As we get older, our bodies change. In most cases, that change brings pain, discomfort, stiffness, and sometimes arthritis. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do as a guitarist to combat this natural slowing down of your body:
The first thing you should do is always warm up and stretch. This also involves drinking lots of water and making sure you avoid playing in places where your hands will be cold. Check out some of the stretches and warm-ups in the video.
Set the action nice and low and consider going down in string gauge to make it easier to press down on the strings. Experiment with different pick sizes to see what works best for you; this way, you can stay relaxed when you’re strumming and picking the guitar.
Another important part of staying pain-free is using proper technique. Make sure you have a good chair and that you sit up straight. Try elevating the guitar to put it in a better position for your wrist. A strap might make things significantly easier for you.
Lastly, you need to have good practice habits. Practice consistently for shorter periods of time and take breaks whenever you start feeling discomfort.
Feeling our bodies slow down isn’t easy. But if you do all of these things, you’ll be setting yourself up to play guitar for the rest of your life.