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Fretting hand problem

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by romkaman, Mar 24, 2013.


  1. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    Hey guys, I have this problem, my fretting hand muscles kinda twisting or smth, i dont know how to explain, the same pain like the one from the flat feet( got that one when i was younger). And it continues now, except those when it isnt so painful and i just forget about it. So could u help me on this one, please?
     
  2. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Perhaps you could give us a bit more information ? How long have you being playing ? How long have you had this problem ? Keep in mind that this may not be bass related, but playing simply aggravates it.

    Assuming it is bass related, it could be to do with your technique. Check the links below for safe L/H (fretting) technique.

    Make sure you are not pressing down on the string too hard when fretting. Minimal pressure is required.

    Also, be sure to warm up before you even touch the bass. Spend about three to five minutes doing gentle stretches. Link for that also below.

    Finally, dont play through any pain. Rest the hand for a day or two. If you are still experiencing pain, then it would be prudent to see a doctor.

    Hope this helps some. :)

    Warm up stretches :

     
  3. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    Ive been playing bass for about 1 month. I think its technique related cause ive been trying to play thumb diagonal and it hurts even more, and thumb more linked to the headstock and it hurts less. So i think its cause of the thumb. And its not strong pain.
     
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Important to build good habits from the start! Are you taking lessons? Do you have a teacher? Have you had your bass professionally set up so it has a low "action" and is easy to play?

    Here's a good video on safe left-hand technique (fearceol posted it too):

    There should be almost no pressure on your thumb. Don't use your thumb to support the weight of the bass (that's the strap's job)! Try practicing without even touching the neck with your thumb; this is a a good exercise to teach you the correct amount of pressure (very little!) is necessary to fret a note.
     
  5. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    yes, i do have a teacher who teaches to place thumb diagonal but while its kinda comfortable, cause of it my hand and thumb hurts more. My strap holds my bass and my thumb isnt applying much of a pressure.
     
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Tell your teacher about the pain at your next lesson. He or she can analyze your technique and tell you what you're doing wrong.

    Are there particular songs or exercises that make the pain worse?
     
  7. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    nope, just after some time playing, when my hand begins to get tired it hurts alittle bit. Then before going to sleep while lying in bed it gets pretty annoying
     
  8. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Well, start slow, don't overdo it---maybe take a break every 15 minutes? Plenty of musical exercises you can do without a bass in your hands: sing, sight-read rhythms by clapping or tapping your fingers on the table, transcribe your favorite songs, write out the major and minor scales in all 12 keys, learn some harmony on the piano if you have access to one, etc. Good luck!
     
  9. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    Okay, thanks, ill try that
     
  10. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Check out this video clip by the same man (a fellow TB'er) in the link I posted on stretching.

     
  11. bander68

    bander68

    Jan 29, 2013
    Not trying to diagnose or prescribe anything, but I am just coming out of some pretty intense carpal tunnel problems with my left wrist, and the best thing I did was go to Wal-Mart and buy a wrist splint to wear while sleeping. Best $15 I've spent in a long time.
     
  12. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    hey, just got an idea. A wierd but reasonable idea. Maybe its just how my body works and i just need some kinda wristband, but dont know which. Maybe just some silicone idk. Have a recommendation on that one?
     
  13. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Maybe so.....maybe not. You will never know for sure unless you get it professionally diagnosed and treated. In the meantime, you are diagnosing the problem (maybe wrongly) yourself, and if you continue to play without correcting the problem, you could be doing yourself further harm.
     
  14. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Hi rokaman,
    Can you post exactly,
    1/what you do for a living and how you use you hands within it.
    2/ the exact nature of the pain and how it affects and restricts your hands
    3/ how you practice, so the use your hands, length of time, sitting or standing etc
    4/ the sort of things you practice

    Try and keep it brief and we can all comment with a better idea of whether it is "just growing pains" or something a doctor should see, but always if in doubt see a doctor, these things need a physical examination to come to a correct diagnosis so apply the correct treatment or remedy.
     
  15. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    Hi, im from 9th grade so theres not much i can do for living :D. The pain is like rheumatic one and it doesnt restrict my wrists its just sometimes really annoying, especially when im in bed getting ready to sleep. I practice from 1h to 5 hours a day and i mostly play sitting but sometimes stand up. Since I've watched this video my wrist hurts less and I practe all sorts of things from scales to songs(beginner ones). So if you got some idea about what can help me id be thankful.
     
  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Only been playing 1 month, and practicing 1-5 hours a day!?!? I recommend you limit yourself to 1 hour/day maximum, with breaks every 15 minutes. Never just play stuff for the sake of playing it; try to make every minute of your practice count, focusing on the specific challenges to move your musical abilities forward.

    Also, are you playing with 1-2-3-4 or 1-2-4 fingering? This is controversial, but I recommend not using your 3rd (ring) finger and never stretching your hand more than 2 frets (unless you are playing high up the neck where the frets are closer together). Making just that one small change will make a huge difference for the comfort and longevity of your playing style.
     
  17. wcoffey81

    wcoffey81

    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    without going into diagnosing issues the one thing i will suggest is to let ice be your friend. ice packs are usually very friendly to any any soft tissue injuries. after practice use a frozen bag of peas, or ice pack, on where it hurts for 15 - 20 minutes
     
  18. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    Yep i do that exercise, im using the ring finger only to mute higher strings. Well i dont think that im playing too much :D
     
  19. romkaman

    romkaman

    Feb 21, 2013
    Btw ill try putting some ice on my wrist today although i dont think its an injury.Just remembered that the same hand was broken in autumn and forgot to mention that im a lefty playing righty :D
     
  20. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Well, your hand certainly seems to think so. That pain you are experiencing is your body telling you exactly that.
     

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