(Believe it or not, some guitarists with arthritis have found a lot of benefit from hot paraffin treatments at the spa!) This causes inflammation and pain. We’ll start off this list with a real classic, Squier by Fender. I'd also say a good set up goes a long way, and using the lightest strings you can will help a lot, too. 10 Tools and Tips for Playing Guitar with Arthritis. In order to make this guitar sound its best, you need to tune it, of course. I think what you need is a really good setup rather than any specific model of guitar. Just a friendly reminder that political discussion, (including "offhand" and 'sideways' commenting) is. Thanks to him, we had School of Rock long before Jack Black was a household name. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease similar to lupus. It works, she is thrilled. Start out right with the best beginner electric guitars; You can't go wrong with the best electric guitars under $500; How low can you go with the best 8-string guitars; Go unplugged with the best acoustic guitars for all budgets; Best electric guitars: Our top picks. Suffering from arthritis as a guitarist can really make things difficult with your career as a professional musician. I second the Ibanez recco, great brand for the dollars and famous for fast necks. Many of my students tell me that the physical act of playing guitar, and exercising the joints of the hands, fingers and wrists, have made improvements to their condition. If it doesn't last I will get another one. Use a Thumb Pick. I’ve never personally used one, but I came across glowing recommendations for the Hufschmid Drop plectrum as I researched this post. $750 for a used Taylor, good setup with silk-and-steel strings, and Bob's your uncle. As with any chronic pain condition, it’s important to listen to your body and not push too far. Slower playing is easier on your hands and wrists. Thanks, but I write country songs and they need real steel stringed acoustics. • Where you’re fretting your notes can make a big difference in the amount of strength it takes to get a clean note. Try lighter strings and see how it sounds. The remaining three digits are painful and becoming less achievable. If you are an acoustic player, investigating silk and steel strings may also be worth your time. Here’s a list of the top 5 guitars currently on the market that were practically made for you. I am 71 and also have bad arthritis. If you are successfully controlling the arthritis so you can still chop an onion or change a plug, time practising the guitar is a small price.” When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To say that this guitar stands out in a crowd is an understatement. If it helps you play longer, it would be worth the investment.). C stands for “cutaway”.PA stands for Performing Artist. (Yes, it’s expensive for a pick, but it’s handmade in Switzerland. 4. Check Out The Best Electric Guitars for Smaller Hands Below: 1. 5 meaning the 5th tier and lowest expense. One last point. This may complicate playing with others, but if everyone is aware of your tuning they can accommodate you. I agree 100% on the setup. Hey there! As an example, check out the Zager Easy Play. I find it very comfy to play on for hours. There is no cure for arthritis, but lots of people find that regularly playing guitar helps them manage their arthritis pain long-term. When the joints of the hand or wrist are affected by inflammation, we refer to it as arthritis, or osteoarthritis due to wear and tear. My dad suffers from rheumatoid arthritis quite badly, particularly in his hands and he wasn’t sure whether he’d able to play or not. Please consult an actual doctor for medical advice. It sounds weird, but she swears it keeps the arthritis in her hands at bay. RA can affect a lot of different joints, such as the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, and ankles. Why don't you just tune down a half step? Yamaha APXT2EW . The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Painful hands. I purchased this for my daughter in law who had stopped playing guitar because of severe rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. With arthritis, cold and humidity are not your friends. I wish you many more happy years of playing guitar and don’t forget that cherry juice!! I have arthritis in both hands, but mainly had pain in my fretting hand. It’s full of great advice whether you’re looking for a teacher for your yourself or for someone you care about. When you need to track an acoustic you can't use an electric. This site is owned and operated by Nate and Jenn Hastings. • Move away from full barre chords if your playing style doesn’t absolutely depend on it. It typically causes stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion. Some examples include playing with a capo, adjusting the action of your strings so it’s lower, using lighter strings, using alternative tunings, and playing slide guitar. Don Hurley. So what exactly is arthritis, anyway? Ready to find the right guitar for your small hands? As my arthritis has progressed my guitar playing has become more problematic, and is becoming impossible. In this case, an occupational therapist may be helpful as well. The SAD (Standard American Diet) is pretty much designed for population control and big business profiteering from your misfortune. If you are a guitar player with small hands that like Nirvana, you’re in luck! Hand and finger exercises can help strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion, and give