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RSI - fingerstyle to pick - rough eta?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by thebleedingtree, Feb 26, 2013.


  1. thebleedingtree

    thebleedingtree

    May 15, 2012
    Kent
    Hey bass bros - basically, been playing fingerstyle for about 10 years now, and over the last 6 months its got painful (ish) to play for long periods of time (more than half hour i guess).
    Turns out its probably RSI, not from bass but from a horrendously small and physically limiting computer desk.
    Im not sure if this is a permanent condition or not, but i will NOT stop playing bass, even if it means switching to plectrums (a style which does not cause the RSI to rear its stupid ugly head).

    As im in a regurlarly gigging and practicing band, i need to make the switch ASAP, is it possible? I mean getting that coordination with a pic instead of fingers, is that months of practice or is it years?

    Anyone have any experience with this?

    Much appreciated if you can give any advices!
     
  2. Tupac

    Tupac

    May 5, 2011
    What does RSI feel like? A few weeks ago I had some weird sore feeling in my first knuckles, felt like like when I pull my hamstring but much less painful. Could have been RSI since I use the computer a lot too.
     
  3. thebleedingtree

    thebleedingtree

    May 15, 2012
    Kent
    Its a dull ache most of the time, but when playing it just becomes restrictive, my hand and fingers wont move as fast as my brain is telling them to. I've had it since august, figured id pulled a muscle or it was because i was starting to use 3 fingers instead of 2, but it seems to be getting worse.
    Did some research on the topic and one of those diagrams of how not to use a mouse was exactly the way i've been using a mouse.
     
  4. thebleedingtree

    thebleedingtree

    May 15, 2012
    Kent
    Does anyone have experience making the switch and how long it takes?
     
  5. russtolium

    russtolium

    Jul 12, 2010
    Using a pick is just as capable of causing RSI, albeit in a different way, remember that no matter what you pick with your fretting hand hasn't changed, but since you only mention the picking hand I'm assuming that's where the pain is. More than anything you need to be mindful of tension in your hands and wrists, and especially if you are bending your wrist more than 15-20 degrees while playing. Switching to a pick probably is not going to solve the problem for long and is kind of avoiding actually solving it, good posture and relaxed technique are the keys to eliminating RSI.
     
  6. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I just started a new thread about Tendonitis and Bass Playing you should check out.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     
  7. thebleedingtree

    thebleedingtree

    May 15, 2012
    Kent
    Hey cheers guys ! yeah rev will check it out

    Keep in mind that i dont think bass has done this to me, its my computer setup, i basically have just my hands on the desk its that narrow, with my arms slouched, putting pressure on my wrists , so im fairly sure thats what caused it!
     
  8. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    My Mom had CTS from working at a computer. She found out that part of the problem wasn't her hands it was her neck.

    The thing is that all of the nerves in our body start out in the spinal column. Having a vertebrae out in your neck can put pressure on/pinch the nerve that goes down your arm to your hands.

    I've been lucky to go to good chiropractors over the years who not only put my back into place but also the joints down my arms and my ankles.

    Arlo Gordon wrote a handful of articles on bass playing and fitness years ago in a couple of different bass magazines. His clients included (I'm speaking in past tense simply because this is what his article said then) Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm. I believe he also wrote a book on the subject.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     
  9. thebleedingtree

    thebleedingtree

    May 15, 2012
    Kent
    thanks a lot mate, giving me hope!
     

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