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Keith Richards says arthritis has changed the way he plays guitar

ABC/ Craig Sjodin

While The Rolling Stones certainly don’t seem like they’re about to slow down anytime soon, the band members are getting older. For Keith Richards, all the guitar playing over the years has apparently taken a toll on his hands.

In a new interview with BBC, Richards discusses how he deals with arthritis in his hands and reveals it has affected his playing.

"Funnily enough, I've no doubt it has, but I don't have any pain, it's a sort of benign version," he says. "I think if I've slowed down a little bit it's probably due more to age.”

He adds, "And also, I found that interesting, when I'm like, 'I can't quite do that anymore,' the guitar will show me there's another way of doing it. Some finger will go one space different and a whole new door opens. And so you're always learning. You never finish school, man."

The Stones are about to release their new album, Hackney Diamonds, on October 20, and it sounds like fans may soon be seeing Keith play guitar on the road again. He says the band plans to tour next year “if everybody is still standing.”

"We're all in good fettle. We're not looking at each other and saying, 'time's up,'” he shares.

As for whether he sees a time when they will hang it up, he jokes, "My answer is I'm not Nostradamus.” He adds, “Of course it's going to end some time, but there's no particular rush. We're having great fun doing this."

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