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Thread: Bad Left hand Posture ?

  1. #1
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    Default Bad Left hand Posture ?

    hey, ive been playing electric guitar for 5 years now, praticing alot everyday
    but I have tendinitis problems with my left wrist since 2 years comming back every 2months, sometimes it takes more and sometimes it gets back after 2weeks. Ive got alot of hints to stop the tendinitis and to prevent it from happening but i think what I lack is proper left hand posture.

    I tend to play very relaxed but I think my left wrist is always bent too much.
    Ive been playing with the "baseball bat" position for alot of time before trying the "classical" way (to stretch fingers easily), but it is in this "classical" shape that I can't seem to get my wrist straight and have tendinitis comming back faster.

    I know it is very hard to judge the posture without seeing anything and that it slightly different for everyone but after watching several videos on left hand posture here is what I need hints about:

    I realized my wrist is much more straight when holding the guitar perpendicular to the ground, I tend to have a 30 degree angle (the top of the body towars myself so that I can better see what Im doing) is that bad posture ?

    Another thing is my fingers arent very felxible going up (like the contrary of pushing on a fret) I cant get my fingers straight while being totally relaxed and I think this could be one of the reasons I bend my wrist so much.

    Also I have trouble stretching my fingers while my wrist is straight because I have to play with the very tip of my fingers and when in that position my index and pinky tend to curl towards the othe fingers.

    Ive had lots of problems with my right wrist in the first2-3 years but now it never hurts or becomes too tense or anything altho I use it alot (im playing metal so alot of fast alternate picking) And I have noticed that the wrist is straight most of the time and very relaxed compared to when I had problems with it, so I have hopes that proper posture will help my left hand too.

  2. #2
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    I'm following this keenly. I also have had severe wrist injuries (both L+R) over the years with shattered Scaphoid being the worst......I suffer really bad from this and also a dep bilobed ganglion (ganglion that is located within a joint VS looking like its on top > on top would look like a marble has been inserted under your skin and are less painful that the smaller ones located in the actual joint).......Self taught on guitar so have never been sure that my technique is correct.....

    I hope that there is alot of input on this thread and good luck with your wrist, I H A T E the fact my injuries on occasion stop me from playing

  3. #3
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    i dont know about your wrist problems but did u try icing them ?

    i like to ice-dip alot, like filling something with water and alot of ice and dip your wrist (even your forearm if possible) into it for 15-20 seconds and them wait 10-15min and do it again (the more the better), it helps me get rid of my tendinitis ALOT faster, and I tend to do it after long practices even if I dont feel anything wrong in my wrist to prevent it from getting hurt. this thing helped me not to throw my guitar out the window from frustration of recovering from tendinitis in like 2-3weeks... now it can take 2-3 days if I stop playing when I start feeling a lil pain, and do alot of ice dipping.


    it still comes back tho -_- but still worth the try if u never did. Anti-inflamatory helps too but only when its too late to prevent it unless u always take some everyday which I think is not very good for the health and doesnt prevent the source of the problem which in my case I think is bad posture...


    and yeah not being able to play guitar when you feel like it is very depressing

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    any advice on good left hand posture would be greatly apreciated

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhaDe View Post
    any advice on good left hand posture would be greatly apreciated
    I think it just boils down to what works for you. To avoid wrist pain make sure you warm up a bit (simple stretches, scale runs, &c) and take breaks every now and then to relax. Some of us are more prone to this sort of pain than others. I work on a computer all day and if I am not cognizant of my hands I get really annoying pain flare ups.

  6. #6
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    Take any advice about technique with a grain of salt... people often say that their method is the "best" and all others are incorrect. If you know much about guitar you know that those people are full of themselves. Take one look at Marty Friedman and tell me that anyone ever told you to hold your pick like that .

    However, I've been told repeatedly that the baseball bat/thumb over the neck method leads to tendonitis when you try to play fast, or stretch your fingers further. Playing slow may not cause the same problem. I've always tried to keep my thumb behind the neck, not always as far back as classical players, but almost never is it over the neck. This might just be due to most of the players I listen to doing it that way though.

    I'd try keeping your thumb in the middle of back of the neck (that made sense, right?). If it doesn't work for you, then do whatever is the most comfortable for you. Keep in mind that trying to change your technique takes time, especially if you've been playing a long time. So if it doesn't seem comfortable right away that doesn't mean that its necessarily wrong.

  7. #7
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    I used to have bad wrist aches in my ten first years of playing or so...that was mainly because I tried to play like they teach in the books, i.e. with the thumb in the middle of the neck back and used rather flat fretboards/necks like Jackson/Charvel but still hung my guitar relatively low.

    When I begun to have a much more 'rhythm-oriented' grip of the neck, i.e. my thumb is, when chording, extending even over the fretboard at low E, and when playing lead etc. it resides just behind the low E string, plus raised the guitar an inch maybe, they went away without me ever taking notice.

    I don't think it's necessary to play with the tips of the fingers, but rather the 'corners' i.e. like 45 degrees from the tip away from the nail, if you know what I mean, and that gives you a much more relaxed wrist position. Also allows for much easier left-hand damping of the strings, which also led me to play much closer to the fretboard than in the beginning, when I pretty much rested my hand on the bridge when playing - now I sometimes pick all the way over the fretboard.

    And, I've also created a preference for V shaped guitar necks...I don't mind a thick neck, but I want that thumb to land very close to low E string and V's allow for that.

    I have never thought of this in so much detail and it's just my 2c but yeah, my take is that the key to wrist fatigue is to learn to play less with your fingertips and more with the parts nearer to where your fingerprints are centered. There might be a word for that but I'm not native English-speaker and just woke up too, so fill in the word you know what I mean :-)
    Dee

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