#1
I recently started getting serious about playing guitar. So I'm learning to play the rhythm to Johnny B. Goode, which is just blues shuffle power chords, although they're picked really fast.

I can only maintain the picking speed until about the second verse, where my left hand starts hurting. It's only when I play Johnny B. Goode, and only as I'm playing. When I stop, the pain stops pretty quickly. Is it hurting from bad technique? I ask because when I play, my wrist seems to be jutting out at a pretty extreme angle.



Or might it be because I'm tensing up from picking fatigue (which I believe would fix itself once I build up my stamina)?
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#3
hmm... I feel like you should lift your wrist a bit so it's less bent, move the guitar further away from you, or slightly raise the neck up when you play. Pretty much just try doing anything that doesn't make your hands feel awkward.
#4
your wrist looks like it's in the correct position.
try raising of the neck of your guitar.
or raise up the whole guitar.
but yeee.....there usually is some discomfort when u begin playing guitar standing up.
sooo....if the pain is only very small...it could be that your muscles aren't used to being used in that way, and the only way to get rid of that is to practice a little bit each day.
#5
It's probably nothing all that bad, my hand usually starts to hurt after playing just power chords for a while too. It'll go away eventually.
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#6
bring your elbow out a little bit so your hand isn't as angled at the wrist..

like basically swing it out away from the side of your body.... might help
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#7
oh yeah i got over wrist pain. i mainly play lead, and when i play a lot of bar chords i get pain in my left thumb. is this the same case???
#8
Lay the guitar more flat against your body, don't look at the fretboard, use the side dots. This allows less of an angle in your wrist.
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#9
try playing in the classical position for a while and how tense is your thumb on the back of your neck?
#10
Build those fapping muscles more


also try the classical position, i have this problem as well since having a metal plate in my wirst sometimes my wrist will just.... "jam up" and i can't do anything with it, don't really get it in classical position tho
#11
Quote by bean-o
Lay the guitar more flat against your body, don't look at the fretboard, use the side dots. This allows less of an angle in your wrist.



Definitely this.

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#12
Position your guitar so that your first knuckle and your elbow are aligned. having your wrist bent like that will really f*ck it up, and could cause some permanent damage.
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#13
Firstly, wrist pains can come from two things - incorrect positioning (both hand and the guitar) and an inappropriate neck. It looks like you might be suffering from both.

Secondly, this is a serious issue and you should most definitely not just ''play through it'' as some people say. I know people who have tried doing so and ended up with severe RSI, literally crippling their hands permanently.


It looks like your hand is at quite a severe angle. The difference between the underside of your arm and the back of your wrist shouldn't be so extreme - try and keep your wrist more in-line with the rest of your arm, especially towards the lower frets. It's normal and perfectly fine to bend your wrist a little more towards the higher frets, but even then you shouldn't exceed how your hand is in that image. At all times, you should be in a position where your thumb can comfortably reach over and mute the low E string; if your hand is at such an angle that this can't be done, you could be causing yourself problems. There's a myth that the tip of your thumb should be in the middle of the neck but this is a recipe for pain, strain and problems.
Then there's the guitar's height and angle. You don't need it hung right up in your armpits, but having it down by your knees isn't advised either if you ever intend to be playing past fret #4. For most people, around stomach height is right, with the guitar at around a 20-30%% angle depending on your playing style.

The second aspect is the neck size. Your guitar's neck should be slim enough that it doesn't hinder your playing but thick enough that it supports your hand fully. A neck that's too thick will of course stop you from being able to play properly - though a neck that's too thin puts unnecessary and plain dangerous excess strain on your hand and wrist and can lead to permanent injury if played for a prolonged period of time. It's important to get the balance right. Judging by your picture, your neck looks like it's very thin in comparison to your relatively larger hands.
Start trying other necks to see what feels best for you - and remember, playability is good, but your health is more important. If you can't decide on what neck is best, it's better to go with what's simply most comfortable rather than what you think might let you play slightly faster. Try a typical modern Fender neck or a modern Gibson 60's neck first for a modern medium-slim neck, then work from there; if you feel that inhibits you and comfort wasn't a problem, try going slimmer to something like a Schecter or ESP neck. If the Fender/60's Gibson was uncomfortable for you, consider a thicker neck like a modern Gibson 50's neck. Keep working towards thinner/thicker necks (or just try everything all at once) until you find the neck that is right for you - and remember, nobody else can tell you what the ''best'' neck is. A Wizard neck is not necessarily any 'faster' for you. A vintage Gibson neck is not necessarily the most comfortable for you. You need to find the right balance that suits your hand.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Jul 13, 2009,
#14
if you feel pain when playing STOP

your not warming up properly....takes me about 30-45 minutes to do an effective warmup.

you seem to be pushing the guitar away from you........try playing in the classical position.
#15
From that picture it really looks like most of the problem is from the angle of the guitar with it pointing far too much towards the ceiling.
#16
Firstly, wrist pains can come from two things - incorrect positioning (both hand and the guitar) and an inappropriate neck. It looks like you might be suffering from both.

