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Hand strengthening devices

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by blue4, Oct 5, 2017.


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  1. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    Is there any credible value to these things, or just a gimmick to separate aging players like me from their money?
     
    Smooth_bass88 and FenderB like this.
  2. Mind if I ask why you're considering one? FWIW I fret lightly and my RH technique doesn't require a "grip" of any sort, so I personally have no use for a hand strengthening device.

    They've also been unnecessary for my adventures in classical piano and DB.
     
    Stumbo likes this.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I vote gimmick/unnecessary.

    Playing amplified electric bass requires remarkably little hand strength.

    What will definitely benefit your playing is overall well-rounded physical fitness, including cardio, relaxation and stretching.
     
  4. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I have a thumb issue. The tendons get inflamed and my doctor has me wear a brace for a week or so and treat with ice and it goes away for awhile. But after this it always seems like my hand loses stamina. So I thought maybe one of these combined with the stretching I do daily would be beneficial.
     
  5. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    To clarify, this isn't just about fretting a bass. It's also for various other tasks, work and basic chores, etc. Just overall maintaining dexterity and hand strength as I get older. My grandpa and my dad have both had this problem as well.
     
  6. That makes sense! Hand strengthening devices do actually work, although my main concern is that they could exacerbate any pre-existing repetitive strain issues.
     
  7. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    Maybe once every other day after stretching. If I just used the flat side instead of the individual fingers that might reduce the likelihood of irritating the tendons while improving strength.
     
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Bass strings. Works every time.
     
    Helix, BurnOut, fhm555 and 4 others like this.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Maybe a short-scale bass with a narrow
    neck?

    I used to play a Hofner Beatle bass with dead flats; very light weight, very narrow neck and very little pressure.
     
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Pics of your technique?
     
  11. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I already play nothing but short scale. Epi Viola and EB-0 mostly.
     
  12. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    It's almost always brought on at work lifting or operating a machine or carrying something at home. Playing usually has no effect on it, other than contributing to soreness after it get inflamed.

    Dad had the same job I do, with identical issues. My grandpa never touched a musical instrument and had it from farm work.
     
    Stumbo likes this.
  13. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i had this issue elsewhere, and my physical therapist recommended light exercise - doing heavy exercise tends to set off the inflammation again. my husband used those hand exercisers, although his hands are already quite strong. they did seem to help, but i'd suggest using the lightest tension one to start with since you don't want to cause more inflammation.
     
    blue4 likes this.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Since it's work related, how have others in your same job been assisted by your employer?

    Maybe a brace of some sort or a glove?

    Have you tried cold packs or ice water, like athletes do? Possibly during your work breaks?
     
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I'd discuss it with your doctor or PT before you start using one and see what they think first.

    I personally think those gadgets have the potential to do more harm than good.
     
    Aqualung60, gln1955 and blue4 like this.
  16. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I use ice and a brace when it's inflamed. I also have gone to using the brace if I'm carrying or lifting. Although sometimes the brace isn't feasible. It makes the thumb stick out, and if you catch that just right, it gets worse in a hurry.

    It's not typical in my job, shoulder and back injuries are far more common. They usually do ok by the injured party, once you jump through their hoops. I haven't gotten them involved yet, the doctor considers it more family legacy plus age more than any one given work activity. For right now I just stay in communication with her on any episodes, and act quickly to reduce inflammation. If I do that, I stand a good chance of avoiding surgery or lost time at all. But it's early, so time will tell.
     
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    A consult with a PT or doc who specializes in physical medicine would be advised. Typical family med or other GP docs don't really get rehab problems.
     
    ProdigalBassman, 40Hz and Aqualung60 like this.
  18. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Schumann became a composer because he failed as a pianist. The 1830s were the dawn of a new kind of piano virtuosity, exemplified by Chopin and Liszt. Schumann was eager to make his mark, and to try to speed up the process he constructed a weird device using a cigar box and some wire. It was intended to prop up his fingers while practicing, the idea being to strengthen them and develop independence. But instead, two fingers on his right hand were permanently injured. Schumann informed his family, who had only grudgingly given their approval to his intended career as a musician, that instead of now becoming a lawyer — which is what he promised to do if a piano career failed — he was going to focus on writing music.
     
    LowActionHero and Mushroo like this.
  19. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    useless to play bass

    you need dexterity not strengh
     
  20. + This. I worked the back of a garbage truck for 31 years and had to learn to relax my left hand while playing because all the heavy lifting I did was causing me to "Strangle" the neck while I was playing which lead to fatigue and cramping. Technique, not kung fu grip.
     
    Helix, bolophonic, Mushroo and 2 others like this.

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