Since we use our hands and fingers in most activities, arthritis in the hands can be a cause of discomfort and uneasiness. While some are able to handle a mild degree of discomfort, arthritis in the hands is frequently more than a fleeting annoyance, and it can even lead to hand … So what exactly is arthritis, anyway? The good news is that if your arthritis isn’t too advanced, there are lots of ways to modify your playing so it’s more comfortable. • Try alternative picks that are specifically designed for folks with grip problems, like a thumb pick. • Slide playing may be easier for you to play for a longer duration, since there is less movement of individual fingers and no fretting of notes is required. • Play with a straight wrist. Create the Right Environment. To say that this guitar stands out in a crowd is an understatement. Painful hands. Here’s a list of the top 5 guitars currently on the market that were practically made for you. $750 for a used Taylor, good setup with silk-and-steel strings, and Bob's your uncle. Due to the systemic nature of the disease, RA can also impact the lungs, heart, and other organs of the body. I have slight arthritis in the hands and recently picked up a Mahogany Ibanez AC-2040.It has a 45mm nut,great for fingerpicking is extremely light and wonderful tone.If you get the chance...try one out. In the 500 range, seagull makes some very nice sounding, easy playing guitars, and you'd have money left over for a good set up. A professional can make sure your action is as low as possible and may be able to suggest additional modifications. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. If you‘re interested in trying out slide playing, here’s an inexpensive slide starter pack available on Amazon. A very inexpensive price to bring a smile to someone you love. • Make sure your guitar is well set-up. Such guitars make is easier for a player to curl hands around the guitar while playing. I'm so happy I found it. 4. If you’re unfamiliar with what a set-up is, check out my post Demystifying the Guitar Setup With Tips From a Luthier for more information. As always, it is important to play with proper form, and stretching, to prevent other kinds of injuries and joint damage. I find it very comfy to play on for hours. Yamaha APXT2EW . GP means Grand Performance. Just a friendly reminder that political discussion, (including "offhand" and 'sideways' commenting) is. (Yes, it’s expensive for a pick, but it’s handmade in Switzerland. 3. It too is pretty small and has a relatively small shallow neck. Most problems relate to the fret hand and wrist (i.e. Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster. I already tune down a half step, full step, two full steps, etc., depending on the song I'm recording. The remaining three digits are painful and becoming less achievable. Arthritis wears away at the cartilage of a joint, which is the cushioning material between bones.. Arthritis Treatment For Guitar Players. You need an account to post a reply. If you need help with any of these modifications, find a guitar teacher who has a lot of experience with adult students. Hand osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in your joints. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. (Believe it or not, some guitarists with arthritis have found a lot of benefit from hot paraffin treatments at the spa!) They make some of the best guitars in the world that are specifically for people with small hands, mostly women and girls. Try open chord tunings or other alternative tunings that will allow you to take advantage of open strings. Far less tension on the strings and a lot of lower cost guitars sound fantastic when you tune them down. Design. It’s full of great advice whether you’re looking for a teacher for your yourself or for someone you care about. This can cause inflammation and … The low action makes this one the undisputed choice as the best guitar for small hands. Crossing over, and just turning pages is sometimes very difficult. Whether you’re spending too much time on your computer or phone, are looking for relief from carpal tunnel or arthritis symptoms, or simply want to include hand massages as part of your routine, there are plenty of different types of hand massagers to soothe and relieve muscle tension in your arms and hands. • Play around with the tuning. It sounds weird, but she swears it keeps the arthritis in her hands at bay. Here are a few modifications you can try that have worked for others. If your hands were identical to mine then you would likely enjoy the Warmoth '59 Roundback carve. In middle school my friends and I were fortunate enough to have a music teacher who taught us by day and played the clubs of Boston by night. To make this easier, try holding the guitar in more of a classical position. I hope you have found this information helpful. Tension in the back or legs can create tension in other areas of the body, so good posture is important. I live in New Hampshire with my wife, our twin toddlers, and our shaggy dog. Disclaimer: This post is intended as general information. • When you play, sit in a comfortable, ergonomic position. OM also sounds good, or other size variants, but I can't say I'm familiar with the various scales. Make a Fist. • If you can, keep your environment warm and dry. The object is to keep the hands working so this piece will do the business just as well as the next one or the one after. I know a man around the age of 50 who has been a carpenter his whole life. I am 71 and also have bad arthritis. Playing related pain is very common in guitarists though and occurs in between 70% and 80% of them. Thanks, but I write country songs and they need real steel stringed acoustics. Well, most people say you can’t go wrong with a Martin and in this case, most people are right. The built-in chromatic tuner makes this super easy which is perfect especially for beginners (but I mean, who doesn’t cheat and use a tuner when it’s on hand?). This may complicate playing with others, but if everyone is aware of your tuning they can accommodate you. 5. 5 meaning the 5th tier and lowest expense. A hands-on choice. All photographs are mine unless another photographer is credited. I'm a professional pianist/organist, and I can't afford to have a lot of pain in my thumbs. I'd also say a good set up goes a long way, and using the lightest strings you can will help a lot, too. OA is often caused by aging, but people can develop it when they have certain kinds of injuries, or when they carry excess weight. It won't matter what kind of guitar it is if the setup isn't perfect. 10 Tools and Tips for Playing Guitar with Arthritis. With arthritis, cold and humidity are not your friends. Keith Richards has osteoarthritis in his hands, but he could have developed the condition due to age or genetics without ever picking up a guitar. I purchased this for my daughter in law who had stopped playing guitar because of severe rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Last edited by Macky; 17th May 2016 at 08:36 AM.. Many open/”cowboy” chords are easier on the hands and require less pressure from fewer fingers. Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar NOS. I have one and it is the easiest playing guitar that I own- and it sounds great too. • Play a guitar with a larger neck, like a Les Paul. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV. Some examples include playing with a capo, adjusting the action of your strings so it’s lower, using lighter strings, using alternative tunings, and playing slide guitar. As an example, check out the Zager Easy Play. RA is more variable than OA, and typically involves flares followed by periods of remission. There is no evidence that playing an instrument makes a person any more likely to get arthritis. How to Play Guitar with Arthritic Hands or Fingers, ‘re interested in trying out slide playing, here’s an inexpensive slide starter pack available on Amazon. We’ll start off this list with a real classic, Squier by Fender. The maple 9.5 inch, C-shaped neck and fingerboard with tall, narrow frets, is ideal for small hands. You might find that short scale guitars better accommodate your condition. Our simplified method makes it even easier to play guitar with severe arthritis. And yet, bassists with small hands sometimes play tree trunks and guitarists with huge hands often choose the slimmest necks. I haven't dealt with many of their acoustic models, but the quality...I've never heard a single complaint. Arthritis in the hands is the most common type of arthritis. Hey there! Thanks to him, we had School of Rock long before Jack Black was a household name. Legal Info: • Try to play a guitar that has a large neck. My dad suffers from rheumatoid arthritis quite badly, particularly in his hands and he wasn’t sure whether he’d able to play or not. And some people are just genetically predisposed to it so they may develop AO without injuries or excess weight. Pick a comfortable chair to sit in and try to play ... 2. One of the reasons Taylors are so popular is that they feel more like an electric than a flattop. But, it seems possible to make them easier to play than most other flattops. Need easy action acoustic for arthritis hands, Already have an account? Start out right with the best beginner electric guitars; You can't go wrong with the best electric guitars under $500; How low can you go with the best 8-string guitars; Go unplugged with the best acoustic guitars for all budgets; Best electric guitars: Our top picks. If you are a guitar player with small hands that like Nirvana, you’re in luck! It occurs as a result of the breakdown of the cartilage that support the bone structure. I have slight arthritis in the hands and recently picked up a Mahogany Ibanez AC-2040.It has a 45mm nut,great for fingerpicking is extremely light and wonderful tone.If you get the chance...try one out. The crucial thing is to keep playing if you can. One last point. Check Out The Best Electric Guitars for Smaller Hands Below: 1. Swollen fingers, joint inflammation, stiffness and […] I agree 100% on the setup. You may need to practice for shorter amounts of time, or take stretch breaks. If you have found guitar playing to be needlessly frustrating, you need to look at this one. If you don’t have a capo I’m a big fan of this one which you can find on Amazon. I suffer from erosive osteoarthritis of the fingers and am coming up on 50 years as a guitarist. When it's really painful, I'll play with a capo, or occasionally switch to silk and steel strings. • If you’re not a speed player already, this isn’t the time to become a disciple of Steve Vai. Initially I wasn’t sure either if I’m completely honest. • Where you’re fretting your notes can make a big difference in the amount of strength it takes to get a clean note. Thanks for visiting Sweet Guitar Tones! If you are an acoustic player, investigating silk and steel strings may also be worth your time. • Whether you are an electric or acoustic player, lighter-gauge strings will be easier on your hands. If you are a speed player, or have always wanted to become one, proceed with caution and make sure you are warming up properly. I might look at something like the MFG 000-18GE 12 fret. I have bad carpal tunnel. Use a Capo. Many of my students tell me that the physical act of playing guitar, and exercising the joints of the hands, fingers and wrists, have made improvements to their condition. • Some luthiers are making instruments specifically for folks who are having trouble playing stock models. Sweetguitartones.com will soon be a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When the joints of the hand or wrist are affected by inflammation, we refer to it as arthritis, or osteoarthritis due to wear and tear. The “No pain, no gain” mantra may work for marathoners who need to keep running through aches and cramps, but it is a terrible approach to arthritis. This got me thinking about the impact of arthritis on guitar players. For a serious guitarist, arthritis in the hands or fingers can be physically and emotionally devastating. Osteoarthritis (OA) is degenerative. Les Paul himself played guitar with arthritis for 50 years! The 5 Best Guitars For Small Hands. Stretch only until you feel tightness. Shorter scale will help, too (I was shopping Epiphones, between the Gibby copies and the 'originals', many variations exist among similar models, including scale). Hand and finger exercises can help strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion, and give you pain relief. “K” means Koa pattern. Learn more about the causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, home remedies, and prevention of hand osteoarthritis. C stands for “cutaway”.PA stands for Performing Artist. Frequent, low-impact movement has been shown in study after study to improve flexibility and strength. The best pill-free treatment for arthritis in hands depends on your symptoms. I created this site to help answer those questions that we all have as players, but have had a hard time finding answers for. What works for you will depend on a lot of factors, including the severity of your arthritis and whether it affects your fretting hand or your picking hand (or both). The easiest guitar I have found to play is the Epiphone Humingbird Pro with 12 gauge light stings. It’s especially common in the hands, hips, and knees. Best Budget: Pnrskter Hand Grip and Finger Strengthener at Amazon "Equipped with three resistance levels, this hand grip strengthens both the fingers and wrist." People who think playing guitar causes arthritis may be confusing arthritis with carpal tunnel or tendonitis. In many situations, yes! Arthritis can also keep older people who want to start playing guitar from jumping in.