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No Matter What I Do, Playing Standing Up Hurts My Wrist

J

Jak Angelescu

Guest
Hello everyone! I was running over my CAGED stuff before moving on to the CAGED section 2 stuff. And I made a promise to myself to ONLY practice standing up. And holy shit. Everything sucks. Especially my wrist.

@Brian Haner Sr. and I got to compare hand sizes. And his are actually the same size as mine, but my pinky is MUCH smaller. There are some of those CAGED scale positions where I literally feel like I have to break my wrist to get my pinky to reach. After only ten minutes of slow and steady practice, the back of my wrist hurts like hell.

Is this normal? How do you combat it? When getting higher on the frets I have to severely angle my guitar and even then it's really uncomfortable.

Thank you guys!
 
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David Deatherage

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Nov 11, 2019
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Hello everyone! I was running over my CAGED stuff before moving on to the CAGED section 2 stuff. And I made a promise to myself to ONLY practice standing up. And holy shit. Everything sucks. Especially my wrist.

@Brian Haner Sr. and I got to compare hand sizes. And his are actually the same size as mine, but my pinky is MUCH smaller. There are some of those CAGED scale positions where I literally feel like I have to break my wrist to get my pinky to reach. After only ten minutes of slow and steady practice, the back of my wrist hurts like hell.

Is this normal? How do you combat it? When getting higher on the frets I have to severely angle my guitar and even then it's really uncomfortable.

Thank you guys!
And I thought it was bad sitting down!:oops:
If it makes u feel better my shit hurts like this while sitting down lol!!🤘
 
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Firsty Lasty

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Nov 11, 2019
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Ok, back with more details. The correct height to have the guitar when you're standing up depends on your body, the guitar, and what and where you're trying to play. Move it around as needed without caring what anyone else thinks. I start by putting the guitar just low enough to get my thumb over the top of the neck, as we do for good bends and vibrato, and adjusting from there. Feel free to even find the ideal strap height for each exercise you play, without caring about what the "overall best" is.

Now, let's talk about the back of your wrist. There are two likely things which will happen if you proceed carelessly. First, you will develop excellent flexibility in your wrist- without the necessary stability! You will become great at bending your wrist but you'll unpredictably run into pain, both playing guitar and in your daily life. You'll do things like hang up a coat, or pick something up, or scratch an itch, and suddenly it's pain time. Maybe you'll even rip or snap something because you will have the ability to put yourself in weak positions without having the stabilizing strength to avoid injury. Second, you will probably develop a "catching" and popping sensation in the back of your wrist which will escalate super quickly and might take weeks to heal. This can go from being "not a problem" to "oh shit this is a real problem" in only a few minutes.

The basic idea for how to get good at playing standing up is to slowly develop your abilities over several months, and do whatever you can to be in overall good health. I don't expect you to go nuts doing raw deadlifts and fat grip dumbbell excercises all the time, I certainly don't do those things right now, just be aware that if you work at lot at a desk (mouse and keyboard) that will make things harder for you. Obviously we all gotta pay rent, so don't stress too much if this is the case. There is nothing you can do in a few short days which will make your body suddenly ready for the challenge. I can't give any detailed advice about how to position things without seeing a video of you playing. I feel strange typing that because I've seen you play a lot, just not standing up.
 
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How low you have your guitar can be a big factor in this because that angles your wrist in a certain way. For example if you have your thumb I've the neck you can have your guitar a bit lower, if you have your thumb behind the neck you need to have it a bit higher to make sure your wrist won't have to bend like crazy.
 
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Jak Angelescu

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Honestly Same Problem Here. My Fingers are SMALL and it's Impossible for me to even slowly Play through the Alternate Picking I lick while Standing. My Pinky can't. Reach. The. Lower. Strings. Unless I strap my guitar Higher than a Jazz Bassist that is.
You are totally right about strapping the guitar high! I literally had to put it right by my chest. But I spent some time today and I think I figured out what is going on. I did the strengthening of the wrist tip that was suggested here and it helped a lot! But I'm going to be spending some more time tomorrow dicking around with it and when I figure it out I will let you know! Glad to know I'm not the only one
 
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J

Jak Angelescu

Guest
Ok, back with more details. The correct height to have the guitar when you're standing up depends on your body, the guitar, and what and where you're trying to play. Move it around as needed without caring what anyone else thinks. I start by putting the guitar just low enough to get my thumb over the top of the neck, as we do for good bends and vibrato, and adjusting from there. Feel free to even find the ideal strap height for each exercise you play, without caring about what the "overall best" is.

Now, let's talk about the back of your wrist. There are two likely things which will happen if you proceed carelessly. First, you will develop excellent flexibility in your wrist- without the necessary stability! You will become great at bending your wrist but you'll unpredictably run into pain, both playing guitar and in your daily life. You'll do things like hang up a coat, or pick something up, or scratch an itch, and suddenly it's pain time. Maybe you'll even rip or snap something because you will have the ability to put yourself in weak positions without having the stabilizing strength to avoid injury. Second, you will probably develop a "catching" and popping sensation in the back of your wrist which will escalate super quickly and might take weeks to heal. This can go from being "not a problem" to "oh shit this is a real problem" in only a few minutes.

The basic idea for how to get good at playing standing up is to slowly develop your abilities over several months, and do whatever you can to be in overall good health. I don't expect you to go nuts doing raw deadlifts and fat grip dumbbell excercises all the time, I certainly don't do those things right now, just be aware that if you work at lot at a desk (mouse and keyboard) that will make things harder for you. Obviously we all gotta pay rent, so don't stress too much if this is the case. There is nothing you can do in a few short days which will make your body suddenly ready for the challenge. I can't give any detailed advice about how to position things without seeing a video of you playing. I feel strange typing that because I've seen you play a lot, just not standing up.
I followed your advice today and it helped massively! My friend is a massage therapist that specializes and corrective therapy and she did some wrist strengthening exercises that helped a lot today. I always spend time stretching them out. What you told me to do is the same exact concept she told me to do about my sore back that helped. My back muscles were far too relaxed and stretched. Thank you so much my friend you helped a ton!
 
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Jak Angelescu

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Maybe it's because you set your guitar strap too low. When you play standing up the guitar should be at the same level than when you're sitting down in order to feel comfortable.
It's definitely a thing. I learned classical style so my guitar is at a far more angle than most people when I sit down and that's how my fingers have developed to play. I'm messing around with my angle for sure!
 
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J

Jak Angelescu

Guest
How low you have your guitar can be a big factor in this because that angles your wrist in a certain way. For example if you have your thumb I've the neck you can have your guitar a bit lower, if you have your thumb behind the neck you need to have it a bit higher to make sure your wrist won't have to bend like crazy.
That's exactly what I noticed! When I go to do modal scales I have to have my thumb behind the neck and I realized I was curving my wrist far too much. Thank you so much!
 

Ed Seith

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    To address the other part of your concern, there are stretches you can do for your fretting hand to help build your "spread." Basically, using your thumb and pointer finger from your right hand to spread apart (stretch!) the spacing of each set of fingers on your left hand.

     

    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
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    I think you are right. I took some time to correct how I was positioning it to day
    Yeah.. I strain my wrist from time to time fro my everyday activities. It usually takes me a few days to recover. Its sucks when you wanna play ..you probably could get away strumming simple chords if you cant keep the guitar down.
     
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