If you’re new to guitar lessons in Orlando, there are surely many things you’re excited to jump into in order to learn how to play the guitar. But, if you’re like most guitarists, you’ll likely experience finger cramps and pain the more that you play. Part of the education you get from guitar lessons in Orlando is understanding how to take care of your body so that you can enjoy years of playing the guitar.
Finger pain and cramping can be difficult to avoid, especially if you are a classical guitar player. But here are a few tools and tips to help you minimize and avoid pain. If you take the time to incorporate these exercises into your guitar lessons in Orlando, it should save you from temporary, immediate pain, and it should prevent something more serious from happening down the road.
1. Use Lighter Strings
When you first start playing the guitar, you’re likely going to use the strings that came with the guitar you bought. These can be too heavy for beginners who are likely going to be new to spending lots of time playing their guitar. Shop online or ask your local guitar store for recommendations for lighter strings to ease the pain and cramping of fingers.
2. Warm Up Before You Play
Just like you wouldn’t begin a workout routine or a basketball game without warming up, you shouldn’t begin a long practice session without spending 10 to 15 minutes warming up. In order to be properly warmed up before practicing, simply sit with your guitar and strum it slowly. Gradually build up your strumming until you’re playing normally.
3. Practice Your Technique
If you’re not taking guitar lessons with your Orlando guitar teacher, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. It’s incredibly important to practice and master proper guitar playing technique. Not only will this reinforce good habits, but it will also help curb finger pain and cramps too.
4. Hold the String Close to the Fret
You might see many musicians hold their fingers in the middle of the fretboard when holding a note. This is often how people are taught to play, but this technique requires lots of downward pressure, which can cause and increase finger pain and cramping. Hold the string closer to the fret. It uses less force and will be more comfortable.
5. Use Guitar Finger Caps or Gloves
If you haven’t been able to avoid finger cramping and pain, there are options to help curb that nuisance while still allowing you to play. Finger caps can be an easy and affordable way to continue playing, even if your fingers are sensitive. If you are able, avoid using gloves as your hands will naturally form calluses that will help your hands adapt to regular playing. If your hands are really hurting, there are some guitar-based gloves that can protect your hands while also allowing you the freedom to play.
6. Stretch and Massage Your Hands
Stretching and massaging your hands might be the single greatest tools in your tool belt to ward off finger pain and cramping. If you get in the habit of stretching before each practice session and incorporating stretching into your practice sessions, you will reap the benefits for years to come. Stretching not only applies to hands and fingers, but also to arms, shoulders, and your back as well. Posture is important, so make sure you’re stretching your entire upper body and back.
Like stretching, massaging is a good practice to integrate into your lessons. Massaging your hands increases the blood flow to your hands, making practicing a little easier.
7. Take Breaks
Don’t try to muscle through pain and cramping. If you feel those sensations setting in, take a five- to ten-minute break. Incorporating short, regular breaks into practice sessions can be a good way to give your hands a rest and a chance to recuperate.
To some degree, hand cramping is a little bit inevitable when starting to learn how to play the guitar, but that’s no reason to let it get out of hand or prevent you from playing. Too many ex-guitarists have given up something they love because of the pain, and this does not have to be you! Whether you are just starting out or you’re hoping to revisit playing a guitar that you love, we hope these tips will get you on your way to years of enjoyment.
If you’re just getting started with the guitar, our highly qualified guitar teachers can surely help! They come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child!