#1
Hey, just a quick question to ask if there is anything other than having patience i can do to stop my picking fingers cramping. when I play at speed, not superfast but Enter sandman speed. can remember bpm off the top. but my fingers cramp and end up stuck. anyone got any tips or exercises. Im warming up properly, doing all my stretches before hand etc.

Thanks
MrMouldyBread
#2
Relaxing when you're playing will help.
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#3
If you can post a movie clip of it etc. it will help heaps.
I do alot of fast playing for periods of time eg. playing with trem picking guitarists and a fast double kick and I dont get cramps.

Can be anything from playing technique, hand positions, not enough muscle in the hand or fingers and just improved by playing or just practice and endurance.

I've played with drummers who get fatigued fast or cant keep up a solid double kick for a minute... same thing as our fingers.
#4
I've seen people hold picks in weird ways before but I've never had a problem with my picking hand cramping before, you must be holding the pick weird,
#6
Practice, practice, practice. Sounds like you need to strengthen your hand/forearm. I play with my fingers. The circumference of my left forearm is 9 1/2". My right forearm is 11 1/2" - straightup Popeye.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
Last edited by deeptubes at Jul 12, 2011,
#7
thanks for the replies guys, I think its just to do with weak fingers. I am stretching properly before and after playing. I must look like an idiot stretching my fingers on the train home from work haha. I lowered the height of my bass just a little to straighten my hand out a little and that helped a bit. I have pretty long arms so playing with it lower is no problem for me.
Thanks again for replies. off to get some practice in.
#8
Dont be worried about stretching fingers etc. in public,
I've developed something that if im bored or nervous i start "air trem" playing with 2 or 3 fingers to stretch them and keep them loose and i swear to god it must look like i have some weird issue with twitching etc. and all i think is.... atleast when i play next ill be relaxed and have no issues with cramps or playing speed..
#9
Just ran across this today and thought it might be of use to you TS, parts 1 and 3 of this article series deal with hand position/technique and warm up exersise tips.

Part 1: http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2011/05/10/health-fitness-for-the-working-bassist-part-1-basic-technique/
Part 3: http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2011/07/07/health-fitness-for-the-working-bassist-%E2%80%93-part-3-warm-up-exercise-tips/
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#10
Positioning of your mind must be off. Rest your thumb on the front pick-up and keep your fingers straight as you can. You don't have to hit the strings too hard so just do it comfortably... Maybe raise your strap a little to where the bass is higher up to your chest so you don't strain your wrist. Get as comfortable as possible!
#11
Hmm I get this when playing some Iron Maiden or metal which have fast parts which you on and on and on. But Enter Sandman should be no trouble to anyway? A doctor might be a good idea for you.
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#12
i type a lot lol, i dont think it really does help but it sure does keep my fingers very lively, i'm a fast typer :P
#13
Its unlikely this could be the reason, but from personal expierence, it might be that your just plucking at the strings a little too hard trying to sound louder, its what happened to me, i noticed i was really plucking to hard and it was making my hand sore, so instead i turned up my amp a bit more, so i could pluck more gentily and still be loud enough, and i havent had a serious problem since
#14
Quote by vampire275
Its unlikely this could be the reason, but from personal expierence, it might be that your just plucking at the strings a little too hard trying to sound louder, its what happened to me, i noticed i was really plucking to hard and it was making my hand sore, so instead i turned up my amp a bit more, so i could pluck more gentily and still be loud enough, and i havent had a serious problem since


You can especially tell when this is the case because the middle of your finger is sore. Right where it bends, (second knuckle maybe? lol)
#15
Quote by vampire275
Its unlikely this could be the reason, but from personal expierence, it might be that your just plucking at the strings a little too hard trying to sound louder, its what happened to me, i noticed i was really plucking to hard and it was making my hand sore, so instead i turned up my amp a bit more, so i could pluck more gentily and still be loud enough, and i havent had a serious problem since


I took what you said /\ and bingo, problem has gone. turning the amp a little and plucking gently works. I suppose I should have thought of that earlier.
many many thanks.
#16
Is your wrist straight? If you bend it while you play, you pinch and restrict the tendons and your fingers/forearm have to do a lot more work to get the same amount of power. If they actually get fatigued and lock up, that's the most common reason IME.

edit*
Quote by MrMouldyBread
I took what you said /\ and bingo, problem has gone. turning the amp a little and plucking gently works. I suppose I should have thought of that earlier.
many many thanks.


The muscles working an average person's fingers are built enough that you can tug as hard as possible right at the bridge for a couple hours without wearing out. (exageration if you're playing super fast, but you get the point). If you have to bring the plucking technique into check (which isn't a bad thing in itself) You really might be having another problem like the one I mentioned.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Jul 19, 2011,