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Anyone Else Have A Problem Like This (Joint Problem)?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    I have a very weak joint on my fretting pinky above the knuckle. I find that if I don't press down with my fingertip with the joint already bent, the joint will often and naturally (and pretty painfully) bends backwards without much pressure at all. This has led to some problems when trying to bar strings with my pinky. I also have a finicky knuckle on that finger from an injury a few years ago, so I occasionally get tendonitis-like pain it it. Has anyone else had a problem like this, and if so a way to get around it? Any other hand problems that you've had to deal with?

    Here's what it looks like bent back:
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Ouch. You really need to ask a doctor about that.
  3. dTune


    Feb 28, 2004
    My little brother has similar problems with the same joint in his thumb...It's probably just your genes.. :)

    It's only a matter of a lot of practice to get rid of it..Almost everyone's joints bend like that, more or less.
  4. Both my pinkies do that. Always have. My problem is that my pinkie will lock at the second knuckle in a hammer-like position. Makes it impossible to play more than one consecutive note with that finger. To work around it I'm having to modify my technique so the pinkie never locks up. It's tough but it's getting better.

  5. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    My left pinky is the only one that does it, and it hurts when it does, so I don't think it's supposed to do that :meh:
  6. I don't know about the pain or the strength issues. I agree that my pinky does often feel very weak but it would be nearly impossible to talk about how much force we each have. However, I can tell you that my pinky does actually look exactly the same as your photo when it is bent - ie. angle is about the same and your finger doesn't have bumps or anything that mine doesn't either. Perhaps it is just a strength issue related to your finger injury. Sorry I can't help you more.

  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    All of my friends(guitarists) fingers do that. Its weird but helps him play chords, heh. He doesnt have pain though , its natural.
  8. Any sort of "pinky splint" you can make to prevent it from bending backwards?
  9. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I have it too with all my fingers, doesn't hurt, doesn't bother me at all, but then again, I've been playing string instruments since I was seven, so maybe I've trained it somehow..
  10. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    All my finger (except my ring) bend back at that joint, but I can easily pull it forward (If i push it back; my finger tip can push back forward). So i guess your muscle doesn't contract properly when the finger is bent back. I'm not sure why it's painful though.
  11. dTune


    Feb 28, 2004
    Well, usually i think it's a problem for those who just started playing bass or guitar, due to the matter that they didn't press the strings with their fingertip. meaning that the last joint didn't meet the string/fretboard in almost 90 degree angle, like it should (with by-the-book-technique :) ) If the string is pressed right, the finger is bent almost 180 degrees, and from that i think it's impossible to get the finger to bend backwards.

    I don't know if your finger should or should not do that but it can be corrected with technique.
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    You got me thinking. I'm definitely not new to playing-in a couple of months it will have been nine years since I started-but after my pinky injury a couple years back I did lay off using my pinky altogether for a while. I stopped playing my seven-string for quite a bit too, as my pinky used to bar notes on it almost automatically. Maybe laying off my pinky for that amount of time weakend the muscles in it. I did experience this problem before my accident, but not nearly as much. Maybe I've unwittingly altered my technique since then as well that's leading to problems. Hmmm. I know I don't always play with the fingertip on my pinky, but that's not practical too often when either barring or playing with my pinky extended to hit a note on a stretch.
  13. When you press your pinky straight down, the joint fails and it bends backwards. Instead of pressing your pinky straight down, press it at a very slight angle. Since the joint will only bend along a single axis, using the slight angle will sort of "lock out" the bending from happening.

    I've had a similar problem with my pointer finger and doing bar chords on guitar. By slightly "rolling" my finger, this problem was eliminated almost immediately. Following that, a little practice is all that is required.
  14. dTune


    Feb 28, 2004
    I wasn't pointing you as a newbie, but maybe your pinky has atrophied (how do you spell it..? :) ) - the muscles or the technique - so that you could think of your pinky as it just started playing...you probably now what i mean. And why not the subconcious change of technique, it's possible too. I had a cut in my left index finger that healed real slow and after it i noticed i press the first fret w/ my middle finger when i don't think about it....Hope you can figure it out.