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sore fingers - need urgent help

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Virgman View Post

    No way! You're fine.

    Keep practicing through the pain. SRV played until his fingers bled. That's how you get good.

    I think 5 hours a day is ok for starters but see if you can squeeze in more time somehow. Maybe get up a hour earlier in the morning or take a guitar to work to play during your lunch break.

    I also suggest heavier strings like .12s or heavier to speed up your learning curve.
    This. ^^^^^^^^^^
    Plus drugs and strong coffee will give you an extra couple of hours. 12+ guage strings have a wider surface area so dig in less.
    The real answer to learning to play is of course money. Keep buying new gear and blaming the old stuff for your lack of progress.
    This will also make your fingers feel better by moving your focus to your bank account.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man,
    If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


    '' Who, me Officer?''

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Surrealistic View Post
      ... Once you've built up some calluses it won't hurt at all.
      Until you get to the other end and things start going downhill. You don't want to end up with any chronic injuries because of overdoing it on the guitar. Tendonitis or arthritis can make what used to be easily accomplished on the guitar painful and difficult.




      you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

      contentment is true wealth

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      • #18
        A sobering thought, note that the bone in your fingertip is not a half inch ball but a tiny pointed thing. Squeezing your fingertip between that and the fretboard is the reason the flesh is getting sore. It is designed to pick small things up not be pressed hard and repetitively for hours a day. You must give things time to adapt. It helps to do a good range of things chords, yes but also those boring old scales and learning how to find all the E's and C' all over the board (without moving your lips)

        note how tiny the bone is.



        Credit: volusiahandsurgery.com
        Less is more

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        • #19
          Originally posted by onelife View Post

          Until you get to the other end and things start going downhill. You don't want to end up with any chronic injuries because of overdoing it on the guitar. Tendonitis or arthritis can make what used to be easily accomplished on the guitar painful and difficult.

          Yeah that is always a possibility. So far no signs of such things for me but I'm aware it may happen; hopefully a long way into the future.
          http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

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          • #20
            Originally posted by AlamoJoe View Post
            You've been given some straight up good advice here...Up to Virgman...Large grains of salt need to be applied after that..
            I forgot to mention about salt!

            Soak your hands in saltwater for 15 minutes before playing. This toughens the skin. Rub some Comet Cleanser into your hands before soaking too. This is an old Jimi Hendrix trick.

            **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

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            • #21
              Optional: Tell people the reason for editing
              (annoying when they don't, isn't it )
              Last edited by Chordite; 06-06-2014, 08:20 AM.
              Less is more

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              • #22
                A musicians high performance lifespan isn't much longer then most athletes. Sure there are exceptions because music is allot more then physical exertion. Hopefully there's an educated mind that's developed along with all those notes played where they can play smarter as they get older and avoid the kind of injuries that would put them down.

                Most will find by their mid 40's they start feeling the signs and it only gets worse from there. By 55 you can have daily chronic pain in the joints that never goes away and no over the counter pain reliever completely removes. Like I've said before. Allot of what you do as a guitarist isn't much different than what an athlete does except Guitarists expertise is in his hands and many of them don't live the healthiest lifestyles nor seek medical help when issues arise. The ones that focus on complete body health will find not only better lives as players but lives as people.

                This has little to do with a beginner at this point but I would say some expert instruction in playing technique can last a lifetime, beginning with the guitar neck fitting the players hand. If the neck is too thin or too thick is allot like having shoes that don't fit right. When they do fit you don't even notice you're wearing them. Sure you get sore jogging but that's not the shoes fault, they are actually protecting you from injuries. Too small or too large you pay the price double for that jog. Exact same thing happens with a good neck fit. The pain is localized to the workout, not from fighting a neck that doesn't fit your hand properly.

                Anyone can measure their hand size just like they'd measure their feet to fit shoes. All you need is one of those cloth type tape measurers used for measuring your waistline. You place it in your hand like you would the back of your neck and measure between your thumb joint and second joint of your first finger. In my case its about 3". You then take the tape measure and measure the back of the neck from fret end to fret end and see what you come up with. If its larger you'll be fighting the neck, trying to get to the low strings. If its smaller you'll have excess strain on the back of your hands.

                Neck shape will matter too especially playing barre chords but this at least gives you some guide to choosing something that's close and you can take it from there. Its not to say you cant play a larger or smaller neck successfully. I have dozens of guitars and bases that aren't great fits, but my main player fits like a glove and I do most of my workouts on that instrument and can play for hours with minimal repercussion.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                  A musicians high performance lifespan isn't much longer then most athletes. ...
                  Most will find by their mid 40's they start feeling the signs and it only gets worse from there. By 55 you can have daily chronic pain in the joints that never goes away and no over the counter pain reliever completely removes.
                  Woah there!

                  Sincere condolences if you have these symptoms but I don't think it's fair to imply that these kinds of issues are normal or expected for guitarists as they move into their 40's and 50's. I don't know anyone who's having these kinds of issues and I certainly haven't noticed anything of the sort.

                  As for "high performance lifespan", whilst I recognize that there will come a time - perhaps in my 70's or so - when I will notice a deterioration in my abilities, there's no question that personally I'm a way better guitarist than I used to be in any way you care to measure it, and I'm getting better all the time.

