#1
Hello, fellow bassist!

Well, I a mcurrently learning to play bach's cello suite Nº1, adapted for electric bass, an i am experiencing pain in my fretting hand thumb's base. it's the round part of the palm from where the thumb comes from.

I think it might be because i press too hard on the strings, because when i try to relax it, the pain reduces... still, relaxed as posible, i still build up some tension, and then pain, as i play the suite. i think this song gives me pain, because there's quite a lot of string skipping so i can't rest my index finger to help the hand stay in position, and because i need to move my hand quite a lot and that makes me put some extra pressure on my thumb to keep things steady and controlled. with other songs, even some that i play faster, i am able to relax and not build tension to a pain generatiing extend.

So, would you like to give me some advice on what to do to avoid pain?
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
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Last edited by Sudaka at Mar 29, 2012,
#2
Don't grip the neck so tightly. You're putting more pressure on that joint than you really need to. Your thumb should be resting gently on the back of the neck, not pushing down on it. Of course, this is coming from someone who has bad technique all around (the heel of my hand rests on the back of the neck ). Of course, my hands are pretty small, so it's almost a necessity. Also, do you stretch out your hands, fingers and wrists? If not, you should.
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#3
Quote by Bassy-Justice
Don't grip the neck so tightly. You're putting more pressure on that joint than you really need to. Your thumb should be resting gently on the back of the neck, not pushing down on it. Of course, this is coming from someone who has bad technique all around (the heel of my hand rests on the back of the neck ). Of course, my hands are pretty small, so it's almost a necessity. Also, do you stretch out your hands, fingers and wrists? If not, you should.

well, i don't seem to have any trouble with my hands extension.... my hands are medium sized, there's little difference between index middle and ring fingers, and the pinky is like 2/3 the middle finger. the only reach issue i might have is that i can't fret the middle and ring fingers and have a fret distance between them, cause they won't stretch too much away from the other...
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#4
bump
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#6
Rule Number One (for damn near everything under the sun): If it hurts; STOP! Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is definitely wrong and if you try to "play through it," you might very well end up with tendonitis. In that case, your bass technique will be the last thing on your mind. Searing pain does that to you.

As others have said, don't grip your neck too tightly, and don't try to anchor your plucking hand so rigidly that you are holding onto your bass for dear life. Overall, your technique does not seem to be the issue. You're learning a demanding piece, and you are working the muscles in your hand harder and in ways that you have not done before. Your overworked muscles are telling you to slow down. Listen to them. Take it easy, play it more slowly and if need be, put some form of muscle liniment on your hand. But don't simply ignore the pain. You WILL be sorry if you do. I can tell you stories of having tendonitis in my hand that hurt so badly, I couldn't hold a can of soda for weeks. Tendonitis in your hand can take weeks or even months to heal, and you are practically crippled in the meantime.

You'll nail it in due time.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#7
Quote by askrere
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Quervain_syndrome ?

Hows your action and what string gauge?

Edit: I am not suggesting you have that issue, just looked it up yesterday and it was about thumb area tendonitis. Knowledge is power.

My action is quite in the middle. i don't like it too close to the fretboard, cause you get a lot of nasty fret buzz, but i don't raise it too far away, cause then i need more strength and i loose accuracy, so it's not far away from the fretboard either. I use 45-105 guage, and i was thinking of getting some heavier guage. if you think this would make my pain even worse, the i'll stick to 45-105. I don't like light guages though.

i did the test and it didn't hurt, so i don't have De quervain syndrome i guess. the pain is in the inside part of the palm, under the joint between the palm and the thumb.

Also, i know i have to stop. don't worry, i don't force my hand. i'm working on it so i put less tension there, and if i start feeling pain, i stop for a couple of minutes, so i don't build up more pain. also, it happens almost only with this demanding piece, but the pain is slowly stopping, so i think that i am starting to play the piece in a better way that helps me with it. still, i need to work on this a lot more.
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#8
It looks like you are well on your way to solving your own problem. Stick with it. Everything will work out just fine. And stop reading medical texts. You'll only scare the shit out of yourself. Go down to a medical school and take a look at the faces of some of the first-year med students who've driven themselves into a near catatonic state because they looked up all of the rare diseases in their textbooks and they now believe they have them. It's good for a laugh.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#9
Quote by FatalGear41
It looks like you are well on your way to solving your own problem. Stick with it. Everything will work out just fine. And stop reading medical texts. You'll only scare the shit out of yourself. Go down to a medical school and take a look at the faces of some of the first-year med students who've driven themselves into a near catatonic state because they looked up all of the rare diseases in their textbooks and they now believe they have them. It's good for a laugh.

it's even better for a laugh at psychology school, cause everyone start thinking they might be psychotic, and start blaming it all on their parents!

But yeah, i also noticed that i tense my hand when playing faster (i know, nothing rare there) so playing at slow tempo allows me to relax as much as possible and i cna play it nicely. i still have to learn the latest parts of the song, though.
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2