Well, seeing as this is my first post... ever... It seems as if i have some explaining to do... Firstly, ive been playing Upright bass (in a jazz manner) for about a year now, and I feel as if i have progressed steadily in right hand techneque... now that Im getting a nice deep pizzacato growl out of my bass... and my fingers arent blistering up... ive been playing alot more... Actually, the past two weeks i have been at jazz camps... playing about 4 hours a day... (this may not seem like much for you Charly Pakers out there... but its more than normal for me) and I have run accross a problem... My left hand is seeming to cramp up badly... what is strange is that I have allways thought of my self to have fairly good left hand techneque... My fingers are nice and curved... not flat like some other (student) jazz upright players around... Ive been taking lessons from quite reputible sources... a professor at UMSL, and a graduate from Webster University (I Live in Missouri, if you all were wondering) The professor basicly looked at me playing, and said that if it felt fine, I was doing it right... well, it felt fine... untill i played for like 4 hours streight... I have a rufus ried book called "the evolving bassist" and he talks about "the claw" i believe... he mentions the pressure really coming from your shoulder and arm... this is quite a hard concept for me to grasp... and I was wondering if anyone had any good excersies for keeping your left hand correct... I mean, its just a really hard concept for me to grasp (pun fully intended)... not needing to use your thumb... It just feels really wierd thanks for all your help! another question... who decied to put a smilie with a unibrow on this forum?