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Returning your hands to playing condition

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TimWilson, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Brethren,

    After a six-year hiatus from music (see: marriage), I'm back (see: divorced), and enjoying a big splash of offers from some great regional bands. I made my YouTube practice lists, printed out my cheat books, wiped out the local supplies of extra-light bass strings, and dove in.

    Before too long, I noticed that my main fretting finger (left index) is getting very sore very fast. I realize that there's some work to be done in getting my hands back into shape, but my question is: Should I push through the soreness and get those old muscles and joints moving again, or should I try to balance the load a little more, using more middle finger, and give the index time to come up to speed slowly?

    Thanks. Peace, love, and sangria to everyone.
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    When you say "sore" do you mean as in blisters, or is it more like joint problems ?

    Either way, I would not play through any pain. You used the words "dove in" which seems ominous. Perhaps you are over doing things too soon. You may be pushing down too hard on the strings. Perhaps your action is too high ?

    Rest up that index finger for a day or so. Then start playing for say a half an hour at a time. Take a break and come back to it. Increase your playing time gradually. If you experience pain of any sort, stop.

    Do warm up stretches. Search You Tube for "Hand Stretches for Guitar/Bass".
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Watch out for what I call a "stone bruise." I guess it's reall a blister under the skin. Anyway, got one on my fretting hand pinky a few months back and thought the thing would never go away. Had to not use that finger for a couple of months, making it a real stretch on the low frets just playing 123 all the time. Not using the finger was what it needed. The only time I used it was just for a check to see how it was doing. When I got pain again I knew to stop again.

    No, IMO, don't push through the pain. If it hurts, quit, and come back later. You could end up with nerve damage if you don't watch it.
  4. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Pain is a message. If you're sore because of developing calouses, welcome to the club of bass playing. If there is joint pain, back off and let your fingers heal. Check your technique. You're probably doing to much too soon.
  5. Thanks, guys. I should have clarified: it's not skin/blister-related. It's definitely muscular/joint-related. Particularly between the hand and first joint (or is that considered that LAST joint?). The skin toughened up again fast, but the knuckles feel like there's sand in there.
  6. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    You're paying the price for quitting music for a woman! LOL .....hope you find the groove again ....maybe slow down and take your time! Like Billy Sheehan says ....we play close lines!

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