Shoulder Pain!!!!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Groovin_Joe, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. Hey... I have been slapping for about 6 months now, at first like most i started slow and i found that it was comming fast. I didn't speed up right off the bat. I still learn things quite slow and i dont consider my slapping to be all that great. And i also have trouble making up cool grooves with slapping, but that is a problem to be worked on at a later date.

    My current problem is that I have been getting pain in my right shoulder(i'm a righty). My college music teacher showed me "Five G" and i did the slow thing first and no problem. But after a while the outside(opposed to front or back) of my right shoulder started to really hurt!

    Is it something that i am doing wrong in my technique. I used the 10 Easy Steps to Slap Bass and an old video to take tecnique from. Is it perhaps i am not loose enough?

    thanks to anyone that can help


  2. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    Take this response with a grain of salt (as always)

    My left shoulder always hurt from the weight of the bass on the strap. 3 weeks ago the problem became history. It had nothing to do with changing gear or even technique. It had to do with psychology.

    A lot of musicians (myself included) have a "voice" running in their heads while they play. It says things like:

    "That was good"
    "Man, that sucked"
    "That was passable, but if only I knew how to play X"
    "I'm never gonna get this, damnit"

    Critique is good when you are listening to recording of yourself, but while you are playing it can do more damage than good. In the instant that you say "Man, that sucked" you are distracting yourself from the next passage you need to play and risking screwing it up too! For practicing you need to notice mistakes, but there's a way of doing it without being critical.

    There is a book called "Effortless Mastery" (by Kenny Werner) which provides a framework for "quieting" the "critic" while performing and practicing. Noticing that you missed a note while practicing and stopping to back up and correct the problem is necessary and good. But, adding other meaning to missing the note...

    "Man I suck"
    "I just learn too slow"
    "I'll never get this"

    will drain you of your creative energy and is likely to cause muscle tension and eventually injuries.

    This was true for me, but I understand it may not be what's going on with you. Just thought I would share my experience. By the way, playing is way more fun, now, and I play way better.

    There are probably other ways of approaching this issue (meditation, other books, etc) but I really liked the book I mentioned.
  3. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    sorry for my bad english, use a broader(?)/bigger strap. i had a thin strap, it was like knives around my shoulder. a bigger/broader strap will do it,i think. rock on:bassist: :D
  4. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    You might be tightening your muscles as you "stress" yourself with going faster. Try to pay attention to remaining relaxed while you increase your speed.

    Also, you might be bending your head forward as you increase speed or watch your right hand. I have pain in my shoulder but it is caused by the pressure on my neck by years of bass playing.

    Good luck!
  5. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    I have this strap, and it has this little stretcy foam stuff at the shoulder. It's built REALLY well though. Not like cheap foam, but some stretchy stuff.
  6. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    ok :cool:

    rock on :bassist:
  7. fallon


    Jul 6, 2003
    I've been slapping the bass for....wait for it,
    ........hehehe...a lot more than 6 months man and
    as not to take the subject away from bass,I must say that perhaps a visit to the doctor is in order.It could be early signs of athritis man.I hope not,but I speak through experience.Stay cool Joe.Scotland's slap bassist,"Fallon".
  8. Thanks all.

    i have stop trying to gain speed because i know from learning other instruments that speed will come with time. I am using a "fort bryan" leather strap on one bass and a Levis generic cloth strap on the other and i havn't had a problem with the thinner strap(levis) The Leather one is about 2 inches in width. Where can i get one that is like 3 or more in width. Is there a type that i should go for. I tried a NEO-TECH and it was amazing. TO: Stephen Soto, it sounds like that is what you have. I was going to get one, but it was $50CDN and i wanted the Victor Wooten Bass day DVD. needles to say i flipped a coin and Vic. won! i don't regret that at all!.

    About the arthritis thing... i do have the startings of it in my hand, but for the most part i have it in check!.

    Thanks all.
    Have a good one.
  9. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
  10. fallon


    Jul 6, 2003
    Joe,**** man I'm sorry to hear you got the early athritis man.Stay cool and in touch man."Fallon".
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