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Pain due to new bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mlbarlow, Aug 20, 2005.


  1. mlbarlow

    mlbarlow

    Apr 26, 2005
    Plattsburgh, NY
    I expect that the following is not uncommon, but I'd be eager to hear from some of you. I've been playing the same fretted 5 for almost a decade now, and decided recently that I really wanted a Carvin AC40 fretless for jazz gigs. Playing my new bass, however, has led first to pain in my fretting pinky, but has radiated into my hand. A friend who plays banjo, dobro, and guitar pointed out that she has had similar problems when getting on a new instrument.

    So, the two basses clearly have many differences - one is a 4, the other is a five; one has frets, one does not ... Is this normal? Am I just exercising new muscles? Will this go away with time (say yes)?
     
  2. Yes it will. Well it's supposed to.

    I got the same problem when I started playing Erhu (Chinese Violin). It's worlds apart from the Electric Bass though they are both stringed instruments. :bassist:

    Try Romancing your fretboard and try to look for the postion that is relaxing to both your left and right hands. As for the pain that radiated from your pinky to your hand, maybe you over did it + the ergonomics of your position may have contributed to it. try also changing the angle of your bass as you move up the fretless board.. hehehe... I hope this helps.
     
  3. OrderingEntropy

    OrderingEntropy

    Jun 17, 2005
    On a similar note, I've been having some trouble with my fretting hand. Since Tuesday, my pinky and ring fingers [not so much the ring finger now] have been going partially numb. I have no idea what could be causing this. I got my first 5er, but that was about 5-6 weeks ago.
     
  4. I asked my PT about the symptoms both of you are feeling (re:the numbness) he said it might be caused by over exerting pressure on your fingers. Perhaps it is possible, that since we aren't that accustomed to the new bass' contours and width etc... we might be trying to overcompensate by exerting more pressure on the fretting hand, to subconsciously bring out the tone. I mean, isn't that the point of it all?

    Another way to look at is simply due to differences in design and weight, the positional technique is affecting the left hand more than the right, though i personally feel it may be more of an overcompensation issue.

    What Im about to say may seem very weird, but try Romancing your new bass. Feel it. Not just play it. Get to know its contours and shape. Get to know its 'personality'. Then play on it but don't over do it. Introduce your self to it as it introduces itself to your fingres. It should come to the point that it feels that it is part of you. That it is an extension of you.

    This is what I do for the first week after I get a new bass. It helped me alot considering that I switched from 5 - 6 and now im using a 4 stringer as my main axe. :bassist: It may sound weird and even transcendental a bit, but thats the only way i can explain my suggestion... hehehe...

    after all, these are just suggestions. :D
     
  5. mlbarlow

    mlbarlow

    Apr 26, 2005
    Plattsburgh, NY
    Certianly a poetic and informative stance. Thanks. I think this will help a lot.
     
  6. OrderingEntropy

    OrderingEntropy

    Jun 17, 2005
    Yes, thank you. You're probably right. Now that you mention it, I think I have been fretting harder than I have before. It's starting to go away though, so I think either my hand is finally getting used to the exercise, or I'm just subconsciously being more gentle as I get used to my new bass.
     
  7. Glad to be of help guys. :)

    by the way, anybody else here from the ASian region? :D :bassist: