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Can I practice anything with a broken left thumb?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by FeuerFrei, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Right handed bassist, left thumb was broke, had surgery and have pins in it now (hurts pretty good)

    Anything you can work on with a broken wing, or am I taking a couple of months off?
  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Figuring out chords and theory on the piano never hurt any bass player.
  3. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    Let your doctor decide when you can play again, otherwise you may permanently damage your left thumb. Music theory is a great idea, ear training will be helpful as well.
  4. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Transcribe something using the piano and write it out. Let your thumb rest and heal-all the knowledge and skill will come back quicker than you think.
  5. bigbadbuck


    Jun 28, 2005
    southwest iowa
    You can practice learning how to play with a broken thumb.
  6. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Sometimes you come back from a break twice as good. Let your brain take time to soak all your practice time in.
  7. You could practice speed with your right hand (ie playing to a metronome and gradually getting faster) or string skipping or something along those lines, if you're already set there then there isn't much
  8. Schmorgy


    Jul 2, 2012
    When I first started out, my bass instructor had me build some technique/finger strength by fretting with my thumb completely off the neck.
  9. cat_saltnpepper


    Aug 15, 2004
    +1 for theory and lesser playing stuff, I'd say just take a break until it's well again.
  10. devilman666


    Apr 23, 2011
    manchester nh
    Look up the rev on bass. He is an amazing bassist who learned how to tap during a time when he damaged his thumb.
  11. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    As others have mentioned, ear training, music theory and reading standard notation if you don't know that already. Also, check out the exercises that Victor Wooten does with a metronome. You don't need a bass for that stuff. Great work for building inner timing.
  12. rodneyat

    rodneyat Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I've done this, as well. It really helps. But, as other have already said. Make sure your Dr. OKs anything before you do it.
  13. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I would take a couple of months off. Thumb is very important for left hand.

    There are a number of things you can work on.
    Piano, transcribing, ear training, right hand dexterity/agility, alternate right hand techniques (slap, muting, 4 finger technique which i think it might be called the matt garrison technique?), learn theory.

    And learning how to play drums is helpful, however you don't want to play with the left hand. Learn how to swing on the ride with a hat and bass drum and your swing will improve on bass without having to practice on it as much. And also listen to music, the more listening you do the better.
  14. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Absolutely work on right hand stuff:

    - Plucking / picking with a metronome and lots of variations with a metronome
    (quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes.... Try setting the metronome to half the speed and now think of the metronome like a snare drum - on "2" and "4".

    - right hand string crossings and skips

    - slap / pop

    - different plunking style - using two or three fingers

    - picking with all down or up strokes... Different variations on them
  15. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    over the years, I've...broken my left thumb in a fight, cast and somehow played...broke my middle finger metacarpal falling down the stairs drunk (now idea how) cast w metal splint on my finger, somehow played. broke my right wrist, external fix played with middle & ring shattered my left ankle sat on a chair after going up with crutches.

    Rock & Roll
  16. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    When I sliced open my thumb on my fretting hand, I thought myself quick to play without it on the back of the neck. Did the same when I cut my middle finger open on the same hand a few years ago

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