How to Deal with General Pain When Practicing the Guitar

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You may experience issues with pain while playing the guitar. This is a common occurrence, especially when first learning how to play. Here is how you can deal with pain and some ways to eliminate it completely.


Don’t Over Practice

One reason why you experience pain is that you’re playing guitar too often and for too long at one time. This is common with younger players as they feel the need to learn everything all at once. This can set you up for serious injuries later on if you play all the time.

A solid practice session should be 30 mins to 1 hour and not longer than that. You can’t play guitar for endless hours as it puts too much strain on your body. You may not feel this strain initially, but it can build up and lead to injuries like a pulled muscle, tendonitis, or another repetitive stress injury.

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Rest if Sore

If you’re sore from playing the guitar, you need to rest. Don’t ignore any sort of hand, wrist, or neck pain. You will make things worse if you don’t take the time to rest your body. If the pain is significant, take pain medication or use ice. If the pain persists, see your physician. Serious pain should not occur when playing guitar. Speak to your guitar teacher about what you may be doing wrong.


Make sure you warm-up prior to digging into your lesson. This might induce flexing the fingers and wrist for a few minutes or running some guitar scales to loosen up your fingers. You can’t just launch yourself into a complicated song without some warm-up. Aim for a 5-10 minute warm-up session to ensure that your hands are limber. If you’re not sure what to do, ask your teacher for some tips. You’ll avoid a lot of stress and strain if you warm-up first. Make sure you don’t overlook this.


Proper Position of the Guitar

Make sure you hold the guitar on your lap in the right position. If the guitar is at an angle, this can bend the wrist too much or put a strain on your wrist or arm. Ask your teacher about the correct position to hold your instrument. You may also want to purchase a footstool, as this can reduce strain a great deal. This is considered the classical position, but it can work for other styles as well. The proper position of your instrument is critical.

If sitting down, make sure your feet are flat on the ground and that your back is straight. Use a chair that allows your feet to touch the floor. Put your thumb behind the neck and keep the fingers relaxed on the fretboard.

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Guitar Straps and Standing Up

You need to take care when standing with your guitar. Far too many players use loose and long straps. They wear their guitar practically near the knees. While this may look like a cool rock pose, it can put a lot of strain in the shoulders, neck, and back. You need to reach down to play your guitar.


Your strap should be about mid-range on the body. Try t have it a bit above waist height. This will be the most comfortable and will eliminate the strain on your body. You should sue a comfortable strap and one that has some padding on it. This reduces the strain and pain that you feel in the shoulder. You may have to adjust your strap a few times until you need the right sweet spot in terms of comfort. If your strap hurts your body, buy a new one. Look for straps made out of solid leather as they last a long time and are comfortable to wear.


Barre Chords

When learning chords, the biggest hurdle is barre chords. These can cause a great deal of hand pain if you’re not used to playing them. You should practice these a few minutes at a time. If you feel pain, you need to relax and try again. Some pain will occur as you learn them as there is no way around this. The trick is to not stain yourself or push yourself too hard as you don’t want to set yourself back with an injury.

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These tips should help you deal with general pain issues when practicing your guitar. Take your time when learning how to play and take care of yourself to avoid injury. Common injuries on the guitar are easily avoided when you employ the right techniques.