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Web of hand is sore with pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by baddarryl, May 18, 2018.

  1. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    Hi all I have begun playing again after many years off. I have been playing for probably six months now. I play mostly finger style, but there are some songs that I choose a pick for. Mostly eighth and 16th note rock ‘n’ roll. I have noticed that the web between my thumb and forefinger get quite sore when using a pic. I’m going to try some different textured pics to see if maybe I’m just grabbing it too hard or am I picking too hard? I don’t know. Hell it could just be from texting thumb and using a pic aggravates it. I don’t know.
  2. I don’t understand this at all. Is the pick touching this web while you play?
  3. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Yes, you are most likely gripping the pick too hard and/or hitting the strings too hard.
    Try lightening up and try different gauge picks including some lighter and heavier ones than what you are using now.
    Luciferiad and Lobster11 like this.
  4. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    No. My first finger is extended so I don’t play with a close or clenched hand. It is the muscles that get sore and not a rub or something.
  5. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    I just picked up some pics that have a sandpaper type of texture on them that feel really good. I do have a hard time with my pic rotating and therefore I try to keep it straight. I think you’re onto something
  6. I gotta agree. There should be no cramping. Economy and efficiency of all movements. Consciously think of relaxing as you play.
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Agreed that it sounds like squeezing the pick too hard, but I have to think there is more to the story because you (OP) said that you only use a pick occasionally. It's hard for me to imagine squeezing it so hard that it would cause soreness within the short amount of time you're using a pick across the duration of an evening. This makes me think that, as you suggested, there might be some other preexisting problem that is just being aggravated when you use the pick. (Typing with your thumbs is one of the worst things you can do to your hands!)

    One other thing occurs to me: You mentioned that when you play pickstyle your first finger is "extended." Is it just flapping in the wind (perfectly okay), or are you anchoring it somewhere and creating the pick motion with your thumb and finger? A lot of lead guitar players do this, but it's a definite no-no on a bass; you want all the motion to be in your wrist rather than your thumb/fingers. (I learned this from Carol Kaye's web site, BTW.)
  8. I'm thinking you mean the muscle between your thumb and forefinger.

    Years of automotive service have developed that muscle into something about the size of a golfball on my right hand. And when I first starting playing bass and playing live, that muscle would cramp horribly. With time I discovered it was a combination of playing REALLY hard so I could hear myself and just squeezing the bejeezus out of the pick, which I probably did from nerves. I learned to overshoot my volume at the amp, and control volume with my fingers so I wouldn't be too loud for the mix (which is a good lesson to learn anyway, and gives you more room to play dynamically) I also learned to relax, since I didn't have to swing so hard anymore.

    Anymore I have some blood chemistry issues and I often become electrolyte depleted, so I suffer cramps no amount of technique can help. Chugging a Gatorate before a gig helps though.
    Lobster11 likes this.

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