                  Not trying to cause an argument, but I think a beginner shouldn't be led to believe he/she is only going to have a few years of peak playing ability.
                  Last edited by Surrealistic; 06-06-2014, 06:06 AM.
                  http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                    A musicians high performance lifespan isn't much longer then most athletes. Sure there are exceptions because music is allot more then physical exertion. Hopefully there's an educated mind that's developed along with all those notes played where they can play smarter as they get older and avoid the kind of injuries that would put them down.

                    Most will find by their mid 40's they start feeling the signs and it only gets worse from there. By 55 you can have daily chronic pain in the joints that never goes away and no over the counter pain reliever completely removes. Like I've said before. Allot of what you do as a guitarist isn't much different than what an athlete does except Guitarists expertise is in his hands and many of them don't live the healthiest lifestyles nor seek medical help when issues arise. The ones that focus on complete body health will find not only better lives as players but lives as people.

                    This has little to do with a beginner at this point but I would say some expert instruction in playing technique can last a lifetime, beginning with the guitar neck fitting the players hand. If the neck is too thin or too thick is allot like having shoes that don't fit right. When they do fit you don't even notice you're wearing them. Sure you get sore jogging but that's not the shoes fault, they are actually protecting you from injuries. Too small or too large you pay the price double for that jog. Exact same thing happens with a good neck fit. The pain is localized to the workout, not from fighting a neck that doesn't fit your hand properly.

                    Anyone can measure their hand size just like they'd measure their feet to fit shoes. All you need is one of those cloth type tape measurers used for measuring your waistline. You place it in your hand like you would the back of your neck and measure between your thumb joint and second joint of your first finger. In my case its about 3". You then take the tape measure and measure the back of the neck from fret end to fret end and see what you come up with. If its larger you'll be fighting the neck, trying to get to the low strings. If its smaller you'll have excess strain on the back of your hands.

                    Neck shape will matter too especially playing barre chords but this at least gives you some guide to choosing something that's close and you can take it from there. Its not to say you cant play a larger or smaller neck successfully. I have dozens of guitars and bases that aren't great fits, but my main player fits like a glove and I do most of my workouts on that instrument and can play for hours with minimal repercussion.
                    This is what the word " Drivel " was meant for. Why do you do that? You post good, helpful stuff then go off into lala land.
                    Don't pick a fight with an old man,
                    If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


                    '' Who, me Officer?''

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Like everybody says, you've gotta start slow. No way you can play 5 hours a day from day one. Maybe start with a half hour a day and gradually increase that as you build up calluses. After a month or so you should be fine to practice as long as you want.

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                      • #26
                        My post was directed towards most of the working musicians I know. Of course there are plenty of people who have zero issues late into life. I'd call them the luckier ones. My analogy was aimed at the general population of working musicians that usually follow the same curve as many athletes do. Their prime performance years are between 18 to 35 just like most athletes. I thought I made it clear in that post. Most musicians do have the advantage of playing smarter as they age so yes, their playing skills may improve, but the ability to perform for a living grinding out gigs night after night becomes much more difficult.

                        This really is no different then any other profession. The body is going to age and slow down. If you're a dedicated musician you will fight the effects as long as you live but few have the same stamina and healing powers in their mid 40's and beyond that they had when the were younger and if you compound that with poor playing techniques, practice habits and a neck that doesn't fit well you can have permanent injury that doesn't heal.
                        Last edited by WRGKMC; 06-06-2014, 07:28 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Sorry WRGKMC but I tried to say this nicely, now I'm just going to have to call it what it is.

                          As I said, sorry but it's just total bollocks.

                          I don't know anyone who was a better player in their 20s or 30s than they became in their 40s or 50s. The occasional unlucky one might get issues with RSI or arthritis or carpal tunnel but MOST do not
                          Last edited by Surrealistic; 06-06-2014, 07:23 AM.
                          http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Some good advice for the newbie!

                            On a serious note....do not play until or with pain! It's your body telling you something is wrong. Muscle pain is way different than joint/wrist pain. That is a quick way to carpal tunnel/arthritis/ etc.

                            As was noted...play with a light touch, don't lock your wrist and elbow. You should be able to swing your elbow in an arc. Flex your wrist as well. Doesn't hurt to do some finger/wrist stretches. Start playing with some easy scales and chords...then progress your lessons to more difficult chores. Take a quick break every half hour/or so.

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                            • #29
                              Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor but play one on HC. Members are advised to consult their physician before beginning any guitar exercising program.
                              **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Surrealistic View Post
                                Sorry WRGKMC but I tried to say this nicely, now I'm just going to have to call it what it is.

                                As I said, sorry but it's just total bollocks.

                                I don't know anyone who was a better player in their 20s or 30s than they became in their 40s or 50s. The occasional unlucky one might get issues with RSI or arthritis or carpal tunnel but MOST do not
                                Sorry you feel that way but I still think you are misunderstanding my post.

                                This has Zero I mean "Dead Zero" to do with playing skill. Can you not separate the skill from the physical endurance aspect????

                                Lets put it this way. Go visit a working band with older guys who been doing it all their life.
                                Ask them how they feel the next day after a gig at their age in comparison to when they were young.
                                I don't know "any" older musicians who will honestly tell you they feel as well physically after a gig when they are older in comparison to when they were young.

                                Its not just the hands, it can be a sore back from moving gear and wearing a guitar all night, being on the feet all night. When you're young you have no problem just springing out of bed doing it day after day with no aches, pains, inflammation etc. When you're older its more like you were steam rolled and motivating yourself back up takes longer. Its not that you don't heal, its just slower.
                                Last edited by WRGKMC; 06-06-2014, 09:25 AM.

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