Practicing the guitar there’s like-hood getting a hand injury. It’s possible like in football, basketball, athletics and so on. It’s no instant possibility getting an injury right away, but it can happen unexpectedly. Getting your hand harmed is the biggest guitarists problem.
Hands are musician’s essential instrument and harming them cause’s inconvenience. But the biggest harm that guitar injury leaves is the negative trail to the hands. Even after the it is healed, it can happen again in the same place, because your muscles never stay the same like before. This impact can slow down hand work and even the whole progress.
That’s why I would like to tell you how to avoid guitar injury and keep in mind to take care of your hands and body. This post is written from personal experience and it will be one small piece of knowledge in your to guide you that it’s possible.
Let me tell you about my personal story.
Here’s how it happened…
A while ago I practiced guitar playing with no understanding how to do it the right way. I knew that, to play better, you must practice hard and every day.
“Today I’m practicing a lot also, but I’m doing that in slightly different way. I’ll tell you more about it later…”
Ok, I played and played a lot. One day I felt that my left hand started to harm. The pain was like a tingling. Tingling was stronger while vibrato and fast scale playing. My hand hurt, but I overlooked it and continued playing. Few days later my speed slowed down and I couldn’t play even simple chord. I realized that this is very bad and I stopped practice. But my hand was already injured. It swelled and it was the same size as feet roe. It started to pain a lot and soon I couldn’t pick up anything with my left hand. Next what happened… was my 4 week treatment.
Hand’s Carpal tunnel was inflamed. I spent a lot of time treating my and going to medical care. I don’t speak about the money that was spent on treatment. I spent some money…
“That money could be spent on something much better like entertainment or vacation. But it was not meant for that. It was meant for medical treatment. Shame…”
I’m not reading you any morality, I’m telling you my personal story.
Today I feel old injury in my left hand. It a little bit slows down my playing skills and the speed. But from other side it allows working on harmonics and Jimi Hendrix/John Frusciante style of playing technique instead. Maybe it not so bad at all.
Ok, never mind, let’s continue.
Here I’ve highlighted few tips for advanced players and beginners about how to avoid guitar injury. Before you read these suggestions, I highly recommend reading the post about guitar warm up that’s the basic way to avoid any injury.
Guitar injuries. Recommendations for beginners
As any beginner you need to work out your hands. Keep practice. Your hands will ache for some time. Best of all is to work out with chord playing on the first 5 frets, fast scale playing, solos, hammer-ons, pull-offs and arpeggios. Chord playing strengthens wrists. Arpeggios help very well in finger/hand synchronization. You might feel that your hands are about to fall down, because of the pain. Forget about it! Keep practice! In one beautiful day your hands will become strong and you’ll feel no pain. Any chord playing will be painless.
Keep in mind to do a guitar warm up before practice. Do it always (it’s recommended)! Few reasons why to do it:
- It prepares hands;
- It bring blood to muscles;
- It warms up body;
- It reduces getting guitar injuries up to 90%!
- For beginner it takes about a year or two. Yes, that’s large period. But it flies fast when you practice. It leaves pleasure for carried work out.
Recommendations for advanced players
As it was said earlier, warm up is always in the first place. Do it always. Next you need to stop playing for a week or two; it depends on your feelings. I make a guitar vacation in every 3 or 4 months. I put my guitar away and stop practice for two weeks. It helps me to rest hands, body and my mind. Everyone at the job usually goes on vacation after 6 months. It helps in resting and raising productivity. The same happens with guitar playing.
Secondly, if you feel some kind of tingling in your hands then stop playing. If you feel strong warmth in hands at the close end of practice, then also stop playing. This warm feeling can cause guitar related injury.
Massage your hands and body. No matter how often. Do some simple massages like John Petrucci in Rock Discipline. I do it once a week or two.
It helps to:
- Restore blood movement;
- Calm tension in hands;
- And reduce micro-injuries!
- Well, that’s it. It’s simple thing, but often we just forget about it and remember when something bad happens.
Listen to our personal experience. It’s the best way to gain knowledge. Don’t forget about simple things. Learn form other mistakes and make your personal decision.
Do things in right order and no guitar related injuries will bother you!!!
Practice wisely, listen to guitar guide and your playing skills will rise to new playing level!