If you experience hand fatigue and or pain from extended periods of playing there are a few things you can do to prevent it and avoid a more serious condition such as tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Hand fatigue happens for a number of reasons. One reason could be your technique. For example if your guitar is worn too low your fretting hand’s wrist is in a hyperextended bent position. The positioning of the hand like this decreases strength and makes your hand work harder. Because it is working harder you fatigue sooner. Eventually inflammation starts to happen and you are then on the road to tendonitis or the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Another reason for hand fatigue is lack of hand strength. Do not buy into all the little stocking stuffer gizmos and gadgets that are supposed to build your finger strength. These little toys will lead to inflammation and overall hand strength will not increase. To increase hand strength and endurance for extended periods of playing you have to look at the whole picture. Not only are your fingers and hands invloved in playing but your forearms and to a certain extent upper arms and shoulders. I have found several helpful things to help the overall performance so hand fatigue does not set in and prevents the onset of inflammation and injury. First you have to make sure you are not experiencing any pain while playing or otherwise. If you are experiencing pain an ART practitioner can help. ART is performed by a chiropractor and you can locate an ART provider here. ART works wonders on all injured and inflamed soft tissue and it is a very effective form of treatment favored by professional athletes. You can read more about ART here in the article “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Guitar Players: Consider ART Before Surgery”. Systemic enzyme supplements can help with inflammation. The best enzyme supplement is called Zymessence and you can get it from Dr. William Wong here. Systemic enzymes greatly reduce inflammation as well as a host of other benefits and there are zero negative side effects unlike the anti-inflammatry or pain reducing drugs. You can read more about inflammation and guitar players in the article “Tendonitis and Guitar Players: A Natural Cure” here.
If you are not experiencing any pain and just want to increase your hand strength then resistance training with kettlebells can help tremendously. Kettlebells look like cannon balls with handles. They are favored by Russian special forces, law enforcement and athletes. Your hand strength will increase dramatically working with these babies. A good place to start if you are interested is with Mike Mahler. He is a strength trainer and a wealth of knowledge He can help guide you get the most bang for the buck from training. You can read more about hand strength in the article “Hand Strength for Guitar Players: Avoiding Hand Fatigue” here.� The name of the game is to build up the strength so you can play longer without fatigue and avoid injury. Rock on!