So as the title says I am a complete beginner at the guitar and am experiencing a lot of pain on fretting hand's wrist. The pain comes in after about 2-5 minutes of play.
Is this something that will go away as my hand gains flexibility over time or could it be bad positioning/posture? As I move to the 12th fret, my elbow gets closer to my stomach. My fretting hand bends at the wrist and forms a 90 degree angle. Any answers would be greatly appreciated.


3 Answers 3


Your fretting hand should not make a 90 degree angle (at least not continuously), it may occasionally for some chords.

More importantly: Does it bend 90 degrees towards you or away from you?

If that seems ambiguous please try to describe the exact shape, or take a pic and post it.

The wrist should be close to straight with a slight bend. Regardless of the cause of the pain the posture you describe does not sound correct.

Some "discomfort" is normal but the type of pain you are describing is not normal and could eventually lead to carpel tunnel, tendonitis, the development of cysts, and other issues. Please find a guitar teacher who knows what they are doing and take some lessons. Or find reliable on line examples.

The problems with on-line examples is that you kind of have to know how to play to be able to discern if what you are seeing is correct.


First and foremost;

Do not play sitting down on the couch, or slumped onto your bed and pillows.

Your arms become trapped and immobile due to the restrictions of the structures of the offending furniture.

In other words, stand up and play the guitar. Get a strap, and play standing, the way you will want to play when you are performing live, in front of people.

This way your arms and wrists are unencumbered, and free to move around, which is exactly how various chords and phrasings demand they be.

Cinch the guitar strap up to where your guitar is centered on your navel, not hung low down below your tender bits.

While you are learning the fundamentals, it is important that the angle of your wrist and fingers allows you to play barre chords comfortably and without distortion of your tendons and connective tissue. (Hanging the guitar down low, a la Jimmy Page or Slash may look cool in the rock videos, but it is no way to try and learn the instrument.)

If the guitar isn’t comfortably and ergonomically-centered on your body, you just won’t be able to learn the thing.

Does this make sense?


You need to get assistance from a friend or a teacher, anybody with quality guitar experience, that

  • is going to see you play!!!
  • you are going to watch play!!!
  • is going to help you improve / kill bad habbits

That stage at this point seems to be mandatory.

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