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(yet another) pain issue

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by soontobedead, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    hi there... i didn't know where to put this, but i've seen similar threads around this forum... i have a muscle/tendon problem in my left hand (fretting hand). i know there are tons of those threads, but i couldn't find one that issued my specific problem, so here it goes:
    when i play chords or riffs where i have to keep my index finger in a bar or in a single fret while making a 3-4 fret stretch, i get a really bad pain in the area between the base of my index finger and the base of my thumb. i don't know if it's due to strain in my index or thumb, but it's really hindering my performance on the long run... i don't know if it's my thumb position against the neck or the excessive pressure i place on my index while fretting, but i have to relieve the stress on my left hand for a split second for the pain to go away and resume my playing, but unfortunately, the style i play (tech death-thrash) doesn't give me any breaks, so if i hinder back, i'm doomed... thankfully (or not), it only appears when i play, so it doesn't affect my everyday life... i play a 6-stringer and my hands are rather small, so maybe part of the problem lays there (i know it isn't entirely the reason, for it happens when playing 4-strings too)
    i would apreciate replies of any kind (issuing the subject, of course)

    Thanks a lot
  2. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    I had that same exact thing happen. I don't know how long you've been playing but it will gradually get easier and easier. I think it's a weird motion that your muscles in your hand aren't used to performing, Therefore after sometime and practice they will get used to it and ease up :)
  3. how's the action on your bass? I've managed to ping a tendon just messing about with my setup. I slacked off my trussrod and messed with the bridge and made the action all weird and high, and it stressed my hands right out. I've got and old injury which came back with a vengeance

    I put the action back to a 'good' setup quite soon after that... hands are OK now...

    might also want to vary your thumb position in practice and see what's most or least comfortable. I try and keep my thumb on the 'G' side of the back of the neck these days, rather than over-pinching
  4. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Well, I'm a 4-stringer, but to the second case: A 3-to-4 note stretch on, say, the next highest string would likely be easier as a 2-to-3 note stretch on the string above that.

    For example, if your low note is an A on the E string and you need to play an F above that, why not do it on the D string rather than the A string? That means playing the A with your little finger and the F with your index finger.

    So what I'm suggesting is that if you try all of the positional options, you should be able to find one that works without pain.

    Barre chords can be painful even on a four-stringer, although the pain I get from those is between my four non-thumb fingers. Luckily, the style of music I play is much more laid-back and seldom (never?) requires 4-string chords.
  5. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    thanks for the answers, dudes... highly apreciated...

    about the experience:
    i've been playing consistently for about 2 years now and i had this problem for a long while now... i don't think its about that, but thanks anyways... on the other hand...

    about the action:
    i guess this is more likely to happen... i have a 34 in. scale neck and if i lower the action too low, my strings tend to move like crazy (counting i'm playing tune to ADGCFB) and some wild fret noise happens... i guess a pro setup could help, though...

    about the stretch:
    yeah, well transpossing (sp.) notes that are too far to lower strings works for me when i'm not playing too fast, but in really fast riffs like for example:

    C --------------------------------------------------------
    G --------------------------------1112141211-------------
    D -------------------------101214-----------141210-------
    A 10----------------101214-------------------------141210
    E ---000-000-000-0---------------------------------------
    B ---------------------------------------------------------

    (doesn't look like much.... but playing it at 250 bpm tends to destroy my hand)....and doing it like

    C -----------------------------------9-------------------
    G -----------------------------91112--12119------------
    D -----------------------91012--------------12109------
    A 10----------------1012--------------------------1210-
    E ---000-000-000-0-------------------------------------
    B -------------------------------------------------------

    lags me a little bit...
    i guess for my own health's sake, i'll have to practice a lot more....

    Thanks again... kudos to you

  6. bassuser35


    Mar 25, 2004
    rather than play 10-12-14 you might as well go:


    that way, no stretching :hyper:

    just practice your regular major scales, that shouldn't lag you, but if you're playing a 6 string bass playing tech death metal, you should already be good at scales and it shouldn't lag you
  7. stretching and practice, heh. How long have you been playing? i've been playing for about 9 years and while I can make most stretches just fine, I've been learning to tap this:

    and it makes my hand BURN. but as i do it more, the pain goes away. It sounds like it's because you're pushing your thumb into the neck to provide pressure for you fingers. Where is your thumb positioned? The general rule is that no matter where your hand is, your thumb is placed between your middle and ring finger to even out your hand. You may want to try that.
  8. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    i haven't really noticed my thumb position that much, but i guess it is between my middle and ring fingers... and yes... the pain comes from applying pressure to the frets in order to avoid buzz...

    About the scales, i really don't know theory at all... i'm self thaught and never knew scales, only logical, good-sounding progressions, but i bought the 6-stringer in order to have an extended range (i use octaves an fast "flurries" a lot, so i get more options...)
  9. if you hold your base in a more upright position while playing it will be be easier to make long stetches. this might take your pain away
  10. TomAngelripper


    Aug 30, 2005
    Eh...have you visited a doctor???