Secondly, this is a serious issue and you should most definitely not just ''play through it'' as some people say. I know people who have tried doing so and ended up with severe RSI, literally crippling their hands permanently.


It looks like your hand is at quite a severe angle. The difference between the underside of your arm and the back of your wrist shouldn't be so extreme - try and keep your wrist more in-line with the rest of your arm, especially towards the lower frets. It's normal and perfectly fine to bend your wrist a little more towards the higher frets, but even then you shouldn't exceed how your hand is in that image. At all times, you should be in a position where your thumb can comfortably reach over and mute the low E string; if your hand is at such an angle that this can't be done, you could be causing yourself problems. There's a myth that the tip of your thumb should be in the middle of the neck but this is a recipe for pain, strain and problems.


So where should the thumb be? And my wrist angle is half of his, should I be okay?
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#17
Quote by Vlasco
From that picture it really looks like most of the problem is from the angle of the guitar with it pointing far too much towards the ceiling.


aslong as the strings are parallel to the TS`s body then he`ll be fine, but like i said play int the classical position you`ll find it easier.
#18
Quote by ibanezgod1973
aslong as the strings are parallel to the TS`s body then he`ll be fine, but like i said play int the classical position you`ll find it easier.


that and move the elbow away from the body. i was playing earlier and once i moved my elbow away from the side of my body the wrist angle changed to something a bit less acute.
#19
i'm starting ot have the same problem like this where when i do my power chords my hand looks like the OPs

I can't seem to get my wrist more straight :\
#20
So to summarize:

Move elbow away from body
Play in the classical position (but what about standing?)
Try to straighten my wrist

And to MrFlibble: if I fix my wrist angle and it stops hurting, does that mean I'm okay with the neck?

relatively larger hands
I always thought I had small hands. >_>

Also, to Ibanezgod, I warm up with chromatic patterns. I play it on each string, then move up a fret and play it again, etc. all the way to the 9th fret. (four different patterns, each one gets the same treatment ) Shouldn't that be enough of a warm up?
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Last edited by Sax2 at Jul 13, 2009,
#21
Quote by Sax2
So to summarize:


And to MrFlibble: if I fix my wrist angle and it stops hurting, does that mean I'm okay with the neck?

I always thought I had small hands. >_>


Probably but it would still be healthier to use a thicker neck. Or at least position your thumb more open.
#22
Quote by Sax2
So to summarize:

Move elbow away from body
Play in the classical position (but what about standing?)
Try to straighten my wrist

And to MrFlibble: if I fix my wrist angle and it stops hurting, does that mean I'm okay with the neck?

I always thought I had small hands. >_>

Also, to Ibanezgod, I warm up with chromatic patterns. I play it on each string, then move up a fret and play it again, etc. all the way to the 9th fret. (four different patterns, each one gets the same treatment ) Shouldn't that be enough of a warm up?


if you start in the classical position and stand up your guitar is in the correct playing position.

no that is most certainly nowhere near enough

warm up technique starts before you pickup the guitar if i get the time i`ll do a vid 1 day, start by placing your left hand on top of your right and gently stretch the ligaments,muscles and tendons of the wrist by applying a even pressure in both directions and repeat for the other hand, next stretch your forearm muscles, then your shoulder then your neck then your back.

now pickup the guitar and do some simple blues licks and major open chord progressions to start
now you can go fo your chronomatic legato runs making a point of stretching the fingers, next try some diminshed chordal runs going through all the inversions.

that should get your left hand comfortable.....but what about the right hand well we`ve already done the stretches so when i`m doing the major open chord warmup i normally go through the inversions there too but i go through some finger picking and hybrid picking as well as just using a pick and chordal tapping.

like i said done properly this should take 30+ minutes but please don`t hurt yourself with the stretches.

EDIT:-and relax when your practicing all the above is warmup not practice
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Jul 13, 2009,
#23
Sounds thorough. I'll try that out, then.
...I like metal.
#24
Quote by Sax2
And to MrFlibble: if I fix my wrist angle and it stops hurting, does that mean I'm okay with the neck?
In theory, yes. Just make sure you don't end up ''fixing'' your wrist to be comfortable with your current neck, only to then find you can't play as well in the new position. As I said before, it's all about balance. Firstly make sure you are playing correctly, then look to a different type of neck. Just changing neck without changing how you play will rarely fix your problems, and neither will radically changing how you play but not changing the neck. Nine times out of ten, both things are related. A lot of people get into bad playing habits because they're playing on a neck that's too thick or too thin for their hands, or similarly people pick inappropriate necks because they have gotten used to playing in a bad way.
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