#1
This shit is driving me insane. I've made multiple posts about this but the problem hasn't been solved in over a year of doing piece of shit barre chords. No matter what, EVERY TIME I do barre chords for just a few minutes, the pain is too much. And this is most definitely the wrong pain. It occurs in the ball like thing on the outside of the wrist, opposite side of the thumb, right where wrist turns to hand.


I know the feeling of your thumb muscle just being obliterated from them, that's not this. Please help, I've played for a year and a half, but haven't progressed in over a year because of this bullshit.
#2
If it's a persistent problem, talk to another guitarist face to face and see if he can offer any pointers. If asking online hasn't solved your problem, ask an instructor face to face.
#3
As generic an answer this seems, I would reccomend hand exercises such as wrist rotations, wrist stretches, there was a Petrucci video where the opening had all these different hand/wrist/finger exercises not pertaining to guitar at all, forgot the name, but it was back in his Ibanez days I suggest you possibly look into it, or I may post a link tomorrow when I get home. I would also check posture and thumb position. Does the problem occur while playing seated? Standing? Acoustic guitar? Electric? No matter what others may tell you, if you feel pain in the wrist then you're technique is usually the culprit.
Best of luck,
Skully
#4
I don't know anyone who plays and can't afford lessons. I'd love to have it shown to me but that's just not possible.
#5

Physiotherapy?
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 21, 2012,
#6
BARRES are hard. it took me forever. where are you playing them? higher up on the neck or lower? try going up the neck and doing it on frets that are not so hard like the 10th and 12th, and doing it lightly. my hand was hurting from putting too much pressure. relax, dont beat yourself up. Get your mind off of barre chords for a while and move to something else, then come back when you are in a good mood. this is very important for conquering frustrating situations
#7
It's really past time to see the doctor, then hit the x-ray labs for some tangible answers.

In a health issue such as this, nobody here is qualified to answer your questions. Even if a member was a doctor, he or she would want to see you, and the results from your x-rays.

There are multiple scenarios and possibilities in play, a dislocated carpal bone, tendonitis, both. You get the idea. Pain is never normal, see a doctor.

I think the "ball like thing" is the joint of the radius bone.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 21, 2012,
#8
Quote by Skullivan
As generic an answer this seems, I would reccomend hand exercises such as wrist rotations, wrist stretches, there was a Petrucci video where the opening had all these different hand/wrist/finger exercises not pertaining to guitar at all, forgot the name, but it was back in his Ibanez days I suggest you possibly look into it, or I may post a link tomorrow when I get home. I would also check posture and thumb position. Does the problem occur while playing seated? Standing? Acoustic guitar? Electric? No matter what others may tell you, if you feel pain in the wrist then you're technique is usually the culprit.
Best of luck,
Skully

Thanks a lot for the reply. To be honest it REALLY doesn't seem muscular. It's a very unique pain, nothing at all like sore muscles. I'm almost certain it's my technique as well, but no matter how subtly I change my grip, or drastically, it seems to always be there waiting to pop up. It happens while seated and standing and on both electric and acoustic (mainly acoustic, and actually mainly while sitting too).

If my pain isn't muscular, could it still be possible my wrists somehow aren't getting enough support? Shit, I can give a 20 minute massage but not hold a barre for probably 30 seconds straight, so this is just mind boggling.
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
It's really past time to see the doctor, then hit the x-ray labs for some tangible answers.

In a health issue such as this, nobody here is qualified to answer your questions. Even if a member was a doctor, he or she would want to see you, and the results from your x-rays.

There are multiple scenarios and possibilities in play, a dislocated carpal bone, tendonitis, both. You get the idea. Pain is never normal, see a doctor.

I think the "ball like thing" is the joint of the radius bone.

Thanks for your concern but I sincerely doubt it's progressed enough to warrant that. I have no history of wrist problems or injury, and the pain doesn't show up right away. I'm almost certain it's bad technique, which is why I came here.
#10
I would tell you to make sure you arent fretting with too much tension, and would tell you to try lighter strings - but if it is true that you have been struggling with this for a year and to no avail, and you really are in pain, then go seek medical help from a professional (be it a doctor or physiotherapist).
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#11
Quote by Hydra150
I would tell you to make sure you arent fretting with too much tension, and would tell you to try lighter strings - but if it is true that you have been struggling with this for a year and to no avail, and you really are in pain, then go seek medical help from a professional (be it a doctor or physiotherapist).

My bad, I totally made it seem like I was consistently practicing them for a year. What would happen would be I'll go at it for a few days, get really pissed off and quit for a couple more days to a week, then trying again, usually with less actual practice each successive time, but with similar results every time. It's not like the next day my wrist would hurt the first time, it's always after at least 30-40 barres or so, or holding 1 barre for like 15 straight seconds.
#13
Fine, then I shall tell you to make sure you arent fretting with too much tension and to try lighter strings.

Try playing through a 12 bar blues or something in A just using the 5th fret A and the 5th and 9th fret D and E chords, applying as little pressure with your hand and wrist (but so that it doesnt buzz), keeping the tension to a minimum, and tell me if that is uncomfortable.
It should be much easier than playing, say, and F of Bb barre as the first fret is much harder to hold down than the 5th/7th. Tell us how you get on.


