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Wrist on body of Bass causing tingling in fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Johnebass, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Johnebass


    Jan 2, 2005
    :help: Have just got home from another gig where I have had problems with my wrist, which gradually gets worse as the gig goes on.
    Some background:- I use a Musicman Sterling with a medium height strap, I keep up straight and play with the fingers as light as possible. I know I should keep my right elbow elevated so as not to rest the wrist on the body of the bass but I find this very uncomfortable especially on long gigs (2.5-3 hours). Net result is that I get a tightening in the hand with tingling and my speed and dexterity suffers as the gig goes on.
    Does anyone know of any way around this? Perhaps a wrist band of the type used in Tennis will releive the pressure???? :help:
  2. invisiman


    Feb 22, 2004
    Sounds like it's either carpal-tunnel, or you're just cutting off the circulation. I personally recommend a wrist brace taht has metal inserts, to keep your wrist perfectly straight, and just wear it whenever you play. You may look funny with your elbow sticking up becuase of it, but it really saves your wrist.
  3. Yeah, if you're gettomg tingling, that definitely is bad circulation. A lot of bassists kinda crook their wrist, and that's not very good for you. Try to keep your wrist as straight as possible when you play.

    However, if the tingling sensation is only in your thumb and index finger, that's a very good sign it's carpal tunnel.
  4. I would recommend a massage therapist or physical therapist show you some stretches to do regularly and before gigs.
    Carpal tunnel usually occurs whenyour forearm muscles swell and crowd the small area under the tendon in your wrist (the carpal tunnel) cutting off blood and nerve flow. Stretching your fore arms should help a lot. Nerve impingement could be occuring at your shoulder as well. Getting massage can help if thats the case.
    Also, try icing your forearm after playing. Like a pitcher does.
    wearing a brace can help,but it probably doesn't look real cool. ;)
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Why not drop your elbow a little and rest your forearm on the body? I'd rather do that than injure myself. It's not bad technique to do it. And even if it was considered bad technique, so what? I don't care if something is good technique or not...if it hurts to do it, it's not good.
  6. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    I had the exact same issue a few years ago that got so bad that by the end of the show my fingers would be numb because of the pain in my wrist. I had to take 4 advil before every show just to make it through and spent the 2 hours after and usually the next morning streching. I also started getting major hand cramps.

    You should really examine your right hand technique and try to keep your wrist as stright and arm elevated from the body of the bass. What works for me is keeping the head of my bass at a more upward angle so that my wrist can be straight and in line with the strings. Also delevolping the strength to keep your arm elevated from the body of the bass for most of the gig will help.

    You should definetely try and address this soon as it can cause perminant damage.
  7. When I used to use my Ric, it used to cut me across the arm just behind the wrist as it rested on the body. The Ric has a right-angle cut to the body style right there along the top, which added to the problem. I started noticing numbness from cutting off circuation. I did find that using wrist bands for padding helped, but overall, get your technique critiqued and see if there's a better way to play to be sure you're not causing long-term damage. The wristband's a "quick-fix". I'm using a Fender Jazz, now and my stance and position is better. Listen to these guys in the responses; they're making sense health-wise. I just got done reading a "no pain-no gain" response on another forum, and that's a load of...
    If it hurts, you're doing something wrong! (Or at the very least, doing something right for too long a period of time.)

    Take care! :)
  8. I used to get pains in my wrist and a slight tingling in my fingers when I played, when my technique involved me resting my right thumb on the E or A string, or floating. When I was playing on the E, my thumb was floating and I was taking the strain on my wrist instead of providing support with my thumb.

    Since changing to resting my thumb on the pickup all the time, the problem has vanished and I find I have more control with my right hand.

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