One of the most common and debilitating injuries that guitar players face is wrist pain. This is a common occurrence, especially for new players. This type of pain can set you back for a long time. This guide will show you how to deal with wrist pain and how to eliminate it entirely.
Your Guitar Strings
The gauge of string you use can be critical in how much pain you experience. As a new player, heavy strings put more burden on your wrists. If you switch to lighter strings, it can help a great deal. For example, new electric guitar players should use 009s and not 010s on their electric guitars as the 009s are easier to play.
On acoustic, you want light strings and not the common medium gauge that a lot of acoustics have. Another option is to use a nylon string guitar. I recommend this for beginners as the strings won’t dig into the fingers. Younger students under the age of 10 will also benefit from lighter strings.
A lot of the time, you’ll get wrist pain form the mount of finger pressure you apply to the strings. New players tend to squeeze their fingertips too tight against the strings, and this can cause pain. You only need light pressure on the strings. Ther is no need to force your fingertip down on the strings.
Try applying lighter presser to the strings, and you should see wrist pain go away. You ended to apply some pressure but don’t first the fingers down as this pressure will transfer to the wrist and can cause you pain. Make sure you use the trips of your fingers and apply even pressure on the string to sound the note. If there is a dead not, then the finger isn’t correctly placed on the string, or it’s brushing against an adjacent string.
Your wrist angle is another key factor. You should have your thumb behind your guitar neck and place in the middle of the neck for most chords and scales. This changes if you’re playing a chord that uses the thumb, but most beginners won’t be learning these complex chords. The fingers should be stretched out across the frets with each finger assigned a fret.
For example, place finger one on fret one, finger two on fret two, and so on. As you move up the positions, move the hand up to the fret, you need to play but keep the same position. For example, if you move the entire hand to position three, your first finger is at fret three, the second finger at fret four, and so on.
Chords and Finger Placement
Each chord is assigned fingers to play the notes of those chords. Follow the chord diagrams and use the right fingers. If you try to play with the wrong fingering, this puts the fingers out of alignment and can cause wrist pain. The numbers on the chords are there for a reason they have been deemed to be the most comfortable finger positions for those chords.
There are exceptions to the rules as some players find alternative fingers to be more comfortable, but most players will play the chords as they are. Learn the correct fingers for the chords, and you’ll reduce wrist pain by a wide margin. The same can be said os scales. Use the right fingers for each note in the scale. These positions are natural for the hand and reduce wrist pain.
Keep your guitar at a comfortable height for your needs when standing. Use a comfortable guitar strap and don’t sling the guitar too low as this puts more pressure on your guitar. If you solo a lot, get a guitar with a deep cutaway as this helps you hit the higher frets with ease and won’t cramp up your wrist at the higher frets. Make sure the wrist and the arm are comfortable when you stand up to play. A good quality guitar strap can help reduce the pressure on your wrist as it makes the guitar easier to hold when you stand.
Make sure you warm up your fingers and hands before you play complex pieces of music. A good warm-up should last around 10 minutes. Playing scales is a good option for your warm-up or playing through your favorite chord progression. You’ll have fewer problems with wrist pain if you exercise your fingers and hand prior to your full practice session. A good warm-up is essential to reducing pain issues in the wrist.
Use lighter strings and watch the angle of your wrist while playing. Make sure you use the correct fingerings for chords and scales. If you do all of this, you’ll reduce wrist pain by a great deal.