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Thread: Exercises and advice for fret hand pain?

  1. #1
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    Default Exercises and advice for fret hand pain?

    Hello,

    I've been playing (or trying to play) several songs with moving bar chords (Drop Baby Drop, etc) and am having pain in my hand. It happens during normal strumming after a while but is pronounced doing the bar chords.

    The pain is mostly in the area where the thumb meets the hand, and in the other fingers to some extent. I'd tried pressing lighter but that doesn't work. Any tips and/or exercises for the hand appreciated.


    Thanks
    From the island of.... Alameda
    Pono MTD-SP l Cocobolo Ukuleles Tenor l Sonny D Ohta Sahn Longneck Concert(ish) l Pono Mango Pineapple Concert l Fluke Stripe Tenor
    Dusty project - Cigar box Uke parts

  2. #2
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    If I asked my doctor a question like this he'd probably say something like "If it hurts, don't do it", but ukulele players know much better than someone who's trained for seven years so I'm sure you'll get some well-meaning advice ... just hope it doesn't cause any long-term damage.

    In the meantime, If it hurts, don't do it
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  3. #3
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    Other than doctors advice, ease up on how long you are doing it, to let your muscles & ligaments get used to it slowly.

    You can't run a marathon if you've only just started running.
    Keith M --> likes a long neck - & baritone.

  4. #4
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    A classical guitarist suggested I bar closer to the base of my finger. Doing that required less pressure to get a clean bar.
    Martin OXK Soprano
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
    Eastman EU3C Concert
    Martin S1

  5. #5
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    In addition the caution to not overdo it, I'd also add that you might try changing where you put your thumb. A lot of people put it directly opposite the finger they're using to bar. While typically you do want your thumb opposite your fingers for normal chords, when barring you get more leverage if your thumb is pointed toward the headstock. Might see if that helps.

    Good luck!
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

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  6. #6
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    Thanks folks!
    From the island of.... Alameda
    Pono MTD-SP l Cocobolo Ukuleles Tenor l Sonny D Ohta Sahn Longneck Concert(ish) l Pono Mango Pineapple Concert l Fluke Stripe Tenor
    Dusty project - Cigar box Uke parts

  7. #7
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    and stretch! I get this same pain occasionally, as a nurse I get to ask doc's advice all the time. I was told it could be tendonitits, ease up some (not a ton of barr chords), and make sure I'm stretching my hands out frequently before, during, and after playing.
    Music is the language of the universe, and the universal language - Jake Shimabukuro
    Never take yourself too seriously!!

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  8. #8
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    I got a couple of these to help strengthen my fretting hand. They come in different levels of tension, and they allow you to exercise each finger and your thumb independently.



    You can get a set of four or buy them individually. https://www.amazon.com/Gripmaster-Te...and+gripmaster

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mds725 View Post
    I got a couple of these to help strengthen my fretting hand. They come in different levels of tension, and they allow you to exercise each finger and your thumb independently.



    You can get a set of four or buy them individually. https://www.amazon.com/Gripmaster-Te...and+gripmaster
    Cool. I think I will try that.
    From the island of.... Alameda
    Pono MTD-SP l Cocobolo Ukuleles Tenor l Sonny D Ohta Sahn Longneck Concert(ish) l Pono Mango Pineapple Concert l Fluke Stripe Tenor
    Dusty project - Cigar box Uke parts

  10. #10
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    Indiana
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    Not sure how old you are, but I eventually wore down the cartilage in my thumb joint, and had to arthritic surgery to replace my right thumb (basal) joint with a tenon from my wrist about ten years ago. My left thumb joint started hurting about 5 years ago, but I don't want to go through the agony of replacement. Playing barre chords is very painful.
    Trent

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