Bent wrist... bad?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by gnoll, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Mostly when I play I try to keep my wrist quite straight, because it's the most comfortable and natural-feeling. But when I do long stretches my wrist gets forced into an uncomfortable bent position. It doesn't feel great and I worry a bit that this could lead to injury in the long term? So A) is this a rational fear? and B) is there anything I can do to prevent my wrist bending? If I fret say, the low E on the 3rd fret and the D on the 7th fret it seems impossible to keep my wrist straight and relaxed.
     
  2. Lasik124

    Lasik124 SS.org Regular

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    A. It is a rational fear and you need to be careful. I used to write in a band which used stretchy chords in every song. The pain got slowly worse until I couldn't play anymore. I have pretty bad tendonitis at this point because of it. I had to go through a few months of physical therapy in order to help me play again. It has also interfered with other aspects of my life using my hands. Those darn chords!

    Its possible to make these same chords by skipping a string and muting, I had to re-learn/make all my chord voicings.

    B. Yes, but not with that stretch. Some chords will force you to stretch, its okay to do here and there. Otherwise try and keep your thumb a little more on top of the neck and grip the whole neck with your hand in order to keep your wrist straight.

    Remember to stretch before playing and limit yourself on big stretches. Any discomfort should not be ignored!

    Best of luck :)
     
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  3. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Hey thanks! I write my songs on the computer first and then learn to play them, so there's a lot of unnatural-feeling fingerings. I will try and be a bit more careful and have a look at the worst parts and see if I can figure out better ways to play them.
     
  4. DarthV

    DarthV SS.org Regular

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    Usual rule, if it hurts...stop!

    A very similar stretch is in DT's Stream of Consciousness, but since it's on the A & D strings it isn't as extreme on the hand position. Guess it also comes down to hand size and general flexibility. I can make the stretch without changing my grip, but since the song isn't using that riff constantly it's easier to bend the wrist a little to put less strain on the pinky finger :p
     
  5. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Try moving your whole guitar higher up? So that when you "have" to bend your wrist you can actually move your left arm some instead which should free up some space to hold the chord with a smaller bend.
     
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  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Sunbro

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    There's a reason they put a lot of emphasis on correct hand placement in classical guitar- the more you play the more likely you are to develop pain/tendon issues if you're hand placement isn't neutral/relaxed. Especially in classical guitar music where you spend a lot of time playing chords. Basically keep the wrist straight, thumb on the middle of the neck as much as possible and really focus on minimizing the amount of time you spend playing with your wrist bent when playing chords.
     

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