Are you wondering why your wrist is hurting when you play guitar?

Why Is My Wrist Hurting Playing Guitar?

Are you wondering why your wrist is hurting when you play guitar?

Are you getting wrist pain when you are playing guitar? Are you thinking how professionals play for hours seemingly easily while you have to take a break every 10 minutes?

Are you wondering why your wrist is hurting?

Do you question your technique?

We are going to look at some of the reasons why your wrist might be hurting and a few solutions that will hopefully help you solve it.

As a Beginner Guitar Player

guitar wrist pain

1.     If you are a beginner guitar player, it is normal to have a level of pain in your wrist while your muscles develop and your hand gets stronger. The pain should be an ache, not shooting. If you are getting shooting pain, then definitely stop. During this beginner stage, if you are at home practising on your own and suffering from wrist pain. It’s a good idea to keep your practising sessions to 20-30 minutes only. If you are studying with a great guitar teacher who can monitor you and check your technique, then you can play for hours.

Tension in the rest of the body

2.     One of the biggest contributing factors I see as the cause of why people’s wrist pain is hurting is because of tension somewhere in your body. This might be in your shoulder or back. If this is the reason, then you need to solve it by having proper posture. Here is a video that I had posted previously regarding good technique for sitting to help you with back pain and tension.

tension playing guitar

Building up strength

3.     If you are trying to learn how to play barre chords at the moment. You will need to take some time to build up your strength in your wrists. Without that strength, it’s difficult to play for long periods of time without pain. To solve this, keep barre chords practising time short initially as you are building up your strength. Once you have done that, playing barre chords will be so much easier for the rest of your life.

Pressure on the fretboard

4.     Another reason that people struggle with wrist pain with barre chords is that they are pressing on the fretboard too hard. This causes a lot of tension in the hand itself for long periods of time. This causes tension in the wrist as a result. To practise being able to hold barre chords softer, you can play the chords in the muted position, and then gently add more and more pressure until a clear chord rings up. Then you know that’s the level of pressure you need for playing a barre chord to reduce the amount of pressure and tension required by your hand to play it.


An extra point about pushing the strings down so hard, you can actually change the note to be out of tune if you press too hard, because it’s bending the string.

There are other reasons that might be the source of your wrist pain. If you have tried all of the solutions above and still struggling. I would highly recommend going to a professional guitar teacher who is able to look at your playing positions, your technique. It is really important that you solve this as early as possible to reduce injury to your wrist in the future. 

If you are struggling with wrist pain. Get in contact to find out how we can help you.