My forearm and my wrist is killing me!

I've been practicing technique for the past few days and I'm obviously doing something wrong because I think its hurting more than normal.

I've been practicing position shifting, playing three notes per string and learning to stretch all my fingers properly.

But I had to stop practicing early today because when I try to stretch my fingers and do a scale run it hurts in my wrist and all the way down my arm.

I've been reading about playing with zero tension and so I've been doing everything really slow but it still is far too uncomfortable right now.

I expect unnatural movements to cause a bit of tension at first but I can't tell how much is normal and how much is bad technique.

Any Advice?

Should I take a break for a couple of days or should I play through it? (I don't want to risk unlearning what I already know)
I suffered from RSI as a result from too much shredding! Lol, I couldn't play right for about two weeks. Warm-ups, and not over-doing it is probably the best advice I can give. And using the computer after playing or during or before isn't a good idea either, because you are stressing your wrists out too much.

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if you really are worried, then see a doctor and dont play for the next few days. self diagnosis is bad! i had a scarea bit like this a year ago, i made a thread about it and what i told you is the general consensus of about 13 replies haha.

good luck man, but just dont "play thru it" some players RUIN themselves doing that.


oh, that all happened cus i DIDNT WARM UP and used to crack my knuckle joints in a weird way...
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Last edited by PLOP at May 24, 2008,
I don't think a lot of people realize it, but if you're working on stretches and stuff like that you wanna make sure you wear you guitar high enough (or angle the neck up if you're sitting) so that you're wrist isn't at as much of an angle. That could be the problem. I started to get like that when I began working on jazz chords, but that fixed my problem. As for playing, if it continues to hurt, take a break. Some people say that if you do it enough, it'll stop hurting, but thats not always the case, you might just be doing it wrong.
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If you've never really tried to work on technique before, its all just normal, it'll go away. It's the same kind of thing as if you enter a workout program, you go home the first day hurting everywhere, because you worked those and you never had before. It's all pretty normal, just don't play for a couple of days, then go back to normal.
Thanks for the advice guys

As much as I don't really want to I think I'll take a break for a while.

It's not an unbearable pain right now but I don't want to overwork it and turn it into something worse.

I'll be sure to shorten the strap on my guitar. (I practice standing up)

The problem seemed to start as I was practicing an F Major scale run in the first position. It's a huge strain on my wrist to play that low on the neck.

EDIT: I'm been looking into buying a Gripmaster to help with my finger strength. Has anyone else had any success with this?
Last edited by yearzero at May 24, 2008,
Definitely take a little time off, at least a week. Try playing again, making sure to warm up properly and take it slow. If you still experience pain, stop playing and see a doctor. It's better to take some time off now than be unable to play for a year, you can hurt yourself really bad if you are not careful.
So do you have anything interesting to play?
i think its important to distinguish between pain and minor discomfort - if your doing something new with large stretches etc than its perfectly natural to feel a little "strain" in your muscles, but im a firm believer that if you start to feel actual pain then your doing something wrong and need to stop
I'm willing to bet you have some sort of wrong technique, which is the cause of stuff like this 90 % of the time.

How do you keep your arm?
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Dude go hit the weights it sounds like you're arms are to weak.

You dont have to take a week break though
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I'm willing to bet you have some sort of wrong technique, which is the cause of stuff like this 90 % of the time.

How do you keep your arm?

Yeah I'm pretty sure it's wrong technique.

I've raised the strap a bit and it's already starting to feel better.

It was starting to hurt because I was bending my wrist far too much. It was getting to be too difficult to make large stretches low on the neck. It's still a bit difficult but it's more of a strain than a pain now.

I'm going to add at least another 10-15 minutes of warm-up exercises to my routine.

I think I should be in good shape

What do you guys think?
if you are haveing pains then you need to stop, let it heal, if you dont you can damage your arms and wrist. and that is no fun at all. slow down your playing and see what your doing wrong. look up some information on how to play corectly.

Don't play until you're fine.

Also, its most likely your posture - doesn't matter how slowly you do something unless you do comfortably! Are your elbow, wrist, and first knuckle of fretting hand in a roughly straight line when you play? That's pretty much vital.
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Don't play until you're fine.

I really can't give this enough +1s.

Never play through pain; if something hurts stop playing and try to figure out why, if you can't figure it out then get a teacher or someone who knows what they're talking about to watch you play and see what they think. It's ok if you feel like a lactic acid buildup in your muscles from playing hard for a while but any other kind of pain should be remedied immediately.
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Hey Freepower I'm really looking forward to that video lesson. Your lessons have helped me out quite a bit.

I haven't played for a couple of days....I'm going to try and schedule a doctor's appointment soon....its not unbearable pain but it's degraded to the point where I can't fret properly anymore and my arm keeps hurting and my hand occasionally goes numb.

It sucks that I can't play for a while but I gotta get this sorted out so that I don't permanently injure myself.
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Dude go hit the weights it sounds like you're arms are to weak.

You dont have to take a week break though

What a dumb comment. If you need to work out with weights to play guitar your doing it wrong.
I went to the doctor today. It tuns out I have a case of tendinitis. He advised me to take some time off and wear a brace when I do practice.

I'm going to have to take a week or so off...my fretting arm is too sore for me to fret properly much less play up to speed.