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#379863 - 04/23/05 12:32 AM numb pick hand  
Joined: Feb 2002
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James Simmons Offline
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Carnesville, Ga
I have a problem with my pick hand going numb while I'm playing.Does anyone have any tips on which kind of picks are easier to hold or require less grip?
thanks, James

[This message has been edited by JAMES SIMMONS (edited 04-22-2005).]

#379864 - 04/23/05 03:22 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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Joy Boy Offline
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Unless maybe if you have back problems -- sciatica or pinched nerves or something -- the problem is more likely your technique than the pick.
If you're squeezing the pick hard enough to make your hand numb, you're either doing something way wrong or just need to loosen your hand up. It could also be the way you're holding your hand or even how you have your arm if it's resting on the guitar.
Everyone will occasionally lose control of a pick, but once you get used to holding one it gets more and more rare.
I'd find a good teacher and have them look at your technique.

[This message has been edited by joyboy (edited 04-23-2005).]

#379865 - 04/24/05 01:46 AM Re: numb pick hand  
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Hi, James! Another possibility is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which can make your fingers numb.

If carpal tunnel syndrome or other health issues aren't the problem, and if it isn't position, you may want to look into different kinds of picks.

I like to use a thumb pick. Some kinds of thumbpicks are hybrid flat/thumbpicks. Those can be used like a regular flatpick but since they are hooked on your thumb they won't fall off so easily. There are several varieties. Just google thumbpicks and you should be directed to several different sites.

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#379866 - 04/24/05 02:21 AM Re: numb pick hand  
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VDickinson Offline
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You might try changing the length of your strap to adjust the angle at which you're holding your arm to make it more comfortable.

I've never felt like I had to grip a pick overly hard. Maybe if you're using very heavy strings and very thick picks to ease up on one or the other and see how it goes.

Visit http://www.zeyerband.com or http://www.myspace.com/zeyerband for music downloads, lyrics, news, and show dates
#379867 - 04/25/05 01:00 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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Softkrome Offline
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I have found that Dunlop picks work very well as regards them slipping from you grip. They have raised up ridges which help you hold them. There must be others that offer the same resistance to slipping. With those you don't need to pinch you fingers too tightly. Frank V.

#379868 - 04/25/05 11:56 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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VDickinson Offline
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I think there's also some kind of goo you can buy to put on the picks to make them sticky. Hmmm... I can't remember what it's called, but it might be made by Gorilla, or sold under a name w/ "Gorilla" in it?

[This message has been edited by VDickinson (edited 04-25-2005).]

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#379869 - 04/26/05 07:51 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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Joy Boy Offline
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Gorilla Snot

The biggest problem with Gorilla Snot, besides the name, is that it really limits how you can hold the pick. You can't easily change your grip to get different sounds.
I'm a flatpicker, and I tend to use more pick when I'm soloing than when I'm playing rhythm. It's easier to crosspick with a little more pick, for example. Electric players do things like pinch harmonics that I think would be pretty tough if your pick were glued to your fingers in a strumming stance.

I have a hard time with thumbpicks -- even the "flatpick" kind -- for the same reason, unless, of course it's for fingerpicking.

It's a pain at first, but get your guitar set up right and learn good techniques. Do the work, get the rewards.

#379870 - 04/27/05 07:28 AM Re: numb pick hand  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Sounds like your over gripping the pick.

Check out http://www.killerguitarlessons.com


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#379871 - 04/28/05 10:28 AM Re: numb pick hand  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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What's the lower bout edge of the guitar where you rest your arm like? If it's a sharp edge, that could be a culprit as well. You'll notice on banjos, they have an armrest added to prevent this numbness when playing. Some third-party companies make an add-on arm rest that may help, but before you go for this option, see if this helps: roll a towel and drape it over the edge of the guitar adding a cushion on the edge where you rest your arm. This doesn't look cool, so you might only want to do it when you practice. See if the cushion helps keep your picking hand from going numb. If so, you might want to consider either an added armrest, or keeping the uncool looking towel.

Tom Tracy

#379872 - 04/30/05 12:21 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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Sharpe Lurker Offline
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I have a problem with my pick hand going numb while I'm playing.Does anyone have any tips on which kind of picks are easier to hold or require less grip?
thanks, James

The problem can be multi-dimensional.

Case in point.. back in 2001 I was involved in a serious car crash.. [some crazy driver pulled out onto the highway crosswise in front of me and stopped of all things.. (he was cited for failure to yeild right of way)]

My right hand was gripping the steering wheel so hard that when I "T-Boned" the other vehicle... the steering wheel ring bent forward several inches from the impact.

Within a few weeks my right hand would go extremely numb [so suddenly] from playing guitar, using a computer mouse, shifting manual transmissions, or even steering with my right hand.

I had a good three years of my right hand going numb before it stopped as suddenly as it had started.

whole change of thought

If you ever check out long time guitar players.. [those guitar extrememists who have been picking and playing for decades]... look at how muscular their finger knuckles and forearms have become. Serious playing requires lots of energy with sustained cordination over hours at a time.

You may not have put in enough hours playing guitar yet... or it could be a pinched nerve syndrome or some other physical ailment that is numbing your hand.

Hope this info helps somehow. S.L.

"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"

"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"
#379873 - 04/30/05 12:40 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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Lafe Offline
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Numbness is not a symptom to be taken lightly. Many musicians have been laid up for extended periods due to hand numbness. Many have only been able to return to playing after extensive physical therapy. It's actually very common.
Find out what it is. See a doctor, who will do a simple muscle check and a blood test.

"No one's ever caught a cold after death."

#379874 - 05/11/05 03:34 PM Re: numb pick hand  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
About 13 years ago, my hands went numb – both of them.

I went to a chiropractor and the numbness went away. We assumed it was a pinched nerve.

A couple of years later, a few other things happened (most notably: double-vision) and, in the end, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

I'm on medication that is keeping it in-check and have been playing guitar steadily ever since.

Still... it IS nothing you want to mess with, and if you find it happening at other times, as well, I suggest that you get to a good doctor/neurologist to make sure.

If it is something serious, it's best to get a good jump on it. You'll be better off in the long-run.

Good luck.

Hop On Pop, the band

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