you pain relief. I have slight arthritis in the hands and recently picked up a Mahogany Ibanez AC-2040.It has a 45mm nut,great for fingerpicking is extremely light and wonderful tone.If you get the chance...try one out. In the 500 range, seagull makes some very nice sounding, easy playing guitars, and you'd have money left over for a good set up. Its gonna be the set up as has been mentioned that will make it easier though. It sounds weird, but she swears it keeps the arthritis in her hands at bay. • If you’re not a speed player already, this isn’t the time to become a disciple of Steve Vai. Playing Guitar with Arthritis The Pain-Free Way to Learn Guitar Chords Playing guitar with arthritis used to be unheard of until ChordBuddy came around. It’s especially common in the hands, hips, and knees. I have one and it is the easiest playing guitar that I own- and it sounds great too. It felt like my hand was on fire. Due to the systemic nature of the disease, RA can also impact the lungs, heart, and other organs of the body. OM also sounds good, or other size variants, but I can't say I'm familiar with the various scales. There are plenty of ways to treat hand and wrist pain. Last edited by Macky; 17th May 2016 at 08:36 AM.. This can cause inflammation and … RA is more variable than OA, and typically involves flares followed by periods of remission. Create the Right Environment. There is no evidence that playing an instrument makes a person any more likely to get arthritis. I'm a professional pianist/organist, and I can't afford to have a lot of pain in my thumbs. There is no need to rush. The guitar is very small and is electric-acoustic. I have slight arthritis in the hands and recently picked up a Mahogany Ibanez AC-2040.It has a 45mm nut,great for fingerpicking is extremely light and wonderful tone.If you get the chance...try one out. Thank you very much for the reply concerning a guitar for small and arthritic hands. What works for you will depend on a lot of factors, including the severity of your arthritis and whether it affects your fretting hand or your picking hand (or both). Sweetguitartones.com will soon be a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The crucial thing is to keep playing if you can. • Some luthiers are making instruments specifically for folks who are having trouble playing stock models. Shorter scale will help, too (I was shopping Epiphones, between the Gibby copies and the 'originals', many variations exist among similar models, including scale). Learn more about the causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, home remedies, and prevention of hand osteoarthritis. I already tune down a half step, full step, two full steps, etc., depending on the song I'm recording. If you’d like a guitar teacher but you’re not sure how to find one, check out my post on finding a teacher. • Slide playing may be easier for you to play for a longer duration, since there is less movement of individual fingers and no fretting of notes is required. If you‘re interested in trying out slide playing, here’s an inexpensive slide starter pack available on Amazon. Thats why I mentioned my 00016. On acoustic, what has made all the difference for me was the right choice of strings. And some people are just genetically predisposed to it so they may develop AO without injuries or excess weight. This 3/4 size guitar is a fantastic option for those with small hands. You should try a flamenco guitar! As always, it is important to play with proper form, and stretching, to prevent other kinds of injuries and joint damage. If you are a speed player, or have always wanted to become one, proceed with caution and make sure you are warming up properly. The “No pain, no gain” mantra may work for marathoners who need to keep running through aches and cramps, but it is a terrible approach to arthritis. For a serious guitarist, arthritis in the hands or fingers can be physically and emotionally devastating. You need an account to post a reply. Playing related pain is very common in guitarists though and occurs in between 70% and 80% of them. Sweetguitartones.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. • Whether you are an electric or acoustic player, lighter-gauge strings will be easier on your hands. My electrics are never a problem, but sometimes a regular acoustic is a bit much. Frequent, low-impact movement has been shown in study after study to improve flexibility and strength. 5. I have a no name Japanese classical I use when my hands hurt. Yeah, I'm going to go with that as my advice. Legal Info: You will find that this model will provide you with a true and reliable tone. A professional can make sure your action is as low as possible and may be able to suggest additional modifications. As with most things, your mileage may vary. the left for most players), low back and neck. I'm so happy I found it. Osteoarthritis (OA) is degenerative. How to Play Guitar with Arthritic Hands or Fingers, ‘re interested in trying out slide playing, here’s an inexpensive slide starter pack available on Amazon. I have bad carpal tunnel. I know a man around the age of 50 who has been a carpenter his whole life. The strings are really low action, much more like an electric, although it is a nylon of course. Arthritis can also keep older people who want to start playing guitar from jumping in. • Make sure your guitar is well set-up. Les Paul himself played guitar with arthritis for 50 years! It too is pretty small and has a relatively small shallow neck. In