Hand massage

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
glassynails
Posts: 5633
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: Hand massage

Post by glassynails » Sun May 12, 2013 8:08 pm

Beatriz Martin wrote:Yes, I get cramps and pains on both hands when learning new techniques, I also still get pain in the tips of my fingers on the left hands when learning certain new pieces. I have been playing for about six months now. Is this something that happens only when you are a beginner or you never get rid of it, because this is a bit discouraging ?
Yes, I play for hours some days with no pain, save for maybe my back for from hunching over. When I first played steel string 20 years ago, my fingertips would hurt after playing for long. It could also be if the action is too high on your guitar; I had some old crappy guitars a long time ago that would hurt my left hand because the action was way too high.
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

Leighton

Re: Hand massage

Post by Leighton » Sun May 12, 2013 8:25 pm

Doing some finger strengthening exercises certainly helps me. My teacher gave me some exercises to play very lightly as well. The combination seems to help.

Beatriz Martin

Re: Hand massage

Post by Beatriz Martin » Mon May 13, 2013 5:57 pm

glassynails wrote: Yes, I play for hours some days with no pain, save for maybe my back for from hunching over. When I first played steel string 20 years ago, my fingertips would hurt after playing for long. It could also be if the action is too high on your guitar; I had some old crappy guitars a long time ago that would hurt my left hand because the action was way too high.
Well, my guitar is old, maybe it is a crappy one, but I can't afford anything else right now, I have to keep going with it, if playing is definately for me I will get a better one day, probably in a year from now unless I win some sort of lottery. :D

Leighton

Re: Hand massage

Post by Leighton » Mon May 13, 2013 6:09 pm

My first guitar cost me £30 from a second hand shop. It took best part of a year before I was used to it and I lost count of the number of times I walloped it off the floor / wall / table / cat etc. My first one may have been crappy as well but I remember it fondly!

AbnV

Re: Hand massage

Post by AbnV » Mon May 13, 2013 6:19 pm

Beatriz Martin wrote:Yes, I get cramps and pains on both hands when learning new techniques, I also still get pain in the tips of my fingers on the left hands when learning certain new pieces. I have been playing for about six months now. Is this something that happens only when you are a beginner or you never get rid of it, because this is a bit discouraging ?
yes ..it is quite discouraging at first..the tips will probably pain for another 6 months provided you practice regularly :) but after that, playing will become effortless! totally worth all the effort you put into it ! :bravo:

User avatar
Blondie
Posts: 1259
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: Hand massage

Post by Blondie » Mon May 13, 2013 7:16 pm

Beatriz Martin wrote: Well, my guitar is old, maybe it is a crappy one, but I can't afford anything else right now, I have to keep going with it, if playing is definately for me I will get a better one day, probably in a year from now unless I win some sort of lottery. :D
Even crappy guitars can (usually) be adjusted, you don't necessarily need a better guitar, its about ensuring the current guitar is set up properly. I have a crappy guitar (one of my guitars) - it plays like a dream.

However, what no-one seems to be mentioning is the obvious - you are probably pressing way too hard and have too much tension. Its a very common issue in beginners.

This is why a teacher is so important.

adeb

Re: Hand massage

Post by adeb » Mon May 13, 2013 11:06 pm

Yes, I get cramps and pains on both hands when learning new techniques, I also still get pain in the tips of my fingers on the left hands when learning certain new pieces. I have been playing for about six months now. Is this something that happens only when you are a beginner or you never get rid of it, because this is a bit discouraging ?
Sore finger tips is just one of those things you have to put up with for a while - they will harden and become pain-free in good time - after six months you're probably seeing this happen already?

Cramps etc could be from bad technique (consult a teacher!), or simply because it's new and you're using muscles that are not used to being used so much. If so, just take it steady and you'll gradually find you can go for longer as time goes on.

Beatriz Martin

Re: Hand massage

Post by Beatriz Martin » Thu May 16, 2013 2:17 am

Thanks everybody, actually I like my guitar, I don't need to change it, I need to adapt to playing and great idea about consulting a teacher! I will look around my community to see if there is someone who teaches classical guitar. I live about 45 min from Toronto which is the big city and there are many guitar teachers there but I don't have time to travel there.

FredKremer
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:40 am
Location: Las Vegas Nevada and Wasilla Alaska

Re: Hand massage

Post by FredKremer » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:55 pm

I consulted a massage therapist about stretching and limbering my hands. She showed me techniques to use opposing directions of the digits to stretch each finger, and to bend the hand gently backward to stretch the forearm. She recommended counting for 10 seconds for each stretch. She also recommended, based on my love of coffee that I drink more water and that will help increase fluid and therefore flexibility.

The sequence is like this: With your fingers together and palm up grip the fingers of that hand with your other hand and gently pull down steadily until you feel the muscles in you forearm stretch to a level that you are comfortable with. Hold that for 10 seconds and release. Take each finger individually and gently pull down and hold for 10 seconds then release. Shake out your hand. Take each finger individually and the thumbs individually wrap your other hand around the finger/thumb and gently pull straight out and hold for 5 to 10 seconds each. Shake out your hand.

If you encounter pain – Stop. There is something wrong and you should not do the stretches. These should be pain free.

I have added a series of stretches of my own which involves spreading the fingers of the hand wide, and then using the fingers of the opposite hand in between each pair and stretching the fingers wider.

One other thing I work on is playing with a very light touch on the neck and pressing the strings just enough to obtain a clear tone. Practice depressing the string at whatever fret and plucking that string going from a dead sound to a clear tone to see how little pressure it takes to obtain a clean, clear sound.

I hope this helps.
“Learning never exhausts the mind.” - Leonardo da Vinci

Beatriz Martin

Re: Hand massage

Post by Beatriz Martin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:07 am

Wow, Fred, so many good things to do, I just finished doing everything, the stretching and the string pressing. I am going to try to remember doing this often.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

User avatar
robin loops
Posts: 3247
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 am
Location: California

Re: Hand massage

Post by robin loops » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:02 am

Beatriz Martin wrote:Yes, I get cramps and pains on both hands when learning new techniques, I also still get pain in the tips of my fingers on the left hands when learning certain new pieces. I have been playing for about six months now. Is this something that happens only when you are a beginner or you never get rid of it, because this is a bit discouraging ?
You'll build up callous on the tips. Hopefully soon. Six months is a point where things will start to come together. Whenever you feel fatigued (or especially cramping) make sure to stop and take a break. Also when if you start playing and get pain right away, it's a good idea to take a day to a few days off to give the hands a good rest.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

User avatar
robin loops
Posts: 3247
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 am
Location: California

Re: Hand massage

Post by robin loops » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:02 am

Beatriz Martin wrote:Yes, I get cramps and pains on both hands when learning new techniques, I also still get pain in the tips of my fingers on the left hands when learning certain new pieces. I have been playing for about six months now. Is this something that happens only when you are a beginner or you never get rid of it, because this is a bit discouraging ?
You'll build up callous on the tips. Hopefully soon. Six months is a point where things will start to come together. Whenever you feel fatigued (or especially cramping) make sure to stop and take a break. Also when if you start playing and get pain right away, it's a good idea to take a day to a few days off to give the hands a good rest.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

Beatriz Martin

Re: Hand massage

Post by Beatriz Martin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:14 am

Thanks robin,
I notice I have less pains every day except when learning new techniques when I experience some discomfort on my tips, but it is getting better. As per taking a day off it would be difficult since I am so excited to play it, taking a few days off would be a punishment, but you are right, it is more important my hands, without them I won't be able to play :)

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”