Hand care tips for guitar aspirants to avoid injuries

Hand care tips for guitar aspirants to avoid injuries  28th November 2022

Indulging in leisurely activities is an overlooked aspect of today's hectic lifestyles. With building pressures of being competent and work stress while handling societal expectations, it is essential to explore and identify areas of interest outside conventional academics, careers, etc. With the early onset of mental struggles with issues like depression and burnout, research has shown that engaging in at least one activity outside your regular schedule that allows you to enjoy your personal space is beneficial.

Learning instruments is one of the most popular activities taken up as a hobby. Learning to play the guitar is the most popular activity on many people's to-do lists. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby that can be learnt without an expert's guidance and does not require years of practice to reach the beginner's level of playing. However, there is always a risk of injury, considering the small fretboard, metal strings and fast wrist movements that need to be mastered.

Multiple factors come into play relating to your posture, wrist placement, plucking, and supporting hand placement that may result in injuries if not done correctly. Here are some tips to prevent injuries while playing the guitar.

1. Long durations of playing the guitar without adequate breaks:
Over practice causes more significant harm than good. While it may seem exciting to display your determination to learn the guitar by playing continuously without taking breaks, it is best not to do so.
There is no fixed duration that you should practise and then take a break after, but it is best to limit a practice session to 30-45 minutes and then take a 10-minute break. It also helps prevent neck or back injuries from sitting in the same position for long durations.

2. No warmup:
It is common to be excited and skip the fundamentals to learn advanced techniques. No matter what level of expertise, it is necessary to warm up before each playing session. This involves regular stretching and practising finger exercises on the fretboard. Multiple online resources can help prevent discomfort and increase your fingers' agility and precision while shifting chords and fingerpicking.

3. Excessive pressure:
Often seen in the case of beginner acoustic guitar players, it may seem challenging to produce sound on metal strings. It is natural to use excessive pressure on the strings in such a case as you try to learn better. However, as you practise, you must find the ideal amount of force, just enough to produce sound.
Excessive pressure applied during regular playing damages the fretboard and may cause discomfort to your fingers. It may even lead to the tearing of the fingertips' skin. Understand that ideal pressure results in the formation of calluses, not injuries.

4. Proper posture:
Getting the basics right is the most important thing to understanding any skill. Sitting upright will allow you to keep your spine, neck, arms and wrist strain-free. If you feel any specific pain repetitively as you practise, it is best to get the guidance of an expert or stand before a mirror to identify and correct the issue.

In case you feel irregular pains in your wrist, it is best to get it checked by a doctor and use supporting devices like a wrist brace upon professional recommendation. Icing the wrist and regularly massaging the area can help significantly reduce inflammation and pain. Since one cannot eliminate injuries, taking preventive care and buying comprehensive personal accident insurance India is necessary to cover the financial burden.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.