middle school my friends and I were fortunate enough to have a music teacher who taught us by day and played the clubs of Boston by night. Arthritis in the hands is the most common type of arthritis. They make some of the best guitars in the world that are specifically for people with small hands, mostly women and girls. I haven't dealt with many of their acoustic models, but the quality...I've never heard a single complaint. Do stretches and scales before you play full songs. Maybe the bolt-on neck makes that setup possible, or maybe it's something else. You might find that short scale guitars better accommodate your condition. The regular 000-18GE is also very easy on the fretting hand. Thanks for visiting Sweet Guitar Tones! Make a Fist. However, the distance between the frets is the same as for a regular sized electric guitar, which means the scale is the same and the frets are spaced the same distance apart. Try a deep heat muscle rub, or soak your hands in hot water. The best pill-free treatment for arthritis in hands depends on your symptoms. The low action makes this one the undisputed choice as the best guitar for small hands. While some are able to handle a mild degree of discomfort, arthritis in the hands is frequently more than a fleeting annoyance, and it can even lead to hand … 3. If you don’t have a capo I’m a big fan of this one which you can find on Amazon. If you have found guitar playing to be needlessly frustrating, you need to look at this one. • When you play, sit in a comfortable, ergonomic position. Some people have said it's not durable, but I don't care. If you have pain or stiffness, you may benefit from heat therapy (to … Well, most people say you can’t go wrong with a Martin and in this case, most people are right. Use a Capo. You may need to practice for shorter amounts of time, or take stretch breaks. Best Overall: GRM Hand Grip Strengthener Counting Forearm Trainer Workout Kit at Amazon "Ideal for daily exercises, this workout kit accommodates various strength levels and treats both arthritis and hand injuries." The maple 9.5 inch, C-shaped neck and fingerboard with tall, narrow frets, is ideal for small hands. Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS. GP means Grand Performance. Keith Richards has osteoarthritis in his hands, but he could have developed the condition due to age or genetics without ever picking up a guitar. If your hands were identical to mine then you would likely enjoy the Warmoth '59 Roundback carve. This Squier... 2. Using this system makes it easy to learn guitar chords and begin playing your favorite songs despite the pain that comes with arthritis. With that said, many boys and men can enjoy playing Daisy Rock guitars too, as many of them have a neutral look. • Warm up before you play, both figuratively and literally. It is possible to play guitar with arthritis in your hands and fingers with the right tools. It occurs as a result of the breakdown of the cartilage that support the bone structure. Best Budget: Pnrskter Hand Grip and Finger Strengthener at Amazon "Equipped with three resistance levels, this hand grip strengthens both the fingers and wrist." • Play around with the tuning. I live in New Hampshire with my wife, our twin toddlers, and our shaggy dog. If you need help with any of these modifications, find a guitar teacher who has a lot of experience with adult students. The easiest guitar I have found to play is the Epiphone Humingbird Pro with 12 gauge light stings. The built-in chromatic tuner makes this super easy which is perfect especially for beginners (but I mean, who doesn’t cheat and use a tuner when it’s on hand?). Crossing over, and just turning pages is sometimes very difficult. Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster. I can no longer bend my index finger on my left hand so basic chords like C and G are impossible. Far less tension on the strings and a lot of lower cost guitars sound fantastic when you tune them down. All photographs are mine unless another photographer is credited. If osteoarthritis is causing you pain and you are not in the market for a new guitar, you might choose to speak to an occupational therapist (OT), particularly one who specialises in hands. It won't matter what kind of guitar it is if the setup isn't perfect. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered. My wife’s 90-year-old grandmother has been drinking a glass of black cherry juice every morning for several decades now. I’m Nate Hastings. I suffer from erosive osteoarthritis of the fingers and am coming up on 50 years as a guitarist. The closer to the fret your finger is, the less pressure you need to use. Design. “K” means Koa pattern. With RA the joints are actually healthy, but the immune system attacks them as if they were a threat. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Pick a comfortable chair to sit in and try to play ... 2. 