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Any advice for a wounded player?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by professor_bills, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. A couple of months ago I got hurt at my day job and tore my left shoulder up. I am right handed and this injury makes it hard to play particularly down below the 6th fret. Unfortunately I am a deep player and the 5th fret tends to be my home bass. My band does alot of jamming in A. I've been jamming with my one band playing harp and singing alot more than I used to. The other band which was supposed to be the serious project just shut down and the guitar player (leader) is taking a wait and see attitude. That's cool I totally understand. Recently I've been playing a very limited amount because my shoulder doesn't feel too bad but I feel the pain the next day.
    Well in a couple weeks I go under the knife and I wont be able to even play harp for about a month. Then it will be about 6 months before I am 100% (if all goes well). I stopped by Sam Ash and picked up a lefty bass and that was like making love to another guy (and I'm not gay) Very awkward is what I'm trying to get at.
    HAs any one gone through this. I'm already goin crazy and I may just go completely nuts.
    Any thoughts out there?
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    How's about a short scale bass?
    You may be able to navigate one better. Find a nice light one.
    Switching to a lefty may take more time to learn wounded that it will take for you to heal 100%
  3. I had a serious problem with tendinitis in both my hands a few year ago. My right hand woulld get numb and it was almost impossible to play. I stopped playing for about a month and things gradually got better. Your situation is different. It will very difficult to teach yourself to play left handed but think about how difficult it was to learn right handed. It won't happen over night and it will probably keep you interested. Who know's if you actually pull it off you might be the only ambidextrous bass player in the world. It would be cool to see play right handed and then pick up another bass and play left handed. Other than that, you might have to stop until you recover from your surgery.
  4. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Get a fiver and play in the middle of the fretboard
  5. I had a sprained left wrist a couple months ago, and after a couple of weeks of not being able to play anything at all, I still could not play the lower frets of my long-scale basses for a period while it was healing. My short-scale basses were easier, but I still had to adjust the position of the bass from what I was normally comfortable with. Regular guitar was not a problem.

    I would suggest trying out a small-bodied short-scale bass, and see if any playing position gives you the ability to reach those lower frets. You can put on heavier strings if you find the tension too low or the sound not as deep as you are accustomed to.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    take time to heal thoroughly . Then you might try a short scale bass. I have tendonitis in my left elbow and a short scale has made it much better for me.
    I'm almost back to playing long scale full time.
  7. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Learn to sing?
  8. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Kala U-Bass! Now, or shortly, available in solid body. Incredibly small and lightweight.

    Nice sounding bass. 20" scale.
  9. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I am battling Multiple Myeloma. A chronic illness and it has taken many months before I could hold a bass in my lap & play...sitting down, much less standing.

    My battle began a year ago, I am auditioning now...I have a band drama story as well. You heal up, you get on with it.

    Life ain't easy and it ain't over...is it?
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I'm there. At one point a few years ago, all of my old injuries started coming back to haunt me from bike wrecks, fights, etc. I couldn't play bass for more than 20 minutes before cramping up.

    I measured the width of the curve my left thumb and forefinger make when relaxed, and the contour, and had a P-style neck blank made to fit: 1.67 nut, .875 "C" contour, 10 inch radius, 2.375 heel. Then I had Sheldon Dingwall fan fret it with a square conventional nut, 33.25 G string and 34 E string scale. I put Hipshot ultralight tuners on it so it wouldn't neck dive (which also made the bass a full 1/2 pound lighter than when using traditional "elephant ear" tuners), and had pickup routings made for a Rick HB-1 in the G segment P position and a neck version (for narrowed string spacing) DiMarzio Ultra Jazz in the bridge. This allows my elbow and wrist to flex naturally and avoid pronation, especially on the upper frets, so that I am fluid and free from physical stress on my left arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers.

    And then, a couple of years after that, I had blood clots hit my brain and totally wiped out my fretting ability for awhile. I even had to pencil in the chord tabs on chords on songs I have literally played for decades to remind myself how to play the chords when playing guitar gigs.

    After doing my own rehab of my left arm, I was again able to play full gigs without cramping up, and after re-teaching myself to fret after the blood clots, I found ironically that my right hand technique had improved greatly through work to make up for the lack of a good left hand in the meantime, so now overall I am a better player.

    More recently, I had to have some dental surgery. I also play tuba in a concert band, and that put me out for a county fair gig this summer. So I called a couple of friends to cover my part, grabbed the flute folder and a glockenspiel, and covered the flute parts for the gig instead until my mouth healed and I could go back to tuba. Where you will, you will find a way to continue making music.

    So hang in there. Find, or have made, the right gear for your circumstance, be patient with yourself, and you'll be an even better player in the long run.
  11. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Take the time to heal, play anyway you can to keep your chops up, bu DO NOT injure your body further. Rehab, workout, therapy, and listen to your orthopedist, they know what will allow you to get back to where you were. You can be whiny and selfish for what you have, but are willing to throw away, or you can look long term at what can be in front of you if you heal properly. I broke my left hand 4 times, healed properly and played professionally for 14 years before waking away, healing is a future, selfishness will end your ability to play. Your choice.
  12. Funny thing is when I was a kid that was my goal. Bass player never showed up so I took it up and fell in love with it. Over the past year I started singing again while playing bass but found I am not as good as I once hoped to be.
    My buds liek it but I listen to recordings and say meh.
  13. iiipopes you must be a bigger die hard than me. I can't imagine going through all those trials and tribulations. Kudos to you man. I would have jumped in my sailboat and gone to Costa Rica by now.
    But thanks for the tips

    Sad news is I saw the Doc today for one last presurgery talk and now he is saying 6 weeks before I can even take the brace off probably. My wife is a real stickler to listening to doctors and making me do PT so I am sure she will make me stick to the plan and heal up right.
  14. +1, it's like being at the 12th fret when you're on the nut.

    Look into Alexander Technique.

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