Hand Cramps


#1

After months of dealing with cramps every time I picked up my mando, and after trying every left hand position adjustment I could think of, I finally decided my problem must be at least partially the result of my setup.

Even though the bridge was adjusted all the way down, the action still seemed too high, so I took it off and sanded it down last night, then adjusted the truss rod, and I’m amazed at the difference. The action can be set really low on a mando! My hand doesn’t get nearly so fatigued, now.

The adjustments did change the tone a little, but it’s a trade off I can live with. Should have done this months ago.


#2

That’s good to hear. I started playing a little mando lately, and if I am doing a G shaped chop much, I don’t last long. My action is already pretty low, but I might see if I can get it down a bit more.


#3

ya, mandolin tension is very tight. one thing to consider is changing to low guage strings, what guage do you currently have?

my first mandolin was heavy guage, try forming chords on that puppy, that built up my finger muscles so strong that i Began pulling trucks with my pinky :slight_smile:


#4

— Begin quote from “brenton”

ya, mandolin tension is very tight. one thing to consider is changing to low guage strings, what guage do you currently have?

— End quote

I’ve got Elixir mediums (0.11-0.40) on it right, now. You are right about mandolin string tension. The action on my mandolin didn’t seem that high when compared to a guitar, but it sure required a lot of pressure to fret it. It takes a lot less effort now, so I’m hopeful that in additon to playing without pain, I might gain some speed.


#5

ya, the mando will always be harder than guitar, but just starting out, i would suggest lights on your next restring, may be a bit easier for you until you build up. the Mando will chew your finger tips to pieces too.

i have been playing for 4,5 years now and was in same boat, with heavy strings on to p of it.

also, look into a simple racquetball or one of them tension grippers, it will build up your finger muscles. works great for bar chord strength too.


#6

I believe I will try a light set next time. Thanks.