Need help to rebuild lost skills...with thanks.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Charles Shipman, May 24, 2017.

  1. Due to severe (at times) neuropathy, arthritis and other ailments, my skills as a bassist have really plummeted over the last 5 years. Resorting to a short scale bass for a time, I am finding that I really miss the tonal qualities of my 34" scale 6. The short scale is a 6 too, but the reduced string tension has definite limitations. And, the movement is too "tight" to get quite comfortable with for my taste. My fingers are large, and the chording and upper register is lacking enough room to breathe. So, it is now sort of like starting over again in some ways, although I am 58 and no longer 9.

    Never schooled really, bad habits and all, I have gotten so much from music, far more than I ever really put into it. It is in many ways, my life; for without it, I starve and go unfed. Always played music for it's sake: no years and years of bands ever instilled a desire or love of playing for others, in front of others, etc. Adopted the Spirit of Music "ideology" some 37 years ago, I really connected with what gave me life through music. And the supportive nest and foundation I found in bass grounded me and gave nourishment, always.

    To get on with this! I need any and all help, on where to start in finding my way back to proficiency and even, dare I say, excellence, in playing the 34" and 35" scale bass. I won't "do" instructional books, for I never learned with them. I do respond to people's direct experiences. Be it suggestion or even strong advice and tutoring at threat of the machete`upon my fingers. Seriously, thank you for taking the time, look forward to hearing from you.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Based on recovery from a knee and other injuries to me or family members, have you been treated by an occupational therapist or doctor that is familiar with your conditions?

    How about playing piano or synth bass?

    Good luck!
    Charles Shipman likes this.
  3. kartiste


    May 5, 2008
    +1 for consulting an occupational therapist. However, as the proud father of a daughter soon to graduate with a degree in OT, I have learned that OT is not a jack-of-all trades profession. You need one that has specialized in the type of problems you are having. You are more likely to find such an OT in an urban area large enough to support such a specialty. Other than that, I can say that Voltaren gel has helped the arthritic pain I get in my left thumb joint. I also sometimes get tingling in my right fingers, and careful attention to strap length has helped this somewhat. I also take a glucosamine supplement which keeps away "trigger finger". Hope this helps.
    Charles Shipman and Stumbo like this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Have you tried cold pacs?
  5. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    This has more to do with running but the same thing applies.

    After I get injured and have to start from the beginning, I appreciate what I accomplished that day and not what dwell on what I used to do before the injury.
    J-Bassomatic and Charles Shipman like this.
  6. Thank you very much.
  7. Very wise point, thank you. I neglected to consider such a thing.
  8. Yes, I am due for some steroid shots near the spine soon. Such shots that I had in 2012 helped me walk again. The osteoarthritis, it has been intimated, is partly responsible for the swollen painful joints. The neuropathy has been due to diabetes type 1, and is treated with insulin and better diet. Thank you for this.
  9. Thank you for this post you made, that is.
  10. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I'm no doctor, but I'd say pay special attention to your tension. Make sure you put very little strength into playing, and stay very relaxed. This will be difficult at first, but can help prevent injury, especially on a long scale instrument. The bass doesn't require much force to play, as long as your technique is efficient. Also, try to use your large muscle groups - back/lats, arms before wrists and fingers.

    Good luck!
  11. That is excellent advise and council, thank you!
  12. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    I've had to move to short- scale basses recently due to pain in my fretting hand.
    33" scale is too much of a reach now, I have small hands to start with.
    Really enjoying the move though. Short-scale basses are a lot of fun.
    And after a 20 year break from playing bass, this guy helped a lot:
    Scott's Bass Lessons
  13. I really liked your post and your attitude ... I'd really like to don the same and say goodbye to all the profit oriented companies which I have dedicated a good part of my life to since 17 years ago .... :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
  14. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I know you don't "do" instructional books but do you do lessons? Some good, ole fashioned knee-to-knee lessons with a pro can be a great way to clean up your technique. Bear in mind, the same concept as books applies to lessons. You only get new concepts at lessons, you only actually learn something when you apply it to your own playing.
    Charles Shipman likes this.
  15. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Find a good teacher.
    Pain, ice packs.
    Stiffness & discomfort, hot packs.
    Charles Shipman likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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