#1
Hi, I've been playing guitar for a few years but I'm not very good at it, mainly because every time I try to play power chords, I tend to use a lot of strength with my indicator so that the strings don't become silent (I dunno how to say it in english) but in turn, this causes my wrist to hurt a lot, even at the beginning of the play session. This happens with songs that use different power chords very quickly, like, for example, I'll Stick Around (Foo Fighters). I know what you might be thinking: but that song isn't that fast, and you're right, it really isn't. But I just can't play it, my wrist hurts too much.
Thanks.
#3
Also, if your hand can be more relaxed while also gripping well, that might help. Comfortability and all. I remember having the wrist and forearm pains before from just playing so wonky and badly. Fixed well when repositioning.

-Sharky
#4
Do you play guitar standing up? How low do you have your guitar?
I heard from some friends of mine that the lower you have your guitar, the more likely your wrist will hurt...
#5
I sometimes do, for events and benefits and such.

Almost 8 years now.


Yes, I can vouch that the lower-strapped guitars make one hurt more due to just overall stretching and strains
#6
Try keeping your wrist semi-straight. You may need to change the way you hold your guitar to do this. I've found that for me personally, holding the neck close to my left ear(I'm right handed), lets me fret notes with a very straight relaxed wrist. This isn't practical all the time though, but the more you tilt that way, the easier, within reason. You may need to shorten up your strap, and tilt your guitar a little this way. Experiment with many different ways of angling the guitar until you find one that feels best.

It's really hard to diagnose without some sort of picture or video though.
#7
Quote by bruno_xfs
Hi, I've been playing guitar for a few years but I'm not very good at it, mainly because every time I try to play power chords, I tend to use a lot of strength with my indicator so that the strings don't become silent


It sounds to me like you are yet to master your fretting position and are compensating with a vice grip.
Try concentrating on less of a grip and try different finger positions to get the notes clear instead (ie rolling your index finger slightly so you use the side). It may take a while, but it will be worth it as you will struggle progressing speed with a strong grip.....you are probably sharping notes too.
As a reference I can play barre chords without using my thumb at all if the guitar body is secure (not recommending you do this). Also, if a song is mainly barre chords, I prefer to use my index and pinky. This way I find my wrist is at a better angle and the use of pinky again indicates that you really don't need to press hard.
#8
Oh yeah. I've tried the no-thumb idea before. Total fail heh old habits still going with it x3

Grip strength is a factor, for sure. Relaxed and comfortable might work best o3o

-Sharky
#10
But I need to put my thumb lower so that I don't silence the top strings and I can't do that with my thumb straight.
#11
You have pretty high action on that guitar. That's part of the reason why you're cranking down so hard to fret the power chord. You're also bending your thumb backwards (ideally, your thumb should be contacting the same spot on the neck, but rounded naturally). At a guess, you're developing pain from the joint where the thumb meets the palm of your hand right up through the inside of your wrist. If you keep doing that, it will develop into an arthritis site.

Consciously keeping the thumb bent forward (rather than back) will change your thumb placement a bit and relieve the wrist pain. Moving your hand around the neck toward your fingers will help, and make a conscious effort to NOT contact the treble edge of the guitar with your palm when you're playing the low E with your pointer finger. You don't want to support the neck with your fretting hand. Keep the guitar neck up at a 45 degree angle (not the coolest looking, but less painful).

And finally, lower your action and let the guitar pickups do the work.
#12
Quote by dspellman
Moving your hand around the neck toward your fingers will help, and make a conscious effort to NOT contact the treble edge of the guitar with your palm when you're playing the low E with your pointer finger. You don't want to support the neck with your fretting hand.

Pretty sure this is the main thing you need to address, OP. When you're fretting the bass strings with your fingers, your palm should move so you're not bending your fingers so much and it's more below than behind the neck. It should look something like this:
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#13
That play position for the hand does look comfortable and right on point. That's usually how I go about it, anyways OP would do well with this, I imagine
#14
Your thumb is too low, your wrist is too bent, and your guitar's action is really high. The first two you can fix on your own, but some things will always be physically challenging if you have to drag the strings a mile to the fretboard. Also the guitar won't ever be in tune with itself.

You should look into getting the guitar adjusted to bring the strings closer to the fretboard, if possible. It would not be expensive, and it would make the guitar much easier on the hands and the ears.

Quote by bruno_xfs
But I need to put my thumb lower so that I don't silence the top strings and I can't do that with my thumb straight.


You can't... yet.

You can't ever use good technique as long as you are using bad technique. Technique of any kind takes time and effort to develop. Doing things right the first time is no harder than doing things wrong, but doing them right leads down a much longer path.

When you have incorrect technique, you run into physical limits. The things you want to play become physically impossible because your hands simply do not know how to perform the motions. Since you have run into a physical limit here, it's pretty safe to assume that the problem lies in your technique.

There is no secret of technical perfection that will unlock the guitar the moment you position your hand in just the right way. You just have to practice the right motions and know that it will open up your playing more than the wrong ones.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 12, 2016,
#15
Thanks a ton guys! I've had this problem for years! I should have posted this way sooner. You guys are pretty awesome, thank you a lot I will try to improve the position of my thumb and then, when I'm able, I'm going to lower the guitar action.