View Full Version : Guitar playing wrecking my whole body

11-11-2004, 12:44 PM
Hi there, everybody!

I want to share one of my little problems with you, that might become a REAL big problem, if I don't take care. So: I practice about 2 hours daily in average. (not much, unfortunately). Nowadays I noticed that a few parts of my body start hurting after about an hour (continuously playing the guitar). E.g: The inside of my elbow (I can't explain it better) of my picking arm starts hurting, and becomes really erected. If I don't stop playing at this point, sometimes I then won't be able to move my elbow for a few minutes. Sounds bizarre, eh?:eek:

The next problem is: while I'm playing, I'm sort of "watching what I'm playing" so
I "bend" slightly forward. Well, the problem is, that after about 20 minutes of this position, my WHOLE spine starts hurting. OOOWWW!!

So please tell me if you know anything to prevent or avoid these pains, because they're really a PAIN IN THE BUTT!!!!:mad:

11-11-2004, 12:56 PM

since guitarplaying is an akward thing for the body, i consider it quiet natural that it complains every now and then.
if you'd play a les paul on a 2,5 hour gig it is obvious that your back will hurt, if it's not trained.

so, doing workout is something that can help you prevent getting pain from muscels that usualy don't get moved that much.

if your right ellbow hurts it might be that you push it too hard against the body or do any other move with too much strength.

check your moves and correct them, or train some muscles!
good thing is: girls love muscles as well ;-).

11-11-2004, 12:56 PM
my picking arm starts hurting, and becomes really erected.

HUH?!? what does that mean?

anyway first problem your back. That is probably due to you crouching over guitar (back is bent forward). BAD! Hang the guitar with the strap, move to the edge of you chair and play that way. (This tip i got from EricV, in another thread). Works fine and great if you want to learn to practice standing up too. BACK ALWAYS STRAIGHT ;)

All body aching? I don't really know without watching you, but my first bet would be due to over tension? Maybe you are appliying to much strength to what should be relaxed? I suffer from this quite often, i'm relearning to playing as relaxed as possible. And it will make you faster too :D

from my experience anyway. Someone else might have more useful advice.

11-11-2004, 01:12 PM
...and i could tell you something about getting erected while playing guitar in tight 80's pants infront of an audience
.... but i can't find the adult guitartechniques forum. :rolleyes:

11-11-2004, 07:16 PM
You got me wrong, rmuscat, I don't crouch over the guitar, just "bend over it", SLIGHTLY. If you'd watch me play, I don't you'd find anything wrong in my standing. I also watched myself from videos, and there's nothing wrong. Maybe I'm a mutant alien, who's not suitable for guitar playin'? Well, heh. I dunno.
Anyway, thanks for the help, guys:D

Oh, rmuscat: I NEVER play the guitar sitting...

11-11-2004, 07:40 PM
I used to have a similar problem. I switched from resting the guitar on my right leg, to resting it on my left. Better reach, pains disappeared!

11-11-2004, 09:07 PM
You know, I'm always erect when I play...ahem...

Seriously, do you stand still on stage? I used to get a similar thing happen and I relaised that generally I stood still when I played. Mind you on some of the stages I played on you had to, or you would have knocked the drummer off, they were so small.

I found, when I could, that moving around and walking round the stage, or whatever suits your gig, helped alot.

It also helped a bit with adding a bit of dynamism to the show, no one wnats to see a bunch of blokes standing still on stage, particulalrly when the music was as average as ours was heh heh.

Anyway, move it and lose it! Thats my tip. Probably help to keep the erection under control too:D

11-11-2004, 11:11 PM
I don't mean to take over your thread, but since this is related to yours..

When I play, I try stay relaxed, and play from the wrist. Regardless of this, my shoulder starts hurting, my arm gets tense, and I just can't pick from the wrist. I usually aren't picky about my technique, but I can't play guitar for more then 15 minutes now without a sore body part.


11-11-2004, 11:12 PM
When I'm playing standing up (which I do normally) I don't bend over the guitar. If anything I just tilt my neck. I always keep my back straight. Part of this is becuz my Dad was classically trained by his Dad and he passed that trait down to me. Never bend over your guitar becuz with the shoulder strap on it would require more force for you to hold your guitar. Rather keep your back very straight and if you need to see your fingers or where you are on the fretboard I recommend either tilting your neck or getting a foot stand and angle the guitarbody near you a little while it's propped up on your leg while your one foot is on the foot stand. I also heavily recommend on learning to play without looking at your hands. This helps so much on intuitiveness (sp?) with the guitar.

With the elbow problem. I used ot have this when I first started to play alot of Death Metal and Thrash Metal that called for some very high-speed picking. I would soley pick from my elbow and this caused my flexor tendon to get very sore and it would start cramping and hurting and so on. This is the point in my guitar playing when I decided to pick from both the wrist and elbow. In using both your minimizing the range of movement of both wrist and elbow and in turn you use less energy and less force. So everything worked out for me.

I also think this is the only forum where Butt and Erection can be mentioned and no one gets offended...lol.

Bongo Boy
11-12-2004, 03:42 AM
The inside of my elbow...of my picking arm starts hurting, and becomes really erected.And remember, while rare, erections lasting longer than 4 hours require immediate medical attention.

11-12-2004, 07:57 AM
Oh, rmuscat: I NEVER play the guitar sitting...
that makes my post totally useless. :D i just won the ibreathe useless post of the year.

oh and btw ... bongo i gotta go at the doctor now :D

11-12-2004, 09:24 AM
Thanks Org... But I just can't pick with my wrist (I don't think I am anyway)?

Maybe i need a new arm :(


Tiger Lily
11-20-2004, 02:33 AM
so viagra now gives better perfomance both on stage and after....:D

12-15-2004, 12:17 PM
i used to think i couldnt pick from the wrist cause it felt so unnatural. but when i decided to make the change and really concentrated for a month or so, i found a comforte zone where i pick mostly from the wrist and a little from the elbow and ive never been playin better. now i can play some of my favourie vai songs.....wait a minute..no, i cant:mad: ......but my picking is a lot better. i think if u change to wrist it would be for the best.

12-27-2004, 04:04 PM
You are definitely doing something wrong if you are hurting from playing guitar. Definitely. You should not hurt from playing guitar.

I think you need to start to analyze your technique and see where you are developing tension, and wherever you see or feel tension building, STOP, and correct it, and move on slowly with intent to make sure the tension goes away.

http://www.thewholeguitarist.com/ <--this guy understands the principles of good technique, and if you just read through the site you will realize that once you obtain good posture(which may make you sore at first), many of your problems will dissappear.

and check out the section under Technique called "Your body is your instrument."

I also recommend that you practice infront of a mirror a couple of times, and see if your playing looks ugly and uncomfortable and tense.

12-28-2004, 01:56 AM
You just need to relax more when you play. Stressing will just cause tendonitis or carpal tunnel.