Is this correct right hand position?

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

Post by Jacob » Wed May 24, 2006 4:10 am

I guess the straight wrist does make sense ey? :wink: I do Muay Thai and I'am always instructed to have my wrist straight as possible to connect effective un-angled punches (and also preventing breaking the wrist on impact). I guess the same mechanics work for plucking the strings when playing classical; that is, wrist straight and index & middle knuckle alined with the forarm. And right hand adjustments are done more on the elbow & shoulder level rather than the twisting of the wrist that may cause the humpping angle :D

Does that make sense? Sorry for the weird comparison :lol:


Post by hav » Wed May 24, 2006 4:15 am

probably - but for HEAVEN'S SAKE - DON'T PUNCH THE GUITAR OR STRINGS!!!! :shock:

It's ok to YELL at it now and again - keeps it in it's place - but NO HITTING!!!
:grire: :grire: :grire:


Post by Jacob » Wed May 24, 2006 5:07 am

:lol: Ah yes of course!!! Playing music is relaxation time for me. No tension just me and my guitar. :lol:

Guitar Slim

Post by Guitar Slim » Wed May 24, 2006 3:44 pm

Brock wrote:Thanks for the pic sngdt. I've been trying that right hand position and realise that (like hav) I get into a hump too easily.

But in trying to keep my wrist flatter I find I'm playing with the flesh of my thumb only and the nail's never making contact with the string. If I angle my thumb a bit more to use the nail it's OK on the 6th string but if i'm playing p on the 3rd or 4th, then p and i get in each other's way.
I'm in the same situation, but for opposite reasons. I always have played with a dead flat, dead straight wrist. Recently I've noticed that I have gotten into the habit of not using the thumb nail, and am trying to correct the habit. But in using the thumbnail, I'm finding that my wrist is coming out more, and the angle of my hand is turning down several degrees. This is creating two problems: one, it's affecting my tone (thumb sounds better but fingers sound worse); and two, it's creating some discomfort in the joint where the thumb joins the hand. Nothing serious yet, but I am concerned.

Any suggestions on how to use the thumbnail while maintaining an efficient and confortable hand/wrist position?


Post by hav » Wed May 24, 2006 3:51 pm

Hey GS - sounds to me like the only way to do that (without humping the wrist) would be to get the hand higher above the strings - i.e. change the angle of the forearm to the soundboard. Will cause fingers to have to "reach further" for the strings (more perpendicular) - and will cause the thumb to sort of angle into the strings a bit differently (also a bit more perpendicular).


Post by kfisherx » Wed May 24, 2006 4:30 pm

There are 2 very distinct schools of thought on the "humped" wrist. The one Scott Tennant advocates is what we commonly call the USC wrist. We call it this because it seems to have originated from that school and everyone that is associated with that school comes out playing with a flat wrist. The argument about using the flat wrist is that it aligns the tendons in the wrist. This is true and indeed a very good reason to use it, HOWEVER it takes the fingers out of alignment and if you use a flat wrist without supervision from a teacher you will most likely end up bicycling with your fingers which is one of the worst things you can learn. So be careful all those who want to join this school. Better yet, go take lessons from Jim Smith at USC if you can so that you end up in a good place. ;)

The other school of thought is commonly referred to as the Shearer or Segovia hand. That is the one with more hump in the wrist. Now the argument for using this is that it provides better leverage to your fingers and puts your fingers in better alignment for doing a stroke. People who play with more of a hump will quite naturally use the bigger knuckle in their fingers to do a stroke and will be less likely to end up with RSI from bicycling.

Both schools have produced amazing players so there is no easy answer to the question, "Which is right". The only RIGHT way to play the CG and hold your wrist is the way that produces the least amount of tension and damage to your body. If you really want to know the RIGHT way for you, you must study these things at a bio-mechanical level preferably with a teacher who has also done this.


Post by DreamMaker_81 » Fri May 26, 2006 9:31 am

Segovia looks like he and his guitar are going to roll of the stool and melt into a blob of jelly in every picture I have seen of him playing.. I belive that when you play, you should be at your most relaxed, no matter how you have to get there. I know that Classical Guitar is an art, and that it is best done like it has been for ages, but the ones who set down the rules didn't know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), Spina Bifida, and other conditions that could affect a person playing in a position not natural to the human body.. My grandfather played CLassical Guitar in the traditional style for yers and ended up having sugery that stopped his playing all togehter. He had CTS, from years of playing just so. My point is, do not cause your body any undo strain.. Find the best position and stick with it..

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