Right arm placement and playing position

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Bertram Scrogshaw
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 3:23 pm
Location: York UK

Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Bertram Scrogshaw » Fri May 05, 2017 8:35 pm

Right handed player so I'm referring to my hand at the soundhole (not the fretting hand). Had my guitar a week. My practice regime is based purely on introducing my right arm and hand to the playing position and placing thumb and fingers on the strings and playing open strings with my p i m and a. (Not fretting with left hand). Working on the basis that I experience discomfort (ache rather than pain) then I must be doing something wrong. Ache is on lower arm at a central position on outer arm smack bang in the middle between wrist and elbow. Is it 'beginners' ache? I'm meticulously trying to keep arm / wrist / knuckles and fingers in as straight a line as I can. Or maybe it's the one hour practice sessions before I take a break. Any advice?

User avatar
Luuttuaja
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:35 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Luuttuaja » Fri May 05, 2017 9:10 pm

Perhaps one hour without a break is a bit too much? I try to have a 5 minute break every 20 or 30 minutes. After the break, my playing is better anyway.

Bertram Scrogshaw
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 3:23 pm
Location: York UK

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Bertram Scrogshaw » Sat May 06, 2017 12:26 pm

Ok. Maybe I've been a tad overexcited and played for too long without a break. But when my guitar is in my hands I just want to try lots of finger pickings and sounds.

meouzer
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:35 pm
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by meouzer » Tue May 09, 2017 2:24 am

Is your pain on the under-side or upper-side of the forearm? If on the upper side that would be an ache in your extensor muscles most likely caused by overexertion. You can get an ache there just by typing, so it makes sense it can happen from guitar. Take special precautions with pain that is near the wrist or is on the underside of the forearm, each of which might involve the tendons, but that's probably just going to happen with the fretting arm.

Jack Douglas
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:37 am
Location: Ashland, Va

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Jack Douglas » Tue May 09, 2017 1:13 pm

Based on what you are describing I suggest you get a teacher, if you don't already have one, to evaluate your right arm and hand position. And get them to look at the position of the guitar itself. There are so many variables that it would be purely guesswork to make any suggestions.
Since it is a new guitar, are you being extra cautious not to touch the front? That in itself could cause extra tension in your arm and hand?
Anyway, get a teacher to help you resolve this before you cause some physical damage.
Hauser III 2014!

Bertram Scrogshaw
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 3:23 pm
Location: York UK

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Bertram Scrogshaw » Tue May 09, 2017 2:09 pm

meouzer wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 2:24 am
Is your pain on the under-side or upper-side of the forearm? If on the upper side that would be an ache in your extensor muscles most likely caused by overexertion. You can get an ache there just by typing, so it makes sense it can happen from guitar. Take special precautions with pain that is near the wrist or is on the underside of the forearm, each of which might involve the tendons, but that's probably just going to happen with the fretting arm.
Upper side of forearm. Discomfort not so noticeable in the last couple of days so maybe arm muscles and tendons are getting more used to the playing position. Thanks for your answer/advice.

Bertram Scrogshaw
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 3:23 pm
Location: York UK

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Bertram Scrogshaw » Tue May 09, 2017 2:33 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 1:13 pm
Based on what you are describing I suggest you get a teacher, if you don't already have one, to evaluate your right arm and hand position. And get them to look at the position of the guitar itself. There are so many variables that it would be purely guesswork to make any suggestions.
Since it is a new guitar, are you being extra cautious not to touch the front? That in itself could cause extra tension in your arm and hand?
Anyway, get a teacher to help you resolve this before you cause some physical damage.
Pain/discomfort symptoms have lessened somewhat over the past few days. Longer breaks/playing for shorter periods. Getting a teacher sounds a good idea.....certainly for initial corrections to posture and playing position issues. Thanks for your suggestions.

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 935
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by guitarrista » Tue May 09, 2017 5:19 pm

You might be tensing way too much - which is common. To see if this is the case, first do a tensed hard fist with your right hand and notice how tense and engaged the muscles in the middle of your lower arm (forearm) are - that should be right around the area you mention. Now try a normal arm/hand position and pluck the strings - after a few do you get the same area tense and engaged? If so this could be why the ache is there.

However, simply resting more is not going to correct this - you should not be tensing that much at all when practicing your plucking. To try to correct, you could try being conscious of the tension in the forearm by playing each stroke and letting 2-3 seconds pass before you play another. In that time, consciously relax your forearm. Do another stroke, and relax again. Just do t his for a minute or two, then try playing at your normal pace. After some 5-10 min try the pluck and conscious-relax again for a minute. See if that makes a difference.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Andrei Puhach
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:34 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Andrei Puhach » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:57 am

Check out Dmitry Nilov on YouTube. In my opinion he has the most natural, relaxed and ergonomic right hand position. It promotes great finger Independence and freedom. Also, one can play hours without getting tired as the hand is super relaxed.
Cordoba C9

Peskyendeavour
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by Peskyendeavour » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:22 am

Check out Scott Tennant on line/ YouTube pumping nylon classes (think series of 15) as at the beginning there is a few of videos on posture, arm placement and nails etc etc. Hope you find that helpful.

DCGillrich
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:51 pm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Right arm placement and playing position

Post by DCGillrich » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:26 pm

You might also check out the Scott Morris lesson on right hand position https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZsxFgr ... 14259TG5QV from the Guitar Salon International video feed.
Cheers... Richard

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”