Help Straightening Wrist

Hi Folks,

I have been playing guitar for about 5 years now. Unfortunately, I developed the bad habit of a bent wrist on the fretting hand that causes pain and prevents me from playing guitar as much as I would like.

Obviously, I need to correct this. Does anyone have any advice on HOW to correct this?

My current thought is that it might be wise to go back to basics and re-learn how to play chords by keeping my wrist straight by doing one-minute changes…OR by playing songs very slowly and building up speed. I have tried the latter, but have found that when I try to play faster, I go back to old habits.

Does anyone have any experience and advice on overcoming the bad habit of a bent wrist?


Welcome to the forums!

I have a bit of the opposite problem, but i think you can use a similar method.

You can experiment with guitar location and rotation to see where the neck needs to be for a better wrist position. Classical players will set the body in their lap with neck up over the shoulder giving a pretty neutral position for the wrist. It compromises the picking hand’s attack angle a bit and I find it hard to palm mute. But somewhere between where you are and the classical position will be somewhat better than what you have now.

You can also experiment with rotating the neck out a bit. This is rotating the neck away keeping the body at your hip. This tends to help with angle and stretch on finger 4 for me. The down side is that holding the arm forward is not ideal shoulder position. It is also easier to do using a strap than sitting.

Once you find a position you like, you are going to need to be very consistent keeping to that position until it feels as natural as what you are doing now. Failure to do that and you will gravitate back to your poor posture.

Watch Justin’s videos with an eye for his positioning. Almost doesn’t matter which videos. You might want to start with the beginner’s


Welcome to the forum Rael. Start with lifting the neck of your guitar at a sharper angle. This will make straightening your wrist alot easier.


Welcome @BCDC.

A picture of your sitting position and wrist from the front and the side would let us zero in on your issue…it’s probably more than just your wrist angle.

Good advice given above…if you want some context and pictures, look at this topic:

I posted some front and side pics of various sitting positions, starting around reply 20.

Thanks for all the replies folks. I am pretty sure that my current overall posture is fine (except my wrist). I have watched many of the posture-related videos and I think I am good on that front. Using my current posture (i.e, standing, guitar not too low, neck raised), I CAN straighten my wrist without any problem, and it feels natural, but it is just that I DONT straighten my wrist because it is a bad habit I have learned over time. Finger placement with a bent wrist is very different to a straight wrist. This is why I am wondering whether I need to go back to basics and do 1-minute changes to re-train my fingers to place them on the fret board differently (i.e., curling the fingers more)???

Maybe, maybe not.

One thing I’ve learned the hard way is that what I think is the problem with my playing is often not the real problem.

I’d suggest you video yourself playing. Just for you…you don’t need to share it here.

You might be surprised by what you see, and can solve your own issue.

If you still can’t figure it out, then you might consider posting, so we can all see what is actually going on.

Once again, it’s probably more than just a “habit” of bending your wrist.

But without seeing what you are actually doing (as opposed to what you think you are doing), we are all just guessing.


Hmmmm, point taken. OK, I will take your advice and start by creating a video for myself, then see how things progress. Chances are that I won’t see anything myself and will probably post it here for feedback. Thanks so much.