Left hand/wrist discomfort

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ryuujin, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. ryuujin


    Jun 1, 2003
    Delaware, OH
    Lately I have been having discomfort in my left hand/wrist. I have tried playing at many different heights but I can't seem to get my wrist to not bend so much. could I just be stressed out from school and work? and in turn just not be relaxed enough when playing even though I think I am? This never used to happen but all of a sudden I can't even do basic chromatic scales using one finger per fret style fretting without having left wrist pain and just making me frustrated. :mad:
  2. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Prob the best advice would be to not play for a couple of weeks. The more you try, with the pain still there, the longer it'll take to heal.

    Other than that, where to you have your thumb when playing. I used to have mine hooked over the top, guitarist style. After watching a Stu Hamm instructional vid, I've started not only wearing the bass higher, but putting my think behind the neck, classical style. This I've found improves my finger span, strength (as I'm arching my finger over and pushing the strings down with the tip, not the pads), speed and dexterity.

    Like I say tho, take abreak from playing, and take stock of life. Sort out the stress problems. You'll be more relaxed, and find playing more pleasurable.
  3. ryuujin


    Jun 1, 2003
    Delaware, OH
    thx. ya I have been trying to do the thumb thing. its HARD! but im working at it. I also kinda figured out that the biggest problem is that I wasn't warming up properly either. so my tendons were tight as hell. plus I am going to start doing some forearm strengthening exercises to help make playing properly easier. but I probably will slow down for a while.
  4. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    wow im glad to know im doing things right.....well the only time i use the pads are when i need to hit something on the B real fast.... alot of what i play likes to jump around

    i never played with my thumb curld over the top..... i wont be able to...... so ill laeve that one with a ? mark

    sounds like tendonites(CS) to me(i have it myself)
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Warming up and stretching will go a long ways in improving your wrist pains. Put your left hand out in front of you as if you were saying "Stop!", and pull back gently on your fingers. You'll feel the stretching, even with gentle pressure.

    Wearing your bass at the proper height is something that takes time to adjust to, as well. Play sitting down, and then adjust your strap so that the bass is the same height. I've been told this by countless people, and it works wonders. It will take some time to get used to, as I said, but it is worth it in the long run.
  6. smitcat


    Aug 5, 2003
    Ithaca, NY
    i have just started to have the same pains. i have played for three years, and i started mainly as a hobby. but i have recently decided to learn the right way. my playing has improved so fast....but the last week just pracicing scales has hurt my hand a little. sometimes my wrist gets sore and my fingers feel soft. i am thinking that it is because i have just started stretching my fingers on the fretboard more, playing twice as long as normal, and not stretching properly. i wear my bass pretty high ,so i don't think its from that.... does anybody else think my theory is correct, or should i get it looked at?? like i said, this has never ever happened before, but after a few days of playing properly it has started
  7. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Check out this link.

    Wearing the bass correctly is key too but most of the time, the problems are based on the body not being relaxed. Stress doesn't help...be cool, breathe, stretch and have fun!

    Wrist Stretching
  8. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
  9. What technique are you using with your right hand?

    I explained in another thread that to avoid CTS you need to know that . It's your left-hand technique that is causing that problem - on elec. bass, it's using the 3rd finger (vs. 4th finger) that causes the wrist to turn sideways...it's this sideways motion of playing that causes CTS imo...every "3rd-finger elec. bassist" usually has a bad case of CTS....
    don't stretch that 3rd finger, it's the weakest finger you have....it shares a ligament with the 4th finger....let that wrist hang down.

    ;) Treena
  10. ryuujin


    Jun 1, 2003
    Delaware, OH

    but... its almost impossible to play some stuff without the use of all four fingers... at least for me that would require an extreme amount of speed on my left arm to switch around like that. plus I don't sit and play blink 182 all the time. if I did then I would never have any problems because I could play with just one finger. :D
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Note that other activities, like using computers (or playing on gaming consoles), can also contribute to hand / wrist pains. Although your playing technique may need work, don't forget to consider other possible causes as well.