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My Painful Pinky

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by the gimp, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. the gimp

    the gimp

    Apr 11, 2006
    hello, im a right handed player and im having real problems with my little finger (left hand) its causing me alot of pain when i play, basically my first knuckle, (the bigger one nearer the hand) likes to stay straight and the one nearer the finger tip bends, and sometimes the first knuckle actually bends in the wrong way under the strain of playing a note.

    Ideally i would like to be able to bend the first (bigger) nuckle, and not the smaller, like i see pretty much every bass or guitar player do apart from me.

    Anyone got any exercises specifically for this problem/ general little finger strengthening exercises.


    the gimp :ninja:
  2. ebe9


    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    I would imagine that it is still the "teathing" stage in terms of building up strength in your hand, bt if the pain persists then stop when next it occurs and if it continues to happen when playing consult your doctor.

    Rather take a break and be able to play again than do long term damage.
  3. I've known a couple of musicians with fingers that do the same as yours. What you're doing (at least if you're doing what I think you are) is tensing the the muscle that runs down the back of your finger (this is the muscle that is normally used to straighten the finger out). If you are slightly double jointed (and it sounds like you are if your finger bends backwards under pressure) you can end up pulling the end of your finger into a possition where it cannot easily flex.

    What you have to do is relax your hand. Odd as it may seem it can require a lot of concentration to play relaxed, especially to start with. Really focus on making sure that your hand is as relaxed and flexible as it can be and do some slow exercises: scales and the like. If the finger bends back you should stop, take all the pressure off and lift the finger, bend it forward and then place it back on the string.

    I'm pretty sure that relaxing will sort this out for you but I must point out that I have no medical training, only the experience of a few mates. As you will see posted again and again on TB: If it hurts, stop. If it keeps hurting, see a doctor. You really don't want to mess up your hand when there are so many basses left to play.

    Cheers, and best of luck.
  4. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    Get one of those GripMaster hand exercisers. I recently got some nerve damage in my left hand & have limited use of and feeling in my ring and little fingers. Doc said to find something to exercise my hand with. That GripMaster thing is my new best friend; I can move my fingers again! Still kind of tough to play bass with no feeling in your fingers, though.
  5. the gimp

    the gimp

    Apr 11, 2006
    cheerz for the info guys, ill give all this a go
  6. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Hey Gimp,

    I posted this a while back, and, in the absence of any physical/medical issues, it's a good exercise.
    Start in the lower register, first or second possition on your E or A, and play....

    1-4-3-4 X 4
    1-4-2-4 X 4
    1-3-2-3 X 4
    Then shift up and repeat. Add a 2-4-3-4 later.
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Practice scales/modes using your pinky often.

    A sick way to build up strength in your fingers/hand is to practice scales that are oriented closer to the nut like F or F# (or C/C# if you are on a 5-string). I think once you have the strength developed, things can relax a little.

    Also, note your left hand thumb position. I think that if you place your thumb on the center of the back of the neck, in line with the neck, (rather than wrapping your thumb around the neck like you are gripping something) it places your pinky in more a less the correct position. I used to have pinky technique problems, and this was critical in my improvement.

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