Steve Morse NAMM 2018 - Wrist?


Just watched this vid on youtube:

There’s so many parts he plays with brutal elbow movements.
Does anybody know if he’s got problems with his wrist again?
Or is he just trying new mechanics?

Hope there’s nothing serious … one of my personal idols.


Hi @theGuyFromGermany.

To my knowledge, Steve has had intermittent problems with his wrists for a long time. These issues seem to have become more severe with age.

If you watch this Rig Rundown from 2015, at about the 28:40 mark, an annotation indicates that Steve now wears a compression glove to help with inflammation and arthritis of his wrist. He has also switched to lighter strings and a thinner pick than he previously used.

Steve has had previous injuries due to his active lifestyle. It’s possible there is some normal degree of wear and tear to the joints from any kind of picking, he has probably picked more notes in his lifetime than any other person ever and he has always played hard, using heavy strings and heavy picks. He’s not a young man anymore. It’s hard to attribute the problems to any one cause.


Thanks for sharing this.
i remember I saw in interview where he told he’s fine again with his wrist, unfortunately i dont’t remember when it was done. Probably he just wanted to stop talking about his health … he was recognizable not glad with that topic.
Now that i heard him palying that big elbow movement clean … man that man is incredible. He moves all across all strings at high speeds and still it seems to be pretty accurate.


I think it’s a bit sloppy to be honest.


It is sloppy, that can’t be overlooked.
I meant that in relation to the size of the movement, to me it’s quite impressing that you can still hear the single notes at all.


I think he is using an incredible right and left hand muting technique which is allowing him to swipe like crazy and still get the notes out.


At least as far back as 1995 he was using a elbow+locked-wrist+fist method with Deep Purple in the Highway Star solo.

He’s always looked to be straining to me. I’ve wonder whether it’s that supinated flex/ext right arm position. But even his left hand looks like it’s got a death grip on the neck. Still, it sounds better than it looks.


He does appear that way at times, but in our interview he claims the elbow technique is effortless. And I think his crosspicking technique is or at least was pretty effortless at one time. There’s a moment in the REH instructional where plays through Tumeni notes and also the six-string arpeggio shapes while just looking at the camera and casually chatting, and it looks super fluid and easy.


Yeah, I think elbow technique is often less effort to do than to watch. :slight_smile: It’s more the other stuff I feel him struggling to keep it in time.
That was the first instructional video I ever bought. Will have to dig it out and look again … and get it digitized before ye olde vhs player crumbles to dust.


I feel his pain. I have struggled with wrist issues like ganglion cysts at the base of my thumb on the picking hand for a long time and use lighter picks now as it takes the force out of my picking and kind of acts as a shock asorber so my wirst wont get the full force of the pick stroke. I have also used coban wrap to tighten the carpal region so the tendons will be more likely to stay in line. People can always say to pick lighter but when you’ve been doing it the same way for a long time it is way hard to change without losing dynamics.


I have a little ganglion on the wrist of my fretting hand. It’ll get big if I do stretches like 3-5-7 on the low strings for too long. So I have to work around it and avoid traditional 3 nps scale phrases.


yeah that has happened to me a few times(basically on the back of hand where the wrist bends) and i had to have cortisone shots and have the dr break it up. I have changed the way the wrist angles on my fretting hand as a result and have not had it come back since. they key at least for me is to keep the wrist as straight as possible. I also had to change from the my left leg to right leg (Im a lefty) when sitting for placing the guitar so the fret board points toward the ceiling a bit like the classical position and helps keep the wrist straighter.


If CTC has taught me anything from the various guests etc. is that we are trying analyzing to the Nth degree and that it can distract us from the musical output. Although I do think that Steve’s playing can be sloppier at times compared to his younger days, if we all listened to the original post’s video with only audio, I think most of us would would react more favorably to it.

I’m not totally enamored with all aspects of Steve’s playing and find his playing style difficult to watch, but he has honestly written and played some of the best music I have ever heard - would love to meet him. You are a lucky guy Troy!

split this topic #14

A post was merged into an existing topic: Swiping arpeggios