Also, what gauge of strings are you using?
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 21, 2012,
#14
I'm not quite sure what gauge my strings are, they should be pretty standard. I just had them replaced and didn't specify which gauge. About your 12 bar blues idea, I don't really understand. You're asking me to make barre shapes right? I don't know what you mean by "in A."
#15
I meant in the key of A. I assumed you had a basic knowledge of either music theory or blues-rock music, my bad.

My point was to get you to try play a chord progression (any progression, the 12 bar idea was just something I assumed you would know) for a while using barre chords at around the 7th - 9th fret (where it is easier to press the strings down), paying special attention to the amount of pressure you are applying to the strings and the amount to tension in your hand/wrist/arm (keeping pressure to a minimum), and then to tell us if you still feel the same discomfort.

About the strings - are you currently using an electric or acoustic? next time you get electric strings ask for a set of 9s, they are very thin strings (most people play 10s) and should make fretting easier (if its still painful then see an expert (musical or medical, just see one in person)). Make sure that the action on your guitar isnt too high as this will make fretting harder, and if all else fails by a capo and forget about mother****ing barres.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 22, 2012,
#16
Probably should have done this in the first place but here are some pictures.
http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/1654/1000707z.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/6429/1000710qa.jpg

http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/716/1000709h.jpg

I've come to the conclusion that either my technique is inherently flawed or I have a defective wrist that won't allow me to play guitar. Please tell me it's the first...
#17
Quote by Skullivan
As generic an answer this seems, I would reccomend hand exercises such as wrist rotations, wrist stretches, there was a Petrucci video where the opening had all these different hand/wrist/finger exercises not pertaining to guitar at all, forgot the name, but it was back in his Ibanez days I suggest you possibly look into it, or I may post a link tomorrow when I get home. I would also check posture and thumb position. Does the problem occur while playing seated? Standing? Acoustic guitar? Electric? No matter what others may tell you, if you feel pain in the wrist then you're technique is usually the culprit.
Best of luck,
Skully

I'm going with this post right here.
I know for me it all depends on the neck of the guitar. I cannot do barre chords with out some kind of pain on my "first act" to save my live. yet once I switch over to my LTD/ESP I could barre chord all day and create some of the most brutally haunted harmonic melodies.
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#18
Im still not clear - is it as bad when playing on an electric (lighter strings, lower action etc should make a difference)?
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#19
Not QUITE as bad but it is definitely still there. The action on my acoustic isn't too bad anyway.
#20
I think what you really need is a new amp.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#22
Nothing that I can tell. I reckon everything that can be said has been said in this thread, you either need to stick at it and try build strength and tweak your technique, or you need to consult a professional in person.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#25
Oh wow I thought that was a fundamental part of guitar... I've purposely held myself back from progressing until I got them down.
#26
Quote by RicketyCricket
Oh wow I thought that was a fundamental part of guitar... I've purposely held myself back from progressing until I got them down.


Well it depends what style you play, and there is often different ways of playing anything, even if you have you use a capo. Generally, if you tell another guitarist that you cant play barre chords he will assume you are a beginner, but you could then prove him wrong.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 22, 2012,
#28
Quote by RicketyCricket

Don't know if that is your natural resting position, but your elbow is definitely not at a good angle. You're trying to fret a position not naturally resting in a barre figure. Try resting the guitar on your left leg and hold your elbow at more a right angle/perpendicular to the guitar neck. When playing standing up try tightening the strap. You know those old 50's bands where the guitarists wear their guitars like 5 inches away from their chin? Well, they're playing in a very comfortable position. You may experience minor pain if holding the guitar like this for a while at first, but that is more tire than pain. Feel free to rest your arm if it gets tired, practice makes perfect.
#29
Quote by Skullivan
Don't know if that is your natural resting position, but your elbow is definitely not at a good angle. You're trying to fret a position not naturally resting in a barre figure. Try resting the guitar on your left leg and hold your elbow at more a right angle/perpendicular to the guitar neck. When playing standing up try tightening the strap. You know those old 50's bands where the guitarists wear their guitars like 5 inches away from their chin? Well, they're playing in a very comfortable position. You may experience minor pain if holding the guitar like this for a while at first, but that is more tire than pain. Feel free to rest your arm if it gets tired, practice makes perfect.


I agree that you should look into this - I find playing on an acoustic more comfortable when I attach the strap to where it would attach on an electric (bottom of the neck) rather than at the headstock as I find that my arm is at a more comfortable angle that way. That cant be a univeral complaint though as many people do play that way, but as Skulivan suggests try adjusting where around your body the guitar sits and how you angle the arm to the neck.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#30
Quote by Skullivan
Don't know if that is your natural resting position, but your elbow is definitely not at a good angle. You're trying to fret a position not naturally resting in a barre figure. Try resting the guitar on your left leg and hold your elbow at more a right angle/perpendicular to the guitar neck. When playing standing up try tightening the strap. You know those old 50's bands where the guitarists wear their guitars like 5 inches away from their chin? Well, they're playing in a very comfortable position. You may experience minor pain if holding the guitar like this for a while at first, but that is more tire than pain. Feel free to rest your arm if it gets tired, practice makes perfect.

