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Little Pain, Big Pain

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Trevorus, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I need some help with the way I play. I play my bass usually at mid-level, not slung really, o up under my chin. But whenever I use a pick, my right hand cramps up. My left will sometimes, too, and I am not quite sure why. I can play for hours at home, but at practice or on the gig, the cramping comes full force. So, anyone out there know what I can do?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Do you dig in hard?
    Use a lighter touch and no more cramps.

    ALso, try to keep your wrists straight.
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    i will try that, but the only time i dig in hard is on a part of a song where my picking goes double time. Usually I am picking the strings relatively light. It ALWAYS happens with a pick.
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Maybe you are holding the pick too tightly.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    i have tried loosening up. The pick falls a lot. So I might try some Gorilla snot at practice tonight. Anyone else got any ideas?
  6. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Instead of Gorilla snot try drilling a 1/4th inch hole in your pick. Drill it in the center side to side and 5/16th if a inch from the top.

    You might be getting dehydrated, try to drink alot of water before you have practice and especially if you have a gig.
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    i have been trying to use everly picks. The star grip ones. those work well. But the gorilla snot works better on gator grip picks. I like the feel of those a bit better. I'll try the water thing. I don't really drink enough water.
  8. Here is an idea maybe you have yet to try... use your... FINGERS! ... yes, yes I said it fingers, not to sure why you wouldn't anyways? Sure at first blisters appear and it hurts, but the reward is great in the end. Besides don't have to worry about picks, cramps, or reicule from people like me. :bassist: (Note the smiley isn't using a pick) .. har har ..

    If you do use your fingers, just not for the song because of the tone you want try a new set of strings or toy around with your treb nob(s), the same tone can almost always be found for fingers as for picks... depending on gear may take longer than other.

    Ditch the Pick man. Or pick up a Guitar.
  9. I use my fingers also but I have studied in my formative years with Carol Kaye and Jeff Berlin.

    Carol suggests that you lay your hand down on the strings (no never as a "mute" but as a guide for the thumb muscle) and keep the pinkie up in the air slightly to cock your right wrist so you naturally use the natural tough strength in the wrist to pick the bass.

    It's just a natural flat wrist technique that lets ANYONE play HARD on the bass, getting big hard sounds without working at it.

    You can read more at her -Tips page here.


    ;) Treena
  10. Inthepocket


    Oct 3, 2003
    I dont play with a pick so i cant help with the technique side of things

    But you say you can play for hours at home ......so im guessing you mean playing whilst sitting down?!

    What you should try to do, is set your strap in a manner so that your bass sits exactly the same way when your standing up and playing as it does when you play when you're sitting down.....

    Your muscles have obviously strengthened and moulded to you your sitting down position....so intern, when you're standing and playing, you're actually using different muscles, muscles that havent been built up through your practice at home!....

    I know if you're in a rock band having your bass sitting a little higher doesnt look "cool" ......but if it saves you from developing tendonitis or something nasty, i reckon its worth it...........atleast give it a whirl:D

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