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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fergie Fulton, May 29, 2019.
This is me playing
Cool story and may you have many more years of playing with relative pain free use.
I never noticed, but it seems I play with straight wrists most of the time unwittingly.
Interesting thread. What's its genesis? I rarely jump into the Technique forum. Were people asking for photos of straight wrists?
I studied classical guitar before becoming a bassist. I soon learned to flatten my fingers, to SOME degree, SOME of the time, primarily due to the need for muting. I still firmly believe that a curved finger fretting a note, opposed by the thumb, is much stronger than a flat finger fretting the same note. But other factors come into play...
I also do not associate particular hand positions with particular genres of music. I just play the notes, and my hands do whatever is necessary to play them.
Interesting that the OP gets jobs based on stringing a bass low or high, or a P vs a J, or even the color. I would need about 15 basses for that, which I can't afford (according to my wife). I wonder if Lee Sklar gets hired based on these factors...
I got double jointed thumbs, like that skinny kid from south Florida.
I read recently that he uses his Dingwall for some gigs, and his Warwick for others. His old dual P only comes out for studio sessions. So... I'm guessing he's Lee Sklar and his reputations precedes him
No argument from me. I play in a more upright style (about a 45 degree angle to my body). I also wear my bass up closer to my chest. I have also seen some bassists that use the thumb to fret the low string. Again, whatever floats your boat.
You do not have to get out of breath for something to be anaerobic or aerobic. Anaerobic exercise tends to be higher intensity and cannot rely on oxygen for generating energy because the demands far exceed the ability to supply oxygen. Bench pressing for example will not make you winded necessarily, but it is more anaerobic. Walking will not make you winded, but like bass playing it is more aerobic. Also, what does this have to do with anything? Aerobic exercise still needs "water and food".
No body "can handle" smoking. Every body suffers some weakness from smoking 45 years. Even if you can run a marathon, your marathon time would be shorter without smoking. Smoking is a personal choice of yours. It has consequences. You don't just handle it without consequence. Even eating biscuits has consequences.
The carpal tunnel just gets tighter when you flex the wrist and the median nerve gets bent with wrist flexion. That is what causes carpal tunnel syndrome. The radial nerve has nothing to do with carpal tunnel syndrome. You don't know what you are talking about.
Blood flow to the fingers has nothing really to do with carpal tunnel syndrome. There are no major blood vessels in the carpal tunnel.
Median nerve compression can also happen from the wrist to the neck, the same as ulnar nerve compression. While ulnar nerve compression most commonly happens in the cubital tunnel at the elbow, it can also occur in guyon's canal at the wrist. Interestingly, releasing the carpal tunnel will sometimes relieve ulnar nerve symptoms because of the way guyon's canal and the carpal tunnel are related.
While flexion and extension of your fingers is controlled in your forearms, many of the fine movements of playing bass originate in your hand. Spreading your fingers apart and bending your MCP joints use muscles in the hand. Some does straightening your interphalangeal joints while cleaning your MCP joint.
Also, smoking makes carpal tunnel syndrome worse. Just saying.
Stick to what you know best, posting pictures and videos of straight wrists. I can't play that way.
Cheers and thanks for pointing out the mistake in the carpal tunnel info, it was just a just brain freeze on the wrist/hand issue that seemed to read right to me, but on reading your comments i can see it is plainly wrong...now fixed but the CTS info has to be right.
The rest of the info you highlight is my generalization info, so may apply or not apply, the post just highlights these points... it does not validate them in any use as there will be others that validate another use.
Great points made by the way and i agree with them all in general.
Cheers, the drummer is Brendan O'Neil, best know as working with Rory Gallagher, and Nine Below Zero... he is super cool to work with and knows his Blues craft inside out.
The guitarist is Tim Ainslie, a very well known Jazz guitarist, and guitar teacher based in Suffolk UK... He also knows his Blues chops, and more, inside out.
Regardless of what bass is use, it is still my style.
In the pro world bass model and certainly colour has a bearing in the presentstion of a show.
Lee has earned the right to be Lee, and gets his work by being Lee, but in the vast majoriy of day to day pro players, we have to audition, we have to take instruction, we have to even play what we don't like or agreee with.
If you are not a pro player then most of my, and other pro players experience, means nothing to you...and that is cool with me.
As i have always stated different strokes for different folks....but...and it is a big but....when you develop issues, not if you, or maybe when you, but when you develop issues, then maybe what i talk about makes more sense..
