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Pain acquired during one particular tune...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bass-A-Nova, Dec 15, 2001.

  1. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    I hope I'm in the right forum here - anyway, I get strong wrist/hand pain when I practice playing one tune in particular. It's "Disco Inferno" by the Trammps, very 'old skool' I guess you could say. Anyway - stop laughing - just try playing that bass line for 6 minutes (that's how long the recorded version goes on for). I can pretty much keep the groove going for about 2 min. or so until the pain gets too great, then I have to back off. How do you guys deal with this type of thing? Esp. when performing? I'm not playing this one out - yet - but it's a matter of time, as it appears to be a crowd pleaser when I whip off the riff in front of an audience... FWIW I use the E-A-D strings on this one, I don't have my axe in front of me but if I remember right the root is C on the E string. I'm fretting during the riff with all four fingers. No other song gives me the pain that this one does... Also, I have been practicing this one for many many months now, and still the pain is there...
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    When I played that tune, I used the "C" on the "A"-string...if I recall, I stayed pretty much between the OPEN-string/1st fret & the 5th fret. Holding a bass NOW, for the main figure, I would use-
    2nd finger on the "C"(A-string/3rd fret)
    4th finger on the "G"(D-string/5th fret)
    1st finger on the "Eb"(D-string/1st fret)
    2nd finger on the "F"(D-string/3rd fret)

    Octave climb = 1st & 4th fingers

    For the descending scalar section, I employed OPEN strings(the OPEN "D" & "A" strings).

    I have totally forgotten how the bridge in this tune goes...it's been awhile!

    Anyway, for the 'main figure', an OPEN G could be used in lieu of the "G" @the 5th fret/D-string...this may give your fretting hand a break, though, it does open up some MUTING issues! ;)
  3. I had the same problem with Tom Sawyer. Turns out my fingering was the problem. What I thought was a good "economy of motion" fingering (no hand shifting) was not good at all. I switched to a shifting pattern and my hand does not hurt at all anymore.

    Unlike you, people could not understand why I was having such a problem with a relatively easy song. I guess I just couldn't stretch across 4 frets and 3 strings at that tempo. But, I was too stubborn to change my "correct" fingering for almost a year. :rolleyes: (Yes, I know I'm a dumbazz)
  4. The bridge is just the top half of a C blues scale played backwards over and over. I think.
    I.E. G Gb F Eb C.

    The main riff I think has a Bb as well.
    If so, or the way I played it was.
    1st finger on C (A string)
    3rd finger on G (D string)
    1st finger on C (A string)
    4th finger on Eb (A string)
    1st finger on F (D string)
    4th finger on Bb (E string)

    At least it gives you a second patern to switch to.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I did forget about the Bb, huh?
    Anyhoo, I would play that @the 1st fret/A-string.

    Also, I think there's another part prior to that 'walkdown' you posted...guess I'm gonna hafta break out my copy of Saturday Night Fever!
    (Did I say that out loud?!)

    Guiseppe likes this.
  6. Wow, youÂ’re scaring me. Just make sure you listen to Vol. 4 by Black Sabbath afterwards to clean your pallet. :D

    In all honesty Disco Inferno is a great chops builder. I use the fingering I wrote for the Verses and for the Chorus I use a fingering like yours just to break it up.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I do have Volume 4, too(inside the cover, some cool pix of Geezer playing a plexiglass Dan Armstrong bass?). ;)
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Two suggestions: the fingerings suggested are fine... if you have to play a repetitive pattern for a long time, try switching fingering patterns and neck location... for instance, if you start with the C on your E string (pinky on the C), you can play the main line within the space of four frets... with almost no hand shifts.

    The other suggestion would be to lighten up. It's flat out amazing how much energy you don't have to use if you set your bass up for a light touch and let your amp do the hard part.

  9. Thats why I got one.:D
  10. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Man, all you guys (gals?) are great - thanks for the suggestions. JimK and Gruff I plan to try your fingering alternatives tonight (next practice). I wasn't aware how many others played that tune, but it is a crowd pleaser. Yeah, I've found it to be a good chops builder too. After playing riffs like that one, some of my other stuff is a real breeze. Some of you guys are right, I suppose - there might be a time factor required to build up more endurance...
  11. This happened to me with Pawn Shop by Sublime. it went
    A string-5th fret
    A string-7th fret
    D string-5th fret
    D string-5th fret
    A string-7th
    A string-5th
    E string-7th
    A string-5th

    Playing that over and over again was hell, and painful hell, at that. I played it wierd, and had bad technique. So I moved it down to the open strings and worked it there. Much more comfortable. Not that it has anything to do with the thread.
  12. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    There's a song by SADE (on her 1st album) that used to kill me - in the key of F, on the first 3 frets. Took 2 months of daily practice to build endurance for it. Disco Inferno was also tough, until I consciously tried to press the strings as softly as I could (with my fretting hand) while getting the right tone - BINGO - I can play that riff for 30 mins now without problems.
  13. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Many of the bass lines in Sade tunes are fun to play. Alas, not many other musicians in my area care to play them. Anyway, I've been working on keeping a 'lighter touch' on the fretboard during D. Inferno (and other repetitive tunes); seems to help a little. I guess it's just another thing I have to continue practicing...thanks for all the help
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Honestly, I don't know how the 'light touch' guys do it...Gary Willis, Brad, etc.

    Years ago, I was goofing around with the local Jaco here in Va. Beach. I would play his Music man, he would play my Music Man,...I'd play a lick(the only one I know), he'd play many licks.
    Anyway, when he played my one lick, it just sounded so 'good'...same notes, same bass, same amp/cab, BUT?
    So, I really looked at his plucking hand technique...it definitely seemed stronger & firmer than what I was doing. This is the sorta guy that actually put dents in his bass from where he'd plant his RH thumb; I ain't even bad! ;)
    Anyway, I have been 'heavy-handed' since...I have 'pretty high' action & I like keeping my amp's volume a little below where it should be(maybe). Maybe someday I'll learn...