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6 string wrist fatigue

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by akuma12, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. akuma12


    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    I was just wondering, does the fatigue from playing extended range basses go away after a while? I was dinking around on a 6 string, and the hand and wrist positioning is quite different from what I'm used to on my Fender Jazz, and my wrist started hurting a bit. I just don't wanna end up getting serious carpal tunnel from the more awkward position of a 6 or 7 stringer. Thanks!

  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I personally did not notice a difference in my wrist fatigue when I switched to my 6 string. I did switch from a 5 and not a 4, so that might have something to do with it. Also, the 5 and 6 strings were the same make, so the neck shape what the same (except of course the width). I have not really ever noticed wrist fatigue, but I have noticed becoming fatigued in the base of the thumb on the palm side of my hand from playing some thicker necked basses. This fatigue did go away with time.

    I really don't know what to say about the wrist. I would be careful with it though.

  3. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I'm guessing its your fretting hand that hurts?

    How is the bass positioned when you play it? I would say it's pretty much impossible to play a 6 or 7 string without discomfort with it slung down to your knees a-la nu metal style.

    I always play mine fairly high on the torso so that the neck is positioned slightly above my elbow. That way the fretting hand is in a more natural position.

  4. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet?

    Jul 31, 2002
    USA, Montana
    I recently purchased a 7-string, just a couple of weeks ago actually. Last night was my first gig using it. I had my fender 4-string Jazz there for backup, but I ended up using the 7-string the entire night of 4-45min. sets. I will say, that the last song, I was playing at the nut for most of the hand position for a Low C-F-G position. Half way through the song, my wrist was beginning to bother me. I was able to drop the body of the guitar, and raise the neck at a more vertical position which alleviated some of the tension in my wrist and made it more comfortable to play. I'm still trying to find that comfort level with this thing hanging off my neck and I do tend to hang the bass rather low. Just try different positions and find what works best for you.

  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    There is a "burn-in" period when it comes to changing your playing technique, and adding one, two, or three more strings is about as significant a change as you can make. I always recommend making the transition to extended range basses in increments....as opposed to making the jump from a 4 with a 1.5" wide neck at the nut to a 7 string, etc. Before you even pick up a bass, I would recommend doing stretches and other warm-up exercises. An orthopedic specialist could give you some great recommendations. Once you've warmed up your fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders, then I would warm up on the instrument itself.

    You will still probably experience some discomfort and early fatigue with a 5, 6 or 7 simply because you haven't developed strenght and endurance yet (chops), but don't think that you have to live by the old motto "No pain, no gain". If you start to experience discomfort, back things off or take a break.

    Good luck and take it easy! ;)
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I have the same issue with basses with very thin necks.
  8. akuma12


    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    The bass was sitting on my leg in a sitting position, so it was kind of low compared to how I normally play, which is keeping the body close to the bottom of my ribs. I also tend to bring the neck to a 45 degree angle or so, so that might help once I get a strap and can play standing up. Playing in 1st position was pretty killer though. I'm glad the basses I'm looking at are 34" scale...I don't know if I can handle a 35" :) Thanks for the advice all!

  9. whats the huge black thing by the nut,and how u tune that thing?
  10. That 'big huge black thing by the nut' would be a large hairtie. Some bassists use it as a sort of 'string dampener' to mute any noise if they have a really agressive technique, or need to mute unwanted string noise that they can't mute themselves. Some people also use it for a 'dub bass' technique.

    (If I remember correctly) I think Prog tunes his 7 string bass f#-b-E-A-D-G-c (EADG being the primary strings of a four string bass) or b-E-A-D-G-c-f (Which is the most common tuning for 7 string basses. I guess he'll have to tell ya when/if he posts in here :)

  11. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Too thin of a neck can lead to wrist problems. Something around an .9 to 1.0 inch at the thickest part is about right, IMO. Some builders think thinner is better, but I have seen it lead to wrist problems in lots of guitar players. I assume the theory holds up to bass players, too.
  12. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Right on about the big black thing.. I like to refer to it as the "Scunci Engineering String Dampening System". :p

    It's the second tuning doode... :)

  13. whats the use of high f it just going farther into guitar range and if you have alot of frets past guitar range so whats the dillio
  14. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    The "dillio" is that with this bass I can do a lot more that you can on your XB102.
  15. are you making fun of me and my ****e bass?
  16. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet?

    Jul 31, 2002
    USA, Montana
    Solo's? Nice melodic, multi-tembre passages?

    As stated before, I've only had one gig with it so far, and in the entire night, I only hit my high F-String twice, both times in solos.

    My guitarist, during that time, was playing deep rythm chords, so the contrast was actually pretty nice.
  17. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Settle down, lad. Proggo is merely stating that he has far more playing options as far as range is concerned on his monster basses than you do on your 4-stringer. And he's completely correct; no offense should be being taken here.
  18. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I found my Washburn XB-600 a bit tiring after I changed to using Status Flats on it, although I haven't noticed that since I had it defretted (which probably means I haven't been practising it enough ;) )... no problems playing for extended periods on my Sei Flamboyant 6 though (though light strings, a low action and a very comfortable neck all help).

    Jim - what kind of bass were you using?

  19. akuma12


    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    It was an Ibanez SR496. 2.125 inch nut, which seems pretty standard as far as I could tell, though I tried a Peavey Fury VI and the neck was so small at the nut I thought it was a 5 string.

  20. hmm... i thought my wrist fatigue on my old six was due to some ligament problems i have in my hands and not due to the bass. i didn't really think many other people would get the problem.

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