If you are a beginner guitarist, then hand cramps are something that you must have been facing every single day. It’s something that you cannot avoid while learning guitar. However, there are some cases when professionals also face hand cramps. So, you must have been looking at how to keep your hand from cramping while playing guitar.
It is something that all of us want to avoid, and for this, we do a lot of things. But, there are some ironic situations when you meet these hand cramps, and they are inevitable. So, how would you avoid them, and if you cannot avoid them, then how would you treat them?
If you are struggling to get the right answer, then this is the right place to land on. Here we will introduce you to everything about hand cramps that you face while playing guitars. So, if you want to avoid falling victim to hand cramps, follow this article religiously.
- What is Hand Cramping?
- Why Do Hands Cramp While Playing Guitar?
- Unnatural Hand Movement
- Continuous Jamming
- Tips to Keep Hand Cramping While Playing Guitar
- Have rest after every 15 to 30 minutes
- Ensure to warm up before jamming
- Develop wrist movement technique
- Use finger caps and gloves
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hand Cramping?
Hand cramping is something that most guitarists want to avoid, but ironically we all have to fall victim to it at some stage in our life. It is a nerve disorder that occurs while playing guitar as a beginner or when you play the guitar for a longer period.
Hand cramps are referred to as unwanted muscle movement or muscle ache in the hand muscles. For guitarists, it occurs in two stages. First, when you are playing the guitar as a beginner, and your hands have no prior experience of such type of wrist movement. Second, when you have become a professional, and you play guitar so often that your hands are tired and cannot bear much pressure.
These muscle aches are so bad that if they continue, they will not allow you to play your guitar or other musical instruments finely.
Why Do Hands Cramp While Playing Guitar?
It is something that most people ask while playing guitar. If you’re a true guitarist, you will admit that no guitarist can avoid facing hand cramps. So, you must also question why on earth do these hand cramps occur. Are they natural? Do I need to worry if I get hand cramps, or is it something that happens to all, and we must not care about them?
So, there are a lot of reasons for you to face hand cramps. But two of them are most common.
Unnatural Hand Movement
First of all, the reason why we face hand cramps is because of unnatural and unorthodox wrist movement while learning guitar. We never have the experience of moving our wrist in such a way as we move while playing guitar.
Doing this opens up our muscles, and due to it, we sometimes face muscle disorder, leading to hand cramps. This is something that goes away as soon as you give your hands some rest and a proper hand massage.
Second, when you are a stage performer, a hand cramp is what you will be witnessing days in and days out. A professional musician will have to play guitar for so long that their hands become stiff. This is what causes hand cramps and other such things.
We know that doing something continuously will affect our health. And, when we play the guitar regularly without having rest, our muscles are stretched, causing swelling and inflammation. The muscle stretch and the nerve disorder causes hand cramps, and in some guitarist, they are serious enough to be worried about.
Sometimes, these hand cramps are hard to get rid of, and they last for even some days.
Other than the above-given factors, there are other things that may cause a hand cramp. There are things like fast hand movement, using the bending technique so often, and playing high notes at a rapid pace. This is what causes hand cramps while playing guitar.
Tips to Keep Hand Cramping While Playing Guitar
So, if you want to play your guitar smoothly, you will surely have to avoid falling victim to such hand cramps, and for this, you need to follow some tips and tricks to protect your hands from falling victim to hand cramps.
Have rest after every 15 to 30 minutes
The most common reason for witnessing hand cramps is the nonstop playing of the guitar. No matter if you’re a beginner or professional, rest is essential. Most of us fall into the illusion of music and forget to take a rest, leading us to witness hand cramps.
Therefore, if you are a guitarist and want to avoid falling victim to regular hand cramps, you need to make a schedule for jamming and rest. What we suggest is that you need to take 2 to 5 minutes of break after jamming for 15 minutes.
Even if you are on stage, there is no melody that will last longer than 15 minutes. So, whenever you get rest, you need to ease your fingers and hands, massage them a bit, and then continue playing. We know that this will not stop hand cramps completely, but they will help you to avoid hand cramps regularly. So, follow this trick if you wanna avoid witnessing hand cramps regularly.
Ensure to warm up before jamming
How many of you warm up before initiating a proper jamming session. I am one of those who forget to warm up while jamming, and this has resulted in me facing a lot of hand cramps, and some of them were so severe that I remember to warm up before jamming.
When we jam, intense pressure is put on our hands, and if they are not ready to face such pressure, they fall victim to cramps and muscle injuries. So, if you want to avoid these cramps, ensure to always warm up before jamming.
Doing this will allow you to avoid hand cramps. Along with all this, warm-up before jamming is something that is going to help you become a better guitarist. So, do never forget to warm up before your jamming session.
Develop wrist movement technique
As beginner guitarists, we do irregular patterns and wrong wrist movements, and this is why most of us face hand cramps and muscle injuries. So, for this, what you need to do is develop some proper wrist movement techniques.
There are a lot of wrist techniques that may help you avoid hand cramps. Whether it is holding the fretboard with a gap or without a gap, it helps a lot to avoid cramps.
Developing wrist movement techniques will also allow you to be a better guitarist than you were before. So, if you are fade-up of hand cramps, develop wrist movement techniques.
Use finger caps and gloves
We know that most professional guitarists hate to use finger caps and gloves while playing guitar. If we speak the truth, we also do not like having finger caps and wrist gloves. They do sometimes affect your playing technique, and guitarists do not consider them good.
However, if you are one of those facing continuous hand cramps, we suggest you to use wrist gloves and finger caps as they ease the playing process. So, if you are facing so many hand cramps and they are not allowing you to practice, then we suggest you use these gadgets.
They will allow you to avoid hand cramps. Though there will be hand cramps, they will not be as much as you are facing at this moment.
However, we do not want you to use these gloves and finger caps for a longer period. As long as you feel that you have mastered the wrist movement techniques and you will not have many cramps, then you are good to avoid using them. Do never use them for a longer period.
We are good to conclude that we have schooled everything to those who wanted to know how to keep your hand from cramping while playing guitar. So, if you are having hand cramps, you can follow the above-given techniques, and all of your issues will be resolved.
However, if you feel anything missing or if you are having any issues while understanding the techniques, let us know. We are always available at your service. So, follow this article religiously, and if you are having any issues, inform us.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you hold a guitar without hurting your wrist?
So, if you want to avoid hurting your wrist while playing and holding the guitar, then there’re two things that you need to do. First, you will have to create a gap between the fretboard and the wrist. For this, you need to place your thumb just behind the fretboard, and it will create a gap. Secondly, you need to do finger picking regularly.
Practice it on a regular basis, and you will get everything that you want.
Why do fretting hands hurt?
Well, fretting is something that includes a lot of stretch and tension. So, it is certain that you will have muscle aches, and your hands will hurt while fretting. We need to grip the fret hard for perfectly sounding strings. So, this is why due to tension, pressure, and stretch, your hands hurt.
Is playing guitar bad for hands?
To some extent, it is. You will have some issues with your fingers. While pressing the strings, your fingertips will turn hard, and your hands will be hard too. But, this is not a permanent thing only when you are playing. So, this is not a big effect on your hand. But surely your hands will change a bit while playing guitar.
How do you tape your fingers for guitar?
Playing guitar does not usually require tapping your fingers, but if you want to do it anyway, then there is a process. You need to tape the tip of your finger finely and keep the tape stretched and hard. Make sure there are wrinkles on the tape as it will affect the tone of the guitar.