Cramping problems. Solution?

Frosticles

Silver Member
Hi all, Have been suffering from cramping of my right hand (Especially the thumb) during the first two or 3 songs of our set. Have been doing lots of warm up exercises before we play which I usually start a couple of hours before. Finger stretches etc. I am also beginning to cramp up in my forearm as well.
I'm 52 now & still playing 100mph hardcore Punk. I need to do something to stop this issue.
Anyone else have this happening & have you found any solution to it?

Many thanks in advance, Kevin.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Frosticies I had the same issue for about two or three years-I think longer. I think it initially got aggravated moving stacking stones and then drumming finished it off. It did mysteriously just disappear within last couple years. Both my thumbs would kill me all the time-I couldn't open a jar. Probably why my technique is so bad (gosh I've forgotten about it but I remember being called on technique and mentioning the issues on here it seems now I think about it-getting older sucks memory wise). I naturally adapted so my grip shifted and got funky during that period-like French grip would kill me-I couldn't do it long. Man how quickly you forget pain-we should be thankful women would only have one child otherwise lol. I babied it and adapted. Because I could barely hold my sticks at it's worse I bought those rubber coated sticks because they kept flying outta my hands- I thought I'd put out an eye. My thumbs don't hurt at all now but my hand strength is nothing like it use to be (strong constant gripping they fatigue quickly). I guess aging is inevitable hopefully we will all get to experience it.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Hi Kevin

Could be a few things but try the easy fix first.

Keep yourself well hydrated (Not beer!) and keep your potassium levels up. Sounds silly but eat a banana before you go on.

Stay fast and loose too!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
As mentioned, hydration, hydration and hydration

Beer, alcohol, coffee, tea, soda are ll beverages that will actually dehydrate you. So beware of drinking things you think will help that actually go against what you're trying to do.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Our bodies change as we get older, so it's safe to assume that our hands do too.

Have you considered trying a slightly thicker stick?
 

Matty D

Junior Member
It's not entirely clear from the original post - does the cramping go away after those first few songs, or are you screwed once it starts?
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Stay well hydrated & eat a couple of bananas before we play.
After the first couple of songs it tends to ease.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I just had a thread here where I complained of some pretty bad hand problems. The most helpful thing I did besides the common sense stuff everyone has mentioned, is to examine and work on your grip.

I started playing some fast ska-punk a few years ago, and at 46 I'm not far behind you. I worked on changing grip and stick angle to help with that, and then recently changed up my grip again to deal with overgrip and hand fatigue.

Even if you don't 100% change your grip, it's worth looking at your hands and what they do, and instead of saying "I'm self-taught and this is just how I grip", take steps to continue to learn. Self-taught should not mean your learning ended.
 

MrDownchild

Junior Member
Could be adrenaline or nerves? I say this from personal experience. As many shows as I've played, the first 2-3 can be tough now and then. Water/Banana does help, but never really fixes it completely. These may be useless if this isnt the case for you but things that help:

-Sound check to a slow groove
-Open with something more mid/slower tempo
-Go to a thicker stick (i now play .590's...dont have to grip as hard) for the first few
-Tough one, but after first song, try to not blast right into second....give yourself a breather with some deep breaths

Apologies if this is way off the mark....the more i play out, the less these are ever needed, but if I do have the issue, they tend to help a little.

Steve
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Could be adrenaline or nerves? I say this from personal experience. As many shows as I've played, the first 2-3 can be tough now and then. Water/Banana does help, but never really fixes it completely. These may be useless if this isnt the case for you but things that help:

-Sound check to a slow groove
-Open with something more mid/slower tempo
-Go to a thicker stick (i now play .590's...dont have to grip as hard) for the first few
-Tough one, but after first song, try to not blast right into second....give yourself a breather with some deep breaths

Apologies if this is way off the mark....the more i play out, the less these are ever needed, but if I do have the issue, they tend to help a little.

Steve

Certainly not nerves as have played 1000's of gigs over 35 years :) We don't always get a sound check unfortunately. Quite often it is just a quick line check before we play which is not ideal. The song we open with is also an absolute killer & one of the fastest songs we play. Our guitarist was also complaining of cramping this Sunday so a change is on the cards :) The sticks I am using are custom made 5B's & I also use elastic bands to secure them to my index finger which enables me to hold them looser. (A wonderful little hack). Second song is still tough but nowhere near as horrible as the first.
I have also just bought a finger exerciser which I am hoping will help.

Pics of my grip etc.


Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
 
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