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Hand pain - possible cause?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Evil Undead, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I've done a search and read through some of the threads that popped up, but would like to get some advice on this particular scenario. Hopefully whoever reads this will make it to the end :D

    I don't play in a band at the moment, and my practice time basically revolves around when I feel inspired enough to pick my bass up.

    I used to own a Fender P but it gave me wrist pain so switched to an Ibanez SoundGear. Helped a bit but not enough. So I decided to go for a short scale, being a small handed girl.

    Two days ago I thought I'd visit a store and try a load of basses out, see what best fits. Tried a whole load out over about 3 hours which is more time than I'd usually play for. I played Jazz necks, P necks, including one of the classic 50's P basses (sounded incredible but the neck was massive, it made my hand ache like crazy), played the new Fender Dimension, some squier mustangs, and right about 15 minutes before I left I decided to try out the squier short scale jag... Well I really liked it and left with it.

    Played it a bit last night and noticed a little aching in my fretting palm, just put it down to playing so much the day before, and also playing that huge p neck that hurt my hand. Today the pain is worse - haven't played much bass at all, picked it up for 10 mins earlier but that's it. Feels like a burning sensation from my wrist, through the palm, and up to the knuckle of the middle finger.

    I don't think it's my technique, this Jag has light gauge strings, and I've been playing lightly, and been playing a lot without my thumb on the neck as well - I've had issues with "gripping" in the past and trying not to make the same mistakes.

    So I don't know what the cause is. Could it be that I'm having a little pain whilst adjusting to the short scale? I used to play guitar so surely not! Could I have strained something when I played the 50's P bass in the shop? Could it be that I've strained it doing non-bass related stuff?

    Grateful for any advice. Thanks
  2. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Jeez, that's an essay... apologies.
  3. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    Too much mansterbation.
  4. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I'm a girl, and there are no men in my life... The only wood I get my hands round is on my bass.
  5. RattleSnack

    RattleSnack Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    It makes sence for a change of scale to activate different muscules, so it is probably just problem with adjusting.
    Strange thing is that you got that kind of problem going to smaller scale - I got it going from 34" to 35", so stretch was awkward untill I got used to it.
    I sugest resting your hands for couple of days, maybe someone could give you a palm massage (guys, any volontiers? :) ), and than start again practising, a little at time, untill you get used.
    Of course, if pain persists, visit a doctor.
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Introduce some stretches stretches and warm ups and see if it makes a difference. Aching is expected, but pain is not, it is normal in any walk of life if you over do it you will ache for a while after it.

  7. johnnynitro


    Jan 14, 2012
    I used to have that ! Turns out I wasn't warming up properly !!
  8. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Another +1 for warm ups. In your entire post, the words that stick out like a sore thumb (pardon the pun ;)) is "tried a whole load over about 3 hours." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt that you spent a few minutes doing some warm up (and down) stretches before (and after) embarking on this marathon.

    Granted, playing a precision neck versus a jazz neck can be uncomfortable, but IMO should not cause pain. I would maintain that your technique is a contributing factor in your problem.
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Yes good points, practice in twenty minute sessions, so warm up, practice for 20mins, rest 20mins, practice 20mins, rest 20mins etc.
    In such a practice routine you play 40mins in any one hour, but it broken down into three parts.
    when 'resting' you can do some stretches, have a drink, eat an energy bar, read some theory, or chord charts for the next practice session etc...learning is not all practical playing, there is thought involved as well?
    I use an old alarm clock to time my sessions, but in modern life i would suppose setting 20min. alarms on your mobile phone would be the way forward.?:)
  10. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I don't know what position your hand is in, but try to make only a small angle with your wrist and try playing with round fingers. and how do you hold your bass? neck parallel to the floor or pointing upwards? I find that haveing the neckplate at about the height of my belly button and the headstock at head level gives me a comfortable position for both hands (doesn't look that cool though :p).

    You said you don't think yout technique is the issue, so sorry if you're already doing that or it doesn't make it better for you.
    But until a couple of weeks ago I also thought my technique was fine, then I went to another teacher and now I have to completely rebuild my technique.

    and +1 to what the others said.

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