Electric upright basses and hand health

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Bryan Hassing, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Hello: I am intrigued by electric upright basses and am curious how their playability might compare to my two 35" scale bass guitars. The reason I ask is that I have minor carpal tunnel syndrome and wonder what an EUB might mean for ease of playing with this condition. I briefly held an NS CR5 at one time and was intrigued by its neck shape and wonder how the various EUB manufacturers compare with respect to neck construction/playability issues. I would appreciate any opinions on these issues. Thanks.
  2. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Bump for a good inquirey. CTS is bad news.

  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    You probably know more about CTS than most of us. But from what I understand, the key to carpal tunnel health is to find ways to keep your carpal tunnels open.

    I was never able to find a comfortable left-hand position which left carpal tunnels open for EB.

    There are different physical approaches to DB which focus on keeping left-hand carpal tunnels open. That's true whether you're playing a paddle -- pardon me, EUB -- or a DB. You could well find that, using a thoughtful and physically-conscious approach, your carpal tunnels are treated better playing DB than the plank.

    Good luck.
  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I have some pretty nasty recurring CTS issues and I've never had any flare-ups that were URB-related. I get them all the time when playing a lot of electric bass, though. Seems like the hand positioning required for URB is more natural and doesn't restrict the nerves in the tunnel as much.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I would second that. I have some sort of RSD, most likely CTS, associated with typing several hours daily over the past decade or longer.

    It gives me more fits playing bass guitar than it ever does playing DB.
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I was diagnosed with Tendonitis in 1996. I had to take the whole year off from playing or risk never being able to play again.

    Always take breaks;don't play throught the pain.

    As far as EUB necks go, mine is very similar in contour to my DB so I am lucky that I have no problems switching back and forth.

    You might however find that you use some new muscles playing DB that you didn't really use playing BG.

    I think that as long as you adopt the proper left hand/arm position you will start to build muscle memory and might not have any problems.
  7. Thanks to RyanHelms for resurrecting my question. I am heartened to hear that playing an EUB isn't necessarily asking for my CTS to flare up. Thanks to all for your responses.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I too am happy to hear this news, I have minor carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and I'm only sixteen! I play EB for a couple hours a day, no problems lately (since I sold my Playstation and got wrist rests for my computer) and hopefully, DB won't present itself as a problem either!
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