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Annoying problems with my Rebop

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nickthebassist, Sep 8, 2004.


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  1. This bass drives me nuts. It buzzes on the 9th fret on the A string, and it hurts my thumb when I play on the lower strings. I got my teacher to check my technique and he said it's pretty much perfect, so I dunno why it hurts my hand. Do I need lighter gauge strings?(i have medium gauge elixirs on it right now). It aint as if I have small hands either. It is 35 inch scale, could it be that the stretch is making my wrist go in a funny position? Please help meeeeee. :confused:
     
  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    There's a lot of people out there that call themselves teachers and who don't have the neccessary skills. Is your wrist straight when you're playing? A contorted wrist is the usual cause of pain when technique is at fault.

    Where is the pain and in what way does it hurt? Is it in the muscle at the base of the thumb in your palm? Does it come on gradually and is it a kind of dull ache?

    How long have you been playing?

    No.
     
  3. This guy is a professional teacher, and has the best reputation of any bass/guitar(he teaches guitar too) teacher in my area, everyone he teaches thinks he's great. I think it may be that my wrist is at a funny angle because of the extra length of the neck. Hmmmm.
     
  4. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Sure, but if you answer the questions in my post maybe we can help you.

    If the pain is what I think it is, it's not your wrist that's the problem.
     
  5. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I'd buy into an extended scale length as a reason for various aches and pains in the hands. That's the bulk of the reason I pretty much stay with the standard 34" scale after having experimented with 35" and 36" scale basses.

    Marcus Miller has mentioned on numerous occasions that a young player should find one type or style of bass guitar construction to play and stick with it so as to develop a strong familiarity with it. Common sense, along with MM's Grammy wins and thousands of record appearances suggest this is something to seriously consider.
     
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    How tall are you? I ask because extra scale length IME (35", 36" etc) often is a problem not for people with small hands, but for people with shorter arms, and shorter height=shorter arms. Then again, you seem to love your Thumb, and a lot of Warwicks have the feel of a longer scale bass because of the placement of the bridge. This pain only occurs with the ReBop?

    Oh, as dlloyd said, it has nothing to do with your strings, and the buzzing is most likely a setup problem or perhaps a high fret.
     
  7. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    dlloyd has a point. Wrist position does not make a thumb hurt - well, not normally.

    Nick, if the pain in your thumb is on the fretting hand, and is near or at the point where the thumb joins the hand, the web-muscle across the palm side, it's that you're holding the neck too tightly, pressing down too hard with your fretting fingers.

    If you've ever carried a book or bag by holding it down at your side, "pinching" from above, you'll know that muscle gets fatigued very quickly when used by itself to grip something.
     
  8. I'm about 5'8 or 5'9 fet in height, and the pain comes from my wirst and my thumb. It never happens on my rockbass, which is strung with heavy gauge B E A D strings, so I'm guessing it's the extended scale. What can I do? Go hunt for a new 5 string? Lighter gauge strings?(it may be that the medium gauge strings arent helping).
     
  9. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    My thoughts exactly.

    Muscle fatigue is to be expected in younger and inexperienced players because they tend to press down too hard on the strings and because the muscle isn't used to the demands being put on it.

    If you're holding the neck with a straight wrist, keeping your thumb to the back of the neck, roughly parallel with your second finger (maybe slightly toward the first finger) and depressing the strings with the tips of your fingers (about 5 mm to 1 cm from the nail), you're doing fine in terms of technique.

    It can also be brought on by having to support the neck... are you getting this with your thumb bass as well?
     
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    If it's from your wrist, stop immediately. You're going to hurt yourself.

    The strings won't be the problem. Are you contorting your wrist back on itself to reach the B string on your rebop? Your knuckles, hand and forearm should all be in a straight line with only a tiny amount of bend at the wrist.
     
  11. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    ...Which leads us to play the "how high or low do you sling your bass?" game. It may look cool to have it down betwen your waist and knees, but the closer to your chest it gets, many things including proper hand position become easier.
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Sigh...okay, let me say this again more clearly so you really comprehend it:
    It has nothing to do with your strings.

    Gary Willis once said that you have all the strength you need to play bass when you're 3 years old, so unless you're playing with unbendable titanium wires for strings, then your string gauge isn't going to cause thumb and wrist pain on your fretting hand.

    It quite clearly sounds like you have a technique problem, whether your instructor noticed it or not. The only other thing I can think of is sometimes if a neck is extremely thin, pain like yours can occur after playing for a while, like if you play your thick-necked Thumb for a long period then switched to a thin-necked bass, which can result in you putting you putting your hand into a pinching position like the others mentioned. But I don't know if the ReBop has a very thin neck, and even if it does, the result is you'll have to alter your technique when playing that bass
     
  13. xshawnxearthx

    xshawnxearthx

    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    are you resting your forearm on the bass?
     
  14. It doesn't happen with my shorter scale bass. I've been playing 4 years, so I ain't 'inexperienced', it may just be that this bass is too big for me. I tried playing it high up round my stomach, and it just ended up getting a tired elbow due to reaching up for the neck, so I dropped the bass odwn, and now my wrist hurts.
     
  15. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Well, intermediate then.

    It's best to sling it at roughly the same level as you'd have it seated.

    Not sure what you mean by a tired elbow.
     
  16. What I mean by tired elbow is my elbow gets tired when i have to reach to the neck cuz it's so high up. I can't seem to win.
     
  17. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    i got this from somewhere..maybe it helps.

    Think thumb.
    One pound of pressure at the thumb equals ten pounds of pressure at the basal joint, where the thumb meets the wrist. The basal joint is one of the first joints to give in to wear and tear at mid life. Carol Kaye's fingering system accommodates the thumb. “The thumb should stay in one position and act as a pivot. Move the fingers as a group with only occasional stretching. As you go up the neck, your thumb gradually slides back towards the nut relative to your fingers; instead of being in back of the 1st finger, it gradually moves back two frets further towards the nut from the 1st finger. By all means, when you're playing high on the neck, avoid keeping the thumb opposite the 2nd finger.”
     
  18. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Never experienced that.
     
  19. xshawnxearthx

    xshawnxearthx

    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    im used to playing my bass low. if i play my bass high, my elbow doesnt get tired, it hurts, because its bent the entire time i play.


    if its your fretting wrist is in pain from the way you hold it, change it up abit, to what is comfortable to you.
     
  20. I keep my thumb directly behind my 2nd finger. Another thing I came up with is that the neck is too shallow for my thumb, and therefore my thumb has to bend backwards to allow my fingers to hit the fret board? therefore I need a bass with a fatter neck.
     



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