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Fingers starting to lock

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by kenf, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. kenf


    Dec 3, 2003
    I have been playing bass on and off for 30 odd years. I have been playing alot over the past year. Rehearsing with the band twice a week for 2-3 hours, a couple of gigs a month and practice at home for a few hours a week. Recently my little finger and ring finger of my 'fretting' hand have started to give me trouble. The joints start to burn and feel physically hot and look slightly red after about 10 minutes rehearsing. Every morning when I wake the two fingers are locked closed folded up. I have to unpeel them and the joints click. There is also some pain.
    I'm sure the answer is to rest but my band is just 'taking off', we have many gigs over the summer and I am really enjoying myself.
    I am going to find a doctor to help. Can any one offer any advice. I feel pretty fed up about the whole thing.
  2. elpelotero


    Jun 16, 2006
    sounds like you may have some arthritis...I've never heard of anybody having this problem.

    I would suggest seeing a doctor immediately and perhaps getting a teacher to analyze your technique to find any possible flaws.
  3. kenf


    Dec 3, 2003
    I rehearsed this afternoon. I took it easy but have to play loads of octaves in some of the numbers which is a stretch! Will try and find a doctor tomorrow....
  4. Thunderitter

    Thunderitter Bass - The Final Frontier.. Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    I had some issues recently with my left hand (ring and middle finger) and started taking a joint supplement. This has made a big difference and I can now play without pain - during and after.

    Obviously I don't know how severe your pain was/is, but mine on my pain scale would have been a 5/10 - enough to be annoying but not agony. If you have been putting off a visit to the Docs (they often suggest you stop doing what is causing the pain!) then I would say try a supplement.

    They key ingredient in my supplement is Glucosamine Sulfate which has good anti-inflammatory properties. Most pharmacies/heath shops can advise. Depending on what other medicines you might be taking you may want to talk to the Doc before you try a supplement.
  5. I'm with TR. Get some Gluc/chondroitin supplements and an Aleve (naproxen) morning & night for a couple of days and see if that helps. For me, at 49, it's more of a joint stiffness, your "redness & locking up" might suggest the need for a Dr visit. Hang in there. I wish you the best of luck with it.
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I have this problem,on my left hand around 15 years ago my pinky and my ring finger were broken backwards and to this day my pinky will lock up on me in a claw shape while playing and between songs I will have to grab it and click it back open,but it only happens when my hand is really fatigued and towards the end of long shows.
  7. I broke my ring and pinky fingers 3 times (long story). Arthritis set in as I got older. I use an over the counter product called
    Cura-Heat Penetrating Pain Relief Arthritis Formula with Liquid Capsaicin. Seems to work very well. you can find it in drug stores and supermarkets
  8. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    This part sounds like a "trigger finger" condition. Happened to me a couple of years ago (my right thumb), and in my case, it had to be surgically corrected.

    I'd see a doc at your earliest opportunity.
  9. kenf


    Dec 3, 2003
    Thanks for you help you guys!

    I have been told it could be trigger finger by a friend who had it... Seeing my doctor tomorrow....
  10. kenf


    Dec 3, 2003
    I have seen my doctor and waiting for some results. I have also been taking Glucosamine and resting and my fingers are getting better.
  11. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    scarily enough ive had a bit of this. been playing bass quite solidly for a couple of weeks and i woke up with pains in my botton two fingers, and the little finger kinda locked. im thinking im trying too hard, so im gonna rest for a while until it heals and learn simple fretboard positions and note formations :)
  12. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Inactive

    Nov 20, 2005
    Motrin, Advil, or Aspirin.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I shied away from the glucosamine/chondroitin stuff until a co-worker friend of mine who is 20 years younger than I am - and a multi-sport athlete - mentioned that he'd been taking it and stopped, and felt an immediate difference. he started taking it again.

    I also started taking it, figuring that if he noticed that much difference at 30+, it could make a difference for me in my 50's. I didn't have finger problems, but it has helped my neck and knees. Can't hurt to try it, but I'd say you will need a few weeks before you notice a difference.

    Another option is to learn to use a pick. I'm strictly a fingerstyle player, but I'm slowly working on pick technique - there are some numbers we play like Link Wray's "Jack the Ripper" where the bass line is 16th notes for 4 minutes straight...using a pick would make it a LOT easier on the hand.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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