I'm really trying to learn right hand technique and not play with a pick...honest! However, I'm finding my old nemesis is making it impossible. I've battled tendonitis/carpal tunnel since marching season my sophomore year of high school...something about playing on a drum head that's as hard as than a formica countertop. As it's been the better part of 25 years now, I've learned to live with it and not do things that aggravate it. It still flares up from time to time, but it's manageable, for the most part. Enter my new foray into properly learning the bass. It has actually become a painful proposition. I'm doing okay with slaps and pulls, since that's primarily thumb and forefinger. I'm also alright with playing with just my index finger, ala James Jamerson. Where I'm running into a problem is trying to use my middle finger to play faster lines. Plucking with my middle finger brings shooting pains that travel from the tip of my finger, up through my wrist. I've dealt with this long enough to know, "stop and don't keep doing it!" I can fake some faster notes using hammer ons and pull offs, but that doesn't work when there's repeated notes on the same string/fret (think the chorus bass line in Ramble On). I am digging pretty hard into the strings, but even lightening my touch doesn't seem to help (not to mention, it sounds weak). I feel like I'm going to be forever condemned to playing this faster stuff with a pick. That would be the "smart" path, but there also seems to be a stigma attached to bass players that use a pick. My question is, what are my options? Please help!