Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Thumb Pains

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DaemonBass, Jan 16, 2005.


  1. DaemonBass

    DaemonBass

    Mar 29, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Hey all,

    Quick question for all you pick players out there...

    When I'm playing with my band at rehearsal, and after about 1 or 2 songs my thumb starts aching and I have trouble controlling the pick (it slides around, hard to keep rhythmn going, loss of heavy attack). When the song is over my thumb is all tensed up. I move it around slowly but that doesn't seem to help for the next song, it occurs again shortly.

    Any advice on how I can eliminate this problem? I mean my left hand is not tired at all after practice only my right thumb so it must be an issue of technique. Perhaps I am holding the pick too hard, using my thumb muscle to pick instead of my wrist like I should be, or a combination of both. I can't really say...
     
  2. i have the same issue goin on at this point. i have no advice on this issue... just thought i'd post to feel your pain and keep this thred going so maybe we can both get an answer...
     
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    How long have you been playing with a pick? This is a problem that I had when I first started using a pick, but it went away after a couple of months.
     
  4. DaemonBass

    DaemonBass

    Mar 29, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Been doing it in the band for bout 3 months. . . It must be a N00b thing 'cus it is starting to go away during the last week. :D
     
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    That was my experience. Once my hand and wrist got used to using a pick, the pain went away.
     
  6. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Gripping too tightly is the most obvious one.
     
  7. Yep, your hand muscles aren't used to pinching something for an extended duration. That, and the combination of a slippery pick are adding to your problem. To relax your grip on your pick, you need to make your pick less slippery. Either buy picks with texture or make the texture yourself. With all my picks I use a hole puncher. Punch a hole in the pick and your fingertips will lock into that hole and your pick will be less likely to slip around. Other people score some scratches into the pick with a pocket knife or their car keys. Anything to break up the smooth surface will help.
     
  8. Lose the pick. Conform. Bwahahahah!
     
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    There are some songs for which a plectrum is a necessity.
     
  10. travatron4000

    travatron4000

    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Part of it probabally is that you're muscles aren't developed yet. Also make sure that your fingers and thumb are curved and not locked. Make sure that your thumb isn't locked all the way back and that it is slightly bent. You'll notice it will make your muscles work a little harder but they'll get stronger and it will give you more control. Also, Stretch before you play. Search here and the International Society of Bassists site for good stretches.

    ~travis
     
  11. bluemonk

    bluemonk

    Dec 17, 2002
    Michigan
    Yeah, muscle development and making the pick do part of the work. There are some picks that have rubbery dots on the larger end where you hold on. This helps (don't remember the name). Also, there are gu%tar picks that loop around your thumb, so the do part of the work of holding on.