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Fingers NOT hurting after playing for a long time

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Yukino, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Yukino


    Dec 24, 2017
    Yeah, this probably sounds weird. Every beginner seems to be talking about having sore fingers when starting playing. I am about a month in and I feel NOTHING. My fingers are not hurting (nor toughening up :( ) even after long bass sessions. I feel like I'm doing something wrong :( Can anyone tell me why this is the way it is?
    LowActionHero likes this.
  2. It depends on how lightly you play. A lot of new players think they need to attack the strings with a lot of force, but it's just not true.
    Turn up the amp & pluck the strings lightly. Let the amp do the work.
    Yukino, interp, Mili and 6 others like this.
  3. Yukino


    Dec 24, 2017
    Thanks for the reply, but what about the calluses?
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  4. If you don't play with enough force, you shouldn't develop calluses.
    Yukino likes this.
  5. Yukino


    Dec 24, 2017
    Thanks again. I will keep this in mind.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  6. Aberdumbie


    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    KBD is dead right. I worked the road full time for ten years four solid nights a week and never had callouses. Only reason I have one now on my index finger is because I tried to cut that finger off ten years ago and the nerves are dead so now I overcompensate. Thus it has developed a callous..... Look everyone is put together differently. Some folks have thicker flesh than others. Look at it this way. You aren’t doing something wrong. You happen to be doing it quite right.

    Edit... Only having been at it a month you may not know if your bass came equipped with flat or roundwound strings. If the strings have ridges when you run your fingernail across them, they are roundwound, harder on your fingers and have to be replaced regularly...... Conversely if you run your nail down the strings and they are slick, congratulations as you have flat wound strings. Much kinder to the fingers and almost never need replacing..... You may be learning on flats. If so I doubt you will ever have a sore finger or callous.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Yukino and Killed_by_Death like this.
  7. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I think callouses are somewhat genetic. I never have pain from playing, I never shred my fingers, and I play very light gauge strings, but I have callouses that are plenty tough - I have to work at my technique to get soft attack, as my fingers are pretty hard.
    Yukino likes this.
  8. aaronious

    aaronious Supporting Member

    May 23, 2011
    Denver CO
    I play 4-5 hours a day. I practice a lot and jam a lot. I have good technique.

    I've never had a sore finger in my life. When I was a chef I got callouses from holding a knife. My hands will get torn to shreds during a weight lifting session. But I can play bass all day and nothing. Every one is different, I wouldn't worry bout it.
    MrLenny1 and Yukino like this.
  9. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    You’re fine. I think all bassists get callouses when they start to gain proficiency they longer and more practice. At some point tho, you find a comfort zone in your technique and learn the volume and attack you like to play at. I have some callouses, but they are left hand ones and are nowhere near as pronounced as they were when I was a death grip on the neck beginner.

    All that to say, if you are happy with your playing and it sounds good to others, your fine. And als not a slacker if that was something you were worried about.
    Yukino likes this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I am sure your fingertips are toughening up. They aren't supposed to look like your feet. If you aren't in pain, you must be doing something right. Keep it up.
    Yukino, Nashrakh and Aberdumbie like this.
  11. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    Your body will adapt to the environmental changes you expose it to, as long as the changes are gradual enough and paced appropriately. This is the same concept that body-builders use to develop their physiques. And as with body-builders, it's sometimes good to warm up before getting down & dirty to allow your body time to adapt and avoid injury.

    If your playing style is so light that you never micro-injure the surface of the skin on your fingertips or the fibers of the muscles in your fingers, you may not get blisters, calluses, and temporary muscle soreness.

    If your playing style is hard enough that it causes reasonable micro-injuries, they then heal when you're not playing, and the resulting scar tissue makes your hands more resistant toward the same micro-injuries... hence the blisters, the build-up of calluses, and the temporary, minor muscle soreness that lead to the overall strengthening of your hands.

    If your playing style is so hard and/or so frequent that you feel pain while playing or muscle soreness that lasts more than a day or so, stop immediately and consider changing your style, slowing down, and/or getting checked out... you're pushing yourself past the ability of your body to adapt and creating injuries beyond reasonable micro-injury that can cause bigger problems.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Yukino likes this.
  12. You did buy strings for it ...right?

    Kidding...Welcome to TalkBass..
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    12BitSlab, five7, Yukino and 5 others like this.
  13. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Playing guitar for a couple hours straight still makes my fingertips hurt, but I don't think playing bass ever has. The thin treble strings on a guitar tend to dig in like little knives but fat bass strings don't.
    Yukino, tlc1976 and LowActionHero like this.
  14. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I've been practicing 1-2 hours everyday for the past 3 years and have yet to have any finger pain.
    Yukino likes this.
  15. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    I've never had calluses and I never will. My hands don't really sweat which is probably why.
    Yukino likes this.
  16. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    As someone who has played a long time and has no callouses to blunt it, I also don't get sore fingers. Perhaps you have just started with a good technique that takes some many years to figure out. But your fingers should be fine, that's a good thing.
    Yukino likes this.
  17. It's happening cuz you're LUCKY!! ;)

    I've been playing bass and/or guitar for around 30 yrs and I still use that Second Skin or New Skin or whatever it's called once in a while.

    Whatever you're doing, keep doing it! :thumbsup:
    Yukino likes this.
  18. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Well as said everyone is different, technique is different and the end result is different. Playing at home in a sitting position and lightly striking the strings, I don't get sore fingers.

    I do however will get sore finger tips on my plucking fingers during live shows due to how I dig in to get the tone out of SS Roundwound strings and my hand position being a bit different than when I'm sitting. I notice this a lot more when I've been playing basses with flats more prior to switching to rounds. The flats are smoother, and I don't dig in the same way as I'm not trying to get the same sound.

    I haven't been practicing much lately as I've been dealing with a sore thumb on my plucking hand I dislocated earlier this month. It's not fully healed so I'm probably compensating for it with my fingers. I'm sure this has a lot to do with it as well.

    I really wouldn't worry about it too much, if you aren't in any pain and finger tips are ok, no worries. I'm sure you have callouses, just not to the point they are thick and heavy.

    Good luck with your practice. I'm not sure if you are playing out much, but the energy from a live show tends to cause me to play a little more aggressively.
    Yukino likes this.
  19. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I love the folks who think calluses are a mistake. How hard you play doesn't explain why you get calluses on your fretting hand. :roflmao:

    Charles Mingus used to trim his with a razor blade.
    Roxbororob and Yukino like this.
  20. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I don't recall ever having sore fingers, at least not my finger tips. My joints might hurt, and my arm muscles after a while, but I don't get calluses from playing bass in the same way that I did when I was trying to play guitar.
    Yukino likes this.

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