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Finger pain

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by riti, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. riti


    Apr 14, 2012
    Can I get some advice guys?

    I play electric upright in a rock covers band (I know this is the jazz forum, but it's the closest set of threads I could find. And we're all in this together, right? :)

    I've been getting pain in my right hand during a 3 hour gig, which is still there the following day. Mostly around the first knuckle (hand end) on my middle finger.

    I guess the first solution is play more to build up strength, but are there any particular exercises or techniques I should be aware of to reduce the pain?

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think you are going to get more answers and advice in the BG section - this is about playing Double Bass specifically.

    But I would suggest that what you really need is for somebody who knows about technique - a good teacher preferably - to look at what you are doing. Without seeing you in person, I don't think anybody can give advice.
  3. riti


    Apr 14, 2012
    Fair enough, and thanks.
    Just to be clear though, it is an upright that I'm playing, not a bass guitar (in case it affects anyone's response). When playing BG I get no pain.
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    It sounds to me like you are playing too hard. Lighten up and loosen up your approach. If you are just starting out, it takes time to build up strength, too. I would rest until the pain goes away and then do the above. Maybe split the gig up with bass guitar until you work up to three hours on upright.
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Eric speaks sooth, as usual. I would advise against "playing through the pain." It would be worth having somebody look at your right hand technique. In the meantime, Chris Fitzgerald's videos show the connection between left- and right-hand technique for pizzicato playing -- something that hadn't occurred to me. Improving your left hand technique might actually take some of the load off of the right hand.

    Lighter strings might help. I noticed some pain when I was playing too hard and using strings that turned out not to be the best choice for my particular bass.
  6. Schpector


    Jan 31, 2012
    Macon, GA
    A few steps:

    1. Make sure your wrist is not bent or overly angled

    2. Don't play too hard

    3. Man up and quit being a sissy :p
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Even more reason then, to get a teacher look at your technique! :eek:
  8. SeaMist_au


    Aug 28, 2012
    Trap going from bass guitar to double bass is to still primarily use the muscles in the hand for plucking when it should be more of a whole body thing. Finger is sort of a hook and the plucking motion comes from the shoulder and arm through sort of a loose elbow to pull the hooked finger through the string. There are some really good videos about. Just google double bass right hand technique.
    And yes, definitely find a teacher if only for a few lessons. I went for help with bowing and was pulled up sharply on my left hand technique which I thought was ok lol.
  9. The best exercise for doing a particular activity is... the particular activity.
    Body builders allow for recovery between workouts. The same principle applies here. You're not going to get miraculously stronger by always playing, without rest. And the dumbest notion on earth is "playing through the pain".
    Do as Eric Hochberg says.