#1
I've been playing for a while (on and off for 13 years...non stop for past 2 years).

Since January I've been getting major hand cramps if I play a song with all barre chords. My hand actually gets numb sometimes. The songs are about three to four minutes of barre chords.

I warm up every time I pick up the guitar with somes scales and a metronome for about five minutes and since this problem has occured I've been stretching my hand after the warm-ups. (I was an athlete so I know the importance of warm-ups and stretching)

Could it be technique? This would be odd considering it is a recent phenomenon and I havne't changed my technique in my fret hand. I've established better pick techique since the beggining.

Has anybody else experienced this, if so how did you work it out. It is frustrating because when I write songs 9 out of ten I use mostly barre chords.

Your replies will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
E preciso amar as pessoas como se nao houvesse amanha- Renato Russo
#2
Barre chords usually hurt at first... then one's hand becomes used to it.

What you're describing is a sudden pain. I suggest you see a doctor - possibly, you might have arthritis or something.
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#3
It mite be tendionidious, playing guitar and messing around on Ultimate-Guitar.com will give it to you I no I have it and it sucks man but they can put you on some meds that take away the pain, you just wont be able to play for about 10 days
#4
1000's of users on this site and just two people have had problems with hand cramps or pain?
E preciso amar as pessoas como se nao houvesse amanha- Renato Russo
#5
Quote by Jay Gatsby
I've been playing for a while (on and off for 13 years...non stop for past 2 years).

Since January I've been getting major hand cramps if I play a song with all barre chords. My hand actually gets numb sometimes. The songs are about three to four minutes of barre chords.

I warm up every time I pick up the guitar with somes scales and a metronome for about five minutes and since this problem has occured I've been stretching my hand after the warm-ups. (I was an athlete so I know the importance of warm-ups and stretching)

Could it be technique? This would be odd considering it is a recent phenomenon and I havne't changed my technique in my fret hand. I've established better pick techique since the beggining.

Has anybody else experienced this, if so how did you work it out. It is frustrating because when I write songs 9 out of ten I use mostly barre chords.

Your replies will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


I know I had an experience where I was really working on scale exercises, and not playing much rhythm guitar. I got a gig with a cover band, and by the 3rd set I was having trouble playing easy barre chord songs. My hand was cramping up big time.
The solution for me was to play more rhythm guitar parts that use barre chords. I dont have the issue anymore.

For me the solution is as simple as just playing regularly. Hopefully thats all you need to do.

- also keep in mind that warm up exercises.... especially the quasi chromatic thing, doesn't help much with chords. Playing chords does though.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 28, 2008,
#7
yes..I damaged my hand not so long ago. The type of construction
work i was doing...didn't help.

My hand gose numb after 10-15 mins of playing. it's wierd to bend the
notes or play scales without feeling the strings

It's taken almost a year
I don't have the moola for surgery.

I also notice when i was searching for another guitar to add to my collection.
The shape of the back of the neck effected my hand. Certain guitar hurts my
hand. It didn't matter what make or model.

As a matter of fact...i can feeling the numbness in my hand already just
picking up my guitat again within the last couple of weeks.
it sucks...I was hoping it might heal by now.

I need surgery.
Last edited by Ordinary at Apr 28, 2008,
#9
Quote by Ordinary
yes..I damaged my hand not so long ago. The type of construction
work i was doing...didn't help.

My hand gose numb after 10-15 mins of playing. it's wierd to bend the
notes or play scales without feeling the strings

It's taken almost a year
I don't have the moola for surgery.

I also notice when i was searching for another guitar to add to my collection.
The shape of the back of the neck effected my hand. Certain guitar hurts my
hand. It didn't matter what make or model.

As a matter of fact...i can feeling the numbness in my hand already just
picking up my guitat again within the last couple of weeks.
it sucks...I was hoping it might heal by now.

I need surgery.



dang man, sorry to hear that. That must be frustrating.
#10
Quote by Ordinary
yes..I damaged my hand not so long ago. The type of construction
work i was doing...didn't help.

My hand gose numb after 10-15 mins of playing. it's wierd to bend the
notes or play scales without feeling the strings

It's taken almost a year
I don't have the moola for surgery.

I also notice when i was searching for another guitar to add to my collection.
The shape of the back of the neck effected my hand. Certain guitar hurts my
hand. It didn't matter what make or model.

As a matter of fact...i can feeling the numbness in my hand already just
picking up my guitat again within the last couple of weeks.
it sucks...I was hoping it might heal by now.

I need surgery.

It always pains me when I read stories about injuries preventing someone from playing music.

Sorry to hear about that, bro. Hope it gets fixed.
#13
Quote by FuzzyBear
try lowering the action?


I have the action pretty low. I haven't changed string guage. And even so, I never had the problem before. This is a recent phenomenon after years of play.

It doesn't seem like a "medical" problem. There is no shooting pain. It is more of a gradual discomfort that comes after a few minutes of straight barre chord play.
E preciso amar as pessoas como se nao houvesse amanha- Renato Russo
#14
Quote by Jay Gatsby
I have the action pretty low. I haven't changed string guage. And even so, I never had the problem before. This is a recent phenomenon after years of play.

It doesn't seem like a "medical" problem. There is no shooting pain. It is more of a gradual discomfort that comes after a few minutes of straight barre chord play.


just out of curiosity..... you said you've played on and off right?

Have you possibly taken time off from playing barre chords, and then recently started using them alot? Or have you played music with them consistently for the last few years?

The reason I ask Is that really sounds like what I was dealing with. The 1st few sets I would be fine, but after awhile my hand would cramp up from the barre chords. It was a gradual thing.
#15
Quote by GuitarMunky
just out of curiosity..... you said you've played on and off right?

Have you possibly taken time off from playing barre chords, and then recently started using them alot?



That's interesting because for a few months before noticing this, I was working on scales and more single note riff stuff. Gaining speed and working on improv.

Maybe you have something here...

The odd thing is that I never experienced the pain in the beginning of my guitar journey when I first learned barre chords. Was I just lucky then?

Interesting, thanks for your comments.
E preciso amar as pessoas como se nao houvesse amanha- Renato Russo
#16
Quote by Jay Gatsby
That's interesting because for a few months before noticing this, I was working on scales and more single note riff stuff. Gaining speed and working on improv.

Maybe you have something here...

The odd thing is that I never experienced the pain in the beginning of my guitar journey when I first learned barre chords. Was I just lucky then?

Interesting, thanks for your comments.



I cant say for sure (about being lucky then). I know when I started barre chords, I never really had pain either. I practiced a few hours a day, but it wasnt all barre chords. When I played the gig and my hand cramped up....it was like 3 or 4 hours of barre chord songs and I know before the gig I was heavy into scale exercises and was not playing much rhythm guitar.... When it happened I was like "wtf" this is easy barre chord stuff how could I be hurtin over that" ?

I dont really know if your having the same issue, but I know that after a few weeks of giggin', and playing rhythm guitar again, my hand didnt cramp up anymore. I basically got used to playing barre chords again. Maybe you will have the same experience. Hope so anyway.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 1, 2008,