Thumb cramps

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Davidoc, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. I've been playin BG for a while, and have got quite involved with the school band. I'm now in the wind ensemble, where I'm expected to play a DB. (for every rule there's an exception, and it's often me)

    They just got the bass out from storage, and I've been practicing with it, you know findign the right notes and learning the technique and stuff.

    The problem is, my right hand keeps cramping up by the thumb joint. I'm using a french bow, and have my thumb slightly cuved in the little pocket, with the tips of my fingers on top, except the index is flat on top.

    I was told by the band director, who knows alot about orchestral technique that it's just because I've been playing it for only half an hour, and I'm asking my hands to do things they havn't done before.

    Is there anything I need to be concerned with? Did you have thumb cramping when you first started DB? Thanks!
  2. Aroneng

    Aroneng Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    If you have just started playing you could be holding the bow incorrectly. When starting off I had a tendency to grip the bow too hard. It takes some getting used to, especially relaxing your hand so that you don't exert too much force and get cramps.

    You may want to consider switching to German bow if you continue to have this problem. This is considering you have taken lessons and your instructor believes that your French bow hold is proper.

    I recently switched because of a similar pain in the right hand while playing French bow.
  3. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    Make sure your thumb isn't flattening or straightening out once you begin playing. When I started I had a lot of thumb pain and my teacher recognized thumb straightening as the problem. Proper French bow holding is a very natural hold. You can almost let your hand fall on the bow and it will go in the right place. The point about not gripping the bow too tightly is another good one. Just keep practicing. Practice long whole notes or open strings so you can look at your hands.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Davy, this does not sound right, especially the "flat index on top"... maybe the link bellow will help... GET A TEACHER !