#1
Hey all, if this is in the wrong place, i do apologize. also if this question has been answered, i would love to be pointed in that direction. my question is somewhere in the middle, i just made a point to preface it with my certain situation.

To start: I have had pressure in my left hand for a couple days. the pain is not to the point where i feel the need to see a doctor/specialist/go to the hospital. it is enough for me to worry a lot about it, and enough to make a new thread on it here. the pain is in the knuckle specifically, but my joints in my fingers feel inflamed. normally i see this diagnosed as bad form, or poor practicing habits, etc.

here's the kicker: i have been playing/practicing guitar quite a decent amount for the past week or so. quite easily 8 hours a day, and in some cases (this past saturday, por example) i played close to 12 hours. Honestly it's probably more, i'm being conservative so people probably won't freak out and say "NO WAY SOMEONE COULD PLAY THAT MUCH". And a decent portion of that playing being in a live setting, so some hard and enthusiastic playing was certainly going on.

the question: is there a point where the pain in my left hand would come simply from over-use as opposed to bad form?
it seems plausible that the muscles in my hand just became weary, and that it's hand-fatigue? i don't know if this is the case though.

side note:
as far as my hands go, i've taken well enough care of them IMO. i alternatingly iced my hands, and then put warm, damp rags on them, then repeat. i didn't play a lot of guitar sunday, but i did play bass for about 3 hours. but post 2 o'clock i did not touch a stringed instrument. i've also not played today (monday) as well.

also any tips on perhaps stretching your hand before playing and heck, even hand maintenance would be welcomed by me.

EDIT:
TL;DR? i played a lot, my hands hurt. due to poor form? or am i just putting too much physical strain on my hands?
I'm just another musician waiting to be famous.

follow my twitter here
Please! listen to my music here
Last edited by blues_ at Dec 12, 2011,
#2
Sounds like its just some type of repetetive stress injury, not necessarily bad form, just overuse. i get pain sometimes in my middle knuckle on my left hands ring finger. I wouldnt worry to much mine simply comes and goes, if it starts hurting really bad i just stop playing that day and come back again the next day. If it gets extremely bad i would probably go see a doctor, he would be able to properly diagnose and help treat whatever your condition is.

There are hand stretches you can do, quite difficult to describe in a post but there is probably a youtube video floating around out there with the proper stretches in it.
your a wreck, an accident, forget the freak your just nature, keep the gun oiled and the temple clean, shit snort and blaspheme, let the heads cool and the engine run, because in the end everything we do is just everything we've done.
-corey taylor
#3
Jman, excellent advice. i didn't even think to check youtube for stretching videos. you think that'd be an obvious place to start.

for those who could potentially be interested in stretching, here was a decent enough video i found.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSrfB7JIzxY
I'm just another musician waiting to be famous.

follow my twitter here
Please! listen to my music here
#4
TL;DR? i played a lot, my hands hurt. due to poor form? or am i just putting too much physical strain on my hands?


Most likely both, especially if you've suddenly increased your practice time. Going from an hour a day to 8 would screw up anyones hands.

Remember your wrist should be as straight as possible, and your fingers should remain relaxed when unused. Practising bends and legato can be quite hard on the hands as well, be wary when doing lots of work on them.
#5
Oi Blue, props on pushing yourself to the limit, i also had a month not so long ago where i played 300 + hours.. yeah around 10 a day.. my average is sadly only 6... stupid uni and work getting in the way, nevertheless pain is a very personal thing and part of practicing that hard is to recognize your limits and get to know your body even better.

Joints are a delicate thing, i have hurt mine in the past, what did i do ? wrapped some tape around my fingers and kept playing.. wrong.. it shoulndt come to the point where your joints are suffering, the good thing about this is you will notice what kind of movementa are actually hurting and you will be able to correct them, pain is the best teacher right?

Little details about technique matter the most when going for 7 hours + someone playing for 2 hours a day will probably get away with pressing to hard or playing with too much pressure, the thing is we wont for long..
#6
@freepower
legato/bends are definitely when my fingers hurt the most. specifically my index finger, and especially if i am practicing vibrato. i don't kow if this is due to bad vibrato technique or just the pain already being there? i watched my playing in a mirror last night (only really practiced for an hour), and i was disconcerted about how my index finger looked when i slowed down my playing.

@slashiepie
i'm really lucky to be able to play as much as i do. i didn't go to school this semester (best decision of my life, not even kidding) and i have a fantastic job, and get paid well enough to work 20 hours a week and live on my own. my roomie is a phenomenal guitar player too, so i'm constantly surrounded by music. it doesn't even feel like a long time, it just happens that way. i don't have the internet or cable, and our DVD player remote is broken. what's there to do? Guitar, that's what.

i worked on pressing too hard last night, even before reading your reply. i didn't like the tone i was getting at one point due to lighter playing, i was sacrificing the sound for the speed. no bueno. so i slowed it back down, and worked on my economy of motion.

after less strenuous playing yesterday, my hand feels marginally better. still a little tender, but not as bad as before.
I'm just another musician waiting to be famous.

follow my twitter here
Please! listen to my music here
#7
Quote by blues_
i worked on pressing too hard last night, even before reading your reply. i didn't like the tone i was getting at one point due to lighter playing, i was sacrificing the sound for the speed. no bueno. so i slowed it back down, and worked on my economy of motion.


The tone shouldn't be too different unless you were fretting it so lightly it was buzzing. Chances are, you tried to relax your hands and ended up picking incredibly lightly with your right hand too. Used to happen to me all the time - if I tried to lighten my touch with my left hand, my picking would sound really weak. Just had to slow everything down a lot.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#8
Quote by blues_
@freepower
legato/bends are definitely when my fingers hurt the most. specifically my index finger, and especially if i am practicing vibrato. i don't kow if this is due to bad vibrato technique or just the pain already being there? i watched my playing in a mirror last night (only really practiced for an hour), and i was disconcerted about how my index finger looked when i slowed down my playing.

