I've just started playing the bass about two months ago. I love it and practice 2-3hrs a day (at least!); I have become a bit obsessed with it. When I first started playing my left hand would cramp up a lot, but that hasn't happened in a couple of weeks now. I guess my hand has gotten used to being in that (awkward) position. The problem I'm having now is I get a lot of pain in the first joint of my first finger after practicing. I don't know if I'm just practicing too much, or using too much pressure to hold the strings against the fret board. I do play the piano and probably have a stronger left hand than the average bass novice. But I do try to use the least amount of pressure necessary to get proper intonation. I can't help but feel that there is something wrong with my technique because of the pain I'm experiencing. I took a few bass lessons and when I asked about technique my instructor told me there is no right or wrong technique, just do whatever you're comfortable with. For somebody who plays the piano this is very hard to accept. I can't help but wonder if I have the first stages of arthritis or carpel tunnel or something, but I experience no pain from the piano (which I play a daily basis). Just wondering if anyone out there has any experience with this. I'm kind of hoping it just will go away like the cramping did.