1. Try open chord tunings or other alternative tunings that will allow you to take advantage of open strings. Thanks ever so much to Tom, Leslie and Chuck for your contributions. Many open/”cowboy” chords are easier on the hands and require less pressure from fewer fingers. • Try alternative picks that are specifically designed for folks with grip problems, like a thumb pick. • Play a guitar with a larger neck, like a Les Paul. • If you can, keep your environment warm and dry. The object is to keep the hands working so this piece will do the business just as well as the next one or the one after. The size and thickness of your hands and, especially, your fingers, play a crucial role in determining the type of neck that's best suited for you. But, it seems possible to make them easier to play than most other flattops. I played a full sized guitar yesterday for just 10 minutes, and my left thumb is aching today. That's a fatter C-shape neck but not incredibly huge (0.860 at 1st fret, 0.960 at 12th fret). In addition to being a guitar player, I am also a photographer. Whether you’re spending too much time on your computer or phone, are looking for relief from carpal tunnel or arthritis symptoms, or simply want to include hand massages as part of your routine, there are plenty of different types of hand massagers to soothe and relieve muscle tension in your arms and hands. To make this easier, try holding the guitar in more of a classical position. I hope you have found this information helpful. Our simplified method makes it even easier to play guitar with severe arthritis. A very inexpensive price to bring a smile to someone you love. In many situations, yes! For a serious guitarist, arthritis in the hands or fingers can be physically and emotionally devastating. Zager Easy Play Custom Guitars were designed for players with hand problems. This got me thinking about the impact of arthritis on guitar players. Make sure that you warm-up and stretch your hand before playing. One of the reasons Taylors are so popular is that they feel more like an electric than a flattop. Since we use our hands and fingers in most activities, arthritis in the hands can be a cause of discomfort and uneasiness. I created this site to help answer those questions that we all have as players, but have had a hard time finding answers for. Daisy Rock Guitars was founded on the idea that small-handed guitarists did not have representation in the guitar manufacturing market. A hands-on choice. • Try to play a guitar that has a large neck. Arthritis Treatment For Guitar Players. Play More Comfortably. This site is owned and operated by Nate and Jenn Hastings. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV. The good news is that if your arthritis isn’t too advanced, there are lots of ways to modify your playing so it’s more comfortable. First off, if your arthritis is minor, or in the early stages, playing guitar may actually help. And yet, bassists with small hands sometimes play tree trunks and guitarists with huge hands often choose the slimmest necks. Tension in the back or legs can create tension in other areas of the body, so good posture is important. Arthritis is a general term for chronic swelling in the joints. Such guitars make is easier for a player to curl hands around the guitar while playing. Click here to login, The ability to reply to and create new discussions, Access to members-only giveaways & competitions, Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As, Access to members-only sub forum discussions, Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio, Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free. It happens when the cartilage between bones wear down. The 5 Best Guitars For Small Hands. Hand osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in your joints. That will make it easier to curl your hand around the guitar when you play. I had arthritis in both of my hands and not only couldnt play the guitar, but doing dishes and other kinds of housework were miserable. I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years. Swollen fingers, joint inflammation, stiffness and […] Initially I wasn’t sure either if I’m completely honest. Most problems relate to the fret hand and wrist (i.e. Musicians get arthritis, just like the rest of us. Arthritis can also keep older people who want to start playing guitar from jumping in. All things considered, there are a number of things which any 'good' guitar, at any price point, will nail. This got me thinking about the impact of arthritis on guitar players. Disclaimer: This post is intended as general information. This beautiful low action guitar has a unique Koa that highlights the spruce top with matte finish. • If your repertoire consists of many songs that have a mix of barre and open chords, investigate if using a capo will allow you to play those songs in the same key without using the barre chords. Not sure if there are steel string ones too. Arthritis wears away at the cartilage of a joint, which is the cushioning material between bones.. People who think playing guitar causes arthritis may be confusing arthritis with carpal tunnel or tendonitis. Stretch only until you feel tightness. • Play with a straight wrist. You could also try tuning your guitar a step (or two) down. Change Your Tuning. This site will also participate in other affiliate programs and will be compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Here are a few modifications you can try that have worked for others. When it's really painful, I'll play with a capo, or occasionally switch to silk and steel strings. OA is often caused by aging, but people can develop it when they have certain kinds of injuries, or when they carry excess weight. If you’re unfamiliar with what a set-up is, check out my post Demystifying the Guitar Setup With Tips From a Luthier for more information. I might look at something like the MFG 000-18GE 12 fret. Need easy action acoustic for arthritis hands, Already have an account? I play electric, if you can call it that, and my last one came with 008s on it.
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