#1
I recently picked up my guitar again to start playing jazz. While fingering chords (generally with barre chords), the muscle at the base of my thumb going into my palm starts to hurt a lot. I know I'm holding something wrong.

Any suggestions would be appreciated

Danny
#2
seems like youre applying too much pressure on the neck when fretting your chords. this could be due to high action (takes more to press down the strings) or youre thumb is in the wrong position (it should be relaxed at about a 45 degree angle at the back of the neck.)
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#4
I have very low action, and I have my thumb pressed against the middle of the back of the neck with the thumb straight out.
#5
You must be doing something wrong with that thumb. It might be worth giving us a picture to work from.

It's a general rule that you should never apply more pressure than necessary.
#6
Quote by dannyinternetz
I have very low action, and I have my thumb pressed against the middle of the back of the neck with the thumb straight out.


The bold part is wrong, you shouldn't be pressing your thumb against the neck. It should just be supporting the action of your fingers- which shouldn't be using so much pressure anyway.
#8
I experience this all the time playing certain songs, because I don't use the right hand placement... but I'm not going to change it simply because it's natural to me.

Simple solution: Take 25 lbs dumbbells and hold them at your side like you're carrying 2 suitcases... now hold them there for as long as you possibly can, do this at least every day and eventually the pain will disappear and you'll also gain playing stamina.
#9
Quote by DragTheWaters11
I experience this all the time playing certain songs, because I don't use the right hand placement... but I'm not going to change it simply because it's natural to me.

Simple solution: Take 25 lbs dumbbells and hold them at your side like you're carrying 2 suitcases... now hold them there for as long as you possibly can, do this at least every day and eventually the pain will disappear and you'll also gain playing stamina.


Hmmm thats interesting. What you're doing here is exercising the opposite muscles though, not actually correcting the technique.
#10
You are pressing against the neck too much with your thumb. This is easy to do when you are playing something unfamiliar or hard, or if generally don't have enough strength and flexibility in your fretting hand for what you are playing. THe result is that your thumb gets dragged around as you change positions, which isn't too good for it. i.e. you have "grip of death syndrome".
Take things slow, and learn to play with you thumb just lightly touching the back of the neck. You'll be amazed at how free you are moving around the neck.
Short term, give it a little rest to allow your thumb to heal. If the rest doesn't do it, go see a doctor to make sure you haven't damaged it.
While playing always take breaks (around 10 mins for every 30 mins of playing). This is especially important given that you won't transition from the grip of death to light, perfect technique overnight. Always stretch before playing and massage the muscles in your hand, arm and shoulders, and after that warm up slowly. Stretch for shorter periods while you are playing too.