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first time playing, right hand is a bit sore

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Yogen, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Yogen


    Jul 15, 2012
    After months of searching and economic drawbacks, I finally got a bass (a Cort Action V - A).

    I jammed for about 2 hours with some friends, and when we finished I noticed my right wrist-forearm felt a little sore and my index and middle fingers too. Is not a bothering pain or anything, but I can notice it, also my fingertips feel like I got a 1st degree burn, but I suppose it's normal.

    I have to say, we played mostly, if not just, thrash metal, so there were a lot of 8th and 16th notes and in general things were fast. Luckily I've been trying to simulate bass on my right hands so I didn't have much problems or felt tired on my hand.

    So here's the real question: am I doing something wrong? Or I'm just being paranoid and it's "normal" to feel this way when starting to play? I tried googling, but I couldn't find any info on this.

    Thank you in advance. :bassist:
  2. It's normal.
  3. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Yeah, soreness on the skin on your fingertips is normal. Your fingertips should harden up over a few weeks of playing - though don't overdo it, or you'll be shredding them faster than they can heal.

    Be careful of any muscle pain - slight soreness when doing anything new might be expected, but if it starts becoming actual pain, or something that doesn't stop when you stop playing, you might want to check your technique.

    If you want to get fast, you might consider learning to use 3 fingers on your right hand instead of two. It feels unnatural at first but in the long run should give you a speed boost.
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    It is normal to have some soreness on the tips of the fingers, but any soreness or pain in the wrist/forearm is your body saying that something is wrong. You are right to try to investigate and correct it.

    With the fingers, (and probably the wrist/forearm too), you might have played for too long at one time. Give them time to recover, then build up the playing time gradually. Dont overdo things, till your hands/wrists/fingers have time to adapt to the new task being asked of them.

    The wrist /forearm problem is probably due to technique. When you pluck, do you rest your thumb on the pick up, resulting in the wrist being bent ? Also, do you rest the forearm on the edge of the body of the bass when you play ? If so, these could be contributing to your pain/soreness. Also, try to make sure that the hand is relaxed when you play. Dont "dig in", but play with a light touch and let the volume knob on your amp do the work.

    Here are some clips for R/H technique that you may find helpful. :)

  5. Yogen


    Jul 15, 2012
    Thank you for all the responses.

    I was playing with just 2 fingers because I can't yet play at an even tempo using 3, but I'm working on it.

    When I play on a standing position I keep my arm straight but a bit resting on the body, when sitting I always rest my arm; on both positions I rest my thumb on pickup/string.

    I'm currently on data structures class and the more I type, my wrist (on the not hand palm side) starts to hurt a bit, should I rest more on the bass? It's also freezing here, maybe that's it?
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    IMO it would be a good idea to rest the hand for a day or two. Then (assuming there is no pain) build up the playing time gradually. Play for say a halh an hour. Take a break and come back to it.

    Be sure to warm up first, with gentle stretches, before you even touch the bass. Search You Tube for "hand stretches for guitar".
  7. sadasar


    Jan 21, 2012
    Dallas Texas.
    endorsing artist hard luck king guitars and knuckle head strings
    Stretching is very important. But some soreness or burning on the finger tips is normal you'll build calluses and all will become easier. Enjoy the new bass.