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Am i damaging my wrist???

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bubinga5, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    Hi people. Ive been having a bit of difficulty with my wrist on my plucky hand. Ive recently bought a Jazz bass and have my strap quite high. When im playing, my wrist feels very tense and uncomfortable. It doesnt hurt,it just feels under pressure. I try to play with a straighter wrist by lifting my elbow up, but its hard to maintain, and when im concentrating seems to fall back into this bent wrist position. I used to play a smaller bodied bass,and never had this problem and was wondering if the bigger bodied jazz, was the cause of this.??
    I dont want to damage my wrist. But dont like the lower bass position..
    The bass sits just below my chest by the way...

    This is not me, but i spotted this guy and my wrist is very much in that position.
    Any thoughts
  2. kenneso1977

    kenneso1977 Guest

    Nov 9, 2007
    I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but I would try lowering the bass a bit, and instead try to angle the neck a bit more upwards. I read somewhere that you shold have the centre of the bass body above your belly button and angle the neck upwards by aprox. 30 degrees with your right elbow pointing outwards, that's how I play. I play with just a slight bend in the wrist, not 90 degrees like on the picture. I just tried it and I can feel the tendons tensing up. On the picture the person is also applying a lot of pressure on the lower arm resting on the edge of the body. I would imagine that the combination of angle and pressure is not good. Listen to your body, if it feels bad, even painful, it's probably not good. Try to adjust your technique, it takes som practice, but in the long run you'll benifit from it.
  3. is that what you call wearing a strap high up?:eek:
    jokes apart,
    i dont understand if you actually wear the strap high then your wrist angle/position cannot be the same as this persons as his strap seems quite low. could you attach a picture if yours so that others can also have a look and determine the reality
  4. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    Sorry i meant just the hand pos. like i said i wear the middle of the bass body just under my chest..:)
  5. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    It's odd that people worry so much about the slight bend in their wrist!
    I have a 32 year old friend who never had any problems with pain or his technique. He got a new instructor who said he should try changing his well developed technique, because "this way is better".

    Well, after a year and a half, the cortisone shots, surgeries, ice, painkillers, and wrist braces, he is finally able to play his bass again. I would be wary of people telling you to change your technique, if what you're doing works fine for you. My friend altered his right hand wrist a slight bit, and it put him out of commission for a year! (*note, he was also practicing 4 hours a day since he was in music school)

    ...I guess what I'm sayin' is, "if it aint broke...."
  6. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Hmm, judging from what i see in the pic, my suggestions are: Wear the bass higher, or less wrist bending. See what's more comfy for you. :)
  7. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    if that is uncomfortable or causing you to feel stiff change it up a little bit. whenever i play finger style with my bass up "high" i try and keep my wrist straight.
  8. manbass


    May 20, 2004
    Tampa Bay
    Sounds like you've been playing long enough and often enough to know if this "habit" position works for you, without pain. Pressure is not pain. Use pain as your guide. Any wrist or hand or elbow pain even long after a playing session will tell you more than we can.

    Pocketgroove82 has a point, our body parts adapt to positions which may be a bit unnatural, over time, but not so extreme to cause harm. When we change them drastically, there will be resistance. If a change is needed, dont do a chinese split on the first attempt, change gradually.
  9. simonlittle


    Jan 22, 2008
    West London
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses & Amps
    I sometimes get the same problem when playing with the bass high up (i tend to just do this on fretless). Definitely angling the neck upwards a bit makes a huge difference as your right hand will be straighter. Make sure you're not resting your wrist on the body of the instrument, or else you'll be in the 'carpel tunnel' zone....

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