Pain w/ the pinky…

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    Hi guys,

    Some of you may know, I’m not currently taking lessons (due to financial issues at the moment) so I’ve just been playing on my own the last 9 months. I do know a few harp friends on the internet and if I have questions, often times I either come here or I go to them. I often make videos to look at my technique and make sure I’m not developing bad habits and a lot of times send the video to harp friends to get an opinion.

    Anyway, this morning I woke up with a pain in my right hand. Its mostly when I stretch out my fingers, I feel it in the web by my pinky and also on the outside of my pinky (sort of below the joint down the side of my hand. Does anyone else know if this is commonly associated with some specific bad habit? I can’t think that I’m doing anything differently but I don’t have a recent video from last night to show.

    Just figured I’d maybe ask around here to see if anyone else has had this specific problem?
    I know that sometimes these things can be sort of broad and maybe not narrowed down to one specific thing I’m doing…Just figured I’d maybe ask around here to see if anyone else has had this specific problem?
    Thanks for any advice.


    Also, I would like to note that NO, I’m not using my pinky for ANYTHING when I play…which is why I’m confused as to why I may be having an issue with it recently lol

    Hannah White

    It seems to me that you are holding tension in your pinky and or in your hand. Here are a few things to check:

    Are you making sure that your pinky is not curling up? Your pinky should not stick out any further than your 4th. finger.

    Is it completely relaxed and staying pretty parallel to the 4th. finger? These two fingers should act as one when being played; whatever the 4th. does, the pinky follows suit.

    In general is your hand relaxed? Pay special attention to your pinky finger as well as the muscle on the side of the pinky. The rest of your hand too should be relaxed. Try placing your hand on the strings and start to play, then stop yourself and check “where am I feeling tense or holding tension?”

    Are you keeping 2-3-4 close to the same level on the strings when they are place? If they’re spread out, that may be causing unnecessary tension on your tensions.

    I hope some of this helps to solve your pinky issues!


    Hand problems often have their source outside the hand. Golfer’s elbow is cited as an injury known in harpists ( and the ulnar nerve runs to the little finger. My elbows sometimes ask me to be more careful of them, but usually for computer reasons.

    Hannah White

    Tracye, you’re on to something. I’ve had tennis elbow and it did cause some pinky issues…I forgot about that.


    Hannah – I’ve just sent you a private message that relates to this thread. Just wanted to make sure you see it! Thanks – S

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