Pain in my left hand

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...

Pain in my left hand

Post by bohdanf » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:37 pm

Hi, Having recently taken up the guitar - by recent meaning 12 - 18 months ago first on normal accoustic guitar - I am no trying to also learn the traditional classical guitar style, having just bought myself a reasonable classical guitar. I am aware of the different playing positions between acoustic and classical styles - with classical style the fingers are meant to be perpendicular to the fretboard, thumb behind the neck, whereas I am more used to the acoustic style of playing, with thumb sometimes wrapped around the neck.

The problem is that I am getting quite bad pain in my left hand when I try to practice on my classical guitar - I do not get any pain when on the acoustic, nor did I when I first started to learn. I do not take lessons, so I guess the most sensible thing would be to take up proper lessons and have the teacher check my posture/hand position.

However, is the pain "normal" especially my slightly "older" years? Is this a matter of training the hand and eventually the pain will go away?



Posts: 1374
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:25 am
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan

Re: Pain in my left hand

Post by CathyCate » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:44 pm

Ignoring the pain is not likely to make it go away. Be kind to your hand and pay attention to the plea for help. If you want to enjoy playing, it is probably a good idea to check in with your doctor to serve notice re: your pain and your new hobby. Take your guitar along to demonstrate. If you can connect with a specialist who is familiar with the problems faced by sports and/or music enthusiasts, so much the better.

A teacher is a great idea! It's easier to form good habits than it will be to reform bad ones. Here is hoping you get things sorted out quickly. All the best!
Matthew Chaffin 2014 spruce/quilted maple
Andy Culpepper 2015 bear claw spruce/flamed maple

Posts: 649
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts

Re: Pain in my left hand

Post by RichardUno » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:13 pm

Good advice from CathyCate. Whatever you do, don't try to play through the pain. Stop immediately, get help and don't play again until the pain is gone.

User avatar
Posts: 1720
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:52 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Pain in my left hand

Post by rinneby » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:19 pm

I think it's important to discuss what "pain" actually means. I don't think it's uncommon to get sore muscles when you learn new stuff, may it be guitar or some other thing. That said, resting is of course necessary even for guitar players.

1964 - Masaru Kohno No.7
1973 - Masaru Matano Classe 600
2016 - Pete Beer

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Posts: 292
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:43 pm
Location: Dublin/Alicante

Re: Pain in my left hand

Post by Mr.Rain » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:36 am

Acoustic and classical left hand positions are quiet different, the neck shape is different and the approach too.
there are two options:
-getting a teacher
-learning by imitation trial/error

If you have the 1st option i would go for it, would save you a lot of troubles (I opted for the second one ;-))

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”