@slashiepie
i'm really lucky to be able to play as much as i do. i didn't go to school this semester (best decision of my life, not even kidding) and i have a fantastic job, and get paid well enough to work 20 hours a week and live on my own. my roomie is a phenomenal guitar player too, so i'm constantly surrounded by music. it doesn't even feel like a long time, it just happens that way. i don't have the internet or cable, and our DVD player remote is broken. what's there to do? Guitar, that's what.

i worked on pressing too hard last night, even before reading your reply. i didn't like the tone i was getting at one point due to lighter playing, i was sacrificing the sound for the speed. no bueno. so i slowed it back down, and worked on my economy of motion.

after less strenuous playing yesterday, my hand feels marginally better. still a little tender, but not as bad as before.


Man im really happy for you love hearing people enjoying life and music like that, im working to get to that same situation too.

Ice your joints, eat well, SLEEP enough (thats the best advice i can give anyone, heals your body, heals your mind, heals your soul, makes you smarter, makes you learn everything faster and better)

Keep loving what you do, and pay meticulous attention to the little details of technique, it is better to press too lightly at first and muff out the notes than to press so hard you sharpen them or hurt yourself.. pain on the joints is really serious and usually comes from such little details.

E.G last month i discovered i was hammering on with the pinky insanely hard.. in a way too perpendicular way.. so i worked the angle iced the joint, immobilized when i wasnt playing (only stoped using the pinky for one day) and it healed and hasnt hurt in days
It still looks exactly the same, but it feels totally different.. thats where knowing your body kicks in.

Observe and feel the perfect posture for each finger (i assume by your dedication that you already have great technique , if not another good advice i would give you is to fix the bad habits as soon as possible, nothing is sadder than having to stop playing guitar to undergo surgery or because of some lession). As for muscular pain, just shake it off and get enough protein. muscles are tough.

Best wishes for your journey
Last edited by Slashiepie at Dec 13, 2011,
#9
@blackened
yes!! that is EXACTLY what i was doing wrong. my left hand was trying to become more nimble, and i couldn't keep the same pressure on my right hand. that's going to become more of a focus now that i've mentally recognized it.

@slashiepie
absolutely, thanks for your advice! i genuinely appreciate everyone's feedback. and yes, getting a good night's sleep is something i should do more of.

a little rant:
one of my favorite things about playing guitar, as opposed to my university studies, was the amount of time i can practice. i was 2 semesters out from a BS in accounting (snoozefest and not interesting, i just happen to be really good at accounting). i just couldn't stand the glacial pace of my classes. i would go for 'x' hours a day for 4 days a week, study for maybe 2 hours a night. and. that's it. if i wanted to learn more, i could go to a library and read up on certain acct focuses, but i wouldn't be credited for knowing that information. the profs would never go teach at a faster pace, people were already having a hard enough time.
with music? gah. i can submerse myself in so much. different guitar techniques, different drumming styles, vocal warm-ups, songwriting, playing bass at local churches in my area, jamming with people i'm familiar with or 40 year old jazz scene guys that can just rip, by myself in my bedroom, you name it! it's beautiful. having a guitar in my hands let me be creative, expressive, and physically/mentally/spiritually challenged.

take that, higher education.

edit: that was FAR from a "little" rant.

thanks again y'all, this forum and it's community rocks!
I'm just another musician waiting to be famous.

follow my twitter here
Please! listen to my music here
#10
Quote by blues_
@blackened
yes!! that is EXACTLY what i was doing wrong. my left hand was trying to become more nimble, and i couldn't keep the same pressure on my right hand. that's going to become more of a focus now that i've mentally recognized it.

@slashiepie
absolutely, thanks for your advice! i genuinely appreciate everyone's feedback. and yes, getting a good night's sleep is something i should do more of.

a little rant:
one of my favorite things about playing guitar, as opposed to my university studies, was the amount of time i can practice. i was 2 semesters out from a BS in accounting (snoozefest and not interesting, i just happen to be really good at accounting). i just couldn't stand the glacial pace of my classes. i would go for 'x' hours a day for 4 days a week, study for maybe 2 hours a night. and. that's it. if i wanted to learn more, i could go to a library and read up on certain acct focuses, but i wouldn't be credited for knowing that information. the profs would never go teach at a faster pace, people were already having a hard enough time.
with music? gah. i can submerse myself in so much. different guitar techniques, different drumming styles, vocal warm-ups, songwriting, playing bass at local churches in my area, jamming with people i'm familiar with or 40 year old jazz scene guys that can just rip, by myself in my bedroom, you name it! it's beautiful. having a guitar in my hands let me be creative, expressive, and physically/mentally/spiritually challenged.

take that, higher education.

edit: that was FAR from a "little" rant.

thanks again y'all, this forum and it's community rocks!


Haha i must say im also sort of disappointed with university, they just present tons of information for you, not always of relevance.. then you cram it all up in your head for some exam, you pass it.. next.. repeat.. im almost done and there was no room for creativity, individuality or any personal lessons, i just hadnt realized they are also trying to educate drones.. drones of a higher hierarchy, but still drones.. drones for the office.

My most unpleasant surprise was to see , that my generation doesnt fill those aulas out of love or interest, they just studied to get x or y salary and job.. pretty legit.. but not surprising how unhappy we end up someday if we never take time to find our soul.

hhh.. It all looks so pale compared to the musical journey doesnt it ? :P
Last edited by Slashiepie at Dec 15, 2011,