#1
Hand cramps.. I practice probably 15 minutes before a show and do a basic practice routine of chromatics a few times, but yet my hand still gets cramps to the point where I have to stop playing or switch the position of my hand to working from the top (upside down).

What are things that I can do to help this problem that it doesn't happen...

I started bring a stress ball around and have been working with that for today, is this the right type of thing to do?

Any other suggestions?
#3
I'm more of a visual person here can u go a little more in depth than that, I have a smaller hand and play a five string bass.. I dunno if that contrbutes either, cause it is only on the low b string that it bothers me.
#4
Quote by Nikka2609
I'm more of a visual person here can u go a little more in depth than that, I have a smaller hand and play a five string bass.. I dunno if that contrbutes either, cause it is only on the low b string that it bothers me.

Yeah, it's probably your hand size.

And how come it only hurts when you play on the low B, or does it just hurt at that angle?
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#6
Quote by Nikka2609
I'm not 100%, It hurts between my thumb and my index finger.

Hmm.

I'd say just see if it goes away and if it gets serious just see a doctor.
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#7
Can you explain the whole wrist roll thing to me so I can attempt that to see if it solves the problem?
#8
Are you tense when playing? Maybe it has something to do with your thumb's position around the neck... It is the fret hand we are talking about here?
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#9
Just learn to play left handed.You could switch in between songs or use it as a cool move to get chicks.
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#10
Correct, I have been playing for about a year seriously now and I have never had this problem except on just certain songs that we play that are based soley around the Low b string?

Is the stress ball a good idea?
#11
Quote by Nikka2609
Correct, I have been playing for about a year seriously now and I have never had this problem except on just certain songs that we play that are based soley around the Low b string?

Is the stress ball a good idea?


A stress ball, why not? I think everybody should use one! I can't promise that it will make it better, but a stress ball is good for you anyway... :P

Anyway, when you play on the low b string, do you have to stretch your hand alot?
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#12
It's not a far strech, that's why I don't understand why it is giving me trouble.

Like for an outro to a song we play the chrous riff like 10 times

087 057 035 0245420

playing that it just feels like someone is taking both sides of my hand and squeezing the hell out of them.
#13
Quote by Nikka2609
It's not a far strech, that's why I don't understand why it is giving me trouble.

Like for an outro to a song we play the chrous riff like 10 times

087 057 035 0245420

playing that it just feels like someone is taking both sides of my hand and squeezing the hell out of them.


Maybe you use too much "force?" Could you try to explain how you place your thumb around the neck?
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#14
More recently I have notice with the size of my hand that I often have to move my thumb up as I move to the B string, meaning in a way it is almost resting on top of the neck at some point, but not exactly that high... if you were watching you would barely see my thumb over the neck.. I dunno if that would affect it?
#15
Quote by Nikka2609
More recently I have notice with the size of my hand that I often have to move my thumb up as I move to the B string, meaning in a way it is almost resting on top of the neck at some point, but not exactly that high... if you were watching you would barely see my thumb over the neck.. I dunno if that would affect it?


I think that having to do that will give you less support which again leads to using more force with your index finger, or every finger actually... I don't know if I understood the description correctly though.

(BTW, excuse my English. Sometimes I think my phrasing gets weird...)
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Last edited by BlisteringDDj at Feb 18, 2008,
#16
I can't believe anyone hasn't said this: Relax! I think warming up nice and slow would help. Try to avoid tensing up your fretting hand while playing. Be loose.

By the way, how low do you play your bass? That might make some difference.

Also stretch your fretting hand. Make an "L" with your index and thumb, and gently push it into a desk or something. Very gently, but somewhat firmly. You should feel that bundle of muscles in your hand stretch out. I was taught to do this to facilitate larger stretches while playing piano.

Maybe this will help?
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#18
Quote by Nikka2609
So in the end what could u suggest just work on my technique.


I would say: Warm up, Stretch, relax. Stay loose. If all this isn't helping maybe take a break for a day or two. If it gets worse, see a doctor/ expert on the hands.
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#19
Quote by Nikka2609
More recently I have notice with the size of my hand that I often have to move my thumb up as I move to the B string, meaning in a way it is almost resting on top of the neck at some point, but not exactly that high... if you were watching you would barely see my thumb over the neck.. I dunno if that would affect it?

This is the problem. If you move your thumb up to the top of the neck, you're being forced to stretch the gap between your thumb and index finger. In essence, you should keep your thumb stationary and work on rolling your wrist to reach the strings, not moving your thumb. That's just my opinion though.
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#20
Rolling the wrist, I've heard that twice now can I have a little more insight on this technique?
#21
Its probably your thumb pressure.
Try practicing without using you thumb for a while so you can learn to shift most of the pressure to your fingers.
#22
Try doing finger and wrist exercises before and after you play and keep your hands relaxed. Your pain is most likely due to you being too tense and/or using much more strength than required to fret the strings.
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#23
the wrist roll: ball your fist and bend it towards your body. then go in a circular motion both clockwise and counter clockwise keeping your muscle tight to stretch your forearm muscles. stretch your fingers one at a time. \ and/ will be the fingers that are stretching to an angle, | will be straight fingers.

exercise:index finger: \|||
Live long and prosper: \\ //
just the pinky |||/
then just stretch them all as wide as they can go.


the thumb: just pop it and then roll it (see how you do your wrist for ideas)
#24
Plague was talking about rolling your wrist while playing. A better way to phrase it might be to say that you use your wrist as a pivot point. Keep your thumb still and to reach down to the B use your wrist to adjust your hand position.

Another stretch to try is to take your thumb and pull it away from your hand before and during the time you play. I have that exact same pain sometimes and that always helps.
#27
Even with small hands I manage a Fender 5 string now. Here's what another bassist taught me that made this possible without the strain or ache.

Make sure your hands are physical warm before you play and that you stretch your fingers and roll your wrists. Then run through some spider scales and chromatics, using the one finger per fret method.

Make sure there is always some space between your bass neck and the palm of your fretting hand. This will avoid the thumb over the neck issue that many guitarists going to bass experience.

The arm of your fretting hand should be close your body from the elbow up when you play.

Make sure you stretch your fingers out AFTER you play as well.
#28
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Plague was talking about rolling your wrist while playing. A better way to phrase it might be to say that you use your wrist as a pivot point. Keep your thumb still and to reach down to the B use your wrist to adjust your hand position.

Another stretch to try is to take your thumb and pull it away from your hand before and during the time you play. I have that exact same pain sometimes and that always helps.

That's EXACTLY what I meant, I don't know why I couldn't put it into words. Thanks for clearing that up for him.
Quote by PatMcRotch
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Quote by Wasted Bassist
Be sure to rape the blue note (augmented 4th). Rape it hard and exploit it like the skank it is.


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