Lack of wrist and elbow flexibility in left hand?

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

Lack of wrist and elbow flexibility in left hand?

Post by Eith » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:36 pm

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this before...the flexibility of the joints in my arms has never been that great - I can't touch my shoulders with the hand and can't hold a violin because of the angle. I've been trying to base my left hand off of everything that I've been learning in books and videos and for one thing, I understand that I should try to keep the wrist relaxed and naturally, when the thumb is in the right place, the first two fingers lean somewhat to the left and the third and fourth fingers somewhat to the right.

For me, however, especially in the lower positions, this is nearly impossible. All four of my fingers lean toward the left and I must put incredible stress on my elbow and wrist in order to change this. My first finger, especially, is almost at a 20 degree angle in relation to the string, and when I reach for the sixth string, it is even harder. I find that if I draw the bridge close to my body, it is easier on my joints, but it is then awkward on my right hand and back, since the neck sticks as far as behind my head.

Does anyone have any tips for this? I have tried positioning the guitar differently and find that some positions are easier than others, but none is as relaxed as it seems like it should be.



Re: Lack of wrist and elbow flexibility in left hand?

Post by EricW » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:25 am

Don't force it!

Finger flexibility is built up gradually. I recommend learning the chords to a few pop songs (simple stuff, C-D-G, etc.). I find chords help to promote flexibility in the left hand. Also do chromatic exercises playing frets 1-2-3-4 on all the strings in order and then backwards. Stretch your hands beforehand as well, holding for at least 8 seconds.

My $0.02

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