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Thumb Pain After Using Bow

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by eriksd, Aug 13, 2012.


  1. eriksd

    eriksd

    Aug 9, 2011
    Hello everyone. I'm primarily a pizz player but have really wanted to get into more arco practice and maybe performance. That said, my thumb aches at the joint to my hand using my French bow if I practice with it. Can anyone provide insight as to why this might be happening and how I can avoid it? Thanks.
     
  2. Blakewdm

    Blakewdm

    Jun 17, 2008
    You should post pictures, but that prolly means you are squeezing...you can't play with a limp wrist, but it's also not a good idea to squeeze. Also, you might need more rosin? If you are trying to get a big big sound, rosin can be a big help
     
  3. Check your bow hold and thumb with Patrick's hold:

     
  4. You're gripping too hard and/or pushing into the strings too hard. I have the same problem.
     
  5. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Check this out:



    This vid is great, as is the Patrick Nehr one- but no video is going to do as good a job at helping you as a real live teacher person- in person! :)

    Take a few lessons with a skilled arco player, it will go a long way I promise!

    Above all, don't get discouraged! Keep at it, but don't hurt yourself in the process.

    Joe
     
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Remember you don't grip the bow, you hold it.
     
  7. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Yup! You hold it just firmly enough that it doesn't fall out of your grip- which isn't very firm when the bow is on the string. Honestly, using the word "firm" is almost going too far...it's like your hand takes shape around the bow...it's difficult to explain.

    Someone should be able to knock the bow from your hold with a slight jolt...this is just an example though- please don't let anyone knock you bow out of your hand, and certainly don't let it hit the floor!

    Another piece of advice: NEVER put your bow on a chair! People sit on chairs- and if you get into the habit of puting your bow on one, someday, somewhere, someone WILL sit on it! Even if you have a fiberglas or carbon fiber bow- don't do it!

    Joe
     
  8. ethnotime

    ethnotime

    Sep 24, 2006
    New York, NY
    I have the same problem, but mostly on staccato passages. But from reading the other posts, maybe more rosin is the answer. I use Kolstein soft and sometimes it gets a little thick-sounding if I put too much on. I used to over-rosin the bow so I've been trying to use as little as possible. It seemed to work fine but I'll try adding more rosin.
     
  9. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Respectfully, it's prolly not an issue of not enough rosin- go ahead and give it a try, it won't hurt anything (but it could be messy ;)). If you get too too much on your bow hair, just play it out.

    Lots of people use too much rosin, like, waaaaaaay too much. I know I did, and maybe even still do! I remember "back in the day" thinking that if there was any kind of problem, more rosin would prolly fix it! :D

    How often do you re-hair your bow? Fresh hair is key! You should rehair at least once a year, but having it done twice a year or even more often is a good idea, especially if you play a lot.

    Also, make sure that you go to a busy shop- a place that turns over LOTS of hair. Some shops will have hair that is less than ideal hanging around...and a bad shop will have no qualms with passing it on to you!

    Keep sawin'! :)

    Joe
     
  10. ethnotime

    ethnotime

    Sep 24, 2006
    New York, NY
    Yeah... Re-Hairing the bow...Good idea! I bought the bow (finale) last December and haven't rehaired it since. I bow at least an hour a day so it's probably way overdue. I guess bow maintenance is important. I got lessons coming up soon so thatll iron out any kinks in my own playing.
     
  11. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Many bows in lower price points (say around 1k or so and under) come with mediocre or bad hair on them. I know it sounds kinda goofy, but it's a good idea to re-hair a bow right after you buy it! That way you know you have good, fresh hair and you can start to explore the bow's potential.

    Given that your bow was purchased about eight months ago I would at least consider a re-hair, but playing an hour a day isn't the kind of heavy use that would generally require multiple re-hairs within one year...imho.

    Generally speaking though, re-hairing is GOOD! :hyper:

    Joe
     
  12. ethnotime

    ethnotime

    Sep 24, 2006
    New York, NY
    Thanks Joe, I already set my appt for a bow rehair. It was something I meant to do this summer but forgot! Cheers!
     
  13. petesenkowski

    petesenkowski Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I often have the same problem. It feels natural to me to hold the bow with a straight thumb, but when I do, my thumb starts to ache within a few minutes.

    Holding the bow with a bent thumb, however, feels unstable to me; it feels as though the bow wants to retreat into my palm, and I don't feel that I have as much control as I do with the straight thumb.

    I think part of my problem is trying to form my hold while holding the bow in the air. As Joe said, the bow hold isn't firm when the bow is on the string. I guess that trying to control it off the string isn't necessary and can lead to problems like mine.

    Through practice, I'm slowly getting used to the bent thumb. Would rubber tubing on the stick make this easier?

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  14. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    I know how all your right hand aches and pains can go away instantly...the solution may be so incomprehensible that heads will explode, the earth may spontaneously combust, and the sun itself will turn blue all from two words, these two words along with another two words set a rift between bass players that many remember eons ago...ready...german bow
     
  15. darrenmccarthy

    darrenmccarthy

    Jun 1, 2011
    *Universe Implodes*
     
  16. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    German bow side effects may include- a lack of redness or spotting at sight of use,also a lack of pain and discomfort. Don't use German bow if you can not operate [del]heavy machinery[/del] , machinery at all(including but not limited too cars, toasters, books, computers, blenders, CNC machines, ect.) or if you dont believe that H J Butler existed. German bow may confuse someone who hasnt ever seen it, at the first sign of confusion call your doctor for a prescription of TB.

    Sorry but i think everyone kind of knew this or something similar was going to come from me...gl OP

    Edit:400th post feel honored op
     

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