Finger/Hand fatigue?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by dontpoll, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. dontpoll


    Jun 22, 2006
    I've been playing bass for about 7 months..but I still get noticable finger/hand fatigue in my left hand (fretting hand). I notice this especially when I play at lower frets, probably because you need to stretch your fingers more down there..

    Are there any tips to improve this? Simply practice more? Or is my technique bad?
  2. ric1312

    ric1312 Inactive

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    Ya practice. But, I'd like to know how hard are you pressing down on the strings? I've only been seriously playing probably twice as long as you. I got over most of my soreness just by relaxing and only using the least amount of finger pressure nessasarry.

    Also, do not arch the wrist if you can help it. Makes everything harder to do.

    When I find myself playing too hard I try to think of my hand as very relaxing or even sloppy, just to get the muscles that aren't needed to let go.

    Also, try to use very little pressure with your supporting thumb.

    Also, make sure you do a warmup that used all the fingers. The usual thing is 1,2,3,4. 4,3,2,1 up and down the fretboard relaxed both slow and fast. then go to scales and harder things.

    and last but not least if you lift weights or do a physical job laboring job you will probably have to stretch more. I find it much easier to play fluid and fast on days I don't lift.

    you can also try soaking your hands in hot water before you play to warm them up, I do this a lot when I'm lifting and it happens to be cold out.
  3. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Good stretch exercises are good, but over stretching can cause damage.
    Watch your hand position and make sure you aren't bending your wrist too much. A lot of beginners try to keep their instrument low, but that causes you to bend your wrist too much.

    I like to wash my hands in hot water before I play, it helps draw blood down into the fingers.

    Also you are a beginner and playing low is stretching your finger more than before so it will take time for your hands to get used to. Also might want to try different fingering. Many bass players try to use guitar one finger per fret approach. That is tough for some when playing low. Many are now using string bass fingering low on the neck. Look on the internet or find a book on string bass and check out thier fingering. Use string bass fingering up to about 5th fret then switch to one-finger-per-fret.

    Last pace your practice. Play thirty-forty minutes then take a ten minute break. I find breaking up practice like that I can play all day.
  4. dontpoll


    Jun 22, 2006
    My supporting thumb does get sore, which suggests that I'm using too much pressure in fretting the strings. I'll try to ease up on that.

    And I really don't practice a ton, maybe an hour a day at the most. I mostly play 6 string guitar, with bass on the side..
  5. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA

    Does the bass neck dive so your trying to hold it up?

    Neck too thin. chunky necks take less pressure and more comfortable over course of a night. This applies to guitar and bass.

    Where is your thumb, like guitar it should be around the middle of the back of the neck. This is to create kind of a C-clamp between fingertips and thumb. That makes for a lot of strength with little effort.

    Sound like a lesson with a good instructor would help in getting your basic hand and bass position worked out. Probably pickup some tips that would help you on guitar too. Look at classical guitar players especially their left arm and relationship to the wrist. Shoulder relaxed, elbow low, hand up. Can almost draw a straight line from elbow to knuckles. Avoid drastic angles and your body will be happy through years of playing.
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