I was sitting down in my room earlier this week playing my Taylor acoustic and I had sort of a flashback to when I was younger. I remember the very first day I started playing guitar, I had played so much, that one of my fingers started bleeding. I remember putting band-aids on and continue to push through just so I could play those two simple chords my guitar teacher recently had taught me. Today, I have built calluses and could play for hours on end without my fingers hurting. I also had another memory of when I broke my arm and almost lost feeling in a few of my fingers on my left hand. That is the end I use to form chords and notes. All of these memories led to me thinking on how valuable my fingers and hands are. So this week, will be sort of different from my usual posts. I will give you some tips on how to protect the most valuable asset that a guitar player has.
I cant stress this enough. If you intend to learn to play guitar, you’re already learning, or an experienced guitarist, make sure you take a break in between sessions. I know sometimes you can get lost in the music, but don’t put more wear’n’tear on your hands and fingers.
Strengthen the Muscles in Your Hands
It may sound crazy, but honestly, strengthen the muscles in your hands. It will make your hands faster, stronger, and eventually you will not have as many problems actually playing the guitar. They actually make devices to exercise your hand muscles.
Have good “Hand Posture”
There is a special way with your hands to make chords, play notes, and overall, play the guitar. Always keep your fingers arched when you are playing chords, and make sure your arm is relaxed and not so tensed when playing. This goes for your strumming hand, and playing hand.
When it Hurts, Stop For a While
This goes with taking a break. Don’t be stupid like me and play till your fingers bleed. You could cause some serious problems, or leave scars that could hurt your fingers in the long run
Protect Your Hands Outside of Playing
Taking care of your hands while you are on the job, playing sports, or just out and about, is super important if you intend to play guitar. The rhythm guitarist in my band worked at Bob Evans and was cutting turkey one day. He wasn’t wearing the appropriate gloves and basically sliced all but a little bit of his thumb off. Luckily, the doctor was able to sow it back on. I had a long talk, well basically just yelled at him calling him any idiot, about how he needs to protect his hands! One wrong move and your days of playing could be over.
I am not trying to be your “Guitar Mom,” but I have witness a lot of bad things that have happened to guitarist that cut their passion short. So please, do not take your hands for granted. They are a gift, and should be taken care of properly.