#1
When I'm playing Punk and related stuff (think Mike Dirnt), I use a pick for faster things (constant 16ths at 100bpm). The bass is hanging somewhere at the same height as my hip, and the thumb presses on the pick pretty much in the same position as it'd be if I placed it on the pickup for plucking – bent. The pick points the same direction as the thumb does.

This position is extremely painful, and I physically have to stop playing within 30 seconds because the pain becomes unbearable – sometimes so much that I drop the pick. Obviously, I make a mistake here, I just can't figure out how to hold the pick instead. My teacher isn't any help either, because he never uses a pick on bass, only plucking. I've tried holding the pick like I do on guitar, the pick pointing downwards from the thumb, but that only works when I sit.

Dirnt and all the other bass players obviously can play bass without ruining their thumb, so what am I doing wrong?

I'm not an ASCII artist (obviously), but this is meant to show the way my thumb is bent when it holds the pick:

  \   \ |  |
   \   \|  |
    \  ||__|
    |  |    \
    |\ |    /
    || |   /
    \|_|  /
        \/


Any help would be really appreciated!
#3
I tried that, holding the pick like playing guitar.

That works for about a song, (and best when I sit down), but even then, it starts to become uncomfortable after two minutes or so. Not nearly as much as when I stand though. I also tried different picks, from 0.5mm to 0.9mm, doesn't seem to make a difference (regarding pain, not playing).
#5
Do you use a death grip on the pick? Are you doing the picking motion with your fingers/thumb or wrist? Maybe a pic or video would give some insight....
#6
Quote by HashtagMC
I tried that, holding the pick like playing guitar.

That works for about a song, (and best when I sit down), but even then, it starts to become uncomfortable after two minutes or so. Not nearly as much as when I stand though. I also tried different picks, from 0.5mm to 0.9mm, doesn't seem to make a difference (regarding pain, not playing).

Those are all incredibly thin picks for a bass, I personally wouldn't go much below 2 mm for bass playing. Also if your pick and thumb are pointing in the same direction you're having to arch your had round to hit the strings which is going to be uncomfortable...like people have said you want the pick perpendicular to your thumb, in other words the same way you hold it for guitar.
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#7
Try using a pick with a gauge over 1.00 mm
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#8
To echo others, you need a thicker pick when playing bass vs guitar. And if you have a death grip on a pick as bloatedcorpse13 has said, it will tire your hand, arm and even up to your shoulder in short order. Keep a lighter grip on the pick and don't lock your wrist too tight.
#9
Sounds to me as if you can pick a guitar with no issues. You could be "digging too deep" with the pick also. That could wear on your thumb since the string gauges are so much thicker on bass.
#10
To help prevent digging too deep, you could try using something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Dunlop-46P1-0-Ultex%C2%AE-Triangle-Players/dp/B00G3NZLGQ

This pick in particular has a much wider area, which might allow you to get the grip and angle you need without having the strings fuck your shit up and without having to death grip the shit out of it.
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#11
You're setting yourself up for nerve damage and repetitive stress injury, along with early onset arthritis.

I'd suggest first finding a comfortable standing playing position (comfortable for your picking hand), even if it doesn't look as cool. You'll want to work with a heavier pick (check out Gravity Picks at 2mm and up) that doesn't flex, and learn to work with fingers rather than a pick. This was hard for me, moving from guitar to bass part time, but turned out to be the solution to a LOT of issues.
#12
Okay, so I'll look into thicker picks some time. Also, I'm currently trying out different positions for my bass (everywhere between "dangling between my knees" and "hanging it higher than a jazz bassist") to find one I'm comfortable with.

I usually prefer fingers, but sometimes, a pick just has the speed advantage I currently need, since my fingers can't keep up at that speed.
#13
It's possible you'll cramp your thumb more using a pick which is too thick as you have to grip it harder to push it past the string. You don't need a two inch thick pick, as long as it's firm. Nothing wrong with something like a Dunlop Tortex Yellow (0.73mm). The main thing is to make sure that you're relaxed while playing and holding the pick properly.
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#14
Okay, so what works best for me right now is a big pick (3 by 3 centimetres) that is relatively thin (0.5 I think). Playing still starts tu hurt after a little while, but I can play through "Welcome to Paradise" two to three times in a row without feeling much or any pain, so that's getting better. I think it's the mix of practising with the pick regularly but not too much and the thinner pick.
#15
Looks like you might have some hyperflexitivity. Do you get pain from any other joints?
It is probably worth seeing a doctor.
Try not to reverse flex your thumb. That shouldn't be a problem if you relax your grip on the pick.
#16
Something to consider, actually - are you using a Jazz III sized pick?

Because that will screw up your thumb big time. 
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#17
you should be holding the pick around a 30-45 degree angle from your thumb, applying just enough pressure to hold the pick, and ideally reinforcing the other side of the pick with your index and middle fingers and leaving the other 2 relaxed. you should be plucking from your wrist, and your hand is literally just there to prop the pick up in the proper position that takes the least amount of energy for a consistent and punchy tone.

also, make sure you utilize economy of motion - don't make any bigger movements than you absolutely have to. 

when i used a pick, i used 1mm minimum for guitar, much less bass. 2mm is super comfy to me for bass, but it's personal preference

and as said above, if you're standing, the ideal strap position should have your bass the same exact area as when you're sitting so your practice is consistent in both forms and you're using the least possible stress. this likely means you're playing with the body over your right leg, which works sometimes, but you might try practicing in classical guitar position (neck of the bass up at a 45 degree angle, body resting between your legs). 

it's gonna take some experimenting to find what feels comfortable, but i'd say start with these parameters and work out what's within your comfort zone once you get past literal pain 
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