Problems w/ one finger per fret HELP

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Trist6075, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Trist6075

    Trist6075 Guest

    Mar 6, 2001
    I have been playing bass for a few years but I have been struggling with the position of one finger per fret position. Does my writst need to be perfectly straight(parallel w/ knuckles) or can it bend slightly as long as you only use your finger tips and forearm. I find it nearly impossible to play an A or G scale in this positon with my whole arm perfectly striaght. Yet sometimes when I play otherwise i do get some pain in my wrist and then I am forced to stop. This is really holding me back right now and am hoping to save going to more lessons right now. Can you guys please help me out with this as in depth as possible. Thanks so much.
  2. SmittyG


    Dec 24, 2003
    Texarkana, Texas
    I played bass back in my teens and young 20's; mainly metal; and used the one finger per fret method with no problem. I then put down bass for several years and just picked it up again a little less than 2 years ago.

    Of course, I went right back to the one finger per fret method I had used before. Within two months, I was in so much pain, I couldn't stand to play more than just a few minutes. After talking with some instuctors, and my doctor, I had to change the way I played.

    First, I had to stop playing for about 3 months; the last two were spent in physical therapy. Then, when I did start back up, I went to a fingering approach that, from what I understand, is more common on an upright bass. I don't use my ring finger at all anymore. I use my pinky for both the third and fourth frets in a four-fret spread.

    This took a little getting used to, but I have had no pain at all since then. I'm now in a band and it is nothing for me to play 3-4 hours in a night with no discomfort at all.

    My basic advise is: if it hurts, don't do it. The whole "no pain/no gain" business has no place in music. Get with a good instructor on the technique; check with your doctor on the pain. It main seem a little overkill, but you only have the two hands--mess them up and it's "game over".

    Hope that helps.