Starting out with F Chord-Pain - is this normal?

I was lucky that the F chord was not that hard for me. However, now that I am working on speeding up changovers I have noticed that I need to cut down on my practice due to getting sore a lot quicker. It is concentrated in my fret hand index finger’s and pinky finger’s middle knuckles mostly. It increased a lot with the F but also happens with the C, Dm, and F chords. “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop was maybe a poor choice -but intentional- as I am challenged with the F and C changeovers, so it is great practice.

To clarify, I am not asking for medical advice. I am not surprised that I got a little sore with as long as I accidentally went, and it has already decreased with less than a day’s rest (and I still worked in a little scale work to take it easy on the fingers.) I just wonder how normal pain in the knuckles would be when starting out? I assumed the pain would be in the larger tendons in the hand, or the wrist, or forearm and I am taking great care to pay attention to my form, and to not wrap my wrist, etc. My pain is concentrated in my knuckles and that was a surprise. Has anyone else dealt with that?

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It’s as normal as any other muscle/tendon/joint pains that occur when you perform repeated, strenuous exercise on any limb. The more “unfit” the limb and/or sudden the increase in strain, the more pain you’ll likely experience in the initial stages.

Just listen to your body and rest the painful areas until the pain has receded, and you’ll be fine. Don’t “push through” thinking this will somehow get you used to it quicker, because all you’ll end up doing is injuring yourself and being unable to play for an extended period.

Awesome. Thanks.

I had never heard of the knuckle joint pain but I don’t know many people who play guitar.

Yes, I was successfully moving quickly at first but something finally gave and the weak link is my body. I am working on air guitar and strumming/singing practice and scales/finger picking practice for now.

Thanks again, and have a good weekend!

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Well, you have now. :slight_smile: It’s been eight months and it’s only now starting to recede somewhat, though that might just be because I’m not playing as much at the moment. We’ll see.

Anyway, have a good one mate. :+1:t2:

That is a really horrible story I just read! I would wish you a speedy recovery but it sounds like it has already been a long road. Sometimes these injuries linger and finding the balance between too much rest or overuse can be difficult.

I will heed your warning and slow down a bit more.


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One thing I found out quickly is that playing on acoustic is harder on the hands. So if you play acoustic for a while and then switch to electric your fingers thank you for it. The occasional acoustic session helps to strengthen up the hands too though. It’s a good discipline to play different guitars.

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I remember Justin saying that. I actually have an electric but I didn’t have an amp for it until recently. I just received a used Spark 40 that I was waiting for a while to get. I played the electric last night and realized that there is a lot more real estate on the neck. I had a bit of a time adjusting but man it sure was a lot easier to hit those chords. The plan was to alternate but I think that I need to take the acoustic in for some work. I am able to hit the notes but if there is some relief that I can get, it is worth it to me. It is an old guitar that was gifted to me by my mother in law. It went unplayed for about 10 years and has travelled from very dry, Southern California to pretty humid, North Texas. Even if the action is ok, I feel like it could use a little love.

Thanks for the suggestion!

I got my acoustics out late last night probably for the first time in over 10 years. That’s what reminded me. The heavy strings are almost impossible to bend though.

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