Howdy guys. First post, I hope this is the right sub-forum.

Anyways, my fingers have been feeling progressively weaker when I play guitar and they tire out more easily. I've been feeling this for about a month or two. I am 18 years old and have been playing for about a year now, but they feel sooooo sluggish and I have no clue why.

My fingers, at first, were quite stiff when playing, but then they'd warm up and feel fine. If I stopped playing and came back after a while, the stiffness resumed.

I tried giving my hands a break for a while, but I always came back before they were rested (Literally addicted to the damn instrument). Then I bought a second guitar and lowered the action significantly for easy playins' on my poor hands.

Then, finally, a string on my second guitar snapped, and I wanted to put another string on it before playing it again. But because I'm a procrastinator, that gave my hands some good time to rest.

But now, on my re-stringed guitar, they're constantly sluggish no matter how long I play. They don't feel unrestricted like they did before; they always feel tense and they tire out very quickly. Things I used to actually used be able to do about a month or two ago now comes out as a sloppy, jumbled, tiring mess.

I tend to play pretty fast, complex songs and techniques too, even for a year. Should I tone it down a little bit? Give my hands more time to rest? Do exercises or stretches? Suggestions would be much appreciated.

Sorry for the tl;dr, I just want to get detailed with this.

Perhaps get tested for residual RSI?

Or are you getting any pins and needles or numbness? (this is not RSI, but nerve injury (compression) affects blood supply to hand, and muscles weaken. I had that from gym injury)

I had similar to you, from overplaying at daft speeds for way too long each day without a break, when I was technique-mad. Then one day, that was it. I overnight went from 180-190 bpm (1/16ths) to virtually nothing. My fingers wouldn't respond, they were like lead weights. That lasted best part of 6 months. Guitar was impossible.

Stretch before and after (neck, shoulders, arms, hands). Warm-up into fast stuff. Take a 5 minute break at least every hour. Stretch afterwards. Could put some time into studying other aspects of music?

Wish you well here, and good luck

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 20, 2014,
How long was your break from the point of the burst string to resuming playing?

I was forced to take a couple months break because I broke my tuning keys and when I returned to playing, I was experiencing exactly what you described. If your break was that long, just keep practicing and you should be back to normal in ~1 week. If not, I don't know what to do. Maybe wait for someone more experienced to chime in.
Visit a doctor.

Otherwise consult a guitar teacher.

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Yes, see a doctor if you can.

Here's an odd question. How's your diet? If you are eating unhealthy it may be a contributing factor. Do you have any previous medical concerns?

I've never had this issue with any of my music students. I've heard of it happening before and it's supposed to be rare. The only guy who talked to me about it online ended up seeing a specialist. I honestly don't remember what it was called, but I believe a previous poster on this thread may have had the same thing.

Definitely see a doctor if possible.
Jerry, RSI seems likely. I don't know if it is or not, but I'll definitely contact a physician. I'll give stretching a shot, too. Thanks bud!

Darren, the burst string was about two or three days or so. Typically I stopped playing for about up to 18 hours at a time, max, when the string was intact.

Darrenx, I may try that. Thanks!

Milehigh, my diet is very low-carb and high in saturated fats, with a good chunk of vegetables and salads thrown in. In other words, very well. I've had no previous concerns pertaining to the health of my hands. I think I should see a specialist of sorts. Thanks for the advice!
Last edited by Galymcd18 at Nov 20, 2014,