If you are lucky this holiday season you might be opening up a gift to see your dream guitar, you've waiting for so long to play the legendary axe of your dreams, but don’t go at it all guns blazing as you could cause yourself an injury. With more and more people complaining about guitar-related incidents, here are the top 5 injuries and how to avoid them.
1) The Pete Townsend elbow
We may have all hopelessly failed at doing it, but we’ve all done it. Aspiring to be the next Pete Townsend, many guitarists can be seen strumming their axe windmill style to the “won’t be fooled again” backing track, but that motion can be rather strenuous to your shoulder and elbow.
Not only can you bring your arm down and thwack it against the tailpiece, but you can also completely miss and punch yourself in the face. How to avoid? Play some Bob Dylan instead!
2) Knopfler’s Finger
Playing along to your favourite songs is one of the best feelings in the world, especially if you can pull it off. But there comes a time when some guitar players are so intrinsically biased towards a certain playing technique that it does you some damage.
If you keep playing fingerstyle for too long, your fingers will start to lose all of their feeling and large callouses will appear in their place. This is great if you are in a Mark Knopfler tribute band, but not really if you have a day job. How to avoid? Wear gloves!
3) Hendrix Tooth
Again, this is another stunt that you may have found yourself trying over the years, but nobody thinks you are great at it, and you know deep down that you sound awful. We are talking of course about playing guitar with your teeth. Whilst Jimi Hendrix was a master as it, you may not have the orthodontic integrity to carry it out in such a similar effortless style.
Side effects may include: bleeding gums, missing teeth and an unquestionably large build up of plaque on your g string.
4) Santana’s Plectrum envy
Whilst trying to get the ultimate tonal sound possible using a variety of amps, guitars and playing method is a great way to recreate the sonic precision shown by Carlos Santana, he does use a rather large plectrum to give him the edge over his rivals. Don’t get too carried away by finding the biggest plectrum the guitar store has as it may be down to your technique, only.
5) Gun’s n’ Roses blindness
Whilst Slash is a truly cool guitarist, recreating his clothing style is maybe one step further than you need to go. Whilst it is considered cool to wear sunglasses indoors, wearing them onstage in a dimly lit pub after you’ve had a few drinks in the intermission may lead to you fall off stage.
Ensure that you have full control of your limbs before donning the uber cool shades, and make sure that you have somewhere safe to fall. Ending the gig with broken bones - or worse still a broken guitar will have your band mates in laughter at you for the rest of the tour. How to avoid? Gig outdoors!