Be A Sensible Guitar Player

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To avoid any sort of injuries as a guitar player,a common sense approach is recommended. Just what do I mean by that? Well, there are many simple and obvious precautions you can take that will prevent most injuries. To start with you can adopt the proper guitar technique, posture and hand position of a good guitar player....

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Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennant (see above video) or David Braid's Play Classical Guitar can give you sound fundamentals in this area. With technique keep your movements simple. As my teacher used to say, "Employ an economy of movement."

If you play with less movement, you will naturally have less friction and tension. Therefore, there will be less chance of injury. Teachers of guitar vary in their interpretation of posture and hand position, but in classical guitar at least, there is generally widely accepted agreement on this subject.

You need to be aware of your posture and hand position especially as a beginner or intermediate as you are learning habits that will last a lifetime. I remember my teacher constantly pushing my shoulder down as I played. As I became tense, my shoulder would ride upwards.

He was giving me vital feedback on leaning to relax as I was learning the basic technique of becoming a good player. It pays to have a good, alert teacher who can short circuit any problems as they appear! Another point of note is when you begin to play guitar you can often overdo it. Indeed, Anthony Glise writing in Classical Guitar Pedagogy states...

"Virtually all guitarists injuries are from over-use (simply practicing too much) or misuse (not warming up properly), playing pieces that are too difficult improper hand positions over stress, etc."

These are all things that the beginner and intermediate player are prone. You must develop your capabilities in line with your common sense and resist the urge to go "too fast too soon." To quote the cliche..."You gotta crawl before you walk!":)

While we're on the subject of common sense, you need to take breaks in your practice routine. You know how time flies when you're engrossed in a new and exciting piece. We all have the tendency to play through the pain at times, but you must learn to avoid this sort of practice if you want to avoid long term injury. It might be wiser to break your practice sessions into smaller blocks and spread it out over the day rather than all in one hit.

I know we're all "time-poor" these days but is it worth the risk. Only you can answer that one. Make sure when playing guitar you build strength and flexibility in your hands and indeed, your body. You can do this via a healthy lifestyle that consists of good diet, stretching (including yoga), meditation and just plain relaxing and taking a break.

If you find you're still in pain STOP. As they say on the advertisement for a prominent pain reliever, "Pain is nature's warning."

If you find as a long term guitarist you get long term pain, use your common sense again and seek proper medical advice. To play through pain is downright silly.

I hope this brief discussion can give you some direction in this area. :)

P.S. If any of the above doesn't work try this mantra...

I am a guitar player without any pain...

I am a guitar player without any pain...

I am a guitar player without any pain...

No? Well, it was worth a try! :))

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A Bit About Me...

Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with  your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...

Classical Guitar
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