speed you can play while staying relaxed. Your "cramped up" speed is irellevant.
    Hope that helps mate.
    Right on.
    A good drummer will sound good on anything(even stock drum heads). A bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

  20. #20

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    Cool Re: overcoming the forearm cramp

    Relax...Take It Easy.....Just Groove Hard In Yer Head,;
    Let All Else Flow ....
    "FEEL DA GROOVE & PLAY IT FORWARD..."

    "BEAUTY IS IN THE EARS OF THE BEHOLDER ,
    ENJOY IT ALL,,, MY BROTHERS & SISTERS"

    COMMANDER & CHIEPH OF
    "PHROGGE'S AQUARIAN ARMY"

    CHARTER MEMBER OF THE "OUR
    LADY OF DA NEW BEAT CONGREGATION"

    LEGEND IN MY OWN MIND
    & FORCE BEHIND DA
    "PHX AZ LEGEND OF DA ZYDECO TIE"
    (AND OTHER TOYZ)

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnysimmo mk:II View Post
    Relax, mate.
    You are playing faster than you are ready for. What you need to do is work on improving you relaxed speed. IE: the speed you can play while staying relaxed. Your "cramped up" speed is irellevant.
    Hope that helps mate.
    Great post!!!

    Remember, if you practice tense, you'll play tense, and tension is the enemy of groove.

    Look into the Moeller technique for relaxed speed and power.

    Have you asked your teacher, they should be able to see what's happening.

    Andy

  22. #22

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    Default Re: overcoming the forearm cramp

    Hey Quad,
    I'm in the same situation. recently started playing again after a break for a few years and have been getting right forearm cramps and some calf cramps (double bass). to resolve it I'm doing the same thing as when I started. alternate in practice from slower groovy pace to short bursts of speed and extend the faster pace bits at a time. your muscles aren't used to the constant motion anymore and you have to use the forearm muscle and hold on tighter. this is helping me to regain the relaxed playing at faster speeds.

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