Wrist Pain


navyguy778
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Joined: 03/22/19
Posts: 2
navyguy778
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Joined: 03/22/19
Posts: 2
04/05/2019 9:32 pm

Hello. I'm 54 and brand new to playing acoustic guitar. I'm barely into the beginners intro courses and I find that it's really hard on my left wrist. I am 6'5" with large hands and fat fingers. I have read everywhere to expect sore fingers as a beginner but not wrist issues. I guess I should clarify that my wrist doesn't actually hurt it just gets very tired. Like I'm doing wrist curls with a weight. Is this normal for an older beginner or am I doing something wrong?


# 1
Etoh
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Joined: 05/23/18
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Etoh
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04/24/2019 6:03 pm

Hi. It’s very difficult to say without seeing you play. I’m 42 and I’ve picked up the guitar again in the last 18 months. I dabbled in in my 20’s but only for two years and now starting again more seriously I realise how many bad habits I had from not learning properly initially.

In relation to your question the biggest technique I’ve had to relearn is to fret the guitar as much as possible with a straight wrist rather than having your hand bend up 90 degrees towards the low E string. Also, it could be that you’re unconsciously supporting the neck of the guitar with your left hand while playing.

As I say, it’s really hard to say what’s wrong without seeing you play but just do a YouTube search for something like ‘correct guitar posture / correct fretting technique’. There’s a wealth of info on there. Just be wary of taking YouTube advice from reputable sources.


# 2
manXcat
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Joined: 02/17/18
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manXcat
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04/25/2019 1:15 am
Originally Posted by: navyguy778

Is this normal for an older beginner or am I doing something wrong?

Entirely normal IME.

Obviously going to be exacerbated if your muscles are A. not used to exercising your left (?) wrist with the vigour you now are fretting, and B. suffer from any of the myriad of degenerative age related conditions about your wrist, arthritis, previous fractures or injury just general muscle loss of strength.

If it's not hurting, then it doesn't sound like you suffer from arthritis. Fatigue is just like will occur in any part of the body being used again which has been neglected for an aeon, especially with the intensity fretting requires.


# 3
LisaMcC
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Joined: 11/02/06
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LisaMcC
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04/27/2019 3:46 pm

Hi Navy Guy,

It is normal to experience muscle fatigue - it's like you've started a new mini-exercise program, using muscles in ways that may not have been done before.

But also, you want to investigate your technique and how your body feels, and experiment a little. Try and find the postion that requires the least effort (muscular effort) on your part, that also allows you to do the technique you are working on. How is the height of your chair? Are you using a strap? Does it change things if you play standing up?

Pro's make it "look so easy" because they have mastered how to keep their body as relaxed as possible while also playing the instrument in a very focussed and intentional way.

Don't overdo it. Massage the tired muscles and let them rest up in between practice sessions.

And have fun! - Lisa


Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

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# 4
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,677
William MG
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04/27/2019 6:24 pm

Hello

56 here. Started in Jan. Wrist, shoulder neck, elbow aches for me. Even back.

GL


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 5
manXcat
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manXcat
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04/27/2019 10:25 pm

Just an affirmation following up on Lisa's "don't overdo it" message and rest and massage recommendation navyguy778.

Really important but equally easy to neglect as a beginner because they're perceived as boring and not really seen as essential to the lesson/progress are [u]pre-playing stretches and warmup[/u]. Do them and over time you'll come to realise how important they are. Just like running, cycling, aerobics, squash, tenis et al, or any sport before a workout really. And of course, post playing attention to your hands, fingertips and nails as required. IMO&E they're even more important for those of us in or approaching our 'winter years'.

Hey I forget in my enthusiasm, ad hoc improptu sessions or just get lazy wth them occasionally, but I'm glad to say only occasionally. Try to make them a habit and it will pay dividends.


# 6

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