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#1
How's it going everyone, this is kind of my introduction thread. I'm 15 and love playing 80s metal and stuff. Anyway about 3 weeks ago my wrist/hand started hurting so I stopped playing, but it has gotten worse since then. I've lost a lot of mobility in my hand and while I can still use my hand, I don't have full strength. I'm fairly certain that this was brought on by playing with too much tension.

Any of you guys had similar experiences? If so, will I ever recover? And how long will it take?
#2
go to see a doctor and then look at your technique, your hand has to be relaxed when you play
#4
We don't know what it is. It could be a Tendonitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or anything else.

It's most likely an inflammation. Stop playing and go to the Doctors.
#5
To the doctor ASAP. And after you have healed up take a serious look at your technique. Slow down and practice relaxation. You have to be without tension at all times. Also hold your wrists as straight as possible, no awkward angles that squeeze your carpal tunnels.

Good technique is important. You dont want chronic tendonitis from poor technique and lack of warm ups. That shit will affect your guitar hobby for the rest of your life. See Demonaz formerly from band Immortal.

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Feb 11, 2014,
#6
Thanks for replying everyone.

In the past I did not warm up before playing, which I'll make sure to do every time I play from now on. Also I realize that tension is a bad thing, i was mainly using it to pull off fast licks and stuff without having to practice for as long.

Went to see a doctor but he didn't give a direct answer, basically just said 'overuse' which could mean inflammation or tendinitis. Not carpal tunnel because my hands don't tingle. How long do you guys think this will take to heal?
#7
Quote by hairmetalguy
Thanks for replying everyone.

In the past I did not warm up before playing, which I'll make sure to do every time I play from now on. Also I realize that tension is a bad thing, i was mainly using it to pull off fast licks and stuff without having to practice for as long.

Went to see a doctor but he didn't give a direct answer, basically just said 'overuse' which could mean inflammation or tendinitis. Not carpal tunnel because my hands don't tingle. How long do you guys think this will take to heal?


Hairmetalguy: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.

Doctor: Don't do that.

Develop proper technique. Learn proper hand placement and positioning. Ignore pictures of your favorite rock stars with their guitars down around their knees. Ignore the mentality "If it's good enough for ________, it's good enough for me!"

Practice with a metronome, bringing your speed up gradually while maintaining good technique. Did I mention technique yet? You're setting the basis for how you will play for the rest of your life. Take the time, do it right.
#8
If you stopped playing and the problem worsened then probably not guitar playing. Other common culprits are keyboards, video games, and smartphones. It’s also possible that you’re just bending your wrist under your body when you sleep and pinching the nerve, which can cause permanent damage, so spend $25 on a nice wrist brace and use it ASAP.

Regular stretching might help. Stretch in the morning, before you play, after you play, and before bed. Since you’re in school spend time stretching your arms in gym class. There are dozens of youtube videos about carpal/cubital tunnel stretches.

Regarding the doctor, you need to see a specialist if this continues. Don’t just go to see your family doctor again. He probably doesn’t treat many RSIs because most of his patients are young children. Practices that handle sports medicine will usually have a doctor on staff who treats RSIs, and if not, they will know who can.
#9
I've actually been wearing a brace, which I think has helped.

In response to jpnyc, I have been resting it for the past few weeks from all activity. It hasn't gotten worse, it just is about the same as when it started.

So basically this is RSI.. and I don't know when I'll be ready to play again. Really hoping this won't be chronic.
#10
What type of grip do you use? I used to have that same problem and I switched from a classical grip to the proper left hand position
#11
I haven't played in a while, but what I remember doing was just doing whatever the part calls for. Thumb either over the top or right in the middle depending on what I was playing.
#12
jpnyc - " It’s also possible that you’re just bending your wrist under your body when you sleep and pinching the nerve, which can cause permanent damage, so spend $25 on a nice wrist brace and use it ASAP. "

Yup, I caught myself doing this one night woke up from bad pain in my wrist with my wrist bent and under my stomach pushing my body up off the bed... who knows for how long while I slept... ****ing weird.... never knew why I had such soreness when I would wake up, but it had been going on for awhile and as many do I ignored it until I caught it... figured it was work related... most definitely affected my playing and duration of playing time for awhile. Hairmetalguy, you're still young and can heal over time and by taking the great advice that has been listed here, do the warm ups, maintain good form while playing.. just everything they already said you should be alright.
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#13
my arm started hurting after played too much to frequently. My band started playing on the road EVERY night and at events during the day. Then one bar show went on and ONNN and it started hurting. all the heavy lifting can take a toll on you, and I my playing started getting sloppy. When we get super active it picks up, but I always take a few seconds to really focus on my technique. made all the improvement!
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#14
I can't believe I'm asking this, but can you guys tell me how to properly play? I haven't had a teacher in a while and even when I had one there was almost no focus on technique.
#15
Easiest way would be if you could video yourself playing with in good angle and post it in the Guitar Techniques subforum here and ask for advice. There are a lot of skilled players there, few teachers included. They can help you spotting what you are doing wrong.

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#16
What neck profile is your guitar? My Jackson always made my wrist hurt but I started using my custom explorer with a thick D shaped neck and it really helped.
#17
Quote by dvanhandel96
What neck profile is your guitar? My Jackson always made my wrist hurt but I started using my custom explorer with a thick D shaped neck and it really helped.


