Avoiding Injuries When Playing Guitar

To avoid any sort of injuries when playing guitar 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 technique, posture and hand position.

A good book like Scott Tenant's Pumping Nylon or David Braid's Play Classical Guitar can give you sound basic fundamentals in this area.

With technique keep your movements simple or, as my teacher used to say... "Employ an economy of movement."

If you have less movement you will naturally have less friction and tension and therefore 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 do need to be aware of your posture and hand position when 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 as my body would tense up.

He was giving me vital feedback on leaning to relax as I was learning basic technique.

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, overstress, etc."

These are all things that the beginner and intermediate player are prone to.

You must develop your capabilities in line with your common sense and resist the urge to go "too fast too soon."

To quote the cliché..."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 you build strength and flexibility in your hands and indeed, your body.

You can do this via a healthy lifestyle that consists of diet, stretching (including yoga), meditation and just plain relaxing and taking a break.

If you do all of this and find your still in pain - STOP!

As they say on the advertisement for a prominent pain reliever... "Pain is nature's warning."

If you find 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. :)

Trevor Maurice is an Australian, living in beautiful seaside Maroubra, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

He's been involved in playing guitar (mainly classical) for longer than he cares to remember and has also taught the instrument for many years. He is teacher trained, having a Diploma of Education (Majoring in music)

He has also taught Primary (Elementary) school for many years and had a long-held dream to build a quality website for the classical guitar that is of use to anyone even slightly interested in this beautiful instrument. He has now made that dream a reality with the highly rated...

http://www.learnclassicalguitar.com/index.html

In The News:

Universal Music is a hit  The Economist

Guitar Performance - Make The Most of It!

Getting ready for any type of guitar performance can be... Read More

Learn to Read Music Online

If you or anyone you know wants to learn to... Read More

Performance and Gigs

"For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your... Read More

Good News for the Musically Untalented

Have you ever been told that you were good at... Read More

What Works Best in New Age Piano Improvisation

Many students want to know how to improvise. What they... Read More

Piano Playing and Performance Anxiety

I'll never forget the first time I played the piano... Read More

Music and Emotion

The Age-old Puzzle of Human ResponseIf you've listened to more... Read More

The Art Of Practicing - How To See Real Results

I have always believed that success, in practically any subject... Read More

Establishing Your Mix

Now that you've spent hours and days and weeks and... Read More

Review: The Bled - Pass the Flask

Released in 2003, Pass the Flask turned this little quintet... Read More

Acoustic Or Electronic Drums - What Is Your Choice?

A debate rages on in the drumming world! You might... Read More

One Way to Improve Your Music Journalist Relationship

Boy, I really detest how some people do websites. Bands... Read More

Piano Playing For Adults: More Fun Than Sex And Not Nearly As Dangerous!

OK, so I lied about the fun part.Maybe piano playing... Read More

A Brief History Of Gibson Guitars

Gibson guitars have been around forever. It's funny, but although... Read More

MP3 Music Subscription Services. A Good Deal?

There's a reason Apple Computer dominates the legal 99-cents-a-download digital... Read More

How to Use the Entire Piano Keyboard

There are 88 keys on the piano keyboard. Most pianists... Read More

Guitar Practice - Make It Your Priority!

Every student realizes that guitar practice is important if they... Read More

Polychords and the Jazz Improviser: How to Practice & Apply Polychords to Improv

In the world of music, many Jazz improvisers and Classical... Read More

Top 50 Music Quotations

Discover the phenomenonal complexity of music and reflect on the... Read More

What is Guitar Tablature and Can I Find It Online?

The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments... Read More

How To Find The Right Guitar Teacher

Finding a good teacher is not always easy, at any... Read More

Self-Expression Without Criticism

When I was 9 years old I played the Saxophone... Read More

Music Downloads: Free & Low Cost Ways For Musicians To Get Their Music Known All Over The World

Music downloads are highly compressed audio files transferred onto a... Read More

How to Start Your Own Band

Every once in awhile a guitar student will express a... Read More

Does Reading Make Music?

When you read music you are deciphering the printed page... Read More