Hand and Wrist Pain
Learning To Play Guitar
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To find that you have some hand and wrist pain learning to
play guitar should not be allowed to either dampen your enthusiasm or still worse, put you off all together.
Remember that whilst for you as a whole person learning to play guitar is a relaxation, for your fingers, hands,
arms and shoulders it is akin to taking up a new and vigorous sport!
It is a bit of a cliché to say that you shouldn’t try to run
before you can walk but to reduce the symptoms of and any damage caused by the hand and wrist pain learning to play
guitar a little forethought and preparation is advisable.
Taking part in any sport requires of you that you be as fit
and alert as you can be and that you are relaxed and in the right frame of mind.
Taking that position foreword then and applying it to your
guitar lessons and practice it would be good to have some routine in place that will optimise the effectiveness of
the session and reduce the incidence of hand and wrist pain learning to play guitar.
Any exercise, but most effectively a walk before picking up
the guitar is both good for the circulation and excellent in clearing and sharpening up the mind. We are not
talking vigorous exercise but movement and fresh air is a better tonic than anything taken from a packet or
Now physically and mentally prepared it is important to try
and have a clear and tidy space in which to take your lessons. The temperature should be comfortable. Your stool or
chair should be comfortable and you need to be comfortable in yourself. Your head should be clear. You should feel
stress free and relaxed after all you are going to enjoy this.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing that allows plenty of
freedom of movement. Tight clothing can restrict blood flow particularly to the arms and hands. Ideally you should
avoid wearing a watch, particularly on your fretting wrist.
A lot is talked about stretching and warming up routines and
I have covered some of these in another article, sore guitar fingers! Suffice it to say that ahead of picking up the
guitar some stretching apart of the fingers and perhaps a little grip strengthening with a soft ball or the like
is enough. The best way of warming up, much as you might jog a while before you start sprinting, is to just
quietly and slowly strum a few chords or play some gentle guitar songs to loosen up.
Now you are using and working muscles that have previously
not had to adopt the positions or been subject to the stretching that you now ask of them. Is it surprising then
that at first they react by giving a degree of hand and wrist pain learning to play guitar?
With your shoulder and arm raised supporting the neck of the
guitar the muscles in the arm are held in unnatural positions for a prolonged period of time. The blood flow to the
hands is reduced because your hands are normally held down not up. Reduction of blood flow often causes pins and
needles and will promote aching in the arm and hand.
Importantly in avoiding hand and wrist pain learning to play
guitar, do keep practice sessions short. Put the guitar down and walk around periodically. Stretchy your hands
rotate your arms and wrists and grab a coffee. This is a learning curve for you, for your arms, your wrists, your
hands and your fingers. Practice a little but practice often. Three twenty minute sessions will deliver a greater
value than one continuous hour. That is especially so in the beginning of your guitar playing
The most important thing of all is – Don’t give up!! It will
get better and the pain will go away as you practice more and more. But take it easy and take it one step at a
Following a really professional course of instruction such
as that produced by Legacy Learning Systems and discussed in our Learn & Master Guitar review will benefit
anyone worried about hand and wrist pain learning to play guitar. The help and advice given by the award winning
guitar teacher Steve Krenz who wrote and hosted the course is invaluable for anyone at any level wishing to
learn from scratch or improve their existing guitar skills. Find out more about Steve Krenz at our Steve Krenz review page.