That’s another important thing to keep in mind. I actually got rid of two guitars because the thin necks were causing wrist pain.

As for how to play, do whatever is comfortable. The academic technique of always having a bent wrist with thumb planted in the center of the neck is excruciating for some people.
#18
Quote by jpnyc

As for how to play, do whatever is comfortable. The academic technique of always having a bent wrist with thumb planted in the center of the neck is excruciating for some people.



Thats only with if you play your guitar on right leg (right handed that is), its harder to keep your hand in correct angle then. Or atleast I cant do it. In classical posture (guitar on left leg and angled upwards) with thumb centered behind the neck your wrist is always straight. One of the reasons I play like that, its comfy and relaxed and I have better reach with my stubby pinky compared to thumb over the neck.

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Feb 13, 2014,
#19
Quote by dvanhandel96
What neck profile is your guitar?


I think its a D, maybe a U. Not sure though.

Quote by MaaZeus
Thats only if you play your guitar on right leg


That's typically what I do, I've found that when I sit it between my legs it interferes with the amp cord/shitty electronics in my guitar.

Is there any 'proper' technique to use for guitar? The way I've always played is comfortable for me but then again now I'm really injured.
#20
Quote by hairmetalguy
I think its a D, maybe a U. Not sure though.


That's typically what I do, I've found that when I sit it between my legs it interferes with the amp cord/shitty electronics in my guitar.

Is there any 'proper' technique to use for guitar? The way I've always played is comfortable for me but then again now I'm really injured.



What guitar are you using? In normal shapes the cable should hang between your legs and not touch anything. On V's with the cable jack on (unfortunately) lower wing you have to use angled plugs.

IE this
http://www.rockguitartraining.com.au/images/classical_sitting_position.png
BTW, as you may notice footrest is highly recommended in this posture. Using your foot to raise the guitar angle hurts on prolonged periods.

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#21
My current is an Aria Pro 2, basically a late 80s Jackson copy. So its a superstrat body.
#22
try jerking with the other hand.

you know, the familiar stranger.
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#23
So I've narrowed down the problem to my thumb. It appears as though I'm pressing it against the neck very hard when I play. The only other pain I have is due to the fact that my hands can't play .10s after such a long break.


EDIT:

Temporary solution is tuning down a whole step until I can play at regular tension again.

Also, how can I improve my strength in bending notes and doing vibrato? I'm having to cheat now on full step bends by pulling up a little on the Floyd.
Last edited by hairmetalguy at Feb 14, 2014,
#24
You have to be very conscious of the tension in your body. You need to stay as relaxed as possible when practicing.
About the bending, as long as you are doing it properly, you'll just need to keep at it and the strength will gradually improve. :-)
#28
Quote by hairmetalguy
My bad


i just watched the first video.

it seems like your thumb (which i believe has already been suspected) seems to pose a problem.

you're hanging it way over the neck and it looks like you're gripping extremely hard. Generally it's best to leave the thumb on the back of the neck with very light/no pressure at all.

try fretting notes without your thumb touching the neck at all and playing. it could be you're using your thumb to push your fingers into the string instead of fretting with your thumb there to simply support the neck. Try this and report back.

it also looks if you have extremely big hands with a very thin neck. A wider neck may help fix the tension problem.
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#29
Quote by chookiecookie
i just watched the first video.

it seems like your thumb (which i believe has already been suspected) seems to pose a problem.

you're hanging it way over the neck and it looks like you're gripping extremely hard. Generally it's best to leave the thumb on the back of the neck with very light/no pressure at all.

try fretting notes without your thumb touching the neck at all and playing. it could be you're using your thumb to push your fingers into the string instead of fretting with your thumb there to simply support the neck. Try this and report back.

it also looks if you have extremely big hands with a very thin neck. A wider neck may help fix the tension problem.


Thank you much for replying. Yeah, I noticed that I was gripping really hard while I was playing. And from now on I'm going to try to have a lighter touch and minimize movement.

I use my thumb sometimes to play the 6th string, is this bad? And it seems like when my thumb is in the middle of the neck my wrist has to bend a lot.

My hands are actually smallish, and that guitar has the thickest neck of any of mine.
#30
Using your fingers to bend and do vibrato is poor technique and can also lead to injury, especially in the wrist.

Use the wrist to pivot, watch any good guitar player, Slash for example, and watch how he does it. I had to change that part of my technique at one point.
#31
Quote by Mephaphil
Using your fingers to bend and do vibrato is poor technique and can also lead to injury, especially in the wrist.

Use the wrist to pivot, watch any good guitar player, Slash for example, and watch how he does it. I had to change that part of my technique at one point.


Thank you. That makes a lot of sense. Sorry to sound like a noob but how do you bend correctly?
#36
Thank you for the video, that's a lot of help.

I've never bent with my wrist before, this is going to take a while to wrap my mind around. Haha.
#37
Quote by hairmetalguy
Thank you for the video, that's a lot of help.

I've never bent with my wrist before, this is going to take a while to wrap my mind around. Haha.


Np brotha. I was going to take it off my page if you're done with it? You can save it to your hard drive if you want also. Let me know.
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#38
You can go ahead and take it off now, I'm currently uploading a new one that should be done soon.
#40
Notice how in my vid my fingers don't stretch out straight. Hit your note and twist your wrist more so your fingers stay in the same position before you were bending, if that makes sense.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
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