#1
Okay, so I know UG isn't for medical advice, but I thought I'd check to see if anyone else had ever had this problem and if there's a remedy. I usually use a pick when playing bass, and when I do, after about 5-6 minutes of solid playing my right wrist starts killing me. I can either stop for a few seconds and it'll kinda go away, or I can keep going til it just eventually goes out on me. Now, my picking technique is nearly identical to Ed Breckenridge's from Thrice (RIP ) -watch here to get what I'm talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXGNFB4LTls . I don't do that just to emulate him, I find its just the best way for me to really dig into the strings when I need to and best utilize the instrument's dynamic capabilities.

So, has anyone ever experienced this before? I don't really think it's carpal tunnel as I'm not experiencing other symptoms, and at 18 I'm (hopefully) far too young to have arthritis, right? Ugh. Tell me what you know, y'all.
nerd it til it Hz.
>Fender Jagstang / Epiphone SG Special / DIY/GFS Partscaster
>SBN Big Daddy Amp Blaster / Boss OS-2 / Line 6 DL-4 / DIY guitarpcb.com D'Lay
>Vox AC15C1 / Marshall 4x12
#2
Oh man, I just watched that video.. Your poor wrist.

This guy in Thrice moves his hand around like hes playing a 30 string chord. Completely inefficient not to mention he's all tense (look at his movements)

Break these habits. Do it NOW! Work on alternate picking on one string and barely letting the pick come off the string. Do this while letting your arm/wrist/hand be as LOOSE as possible. No tension is good tension.

You can dig into the strings and get more attack with a thicker pick, using more of the pick or compensating your tone to include more attack while playing softer. I recommend any and all of these to what you're doing now. CT is inevitable with your current habit.

good bass picking

Last edited by Zeppelin Addict at Dec 22, 2011,
#3
It's wankers cramp. Stop masturbating so much.

Nah, it's probably just 'the burn'. Just fight through it and keep playing. You'll get used to it.
#4
not a good idea to fight thru anything that hurts>>>>>

years ago I also "tried" to emulate someone else...what a retarded thing to try because I thought it would be SOOOOO cool to look like "whoever". And the "you must pick hard to get dynamics out of your sound"?...hahaha rubbish! Find a good amp and let it do it for you.

I stopped and found a way to pick extremely fast without all that motion/wrist angle and now I never have a problem since. ( WHEN I actually use a pick ). Same for anything slow, the amp/preamp is there for a purpose.
#5
I appreciate the advice, gentlemen. Watching that picking video now.

Honestly even though bass is probably one of my stronger instruments, I've never taken a moment in my life to actually learn how to play it. Bass technique for me is secondhand from watching players I admire, in addition to whatever I know from guitar. So stuff like this is all news to me, lol.

Amimbari, I think you might be reading into something that just isn't there. Unless you assumed I was flat-out lying when I said I wasn't trying to emulate the guy. All we're talking about is picking technique- I doubt anyone's ever gotten laid because he "totally played exactly like that babe from Thrice".

Also, I must be misunderstanding something here. Are you telling me that if I want an aggressive sound, all I need is the right amp for the job, and nothing in how I play the instrument really affects that? Sorry, as a guitarist this is completely counter-intuitive to me. Am I wrong in finding that backwards?
nerd it til it Hz.
>Fender Jagstang / Epiphone SG Special / DIY/GFS Partscaster
>SBN Big Daddy Amp Blaster / Boss OS-2 / Line 6 DL-4 / DIY guitarpcb.com D'Lay
>Vox AC15C1 / Marshall 4x12
#6
Quote by lifesglorydead
Bass technique for me is secondhand from watching players I admire, in addition to whatever I know from guitar. So stuff like this is all news to me, lol.


Also, I must be misunderstanding something here. Are you telling me that if I want an aggressive sound, all I need is the right amp for the job, and nothing in how I play the instrument really affects that? Sorry, as a guitarist this is completely counter-intuitive to me. Am I wrong in finding that backwards?


We never stop learning throughout our entire lives, it's always great when you can pick up something that relates to something you like aka playing bass.

It is not based on your amp but rather how you EQ your amp. You know how if you leave your treble/highs all the way down its warm and fuzzy with no definition to the tone? Adding treble will do the exact opposite. Therefore you can get a very attack heavy tone even if you play lightly. Mind you, when I say play lightly that is in relation to how you play now. The difference really won't be that much, just enough to take the strain off of your wrist.

Basically, you're playing slightly softer with less wrist movement and therefore no pain and to compensate for your attack heavy tone you're adding some high end or taking out some bottom end on your EQ.

Last edited by Zeppelin Addict at Dec 22, 2011,
#7
You're not wrong that the velocity you apply affects the sounds heavily, you can't just abuse EQ to try and get the sound that you want, but equally EQ that compliments (or conflicts with) your playing style can make all the difference. Plowing the crap out of your strings is _not_ the best way to get an aggressive tone, you need to be completely relaxed and controlled - you can still play with lots of force without being tensed up.
#8
Quote by Ziphoblat
. Plowing the crap out of your strings is _not_ the best way to get an aggressive tone, you need to be completely relaxed and controlled - you can still play with lots of force without being tensed up.


Correct. Most wrist strain in picking is because you are tensing up and bearing down when you play. You need to relax your wrist and fingers so they can move fast and fluid without bearing down.

The best way is to relax your hand and roll back the speed to where you can play competently, then slowly but surely build up speed. You're tensing because you haven't gotten the mechanics down--slowing down helps to correct problem and internalize the mechanics of the process.