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Is there such thing as finger fatigue?

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2,337
Friday morning before work i played some guitar.. Not long, probably 5 minutes of noodling some "Europa" and i played fine.

I worked all day, nothing hard or physical, i mostly pulled staples from the ground where there was carpet and swept.. I get home, I worked out with my weights and my new amp came from ups. So i open it up and i just couldn't play. Literally, it was like i was only playing for 8 months... Not that i'm that good by any means.. My hands weren't sore or anything... But the dexterity just wasn't there.

I've worked a lot harder and came home and played guitar, and i've been fine... Has this ever happened to anyone else?
 

Manicstarseed

Member
Messages
746
That does not seem strange. It's not about how hard you worked - it is about how you used your hands. I posit that the muscle action you needed that day may have been contrary to whats needed for playing guitar. I also think there is no reason a little stretching and some light warmup exercises could fix this.

I also think that if your brain focused on a few narrow actions, you "imprint" the action on your neural pathways. Warmup exercises refocus the priority pathways after a day of alternate neural priorities.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Friday morning before work i played some guitar.. Not long, probably 5 minutes of noodling some "Europa" and i played fine.

I worked all day, nothing hard or physical, i mostly pulled staples from the ground where there was carpet and swept.. I get home, I worked out with my weights and my new amp came from ups. So i open it up and i just couldn't play. Literally, it was like i was only playing for 8 months... Not that i'm that good by any means.. My hands weren't sore or anything... But the dexterity just wasn't there.

I've worked a lot harder and came home and played guitar, and i've been fine... Has this ever happened to anyone else?
Absolutely yes, there's all kinds of activities that can slow you down.
To play guitar you need a certain amount of range of motion both closing your hand, and opening it.

So anything you do that just builds "grip", lifting weights, pinching your fingers together to pick up staples, holding the broom handle or snowshovel, even grabbing a steering wheel, is going to bite you when you try to pick your fingers up.

What you lost during your daily routine was flexibility.

My routine, off the guitar, to maintain flexibility is to do alternating clenching and strethching with both hands.

So, make a fist with your left hand, give a little clench, then open your hand up as wide as it'll go, spread your fingers and thumb and give a little stretch.
You don't have to overdo it with the stretching, just open your hand and give it a little push into whatever available range of motion presents itself.

Eventually you'll get to a place where your fingers will pull back pretty far, and while you're getting there you'll at least be balancing your strength with flexibility.

The other bit I do is just to grab each finger one at a time with the other hand and and massage down the finger pretty hard to help loosen 'em up, get some circulation happening, warm' em up basically.

So I'll do maybe 25 or 30 clench and stretch reps with each hand with some massage in between to help warm up, and then when I pick up the guitar, I'm pretty much as good as I'm gonna get.

So, yes absolutely, the weight lifting is going to cost you some flexibility because of the constant force of your grip, but it's no big deal to do a couple of sets of those "little squeeze closed, little squeeze open" stretches to regain your flexibility.
 

djy8131

Member
Messages
652
I did a 200 mile bike ride one day and then took a flight to visit my high school guitar buddy. I couldn't play at all for almost a week! I felt like an idiot when we tried to play together
 

Copley

Member
Messages
7
What kind of weights were you doing? I find heavy deadlifts really fatigue my grip and make it hard to play. Bench press and standing press as well, but to less of a degree.
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
No, fingers do not have any muscles. Look it up?
So - then how do you open and close them?

Even if the main muscles are in the forearms - the tendons for those muscles attach to the fingers. So, I think we can stand by the idea that fingers have muscles.
 

Clifford-D

Senior Member
Messages
17,045
So - then how do you open and close them?

Even if the main muscles are in the forearms - the tendons for those muscles attach to the fingers. So, I think we can stand by the idea that fingers have muscles.
Tendons. No muscles, the muscles are in the forearm.
Carpel tunnel is a condition of a tendon irritating it's tendon sheath.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
So - then how do you open and close them?

Even if the main muscles are in the forearms - the tendons for those muscles attach to the fingers. So, I think we can stand by the idea that fingers have muscles.
If you can stand by the idea that the wheels on your car have motors in them, sure.
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
If you can stand by the idea that the wheels on your car have motors in them, sure.
Nice analogy to. Easy to get distracted by analogies and miss the point. Go celebrate that win!

Could it still be that finger fatigue is coming from the tendons attached to those muscles? or, do we want to get wrapped up in your analogy?
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Just for the record, the grown up response to any correction of any incorrect information is: Thank you.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Nice analogy to. Easy to get distracted by analogies and miss the point. Go celebrate that win!

Could it still be that finger fatigue is coming from the tendons attached to those muscles? or, do we want to get wrapped up in your analogy?
I'm not a doctor, I have no idea.
It's possible the tendons or flexors or whatever pulls the strings in there contracts or tenses as opposed to fatigues, and the muscles are still capable but the range of motion is compromised, I dunno.:huh
Good question, but we need some trained medical type to answer it.

And you're welcome.
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
I'm not a doctor, I have no idea.
It's possible the tendons or flexors or whatever pulls the strings in there contracts or tenses as opposed to fatigues, and the muscles are still capable but the range of motion is compromised, I dunno.:huh
Good question, but we need some trained medical type to answer it.

And you're welcome.
Welcome? Didn't even realize I had thanked you - for what exactly again?
 

immure

Member
Messages
160
Friday morning before work i played some guitar.. Not long, probably 5 minutes of noodling some "Europa" and i played fine.

I worked all day, nothing hard or physical, i mostly pulled staples from the ground where there was carpet and swept.. I get home, I worked out with my weights and my new amp came from ups. So i open it up and i just couldn't play. Literally, it was like i was only playing for 8 months... Not that i'm that good by any means.. My hands weren't sore or anything... But the dexterity just wasn't there.

I've worked a lot harder and came home and played guitar, and i've been fine... Has this ever happened to anyone else?
Were your hands cold? I find when my hands are cold in the winter months they get really slow. I run them under or soak them in hot water for a few minutes before playing. It really helps.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Actually they do, they're called pili. When they contract they cause your hairs to stand up on end, a physiological response commonly referred to as goosebumps.
Told you we needed a doctor!
That's the OP's problem right there, impaired goosebumpery.
And, thank you for the correction.
 
Messages
2,337
What kind of weights were you doing? I find heavy deadlifts really fatigue my grip and make it hard to play. Bench press and standing press as well, but to less of a degree.
yep, deadlifts.. bb rows, bodyweight rows and 90lbs sandbag shouldering... REALLY works for grip.
 






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