Could you noobify this a little bit? I did raise my guitar a bit and it does feel better so far, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by right angle/perpendicular to the neck? Do you mean I should drop my elbow a bit to make it level with the neck, with my forearm totally straight? I don't think I could have my arm perpendicular to the neck when doing an F barre chord in the first fret.


Hydra - That sounds like a good idea too but my acoustic doesn't have an attachment for a strap at the bottom of the neck. Is that usually standard on most acoustics? Mine's not too bad, but it's definitely a beginner guitar (yamaha fg700s)

Edit: this is getting really frustrating... It's back after holding a barre for literally 10 seconds, even with my guitar inches from my chin. the weird thing is, it's not like it just starts hurting. I can feel it gradually start to feel a little irritated, then it slowly builds up and feels more and more inflamed if I don't stop (which I do). It's definitely not like it's injured and tender.
Last edited by RicketyCricket at Mar 23, 2012,
#31
Quote by RicketyCricket

Hydra - That sounds like a good idea too but my acoustic doesn't have an attachment for a strap at the bottom of the neck. Is that usually standard on most acoustics? Mine's not too bad, but it's definitely a beginner guitar (yamaha fg700s)


Mine has, but it looks like it has been added by a previous owner. Should be easy enough to get a replacement part and a screwdriver.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#32
Seriously mate, get it checked over by a doctor. It could be anything, as said before, a calcium build up, a bone spur, trapped nerve, anything. The position your hand is in for bar chords is obviously irritates it so I just wouldn't continue until you've seen somebody to rule out a medical problem.
#33
Doctor.

Also, stop practicing those barre chords! First check your technique with everything else, make sure when you're playing with your thumb and wrist relaxed. The wrist should be straight with the forearm and the fingers are always the ones that press the frets. Don't let the thumb help!

Test and fix everything slowly. Start with single notes along the fretboard, move to intervals. Then go to triads and after that open chords.

After fixing and improving everything for a week or two without trying to barre at all, try the F chord, the 1123 one. and move it along the fretboard. Then find other movable chords where you barre only the 3 top strings. Learn only these for a while (I mean while still practicing everything I've written until now). This should be quite enough for chord practice for a week or two.

And when you feel ready, go for 4 strings barre, 5 strings, 6, maybe 7...

Really take it slow. You'll save so much time. And relax! After playing a chord, relax the whole arm while still keeping the shape and the chord still ringing. Concentrate especially on the whole hand and the wrist for now. But keep in mind that relaxing the upper-arm and shoulder is important too.

I'd suggest taking a small break for now too. Maybe 3-5 days. No guitar, no gym, no push-ups. And then start from the very beginning. Learning to fret every note all over again.
#34
Quote by Unrelaxed
Doctor.

Also, stop practicing those barre chords! First check your technique with everything else, make sure when you're playing with your thumb and wrist relaxed. The wrist should be straight with the forearm and the fingers are always the ones that press the frets. Don't let the thumb help!


Whoa wait really? I squeeze with my thumb pretty hard to do them, which is why i had my wrist bent a little too, for thumb leverage. I'll try that out and see what happens.

Edit: Now I'm confused... That kind of seems physically impossible. Won't the thumb HAVE to help to stop the guitar from being pushed? O.o
Last edited by RicketyCricket at Mar 23, 2012,
#35
I was going to clarify there that it does keep the neck still, but even the thought creates tension for me so I left it out. Anyway, when pressing, press with the fingers not with the thumb. The thumb just kind of is there to keep the neck in place (RELAXED! A magic word that I'm slowly beginning to dislike.) . For me, and probably anyone who's played for a while, it's not difficult to barre with the thumb actually away from the neck. Now that's not good technique at all, but it is possible to barre without pushing with the thumb.

EDIT: Dammit don't practice it! Let those muscles and tendons rest at least for a few days, and forget about 5-6 and preferably also about 3-4 string barres for a good while.
Last edited by Unrelaxed at Mar 23, 2012,
#36
i'd see a doctor too if it is hurting that bad...but...

you could try play with you thumb over the neck fretting the low e (hendrix style)..its wayyyyy more comfy imo, your hand is in a more natural position with your thumb over..maybe not if you have small hands but for me anyways
Last edited by treysonpwaters at Mar 23, 2012,
#37
get the Headstock up near your ear. and if all else fails dont worry about barre,s
move your open chords up and down and across the neck and find your own chords.
But this goes up to 11
#38
Your hand getting tired, I can understand.. that would get better with practice and conditioning...

Pain is always bad.. Pain that won't go away, or doesn't get better is a problem...

If you've been trying to perfect bar chords for a year and it hurts like your describing, get in to see a doctor.... there's something not right...

In the pictures you posted it doesn't look like your doing anything wrong..

$0.02... it's mine..
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