playing with a short strap ( wrist pain).

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by yoshi, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Hi all, I recently hurt my right wrist (picking hand) doing some gardening ( :oops: ) and it began to hurt whilst playing my bass, specifically riffs that go onto the higher string and/or engage a 3 finger picking method.

    Looking at how I play my wrist was buckled close to a 80 egree angle when on the higer strings - both sat down and stood up. I then drastically lowered my strap to promote a straighter arm/wrist, but found I couldn't play too well with my left hand especially past fret 7.

    :/ Any suggestions, other than rest, I'm thinking of cutting down to maybe 45 min max bass, 45 min max PC time per day till it's all good.
  2. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    When I injured my wrist, I slept with a wrist brace on and I'm convinced it helped - the wrist felt great each morning, and the trick became to simply not aggravate it during the day. I probably wouldn't have even remembered this, but I just read a post in which Gard said that sleeping with a wrist brace was an important part of overcoming Carpal Tunnel problems for him. I certainly wouldn't think that wrist braces are some kind of magic cure -- but it would be one of those things that's unlikely to do any harm...
  3. meltsakana


    Sep 3, 2002
    You'll have to change some aspect of your technique. I suggest lowering your strap to alleviate the right hand problems, but not too far as to confuse your left hand completely. However, your left hand will have some work to do to get used to things.
  4. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Thanks a lot for the input.

    My brother has been suffering from a pretty nasty injury for the last 4 weeks or so - the main reason I'm acting so hostile to the slight pains I keep getting.

    He actually has a spare wrist brace (a nylon one, same thing right?) that I can have so I'll get it washed tomorow and go from there.

    One last question, what are your views on excerising the hand? Should all movement be avoided if possible or should some basic excercises be done such as slowly opening and closing the hand etc?

    Thanks again.
  5. bortzi


    Aug 2, 2003
    *think you play bass seating and standing and in conclusion the stap legh should be the one that keeps the bass in the same place of your boddy in booth positions

    * maybe the angle of the bass it's a solution ..try to raise a little the neck ... this give advanteges for booth your hands

    * while moving over srtings you should slide a little your right hend

  6. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    That's the problem though, the wrist angle whilst sitting is perfect for the frettuing hand and was perfect for the picking hand until I started getting pains. Now it hurts like a mofo in the position.
  7. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I had right hand problems for a short time and solved them by standing up and lowering the strap a little. It does require a compromise on fingering the highest frets -- I can't reach everything I want to do -- but it beats the heck out of not playing at all, so I just deal with it as best I can.

    But DO NOT under any circustances play with pain! It will only get worse and could take you out of music for good.

    Good luck. Sounds like you may need to see an orthopedist. Don't be afraid of that! You want to keep playing, after all.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I'm going to throw out a different tack - change your bass!!

    I just looked at your profile and noticed you mention a Warwick thumb bass - now these are notorious for neck dive and this is the ultimate consequence as far as I can see.

    So I have tried these in shops and this is the big point - for me I need the bass to be held by the strap at about 45 degrees (I know the exact position by experience - may not be exact) - to enable me to have the right position for both my left hand and my right wrist.

    But if the neck slips downwards - like it does with a thumb bass - then it is very difficult to maintain this ideal position and it makes my wrist ache very quickly. Of course if you are using a long strap and play the bass around your knees it doesn't matter - but then you are putting strain on your back by bending over and your left hand.

    I cannot get a thumb bass to stay in the "correct" position that enables me to have a comfortable right wrist and left hand position.

    So my recommendation would be try a different bass with a good strap like a "Comfort Strapp" - maybe go into a bass shop an ask to do this and see how much of a difference you feel?
  9. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Good call Bruce. Rule of thumb, pardon the pun, if it hurts, stop what you are doing. Let you wrist heal up before you get heavy into playing again. Injuries involving inflamation are worsened with repeated use. Thus become an injury of repetative motion. These require rehab later on. Take a break, or a longer one later.

  10. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Those thumb basses have small bodies also.
    The smaller the body the more angle your wrist is going to have. Assuming you rest your right arm on the bass.
    I had a bass with a really small body and it messed up my right hand for awhile.
  11. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Oh I thought I stated my bass of use somehwere already, sorry about that :/

    I had actually, against will, considered replacing it, but arent too hot on gear so wouldnt know where to start to grab a similar tone at a simialr (cheaper if possible ;))price range.

    The pains gone pretty much entirely now, coincidentally ive been playing my Bass Collection bass for the most part of my playing these last few days though :/

    Cheers again!
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually the Bass Collection basses I've tried in the UK have had similar problems - body too small and the bass ends up being unbalanced and tending towards neck dive, with a strap! :(
  13. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    They do?!

    Mines so light I could wear it with static, never mind a strap :/
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well that's exactly the problem - the bass itself is too light, so the weight of the neck and tuners isn't balanced by the weight of the body and so the neck tends to point down or at least not up at the right andgle, which is bad for your left wrist.

    You need a fairly heavy body to the bass, to allow it to balance and to be played with a strap at the correct angle and not be always slipping down - which will mean that you are having to use your left wrist to hold it in position and putting undue strain on it! :(