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Fretting Hand(Left),and wrist pain.Please Help!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bayonet, May 10, 2011.


  1. Bayonet

    Bayonet

    May 10, 2011
    I've bought my bass a week ago,my first bass and first stringed instrument.. so i'm kinda new to all this,but one of my friends plays bass since a few years ago and he taught me the positioning of the hand and other stuff,but i've been feeling some pains at these locations of my hands :S

    Hand Pain Places

    Bass height and Position

    Since i can't reach him,and i'm not worried enough to see a doctor,does anyone knows,or has experienced this?
    Any advice would be nice,thank you =)
     
  2. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    The area you highlight is a potential tension area, ease up on the pressure you use and do some open hand stretches before and after playing. Just open and spread your finger fully and hold for 10 seconds then relax, give them a gentle shake and repeat as neccesary. On the tension point of playing it should feel as if your thumb should brush the neck when moving along it or just with enough pressure that if at any point you can lift it away while playing...so that mean light and gentle with the way you play the neck, that is play the neck not hold the neck.

    Check out that plucking hand wrist, it could do with being straighter, thats quite an angle to maintain for a new player.
     
  3. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    OP, perhaps you could experiment with wearing the bass a bit lower. This would help with straightening out the plucking hand wrist. Check out this R/H technique ( Fergie's advice should go a long way to solving the L/H problem).



    YouTube - Todd Johnson Bass Guitar : Floating thumb technique
     
  4. kr0n

    kr0n

    Feb 4, 2009
    Try playing the riffs you know without holding the thumb behind the neck, just hanging loosely. You press the strings with your whole arm and back muscles, not just squeezing with fingers.

    While everyone notes that wrist angle is important, it's also important to move your elbow depending where you play. Finger per fret is great but it doesn't mean you have to keep your fingers stiff all the time. Loosen it up to avoid tension.
     
  5. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Agreed...in certain circumstances. However, for a noob, it would be advisable to only use this technique above the fifth fret, until the hand adapts. Even then, some people find it uncomfortable and even painful on the lower frets. Just so the OP is aware of this.
     
  6. kr0n

    kr0n

    Feb 4, 2009
    True, it takes time to be able to stretch it fully from 1st to 4th but honestly, how often you do that? Even if you can? I'd rather just switch position slightly and still achieve legato.
     
  7. Bayonet

    Bayonet

    May 10, 2011
    Next time i pratice i'll try to lower the bass until i get my right hand straight.. i never noticed that it was in such an awkward angle,i'll try putting less pressure also,it makes sense,but sometimes the neck goes down and i'm like "What the f-?" and i don't know what to do ._.

    Oh,i liked that floating thumb stuff.. going to do that =)
     
  8. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    I assume you are talking about neck dive, where the weight of the neck brings it down and you have to hold it up ? In that case a suede strap can give some grip. There are also straps available which have a small compartment containing weights, which counter balance that of the neck.
     
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Great point, but also realise that maybe this bass is not for you.
    A good bass needs good balance to the player. If you have to support the neck then you will end up with problems in the future.
    These days with so many great basses and styles to choose from with prices to suit many pockets i am still amazed that any player would tolerate a bass that is not balanced for them.
     
  10. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    I completely agree. I had a similiar discussion on another forum. I always assumed that it was only the really low end basses that had neck dive, and I was amazed to learn the some of the higher end basses had this also. Even more amazing was the fact that people were defending this, saying it was no big deal and you could always use a suade strap etc like I mentioned earlier. :rollno:
     
  11. kr0n

    kr0n

    Feb 4, 2009
    With enough dive the strap just pulls your shirt down...I drilled another strap button to my LTD which helped tremendously but not perfectly. Some weight and it's balanced.
     
  12. Bayonet

    Bayonet

    May 10, 2011
    Guys,thank you very much!
    i lowered my bass,and i'm playing without putting much pressure on the strings,i went to my drummer's house and we praticed for almost one hours and i didnt felt anything..Also,i learned the floating thumb and its really better.
    But there's one thing that's bothering me,i lowered the bass a LOT so it became comfortable,and then the "neck dive" stopped,but is this height going to cause problems? I heard that too low can get you back pain,and thats something i don't want :/

    Pic:
    [​IMG]

    I don't have any back pain yet,but i'm worried xD
     
  13. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland

    Looks about "right" to me. The " " mean that there is not really a right height. It is just that where you are wearing it now, is generally accepted as being the best compromise. Too low can cause problems also. Back pain can also come from not being relaxed when standing. Try to constantly monitor your body to make sure you are not tensing up. Try out this new height for a while and see how it goes.
     
  14. IbanezBass69

    IbanezBass69

    Jul 14, 2010
    Minnesota
    I play my Ibanez a little lower then you have it, and I have had no problems. My wrists still stay straight, and only after 5ish hours will I feel pain, but I rarely play that long at once without a break. That height should be perfect as long as you are comfortable with it.
     
  15. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Posture fixes all sorts of problems, be aware of being balanced when you stand or sit. back comfortable shoulder back and down, many player will raise or hunch their shoulders in an attempt to reach the bass. Remember the bass hangs off you so you can move it into positions to gain different types of access to it. Its a trade off to find the perfect height that is good for both hands, the higher the bass the better the fretting hand, the worse the plucking hand and vica versa when worn low.
    As for the neck dive and height, a bass worn to high can roll off the rib cage which is hard, where as a bass worn under it will resist against the roll because the tissue is softer. This of course is all depending on "beer belly syndrome" as a bass will roll off that as well. Also the forearm on a lower bass can provide some resistance by helping keep the shoulders down.
     
  16. Bayonet

    Bayonet

    May 10, 2011
    thank's guys,i think all my problems are solved here.. time to play a little more :bassist:
     
  17. bluesdogblues

    bluesdogblues

    Nov 13, 2007
    Hi all :)

    Instead of starting new thread I think I'd better ask here about this almost similar problem.

    I'm alwys a self taught, and after professionally play bass for almost 20 years, since few months ago I'm in the phase of relearning my basic technique from the 'zero start' again (scale fingering etc) correcting my yearly mistake.

    Sometimes at practicing I feel pain (so bad) esp at 'the point between my left thumb and index finger'. (I play righty, so it's my fretting hand).

    My question is:
    "What do you all suggest; do I have to stop right away when I feel that pain in the middle of passage that I'm practicing or just push my self to keep playing away?"

    I wish you'd like to give me your suggestion here.

    Thanks in advance
    (sorry for my English limitation)
     
  18. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland

    First, never play through any pain in the hope that it will go away by itself. If you do, it will probably get worse, to the point that you may have to stop playing indefinitely.

    Your pain could be caused by gripping the neck too firmly. A minimal amount of pressure is required to fret a string. Also, contrary to a lot of advice, the thumb should point towards the head stock, when playing on the lower frets. Make sure you warm up with gentle stretches before practicing. Below is a link for safe left hand technique that hopefully you will find helpful.

    YouTube - Developing Safe Left Hand Technique for Bass Guitar
     
  19. bluesdogblues

    bluesdogblues

    Nov 13, 2007
    Thanks for the fast reply man!
    I appreciate it :)
    Can't open any youtube right now but will do later.
     
  20. Stretch before playing.
    Deliberately relax while playing, especially neck and shoulders.
    Take Ibuprofin before playing.
     

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