Left Hand technique struggles

Hi!I will Introduce my self first.
I`m a guitarist form Kyrgyzatan( kind of the only jazz guitarist)

I have some struggle with my left hand…
My left hand speed doesn`t go up , no matter how much I repeat.
And I found a way to play with left that will actually give progress. Even my right hands starts to follow my left hand, as a results I have less strugless with synchronization, and overall controll with time keeping, dynamics, right movements e.t.c.
It feels like my left hand becomes dominant, pretty relaxed.

But, what worries me, is that evert time I play like that, my left hand gets (tired)
My finger joints start to hurt and I feel cold on my wrist and fingers, like bad blood circulation is happening. So I have to stop, and this sensation keeps even after some time. It get worse the more I play and faster I play.
And It is very counterintuitive, because left hand itself is very relaxed, much less tension when my usuall playing.

I can avoid this, but than I get speed plateu, and my both hands are tighter when I play the old way, and I have less controll over my technique. But at least no pain even if i play in my max speed.

Any solutions?
In the video, I play like I do usually with my hands

1 Like

May be you should give it a try to a more classical hand position (thumb on the back of the neck)? I found that when my wrist is bent that way I may use legato pretty actively without much fatigue. It may be related with that blood circulation you mentioned… or it’s just my piano habits :man_shrugging:
You know, that ‘hold a ball’ position.

1 Like

Thanks! I don`t play always with the Blues position.
the Problem still occurs even if I play in a classical position.

I experimented with this, tried to play only slow.
looks like I can endure for longer times. Istill feel something is happening in my finger joints, but it`s bearble.( raising a tempo just few bpm can cause problems)

maybe my fingers just need to get used to the different muscles that I am using, and very gradualy increase speed.

Ok, I missed that. Now I see in your video that you start with a traditional hand posture indeed. My bad.

There is a reason why I suggested to use different posture. When I started to practice fast things (yngwie 6s) I had that strange pain in my finger joints. Though it happend mostly when I used highest strings. Changing position helped me to get rid of this issue. Basically now I try to bent my finger as little as possible (though not totally straight obviously). Seems like my hand doesn’t like when fingers are bent in joints more than needed. Most pain I felt in my ring finger. But as a consequence, since I have short fingers it’s hard for me to play with my guitar low, so I have to use whether classical position (guitar on a left leg with the neck lifted) or a strap.

Try to play fast things for some time using only lowest (thickest) strings. If your fingers feel better that way you may have the same problem. I don’t know the actual reason (since I’m not a doctor) but I do know that keeping my fingers less bent helped me.

Here’s a video of my two different positions - old and new one. They both use thumb against the neck back but the difference is in my wrist placed lower and fingers more str\aighten.

P.S. sorry for video being upside-down. Still have problems with the rcording process ((

I can’t say whats happening to your hand.
But I can recommend resting for a bit, have you taken time off for a week or two?
Playing guitar is not what our hands are meant for, I doubt at anypoint in our evolution were we moving our fingers excessively for hours everyday in the way we do on guitar. You may be getting inflammation and that can restrict bloodflow?

1 Like

I v never taken such long breaks… And for now it s not the right time to break, because i have to prepare a lot.

Been practicing today. Really slow… it felt fine.
My hands feel like are getting used to… I think i have to a break from fast playing… Just get used to new muscles. I noticed that if I improvise My fingers feel good. But if i force myself to play a prelearned phrase my fingers get uncomfortable.
So. I was just improvising today…kind of working on technique through improvisation

1 Like


I have two diagnoses for your symptoms.

One is that your hand is getting tense and your muscles can handle only so much tension before they give up and start hurting.

Two is that your hand doesn’t have enough stamina yet. So your fingers cannot keep holding a position without fatiguing.

The cure to both is practice hammer ons and pull offs to a metronome. Start at a comfortable speed like 90 bpm and play through 8th notes, 8th note triplets and 16th notes in an alternating fashion. Do this for all possible finger combinations. Also, warm up properly before playing. Do not do big stretches without warming up.

Do everything in the classical position. Palm parallel to the neck and thumb behind neck in line with middle finger on the fretboard.

Hope this helps.


Thank you very much!