Hi guys,

I was wondering if I've been playing too much guitar, my hands are getting a bit fatigued and tired recently. I've played everyday since I've started just over 3 years ago (bar 1 day I think) not 6 hours a day but you know sometimes a couple hours sometimes just 30 minutes. I started learning some Jason Becker so I've been playing a bit more on average and afterwards my hands are a little sore or stiff, should I calm down for a couple of days or a week or something or is it just my endurance from playing more? Anyone had the same thing happen?

taking a day off form playing usually helps me if youve been playing everysingle day
one off might be good for you

but if youre experiencing pain you might have to take a look at your technique
Playing until you're fatigued or experience a little cramping isn't too bad or unusual, but if you're playing 'till you literally hurting, you should cut back. You could be doing damage.

If you cut down your practice time for a while, then ramp up again and the pain returns, it might be the signs of a current or impending repetitive stress injury, focal dystonia or a few other conditions. In that case, see a physician.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at May 11, 2013,
Are you stretching and warming up?

I recently had a herniated cervical disk and one of the symptoms was fatigue in my arms and hands. I'd play for a bit and it would seem like my hands were tired. If you get pins and needles, tingling, aches in your arms, fingers, wrists, hands or shoulders resembling those symptoms go see your Doctor.
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Blasphemy! You can never play too much!

I kid. Warm ups may help a bit or you could just take short breaks every half a hour or so.
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Last edited by Mephaphil at May 11, 2013,
I do warm up a little bit I could do a bit more, I get pins and needles in my foot but thats cause I sit with it on my other leg and dont move it for like an hour, but I do sometimes get tingling and a cold kind of pins and needle feeling in my hands sometimes even when I'm not playing I'll just get them randomly I dont know if thats a problem? I'll take it easy next week and see if it gets better. I have an exam this week so I do actually have to practice.
Try warming up properly. You could also be trying to play things that are a little outside your comfortable skill range which could be putting your hands under a little extra pressure than they are used to but in this case, try to power through it until it becomes easier UNLESS you feel you are starting to feel actual pain, then you should stop. I don't know anything about how you practice or your skill level so these are the only two things I can really think of.

I haven't personally had problems like this but I think I may just be lucky considering on days where I have nothing to do I have been known to play guitar from when I wake up till when I go back to sleep...unhealthy I know...the most I get in these sessions is horrible cramp in my leg from the guitar sitting on it...It's so awful when this happens and I really gotta pee but my leg just won't let me.
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Taking a day off wouldn't kill you, although I'm of the school of thought that there's no such thing as too much practice. I'll agree mostly with those who have suggested looking at technique, for example I had to adress the position my thumb tends to rest on the neck because I was shredding the skin off the side of my ring finger and cramping it, I went from staying religiously in the blues position (thumb at the top of the neck) to spending most of my time in the classical position (thumb in the centre of the neck) and it really helped, the ring finger was a lot more free and the skin-shredding and other discomforts disappeared. I still use the blues position, but only when it's appropriate, perhaps there's a similar modification in technique you could make?
I feel taking a little break actually helps your creativity a lot I think the more rest the better I know it's hard but it does help
I dont think there's anything wrong with my technique (if I say so myself) I started paying with my thumb on the back of the neck a while ago, I'll take it easy next week and see if I still have problems, thanks guys.
If any part of you hurts or gets tired when playing guitar:
A) Your technique may be incorrect. Even slight imperfections can cause additional stress which builds up over time.
B) Your guitar may be wrong for your hands. Some people simply should not use guitars with very thick/thin necks, heavy or unevenly-balanced bodies, certain scale lengths, high string tension, etc.

The most important thing is that when something is getting unusually tired or starts to hurt, stop playing immediately. Take this from someone who's got to now live with nerve damage through his left arm and side and has had to have bits of his spine removed thanks to too long playing with heavy guitars and thin necks. It doesn't matter how desperate you are to be the next Steve Vai or Eric Clapton or whatever, nothing is worth wrecking your body over. When something hurts, that is your body telling you "hey, this isn't good for you, stop." So stop. Your body knows when something is bad for it.
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If you are in pain when you play there's most likely something wrong with your technique.

What we mean is; You may play very tense, or have an obvious posture issue. Post a video and let us see.

It may not be but it can't hurt, it can only help.
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Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.

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Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.

2 hours is not so much. You likely need to modify your technique. Do you grip much harder than necessary? Most people do. We should all take breaks though, 2 hours without a break is not good for us.
I'll try and record a video I think I may be pressing quite hard that could be a factor but I'll try and record something and post it tonight or tomorrow.
Fatigue or pain is more to do with technique than anything.
Always be looking for tension in your hands, finger joints and other parts of your body. Always work to eliminate it to make your playing more effortless.
I find that experiencing pain is good when you play guitar. After it goes away, your fingers get considerably stronger. I noticed this after trying to play "Tie You Mother Down" and "Walk This Way" all the way through, five times each, for three days... And I no longer feel that pain in my fingers...
But it does pay off to take a little time and chill out... It isn't really that you PLAY too much, but that you are possibly doing a little too much in a short time frame... I only know from my experience... Only You can figure out what your hands are telling you... When you KNOW you gotta lay down the axe for a day or two- that's usually when you should give your hands a break from strenuous activities.
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