Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#1
I notice that my fretting hand is bent too much, but im finding it hard to find a position that allows me to keep it straight. Since I play a lot of metal Im fretting notes on like lower strings all the time and even with leads when im using the lower frets my wrist really is bent. Heres a few pics showing what i mean:

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001223_zpsbff24095.jpg
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001251_zpsa0e7d5d4.jpg
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001334_zpsf8b69d3f.jpg
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001352_zpsd3630de9.jpg
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001451_zps279d60ea.jpg
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001433_zps72db4b57.jpg
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130108_001426_zpsd0190e49.jpg

These are all shots of my hand when around the 6th string and stretching my fingers. I need to fix this. My wrist has been getting sore after i play for a couple of hours and im not entirely sure if its all this or just because I havent practiced for 4 months before starting up again last month. I had an injury before a year ago and couldnt play for 2 weeks because my arm got too sore. But then after that I learned a whole set of stretchs and had been ok until i stopped playing. But now im back at it again and although Im stretching all the time I still get sore. I need help but I dont know what or how to change it.
sonny bb
UG's New-ish Guy
Join date: Apr 2007
2,041 IQ
#2
It seems to me that the angle that your arm is at may be the cause. It's putting too much stress on your wrist which will lead to discomfort. It only takes about 11lbs of pressure to break a wrist, so while it's safe from that, that should be thought about when thinking about how to protect such a delicate body part. I'd work on the position the guitar is in. Bring it a bit closer to your body so you don't have to reach so far.
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Last edited by sonny bb at Jan 8, 2013,
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#3
Quote by sonny bb
It seems to me that the angle that your arm is at may be the cause. It's putting too much stress on your wrist which will lead to discomfort. It only takes about 11lbs of pressure to break a wrist, so while it's safe from that, that should be thought about when thinking about how to protect such a delicate body part. I'd work on the position the guitar is in. Bring it a bit closer to your body so you don't have to reach so far.

Ok, now how should my arm be positioned do you think? And when playing on the top strings is it really possible for your wrist to be completely straight? And if not how bent can they be? Also, how should the thumb be positioned? I dont want to develop tendonitis or CTS or anything so please tell me what to do to prevent all that.
sonny bb
UG's New-ish Guy
Join date: Apr 2007
2,041 IQ
#4
Well, everyone is different, so what might cause tendonitis in me, might not in you, you see? But no, it wont be completely straight, but if you raise the strap higher, angle the guitar in classical posture (between your legs with the fret board angled more upward), bring it closer to your torso/chest and when sitting, sit up straight up, that should help with discomfort. I personally, have a bad left wrist, and all of those things help it from becoming an issue.
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Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#5
Well I play V-shaped guitars so its already in the classical position, I guess I should work on holding it closer. Those shots also required me to move around a bit so im not so sure if what i was displaying was entirely accurate. Does anyone know of maybe a visual tutorial?
AnthonyatSNB
UG Newbie
Join date: Dec 2012
11 IQ
#7
I agree with Templar0220's bump to the classic position.

Here is a link to a pretty comprehensive tutorial on proper position:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOuyAwL3rqM

And here is the link to the overall search that lead me to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/results?hl=en&q=proper+playing+position+guitar+reduce+soreness&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1357316858,d.b2U&biw=1600&bih=805&wrapid=tlif135767824656210&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=w1

I'd say give these a look; I'm like you and visual goes a lot farther for me than raw explaination as well!
Anthony at Guitar Strings and Beyond
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#8
Quote by AnthonyatSNB
I agree with Templar0220's bump to the classic position.

Here is a link to a pretty comprehensive tutorial on proper position:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOuyAwL3rqM

And here is the link to the overall search that lead me to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/results?hl=en&q=proper+playing+position+guitar+reduce+soreness&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1357316858,d.b2U&biw=1600&bih=805&wrapid=tlif135767824656210&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=w1

I'd say give these a look; I'm like you and visual goes a lot farther for me than raw explaination as well!


Thank you!
AnthonyatSNB
UG Newbie
Join date: Dec 2012
11 IQ
#9
You're welcome! Let us know how it goes
Anthony at Guitar Strings and Beyond
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#10
Well Im trying it and Im still not entirely sure of where to place my thumb now. When playing stuff on the 6th string that requires a good amount of stretching (like playing 1-3-5) it kind of requires me to bend my wrist in order to make that stretch. Im so super paranoid now about the straightness of my wrist lol. Im not sure if Im ever doing it wrong or not.
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#11
Now im actually not sure if my wrists and hands were sore simply because i havent played in a while and have now been playing somewhat a lot more. I think I might just be paranoid that Im just bending my wrist too much?
Freepower
v It's Back! :D
Join date: Feb 2004
3,277 IQ
#12
^ you definitely want your wrist at least fairly straight, it's just a good idea. That said, it can be difficult to get a straight wrist on lower frets and lower strings. I'd suggest tilting the guitar up and away from you a little, and raising it up a bit. This stuff is kinda hard to work with online, you can always find a good local teacher to help.
osiris8
Submit Shark
Join date: Aug 2007
32 IQ
#13
I find that when I play stuff that my fingers are to weak for I adjust the hand (into a worse position) to compensate. So some finger workout maybe?
AnthonyatSNB
UG Newbie
Join date: Dec 2012
11 IQ
#14
I think this thread has some useful information you can use:

