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Fingers feeling sore from practicing so much, take a break or keep riding the wave?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by basslicks, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. basslicks


    Dec 14, 2015
    First post here, this place looks like a pretty cool community!

    Anyway, I used to play bass quite a bit when I was younger (between 16-19), then I went on a 16 year hiatus and now I'm back (been playing for about 2.5 months on this stint).

    The problem is that I'm just not as nimble as I used to be. However, I'm completely addicted to practicing and playing, so I've been doing such for about 2-4 hours every day. I notice that when I'm practicing a lot like this that I'll get general soreness in my fingers. I'm working hard on relaxing and such, so I think this is just a result of so much playing, especially since my body is not used to this anymore.

    When this happens should I be taking a break? Is it similar to the gym where development happens more when you're off the equipment? I know that exercising the same muscles in the gym every single day is actually more of a hinderance than a help because your muscles need time to recover and develop, so I'm wondering if that's the same thing here (it seems to make sense). The hard part is keeping my damn hands off the damn bass!
  2. Dan Waineo

    Dan Waineo

    Jun 14, 2015
    I think you can judge best. Soreness can be played through. It sounds mostly like your fingertips are sore. I played through that phase on guitar. When I switched to bass, my problem was soreness in my forearm from the additional pressure that bass requires. I played through that too.

    I'd only stop if there was actual pain.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I'd ease up on the practice time whether the problem is "actual pain" or soreness in the fingertips. Yes, IMO you should take regular breaks from practicing. Apart from the physical side of things, the brain itself is inclined to shut down with "information overload" after about an hour. So it is prudent to give both mind and body a regular break. Also make sure that your technique is up to par.

    Best of luck with it. :)
    basslicks and Lobster11 like this.
  4. + 100 to short breaks. Forty five minute sessions with a fifteen minute break rests the body and the mind. Seems to give the break we need and then time to refocus our efforts. Taking those breaks you can go for those four hour sessions and stay focused.

    There should be no pain in music. Discomfort yes. If there is pain stop doing what you are doing.
    Lobster11 likes this.
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    If you're having pain, and you "play through it", you're running the risk of a more serious repetitive use injury that could have you off the bass for days or weeks.
  6. [​IMG]

    Seriously, lay off and give your hands time to recover. You won't be sorry.
  7. basslicks


    Dec 14, 2015
    Thanks for the help guys.

    Yeah it's not so much pain as it is mild discomfort, not too dissimilar from working out in the gym and feeling general muscle soreness, just in my fingers.
  8. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    As you would in the gym, start and end your practice sessions with some gentle stretches. Search You Tube for clips.
    basslicks likes this.
  9. Have a quick look at the anatomy of the hand and fingers (google search). It'll give you some insight into your discomfort and what is actually happening. There are tendons and bands that can be damaged by overuse...and misuse.

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