#1
Hey guys!

Lately i've practising a lot.. I would have been playing right now too, but my left hand started to hurt and it is really hard for me to do so.. I don't exactly know how to describe the pain. First time it occured about 8 months ago, but then i paused with guitar for 2 months and then it was ok. Secondly not so long ago and it seemed that solution for me was changing hand position from "classical" to "bluesy" .. But now here we go again.. It is different this time i suppose, it feels kind of as a "musclefibre" if you are familiar with the expression, soreness at the top site of my palm. I don't know exactly what to do, can you give me an advice? Have you had experince with these stuff?
Thanks for your help, G
#2
Hi Gasper,

I think you have pain because you use a lot of tension in holding the guitar.
Do you have a guitar teacher who can analyze it how the left hand holds the guitar?
Also try to practice EXTREME slowly, that you never feel tension. Always practise without tension if you feel tension try to stop and to play one phrase without tension.

I would suggest you to go to a guitar teacher he can analyze it, or just write me an p.m and I you get a free lesson in Skype of me.

Have a nice day!
#3
Hello!

Thank you for your response. I don't have a personal guitar teacher, don't even know anyone good nearby, so a skype lesson would really come in handy i guess. I will play slower from now on, see if there is the problem. What do you suggest to cure the pain though? Just rest, see a doctor?

Thanks, G
#4
Rest to cure the pain. But you will need to release that excess tension to prevent the pain coming back. Skype probably won't cut it. It's very difficult to locate tension when you don't know how to look for it. How often are you clenching your jaw and you don't even realise? Probably a lot. Same with guitar.

Alex's method works best. Slow it down. Incredibly slow. Play C for 4 bars, then very very very slowly (like matrix bullet time slow) lift your fingers off the fretboard (keeping them in the shape of the C chord) and then very slowly move them to a G chord. If you have tension you will struggle to do this at a very slow speed and you will most likely experience shaking in your fingers as you try to fight the tension.
#5
This ain't 'ultimatedoctor.com'. Whilst people are guessing your diognosis, you could do yourself a lot of damage.
#6
Pain means stop playing. See a doctor if you can, and especially if it's also causing pain when you're away from the guitar.

If the pain is in your muscle, try to trace the tendons and other muscles up the arm and pay attention to them as you play. See if you can focus on them and relax them while still playing. This is almost certainly a technique issue, so when you can play without pain, take the time to pay close attention to your technique and see where you can relax.

After you've addressed the issue, you should also make sure you're taking care to warm up before you play. Don't play intense music with cold hands.
#7
I've been playing about 1 1/2 years, and have not used a metronome until recently. I know a variety of chord shapes, and was completely blown away recently when my barre chords rang true. My chord change speed needs a lot of work.

I've set the metronome as low as 42 bpm but it seems like some changes just aren't happening fast enough. I'm trying my best to reduce tension to free up my fingers (I find it difficult at times to keep a straight wrist - I'm playing in the classical style). I can work with the metronome for about 30 minutes before getting frustrated with a cramped hand. Is it normal to be that slow in terms of bpm? Do I just keep at 42 bpm until everything is perfect or is there anything else I should be doing to get faster? It's completely holding back my ability to play songs.
#8
Quote by Stevelodo
I've been playing about 1 1/2 years, and have not used a metronome until recently. I know a variety of chord shapes, and was completely blown away recently when my barre chords rang true. My chord change speed needs a lot of work.

I've set the metronome as low as 42 bpm but it seems like some changes just aren't happening fast enough. I'm trying my best to reduce tension to free up my fingers (I find it difficult at times to keep a straight wrist - I'm playing in the classical style). I can work with the metronome for about 30 minutes before getting frustrated with a cramped hand. Is it normal to be that slow in terms of bpm? Do I just keep at 42 bpm until everything is perfect or is there anything else I should be doing to get faster? It's completely holding back my ability to play songs.


Honestly I would say it depends on the song. A lot of songs don't actually use the full barres themselves, as the full 5-6 string barre can sound a bit messy with distortion for example. No matter what it is going to take awhile to get them close to "perfect" though. I learned probably 20 open chords in a month, but barre chords took me probably a year to get right (and even now they aren't always quite perfect)

Stick with it though. They really are worth learning. They just open up so many possibilities being able to move chords around without needing to learn a ton of "unique" chord shapes. Also some hand cramping is fairly normal when you're learning them. Using proper technique (side of finger, right wrist angle, using your arm not just pinching thumb/index, etc) will help some but even with good technique they will tend to cramp up your hand a bit when hammering them nonstop trying to learn them. It can be beneficial to mix in some other (non-barre) practice in your sessions to give your hand some rest. I think switching from open chords into barre chords can really improve your speed with them too, learning to basically "form" the chord with your fingers before they even hit the strings.

For what it's worth when I first started learning them I could only get through 1-2 songs before I had to stop because my hand was so sore, but now I can play them practically forever and I didn't change my technique at all in that time.
Last edited by bptrav at May 3, 2016,