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Finger joint pain question for upright players

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by pjdeklerk, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. pjdeklerk


    Apr 16, 2012
    I'm 55 and I played electric for 30+ years. I got an upright this spring and I've hardly touched the electric since. I practice 1 to 3 hours most days of the week. And recently more since I've had some gigs. Now I have pain and some redness and swelling in the last joint (closest to the nail) on my 4th finger of my left hand and a lesser amount of pain on the same joint on my 1st finger.

    What do other bass players recommend? Rest it completely until it goes away? Tough it out? Adjust my technique? (I don't always support my 4th finger with my third as I've read you should do).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am so excited about learning this instrument but I want to avoid a long term problem.
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    The best advice I can give you is to find a well-qualified teacher who can provide personalized instruction. :)
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Too much, too soon.
    I suspect you're doing something wrong. Continuing to do the same thing will only embed that misuse, making it harder to undo.
    Finish your profile. Where are you?
  4. BassmanSBK


    Mar 31, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Yup. Also--do you have any instruction in technique? In particular, do you understand how to leverage your finger pressure, rather than squeezing with your fretting hand? (Elbow back, lever the bass against your body, light pressure from the thumb.) You just can't grab the neck like you might an electric. Much less forgiving instrument.
  5. Analyze your left hand technique by:

    ans strengthen your fingers when the pain is away.
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    If you haven't yet, go get a lesson with a qualified bass teacher. Even the smallest infractions on technique can cause problems when RSI is involved. Ferinstance, I let my elbow droop down out of laziness. Combined that with that bass was slightly high, it started giving me overuse sensations on my left pinky.

    My solution was to lower the bass a notch just so that it was easier to keep my elbow up since I didn't have to raise it up so high. Just because that's how it worked for me doesn't mean that the same solution works for you. Most self taught bassists coming from EB generally have the poorest technique around. Makes me cringe when I watch them play - it looks uncomfortable.

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