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help with wrist pain!!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Kaboom, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    Ok so i've JUST started out and i'm doing my A and B minor scales, and of course my fingers hurt like hell, but i expected that and its ok
    now the problem is that my wrist also hurts. I'm amost sure that its because my wrist is bent instead of being perpendicular to the neck of the bass, but if my wrist is straight and my palm is flat against the neck i there's no way i can get my index on the 5th and my pinky on the 8th frets of my E string.
    PLEASE someone help me!
    what is it that i'm doing wrong?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Your palm shouldn't be flat against the back of the neck, for one. Your thumb should be gently touching the back of the neck in the middle (don't let your thumb come over the fretboard), and your fingers should have a good, comfortable arch to where your fingertips touch the strings. It sounds to me like you have a death grip on your neck.

    You would benefit from lessons from a good player with proper technique. But if you can't get lessons right now, study some pictures and videos of the great players like Vic Wooten, Dave LaRue, John Patitucci, etc., to see their technique.
  3. Your problem is that you have horrible technique, or else your bass is hanging near your knees. First make sure your bass is nice and high, and that you're slanting the neck so that the nut is higher than the bridge. Do not tilt the neck so that you can see the surface of the fingerboard. Many people do it so that they can watch themselves fret. That's a big mistake, since it will kill your reach. I'm not sure what you mean by, "my palm is flat against the neck". Your palm shouldn't be touching the neck. Your thumb perches on the back of the neck, and your fingertips are on the fingerboard. Think of your hand moving like a spider.
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Stretching is a must to avoid RSI. Ice is good too, which decreases blood flow to the iced area.
  5. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    my palm originally wasn't flat against the neck, but a guitar-playin' friend of mine told me to change my thumb-against-neck position to holding the neck more like a baseball bat.
    i couldnt reach either way!
    where on the internet can i find pics/videos? lessons are not possible for the moment, though they might be later on this summer.
  6. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    A lot of guitar players play with holding the neck like that so that they can reach around with their thumbs...but guitar necks are generally thinner and the strings take less pressure and finger strength. You definetely want your thumb lightly in the middle of the neck and your fingers curved using your finger tips to fret the strings. I have small hands so personally don't use the 1 finger per fret method low on the finger board. I started using the DB version of fingering that uses the 1st, 2nd, and 4th finger with the 3rd and stabalization for the 4th.

    I always heard that the general rule of thumb was to have the bass at the same height when your standing up as when you're sitting down...I know it might not look the coolest depending on the type of band you're in...but it allows for correct technique...and I'd much rather look a little dorky and play for the rest of my life than have to give it up because of Carpel tunnel, or other playing related injury that can be prevented.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don't ever listen to guitarists for bass technique, especially someone who tells you to hold the neck like a baseball bat. They know nothing about it. Hell, most of them don't even know good guitar technique!

    I do have to take slight exception to what Lemur says about wearing your bass nice and high. For starters, I think it looks dorky. I know a lot of guys do it, but it looks like they should be wearing a pocket protector and glasses held together with tape. But the main reason I don't like it is because you get your left wrist straighter but your right wrist ends up bending and aching because of it. At least that's what happens to me. I like a nice in-between height, where it's not so high my belly hangs out under it but not so low I look like I'm trying to be an 18 year old in a metal band. It's a fair amount lower than where it sits when I'm seated but not overboard.
  8. Actually, I agree with you. I meant it should be nice and high compared to where he would put it if he wore it super low (which may have been an unjust assumtion to make). It sounds like we keep ours in about the same place.

    There's nothing wrong with the baseball bat grip itself, but you get into trouble when you try to use it wrong. It's the proper position for bending strings, since it lets you use your thumb as a pivot and do the bend with wrist action, but it's terrible for making reaches. I imagine you're probably doing more of the latter. Even when you use it, your palm shouldn't be on the neck. Just your thumb, or the side of your hand when you bend towards the floor. You might want to let your guitarist friend know. ;)
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You need a teacher!!

    Nobody here can see what you're doing - you need an experienced player standing in front of you to see what's wrong and then correcting that - nothing anybody says here can really help, as we can't see what you're doing!! :meh:

    Avoid this and you're almost certainly going to injure yourself in the long term - just one or two lessons with a good teacher and you could save yourself a lot of pain! :(
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, actually I thought we helped a lot. I mean, I agree that a teacher could set him straight a lot better, but from what he said his problem was, I wouldn't be surprised if we zeroed right in on it. Or at the very least, gave him a basis to check his current technique against.

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