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> 1st Steps Plead, left hand wrist position
sigma7
post Sep 10 2008, 11:21 PM
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Hey Andrew! Let me start off by saying I really enjoy all ur lessons, especially the first steps. Ive been playing for a year but never actually had first steps, it was just pick up and jam. I hate to repeat myself but I just got severe carpel tunnel syndrome and tendonitis and they say u get it from stressful wrist motions. Well, I was wondering if you can do a tiny little segment on left hand wrist position and motion to decrease the amount of stress on the left wrist. If I continue to play the way i do, i may have to quit guitar and live with pain in my wrists. So can u please, please, please, do a tiny segment and have a clear video on wrist position for the fretting hand? smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif


this is a matter of guitar life or death

This post has been edited by sigma7: Sep 10 2008, 11:53 PM


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fkalich
post Sep 11 2008, 12:56 AM
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sorry to interject before Andrew, but just suggesting you upload a video of your playing. it won't matter if it is not great, just to see how your hands and wrists and arms and shoulders move. This is something where there is a lot of uncertainty of why some people get this. Good GMC case study to see if we can identify something here. Maybe we get a Nobel prize. Kris would not have to drive far to accept it.

edit: Also is it in both hands or just one? I bet there is something you are doing that caused this (although some people are probably just more prone to it than others).

This post has been edited by fkalich: Sep 11 2008, 01:04 AM
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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 11 2008, 01:09 AM
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It just so happens that the very next lesson will have exactly what you need smile.gif


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fkalich
post Sep 11 2008, 02:21 AM
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Now that Andrew has answered, I will go beyond requesting a video, and explain.

I am very suspicious that two things can contribute to it (particularly to those genetically predisposed).

cool.gif Stressing the wrist when playing, and also the elbow. Keep your wrist and arm in a fairly straight line, and generally your fingers should be perpendicular to the strings. Pavel said that also, at least about the fingers. I don't care what Guitar God you see not doing that. Genetics has a lot to do with everything, some people are more prone to Carpal Tunnel by nature than others. Never bend the wrist back when playing, never ever. Some guys do that when cradling the neck. Look at Lian play. I think he has as good of form as I have seen here. He has a very relaxed picking hand, and look how low his wrist is, how much below the neck it is. Very straight. Fingers most perpendicular to the strings. He only wraps his thumb when he feels he needs it, and then quickly moves his thumb to the back of the neck. But even when he wraps it, he has a straight wrist. He does not pronate it like some guys do. That is all stress on the joints. Regarding the shoulder, I think you need to try and keep that relaxed. Well keep everything relaxed. Don't go real fast, unless you can do it and feel like of floating. Again, look at Lian, look how his picking had is always relaxed even when playing fast metal. Not that others are not also good at this, but I am sticking with the Lian example. Because he is the best metal player in the world I think. Because he sounds the best to me. At least of what I have heard. Gabriel runs second. Although Gabriel has many other styles, so he is my favorite overall, so much variety. Must be an Argentina thing. They all sound good.

cool.gif Not playing enough with the pinkie and ring finger. Nobody here plays enough with those in my view, not one person. Some come close, but still, if you can play it with the two little fingers, and they are in position, you should play with them, and build up strength (and balance). Not just shift position, or pronate your arm to play with the middle finger on those AP runs. Play like Gilbert does, use the Ring Finger when it is in position to do so. Carpal Tunnel is a matter of your muscles being out of balance, weak in some ways, strong in others, and thus the pressure on the nerve.

But what would I know, I have just been playing 2 years.


edit: here is some pretty good info I think.

http://www.sportstouch.com/ArticleMusicianNightmare.htm

You might scoff at what I said above, but it makes sense if you read this. Note that they give a test to determine if you have Carpal Tunnel by testing strength in your pinkie. Now that reasoning might sound backwards, as what happens is you lose strength in your pinkie. But I believe that the balance you get from using it a lot, and your ring finger, will help to prevent physical problems.

Like everything else, some people are predisposed, some are not. You hear of the old many who smoked 2 packs a day and lived to 95. But you know like Dirty Harry said "Do you feel lucky, well do ya punk?".

Lastly the notion that "stretching before activity is a great thing is antiquated". Not that "experts" won't say that it is. I tend to often give the "experts" a lot less credibility than a lot of people do. I give them the most when it comes to matters that required you be given anesthesia, give you prescribed drugs, or cutting you open.

Stretching is important, but it does not matter if you do it before the activity. In fact, it would be better to do it AFTER the activity. The important thing is to be supple, and do this on a regular basis. You might try Yoga. A good yoga program will have all kinds of stretches, the sames ones mentioned in that article, and more. You got me to thinking. I don't have problems, but don't want any. There is this program called Power Yoga that I got some DVD's on, I need to start doing those. It is a very athletic yoga, the guy's name is Bryan Kest. I would recommend a whole body routine like that, rather than spot stretches. Your whole body needs to be in balance. That is well known. You can't just work on a part of it, and think that is sufficient. It all works together. I may play on the couch, but I always have good posture. Swimming about 5,000 miles probably has a lot to do with that. When I was young my mom would say "sit up straight" but I always slouched. But after I got strong from the swimming and karate stretches, I just had good posture without even thinking about it, and have had that ever since. But I see people at a table, how most of them slouch. It looks unhealthy. It looks real uncomfortable to me, but to them, it is comfortable. But not healthy. I am just pointing out, the whole body needs to be addressed.

I expect you will be out of guitar for awhile. You probably need to. But you are young, and should think about your health habits. I see you do martial arts. That is good stuff. Maybe focus on that for awhile. But talk to your doctor. I don't always listen to doctors. They tend to think a bit narrow sometimes. They see people as averages, and give you advice as if you are joe average. and often that is not the best advice, because you are not joe average.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Sep 11 2008, 10:55 AM
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sigma7
post Sep 11 2008, 08:15 PM
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whoo thanx fkalich. That was really helpful. Unfortunately I cannnot upload a video because I cannnot play right now. I checked everthing out and I will further study elbow position when I start playing again. Thanx so much for ur advice happy.gif

And thanx Andrew for the upcoming lesson happy.gif


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