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right hand technique to avoid pain/cts?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by pigpen02, Jun 2, 2002.


  1. pigpen02

    pigpen02

    Mar 24, 2002
    wow, i've only switched to fingerstyle about 6 months ago, and i'm already getting some pain and limited movements in my right wrist, and that's just from playing bass!

    ususally, i wear it rather high, and drape my arm across the top edge, wrist bent to angle my hand down over the strings. i usually play above the neck pickup, and alternate between using the pickup or my b string as a thumbrest.

    if i wear my bass lower, and get my wrist straight, it causes less wear and tear on the old joints, but my proficiency is much reduced. i just don't feel like duff, i like my bass up on my chest where i can feel it.

    what can i do? is there a special brace to reduce my range of motion?

    thanx.
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Raise your elbow to straighten the wrist.
    Also, resting your lower arm too heavily on the bass puts additional strain on the muscles and tendons there.
     
  3. Do what JMX said, and don't plant your thumb on anything--let it sit on top of the string below the one you're playing (floating-thumb technique).
     
  4. I always rest my thumb on the pups, either bridge or neck depending on the tone you want. I had bad aches in my wrist and my thumb for the first few months I played (especially since I was trying all different types of finger styles to find one I liked the most). In the end I just grew out of the pain and it stopped bothering me. If you keep playing your muscles will develop to fit the way play, or at least thats my belief. I think everyone has some amount of pain in the beginning if they practice a lot.
     
  5. notnuffsleep

    notnuffsleep Guest

    Jun 5, 2002
    San Dimas CA
    relax your hands...
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Right...

    No pain no gain doesn't apply here.
    If it hurts, you're either doing something wrong or you're overdoing it.

    Like notuffsheep said, if it hurts, relax your hand and have a little break.
     
  7. Hang your bass lower so that your hand is aligned with your forearm as best as possible in both directions. In other words, hang your arm down by your side - see how your hand is straight down and your wrist is not bent at all? Try to leave it that way as much as possible when you are playing. Keep loosening your strap until you get into alignment.

    Good luck, and stay pain free for better and happier playing!
     
  8. Lowering your bass when you are playing does cause for sloppier playing, especially after the 12th fret, but this is not a solution. For some it's more comfortable but you will find that it adds more tension to your left hand, just shifting the problem. your hand must be relaxed, but as an example try playing a very fast tempo song, such as parallel universe by RHCP. After a few minutes, you may find your hand tenses up similar to this. it's very common among bassists, and it partially is a result of not having enough dexterity to keep your fingers going. I would advise trying to find an alternative to this, because you will find that it lowers your finger-picking speed by far when your hand is tense. Hope I could help.
     
  9. notnuffsleep

    notnuffsleep Guest

    Jun 5, 2002
    San Dimas CA
    According to the letters from Flea on the official Red Hot Chili Peppers website, he plays Parallel Universe with a pick- but all downstrokes kind of an homage to his early punk rock roots. He doesn't really play Parallel Universe live because he'd rather finger pluck.
     
  10. notnuffsleep

    notnuffsleep Guest

    Jun 5, 2002
    San Dimas CA
    If you wanna hear some really fast plucking, check out Iron Maiden's Steve Harris or Metallica's Cliff Burton. But to me, Flea is just the coolest bassist around.
     
  11. notnuffsleep

    notnuffsleep Guest

    Jun 5, 2002
    San Dimas CA
    Some of Flea's fastest work in on a B-side called "instrumental no. 1" check it out. All slapped and popped.
     
    Toni Sader likes this.