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Excessive left hand thumb tension...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Nov 7, 2003.


  1. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Not long ago I took some lessons from a well known and well respected player, and he helped me clean up my technique quite a bit. My one continuing problem seems to be excessive tension in my left thumb. I've accounted for all the culprits I can think of -- hand position, needing to stretch, playing position/strap height, etc. My instructor told me to "just relax." Good advice, but I just can't seem to do it. Anyway, this problem manifests itself as pain/fatigue felt in the crotch between my left thumb and first finger, when playing repetitively in one position.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Yes, I got this from Barry Green - the author of "The Inner Game of Music" and a bassist himself.

    Work on a repetative pattern in one position, and take note of the tension in your hand. On a 1-10 scale, rate the tension. Now let's say you rate that tension a "6". Play the pattern again, and try to make the tension a "10". Play through this way a few times. Now, try to set the tension to a "3". Notice what happens. Keep practicing this way, and you'll eventually begin to relax while you're playing. You can't release tension that you're not concious of...
     
  3. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Wow, that makes a huge amount of sense - thanks, Jon! Great avatar, btw!
     
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    No problem.

    And thanks!
     
  5. Wow, I really think that everybody should read this post. Really good information because I think that a lot of bassists have the same problem, I know I do and I just noticed it not too long ago. But I didn't know how to fix it. Now I do. Thanks.
     
  6. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Pacman's answer was much better than mine, which was 'take up the guitar'.

    :D
     
  7. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    that was nice, Jon!

    i need to clean the dust off that book and start to re-read (how do you my hy-phoneeee, Thor) it.