I watch this, and I'm more digging his right than anything.
Its cool, and its great playing, everything is moving and sounding great, so if this is how you want to play then feel free to copy and enjoy using a technique that you can copy...but not afford.
Now what "not afford" means is when problems arise..can you afford the medical bills to make it right?
Now notice i am saying "when" not "if" because if you are a player of note, or reputation, then there will be many options via insurance, via your record company, via your PR company etc to have operations to correct any issues because insurance, and not just regular insurance, but high end medical insurance to protect, not only the player, but those that invest in there time, and those that invest in their services.
Now if that is you then all is cool, if that is not you....
This is not a judgment, or in anyway a criticism, or endorsement, its just a pro fact that insurance, or if you want, underwriting tours is a reality.
I have lost gigs/tours not because i was not good enough, but because i was an "insurance risk"...welcome to the pro world where playing is not everything.
Interesting thread. After cutting back on my bass playing for a while to focus on guitar, I recently ramped up my bass playing time again. One day after doing about two and a half hours of guitar practice, I switched to my Pedulla and spent about another hour jamming my way through some old Rush tunes. My right hand and forearm overnight developed symtoms of both Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome. I stopped playing bass for a couple of weeks, and the symptoms remain. I have just started sleeping with a brace, and that appears to be making a pretty big difference after only a couple of days.
Friday, I watched Scott Devine's latest course which is all about these issues and his guest is a PT/Chiro who is also a bass player.
Then today, I spotted this thread.
I have never played my basses low. In fact I play them way up high. It's comfy for my left hand and I like my eyes being closer to the edge markers on my fretless. My right wrist has gone in and out of some pretty unnatural angles, but it was never a problem in 35 years of playing. I don't know why now, but it is what it is.
I'm new to the guitar so I have been spending a lot of time doing highly repetitive exercises with it. Maybe all of the mind-numbing guitar strength/speed/picking technique exercises were setting me up with too much fatigue in my hands, and then stacking bass playing on top of it was the proverbial last straw on the camel's back.
Now I'm trying to get used to playing with my bass way down there near the belt to keep my wrist straight and reduce my right elbow angle. Ugh. It's like learning a new instrument all over again. I don't like the way it looks either, but I'm not enthused about the possibility of spending money on doctors and surgery however minor it might be, so I'm hoping that the adjustments to my bass strap and arm angles along with slowing down and slacking off for a bit might clear things up for me.
Fingers crossed....on my left hand.
When you play guitar it should be from a point of relaxation. The neck can be angled up. Your MCPs should be at the plane or slightly higher than the plane of the fretboard and the fingers should have an arch to allow playing on the fingertips. Depending on the chord shape and position on the fingerboard, you have to move your elbow/forearm to allow the fingers to maintain a relatively straight path to where they are fretting. Doing so should not cause carpal tunnel syndrome. As an example, Andres Segovia recommended practicing scales 2 hours everyday as part of your daily 8 hour routine. He didn't have problems playing even late in life.
Regarding the bass, the reason for lower the neck has more to deal with discomfort you can get in your shoulder reaching for the 1st position with the bass held like a guitar. Lowering the strap and letting the bass sit to the side slightly allows easier reach of the first position.
I have no discomfort with the left hand in any position on the bass neck. Never have. Except when the bass is worn low, and tilting is just awkward.
Oh. Sorry. I was confused by your post. I read it about your left hand. Do you play guitar and/or bass with a pick?
Guitar with a pick always. Bass with a pick only when necessary, which is only a small portion of the time spent playing.
After sleeping with a brace for three consectutive nights, my symptoms are already fading. I'm considering doing the right thing here (besides firing the drummer) and quitting guitar for good. The world already has too many guitarists anyway, and they are nearly all better guitarists than me. I'm not the best bass player either, but finding bass gigs has never been a problem for me.
Oh, and I'm going to continue to work on getting accustomed to playing my basses lower to keep my right wrist straighter and my elbow less bent.
Just a little update. I've been sleeping with carpal tunnel braces on my arms every night for about a week now. I've hardly touched my guitar this past week, but I have been practicing my bass. My carpal tunnel and ulnar tunnel symptoms are almost completely gone. I suspect that it is something in my guitar techniques/form that needs adjustment. Then again, I'm still pretty seriously considering giving it up.
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