http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22899

I also found this video useful way back when. It reminded me to focus on the fact that I am playing with my fingers and they are doing all the work. I know how tremendously obvious that sounds, but it's one thing to know it and another to consciously apply that. It really made a difference in how I thought to use my hand; helped my relax my position alot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3wc9lqGETI
Anthony at Guitar Strings and Beyond
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#15
Well so far I can say my only hold up still is playing on the lower strings, of course the hardest being the 6th especially at the lower frets. (pics below) Also say im playing C major position starting on the 6th string - on the two lowest strings where you have the whole step stretchs its hard and I have to bend me wrist but for the rest of the strings I can keep my wrist pretty straight. Im thinking maybe I need to move my thumb up? But even then with the stretches I cant really keep it straight or have much access this way. Pics:

Keeping my wrist straight and adjusting thumb:
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130109_195922_zps807004e0.jpg

Me trying to keep my wrist straight in C major scale position:
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130109_195840_zps20e64bf6.jpg

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130109_195642_zpsfdeab3e4.jpg

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130109_195851_zpse0a2bb4f.jpg

Me trying to keep my wrist straight in F major scale on 6th string:
http://s1303.beta.photobucket.com/user/ForgottenPast27/media/IMG_20130109_195945_zps1ab43ed0.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130109_195955_zps5a3fd586.jpg

Sorry if these pictures arent better, its hard taking pictures of yourself holding a guitar with your phone.
LordPino
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2008
1,125 IQ
#16
^In these pictures, it already looks like your arm is a lot more relaxed. Keep messing around with your elbow and wrist position until you find the most comfortable position for you.

I also recommend doing a whole bunch of chromatic exercises as a warm-up. By playing each possible fingering combination, you really build up that finger independence. In my experience, doing simple chromatic alternate picking / legato exercises for 15 minutes a day for a week or two is usually enough to solve these kinds of problems.

After nearly six years, my technique is still constantly developing and improving. Try to play things whilst watching yourself in the mirror, so you can easily spot things that look.. tense or uncomfortable. Warm up, don't overdo it and you'll be fine.
Current gear:
Carvin CT6M
TC Electronics Dark Matter distortion
Harley Benton 2x12, with Celestion V30s
Laney Ironheart 60w tube amp
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#17
Quote by LordPino
^In these pictures, it already looks like your arm is a lot more relaxed. Keep messing around with your elbow and wrist position until you find the most comfortable position for you.

I also recommend doing a whole bunch of chromatic exercises as a warm-up. By playing each possible fingering combination, you really build up that finger independence. In my experience, doing simple chromatic alternate picking / legato exercises for 15 minutes a day for a week or two is usually enough to solve these kinds of problems.

After nearly six years, my technique is still constantly developing and improving. Try to play things whilst watching yourself in the mirror, so you can easily spot things that look.. tense or uncomfortable. Warm up, don't overdo it and you'll be fine.


Thank you, I actually do those chromatic excercises as well. Im just so worried about developing a problem in the future that could have been prevented. Ive actually been playing guitar on and off for over 6 years now and throughout this time I finally am figuring out flaws in my technique that never allowed me to progress. I fixed my picking hand for the most part (finally) now I just want to make sure i dont get CTS or tendonitis. Could these problems develop without you even knowing until its too late?
Last edited by Templar0220 at Jan 10, 2013,
AnthonyatSNB
UG Newbie
Join date: Dec 2012
11 IQ
#19
All great advice If I remember correctly holding your elbow at your side will help you find a natural, relaxed position as well. This advice is kind of similar to the advice I gave earlier with your fingers. Adust the guitar to your position, not your position to the guitar.
Anthony at Guitar Strings and Beyond
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#20
Well I do get a little sore around the fretting hang at times, even the muscle between the thumb and index gets painful playing through certains of a song I've been practicing. My wrist does get sore over time as well but I'm not sure if this is from bad posture or like I said just from playing a lot after not playing for months.
I will let you all know how this goes if there's any update. Thanks for all the effort and help guys, and thanks again Freepower, you've always been great help over the years.
InfiniStudent
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2008
11 IQ
#21
I would highly recommend paying $30-40 for a lesson and just fixing that right now.
A live instructor can move your strap, move your arms, and tune your body in minutes.
Then you can stop worrying about it (obviously it keeps on nagging you) and free your mind/energy to focus on more important things.
Your foundation is with you for life and affects everything you do. It's always better to fix it sooner rather than later.

Happy Jammin!
Freepower
v It's Back! :D
Join date: Feb 2004
3,277 IQ
#22
Quote by Templar0220
Well I do get a little sore around the fretting hang at times, even the muscle between the thumb and index gets painful playing through certains of a song I've been practicing. My wrist does get sore over time as well but I'm not sure if this is from bad posture or like I said just from playing a lot after not playing for months.
I will let you all know how this goes if there's any update. Thanks for all the effort and help guys, and thanks again Freepower, you've always been great help over the years.


Thanks man, best of luck!

I'm sorry if I've been a bit AWOL recently, very busy and only really have time to clean out ad threads...
Templar0220
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
1,772 IQ
#23
I bought a wrist stabilizer to keep my fretting wrist straight while playing and believe it or not it seems to be helping a lot training my wrist to stay straight. So ill see how that goes