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finger marriage

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by moped10, May 6, 2003.

  1. moped10


    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    Anyone here suffer from right hand finger joint problems? I had been practicing, practicing, practicing (2-3 hours + a day) for a couple back-to-back gigs, and over a period of a month my right hand index finger had swollen to be like a petite italian sausage. My callusses are good, I use the Ray Brown parallel-to-the-string pizz technique, and my action's now at 8mm on the G with Superflexible rope core strings (I play w/out an amp). Anyway, my wife's a physical therapist and gave me a stern "rest" recommendation. Impossible! So, as a working alternative, I married my index finger to my middle finger with athletic tape for support. Surprisingly, my walkability, even at fast tempos, was not affected. Even with the back-to-back 2 hour shows with a preceding 3 hour rehearsal, my index finger has now recovered and actually looks like a finger again! :) I've done a search on "tape" but can't find any pizzers that have gone this route, only slappers on rockabillybass.com. Anyone?
  2. moped10


    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    I had a DB teacher years ago, but I don't have one now- He was an old school pizzer (downward-pointing index finger) and hammered that method into my brain- I switched to BG to play in a cheezy but signed touring band and have just recently switched back to DB (I could finally afford one)-
    I think I'll practice without tape and just use it for gigs until my finger toughens up- I don't want to get addicted to tape, but it's saving me for now-

  3. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    i had some bad fingers, because I was out of shape and suddenly had gigs every night, and I wrapped some athletic tape around my fingers,
    individually, so that when I was plucking the tape was wrapped clockwise. This is conjunction with getting all the moisture out of my blisters really helped.

    But, I noticed a flaw in my technique, where as the night goes on, I start to try to push the string down into the fingerboard, instead of pulling to the side.

    this made the fatigue worse, and my hand did get swollen. What I finally did to stop that was move the bass a little more to my left side, with the scroll pointing a little away from my head, so the strings move from a little left of center in thumb position to further as it gets higher, like this \, if you are looking forward holding the bass.

    I found this left of center approach gives me more leverage without having to pull so hard, as the bass moves to the right, you loose leverage, getting less tone with more effort.

    I also have been focusing on getting my right shoulderblade almost flat against my back, instead of pushing my shoulder forward. this gives me more leverage too, and lessens the tension in my shoulder.

    a good book to help think about these things is new directions in cello playing. just about everything from the bow discussions is applicable to pizz too, hope that helped, I'm a rambling a little
  4. moped10


    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    That makes sense Alex, I noticed that also, as I tend to wear out, the bass turns more into me, making it even harder to project- Yesterday while playing along with a CD cut up loud and myself unamped, I did your trick of turning the bass a little more to the left as I started to wear out- It definitely helps guarantee a good sideways pull on the strings, resulting in a solid loud tone- Thanks for the tip!:)

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