I've decided that I need to stop playing for at least a week. Seems I've done something very bad to my left thumb. It started when I decided to start playing again after not having played for about twelve years, but I was feeling depressed at the time and didn't have the energy to actually shop, and bought the first cheap slab of wood with heavy-gauge strings on it that crossed my path (I'm a bedroom player, so I wasn't looking for a higher-end instrument, just something to make noise with) I ended up with a badly balanced bass, which I was then playing at too low of an angle (I'm 5'2", and have very small hands). I injured myself practicing to the point where I couldn't put my hand around the neck without pain. I took a week off, shortened my strap, and commenced to chewing up my right hand again. Eventually I resigned myself to the fact that I had made a $250 mistake, got online, did some research on instrument recommendations for small-handed players, and ended up getting a very sweet deal on a blemished (translated: has microscopic scratch in the finish) Ibanez SR-300. Which I promptly commenced to playing the hell out of for hours, and the next day, realized I was going to need to take a few days off playing. So, I did, but apparently not long enough. I've been playing fairly comfortably for the two weeks I've had the SoundGear, until I get up to about the twelfth fret. Then I get this horrible pain in the area between the knuckle of my thumb and my wrist. I've tried positioning my thumb various ways, but nothing works. I figure, even if I stay below the twelfth fret, I'm probably not doing myself any good by using the hand I've decided to just give my thumb time to heal, then start seeking advice on technique (I am a bit ham-fisted, or fingered, or whatever), experimenting with strap lengths and trying to find a good teacher. But, in the meantime, I have this beautiful, great-sounding instrument that I'm going to have to leave in the case for probably the next seven days, maybe longer, I'll see how the thumb feels in a week. I don't know if I can do it. It was hard keeping my hands off the bass for three days. I may go crazy if I can't play for a week.