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Beginner's Question on fingering hand

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by goodguy782, Sep 1, 2004.


  1. goodguy782

    goodguy782

    Jul 20, 2004
    california
    I have been playing bass for about 6 months and have recently started practicing from that 'Bass Fitness' book. When I am just playing songs I feel little to no pain in my hand but when I start practicing from the book about 30 min in my fingering hand starts burning really bad. So my question is this: is it normal to experience muscle pain when you first start off playing or am I doing something wrong? If anyone has had a similar experience starting out and can tell me if this is normal or not I would appreciate it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    play more relaxed, dont play like you're holding for your life.
     
  3. goodguy782

    goodguy782

    Jul 20, 2004
    california
    I tried to play as relaxed as I can but then I don't have enough pressure on the strings and I get a nasty vibration. Are my hands just weak? And if so how long can I expect to spend jsut getting my hands in shape to play?
     
  4. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    This is one of those things where you can't really tell what's wrong until you see it with your own eyes. I could advise you face to face, over the internet I can only throw wild guesses. I suggest you try to find someone who you know can play, and ask him/her.

    It will take some time to build up hand strength and endurance. How long is individual. But I couldn't say if what you're experiencing are pains coming from being "unfit" as a player, or if they come from trauma which can cause injury. If the case is the latter, you need to change your technique immediately! You should see someone about this. Really.
     
  5. Well what I've been told is to adjust the angle of my hand so that Im applying pressure to the frets but not squeezing the neck between thumb and fingers. Like a finesse thing. I haven't really figured out how to do it right but it sounds good :D Also I'm finding that if I fret not directly in between frets but closer to the lower (towards bridge) fret it helps eliminate buzz.
     
  6. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    When I first started playing, I would press really hard and hold with WAY more pressure than was required to clearly fret the note.

    A couple of suggetions:

    1) Try to put your finger as close to the fret as possible.

    2) Try to press only as hard as necessary to get a clear note. You can practice this by playing a scale very slowly and concentrating on your fretting technique.

    3) Consider getting a teacher to help with proper technique.

    Remember that the time you spend building correct technique early in your playing career will pay HUGE dividends as you mature as a player. In other words take the time to get it right; It may be frustrating and slow, but you won't be sorry.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry

    Apr 19, 2004
    The setup of your bass can make a tremendus difference in playability. Gary Willis' book "101 Bass Tips" (I thinks that's close) has lots of good info. on setup & on technique. I highly recommend it. It answered alot of questions for me, even ones I wasn't smart enuff to think of. :D
    Terry C
     
  8. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    What Grooveslave said...

    Play right up against the fret - not in between. Most players starting out fret notes too hard - not only does it wear your hand out fast, but it slows you down as well. It may also affect your intonation somewhat.
     
  9. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    if you can't fret the notes without your thumb touching the neck, you are squeezing way to hard and need to think more about the weight of the arm and pulling it back into you.

    Use more of the arm and less of the finger pressure.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. I was just about to say the same thing. The thumb is not a part of fretting notes. At most, you should touch the neck with it so you know where the neck is. Besides avoiding hand cramps, this approach lets you move more freely to facilitate bends and stretches.
     
  11. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    UK
    the more advanced exercises in 'Bass Fitness' demand a lot more of your hands than the vast majority of lines probably ever you'll be called on to play - see it as a bit like the old army saying 'train hard, fight easy'

    don't beat yourself up over the fact that your hand is cramping/burning after a 'bass fitness' session... and be careful not to overdo it and injure your hands either
     
  12. JohnBarr

    JohnBarr

    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    I sympathize with this problem. I've been playing for several months and still can't get my hands to relax, inspite of the good advice I see here. I sometimes think it's a psychological barrier, trying to hard maybe, etc. I dunno.

    I watch the good players in local bands and study the pictures of players I see on the net. Sometimes you can spot bad technique in action: fingers flying off the neck, etc. But the good players all have great economy of motion and their fingers seem to be extended evenly and floating over the strings-- most of the time, naturally they shift, go up and down the neck and crab-claw for some postions. Darn if I can achieve that.

    What I have learned: Hold your fretting hand like you were putting on a baseball glove. Position you thumb almost as if you were giving a thumb print on the back of the neck. Low on the arch, so you thumb doesn't stick up, and lightly. Let your fingers extend over the fretboar but don't force your wrist into an arch. This helps, but I still need to relax and let my fingers do the walking.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    John