#1
Some time ago I watched Freepower's video about posture, and in playing guitar I did my best to keep my wrist straight as he said. Some things I found sore to play (especially bar chords) but everyone finds these hard, so I didn't worry too much about this. Then it got really very sore, and I had to stop playing.

After about a month of resting it (and still being in pain) I went to see a physio, who, it turns out also plays guitar, and knew exactly what I was talking about. He said there was a degree of flexion in the wrist needed for bar chords, and as he said it, he demonstrated, and the way he held his hand looked absolutely right. His wrist was flexed a little and twisted, and his fingers came up pretty straight. I'd been trying to do it with a straight wrist, fingers coming all skew-wiff, and the whole thing wasn't working.

What I didn't realise was that scarring on my wrist was making it difficult to flex and twist in just the right way. The scar tissue is fibrous and inflexible and I have now set about breaking that scarring down and trying to get some normal flexibility in that wrist.

But it also made me question what was in Freepower's video, so I just did some research on youtube, and yes, guitarists sometimes have wrists quite straight, but not always, and certainly not when playing bar chords. Freepower included.

I now think I understand what I need to do to get my body fit for playing guitar, and I think I understand where I went wrong before. But I just have this mental block - I'm putting such an effort into making my wrist flex, and it hurts so much and Freepower said not to do it. So I just thought I would check in here before I went too much further....
#2
Not gonna read all that...but.

Q. Does the wrist need to be straight?

A. No.

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Quote by stratdud39
Thank you for your words of wisdom.
#5
The inherent problem with listening to some person on a message board is that the he/she may not be correct in the "teachings" that they impart. Look at this whole stupid anchoring debate...my teacher slightly anchors two of his fingers and plays with ZERO tension...go YouTube "AJ Minette Guitar Tips" to see what I mean. On the flip side, if I anchor I experience fatigue and eventual pain...therefore, I don't anchor.

As you can see, the number one tip that you should take away from this forum is to "listen to your body". Does "x" technique feel comfortable? Does it allow you to play for extended periods of time without pain?

Don't listen to Freepower or any other important forum person just for the purpose of LISTENING to them. Try to understand what they are saying, and apply their knowledge to your playing with a tentative grain of salt. They aren't gods, they could be wrong about something in relation to how your body works.

That being said, I strongly advise you to make sure you are playing with no tension when employing a straight fretting hand wrist. A straight fretting hand wrist will allow you a greater range of movement across the fretboard.

Now, just take what I said with a grain of salt. I could be wrong with respect to your playing.
Quote by Junior#1
Gilbert mutes with both hands. Palm muting and left hand muting. As for anchoring, he doesn't. He doesn't need to. After all, he's the creator of life, the universe, and everything.
#6
Well, watching FP's lesson, what he says is to "be aware of your posture and make sure you're comfortable and loose when playing." He advises to keep your wrist relatively straight, and demonstrates that, but he also shows his own wrist bending to an extent (it's really rather impossible to not bend it at all if you're reaching for the bass strings especially on the high frets).

plainsight - I believe that is actually one of the things Freepower advises most really. He's said to me so many times to "experiment for yourself" applying principles and knowledge that you know. So yeah...
#7
Thanks. I do get the bit about applying common sense to everything I take in. I also get the bit about listening to my body - only problem is now it hurts no matter what I do. And I'd like to get back to playing

Quote by plainsight

That being said, I strongly advise you to make sure you are playing with no tension when employing a straight fretting hand wrist. A straight fretting hand wrist will allow you a greater range of movement across the fretboard.



That's how I play on the first 3 strings, say, an open D chord. To reach the other strings I'm having to work hard on bending a wrist that doesn't want to bend. And that's the bit that comes to other people naturally and easily. But I don't see there's any other option.
#8
First thing I'd say is, ask your physio what the best way of breaking down that scar tissue is. That's the root of your problem.

Secondly, it's not just the wrist that matters - it's also where the guitar is. From where I'm sitting with my strat-shaped electric guitar I can reach every string, every fret, with a "straight" wrist (and thumb opposite middle finger). You need to find the positions that work for you by taking a good base model and then adjusting it for your guitar and body.

I suppose now would be a good time to mention that when I say a straight wrist, the tendons that move your wrist have some "slack" to them. If you relax your hands and gently roll them around you can see that they have quite a large of movement without any actual effort being applied - as long as they stay within that range then you will probably be fine.

The issue is now that you have some scar tissue and presumably the range of comfortable motion has changed. I'd recommend you see your physio asap, because it sounds like they'll be able to help - a guitar playing physio is a rare treasure.

And you're doing the right thing by taking a break. I ran into problems years ago, took a break, fixed my playing and not a twinge of a problem since.

Don't listen to Freepower or any other important forum person just for the purpose of LISTENING to them. Try to understand what they are saying, and apply their knowledge to your playing with a tentative grain of salt.


Damn straight.
#10
If you're doing a diminished string skipping lick on the upper frets it's near impossible not to bend the wrist.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#13
Deep kick, if I'm ever tempted by a diminished string-skipping lick on the upper frets, I'll bear that in mind.

Freepower, my physio is a treasure, unfortunately he's also very expensive. I have been working hard on the scar, which is about as much fun as it sounds. And I have started to play again, only easy open chords, and only 5 minutes at a time. I've also started just barring the first 3 strings, but with my wrist flexed and either twisted (by the nut) or flexed-straight (higher up the board). It's nowhere near comfortable, but the whole thing isn't making things any worse.

This has got to be possible - and it's got to be easier than learning to play left-handed.