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Will this hinder my developement?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by freddylang, Jan 7, 2001.

  1. freddylang


    Dec 24, 2000
    Columbus, OH.
    I was born with a birth defect in my left arm which causes me not to be able to turn it completely over so my palm is flat facing up. This lack of flexibility causes me not to be able to put necesary pressure on the E string sometimes and causes my fingers to be flatter instead of curved on the fretboard. This makes my technique more than occasionally sloppy the higher I go and when I have to reach in any direcion. I really can't play with a 4th finger on the E string effectively. I can improve with more work but is there anything else I can do or possibly substitute with to be more effective? I would have surgery in a second but the bones in my elbow are fused. I want to be a great bass player and I see great piano players that are blind and hate to use a little thing like this as an excuse. Any tricks or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Yertle The Turtle

    Yertle The Turtle

    Nov 15, 2000
    If you really love something nothing can ever stop you from getting to it.
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Dude you already are. Keep working to figure out how to execute what you hear and and what you hear will bear this out. The only rules are the ones you make.
  4. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Bummer! :(

    A few ideas you may want to try. Try holding the neck of your bass at a higher angle so you don't have to turn your palm as upright. Try some short scale basses, less tension on the strings, and have it set up for low action. Try a DeArmond Ashbory bass, silicone rubber strings, and these are REAL instruments, not toys. Most of all don't give up. Best of luck to you.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Can you turn your left palm flat face DOWN? If so, you could play left handed, using your right hand to fret notes and your left to pluck them.

    You would of course have to relearn what you already have learned right handed.
  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Where there's a will there's a way. I wish you the best dude!
  7. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    ya know what? my thumb is straight as a board...yup, i'm the only bassist in the world without a double-jointed thumb...but i can slap...not very well though...heheh. and check this one out...my mom is a classical pianist, but becuase her hand was electrocuted at a young age, her left thumb is almost completely joined to the rest of her hand. and she graduated with honors from berklee. you can do anything you put yourself to...
  8. freddylang


    Dec 24, 2000
    Columbus, OH.
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm pretty determined and not at all discouraged about my predicament but I just needed to hear it from other players. I might try getting a stand or peg or whatever you call it and play it like an upright. This should give me a better range of motion and reach. I've thought about playing opposite handed but I don't want to relearn everything. Plus I actually have less range of motion the other way. Oh, by the way, I have a hitch-hiker's thumb and I can't slap at all!
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Like the others say here, keep trying holding the bass in different positions or angles, try diffrent basses, and, yes, I like the "upright" idea too. If you love what you are doing, you'll find a way. Best wishes and let us know how you are doing.

    Jason Oldsted
  10. How about playing with your left hand over the top instead of underneath? You might be able to work out a way of combining fretting from underneath with fretting from above. Also, you might consider getting an electric URB.

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