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Pain issues...

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Chrix, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    Problem: Since about the middle of this summer, I've been experiening the oddest of sensations. When I play long gigs, or multiple gigs in a weekend, I can almost count on my index finger (or as I like to call, my Yankin' Finger) to be in pain by the end of the gig. The closest thing I think I can come to likening it to is either a bad cramp or a sprain. I've yet to see a Doctor, which will probably happen soon, but I was curious if anyone here has ever had an issue like this.

    I've taken into consideration a few things such as my technique (which my teacher and I both have examined and found nothing wrong with) and just plain overexertion. The only thing that I can think of is when it first happened, I was doing my pre-gig stretches and I fear I might have stretched wrong. I've been steadily gigging for about 4 or 5 years now and I've never had to deal with anything like this before. If anyone here has had an issue like this and what you may have done to correct the problem, the information would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Pain sucks.

    I would strongly suggest you consider finding an alexander technique teacher and getting some lessons. ideally you should find one who has worked with musicians and who could look at your use at the bass after getting you through some of the preliminaries of AT.

    with all respect to your teacher, if "normal" playing brings pain despite regular practice and "proper" technique, it is almost certainly still something you are doing that causes pain. You, and your teacher, just can't see it.

    some other regulars here with more AT experience than I might have more advice in this are. Anyway, AT has been a major eye-opener for me, ultimately in areas far beyond the bass.
  3. Savino


    Jun 2, 2004
    Ive had my share of pain. 99% of the time its a technical flaw.
  4. aaguudis


    Apr 3, 2001
    alexander technique is the way to go.
  5. Alexander and/or his protege Macdonald (my teacher's teacher) said something to the effect of 'If you're feeling pain, chances are you're doing something to yourself to cause it. My job is to get you to stop it. The right thing will do itself.' Doctors and physical therapists usually give you more things to do to address the symptom, leaving the fundamental misuse unaddressed.
    Alexander Technique is not a therapy, and not a substitute for necessary medical attention. It addresses your fundamental organization in such a way that therapeutic benefits are indirect consequences.
  6. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    the fact that you call it a yankin finger might have something to do with it.
  7. With all due respect to both your teacher and your years of experience, pain is usually preventable but you will have to alter the way you practice and rehearse as well and make sure it carries over into your playing experience.
    Just some practical tips: Sometimes 2 fingers is better than one;- if you really feel you have to yank the string start using 2 fingers to pull it instead of one. Get an amp or turn up the amp you have. It is possible to get more yank out of your middle knuckle on the index finger than out of the tip of the finger. The pluck is sort of sidewise with the index finger curled under. You will get a callous this way, but once it is developed it won't be painful. If you play with medium or hard tension, try light tension strings.

    I hope this was helpful.