Sure hope this is a one-time thing

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by RobertK, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. RobertK

    RobertK SS.org Regular

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    Playing last night, and, about halfway through one of the later songs, all of a sudden I got a severe pain in my right (plucking) index finger and forearm. Had to stop playing. Came back in with the vocals, and started hammering on the roots so that there'd be some bass, and limped to the end of the song that way. Stretched it out and tried again, no good. Finished the night using second and third fingers only. At first, even that set it off again, but it got better.

    I figure it was just a cramp, but this is a new thing for me. I also know that I have a tendency to overreact to things like this, but, if this keeps happening, or gets worse, I might have to quit playing.

    One positive thing: I got a good joke out of it. I stepped up to the mic and said, "Really, this has never happened to me before. Really." And every woman in the place smiled and nodded, obviously thinking, "Yeah, I've heard that before!"

    Anyway, the finger aches this morning, but seems to be working all right. I hope that's the end of it.
     
  2. CanserDYI

    CanserDYI Beauty can't be seen through the eyes

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    Happens to my fretting hand often. My suggestion is to try one of those wrist compression bands, helps me heaps, I throw it on and pain literally leaves my wrist it's weird.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Had a weird electric shock feeling when I was doing a recording session once. I thought I was getting shocked by my guitar, but it turned out to be a pinched nerve. If you play a lot, stretching and loosening up is absolutely necessary. But I'd try to see a doctor or at least a PT if it doesn't get better after 48 hours, if not sooner.
     
  4. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    Might be worth learning to use a pick.
     
  5. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    ban him
     
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  6. Hexer

    Hexer Contributor

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    how about thumb? :p
     
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  7. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    Its better than not playing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  8. LostTheTone

    LostTheTone Elegant Djentleman

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    Oh my dude, definitely get on top of this. These kind of tendon problems do not just solve themselves. There's some exercises you can do to stretch them out which will help, but you need to stop and look at your wrist and arm position and move to something more healthy.

    When I started to get RSI in my right hand, I told the doctor "I can't wear a brace, it gets in my way!" and he told me that the brace holds my hand in a healthy position and it only gets in the way if I tried to do things with bad positioning that would cause pain.

    Still, don't despair - There is a good chance that your problem is more mundane than bass. For a couple of years I was convinced that kinda anything was causing me pain, but eventually I tracked it back to my mouse scroll wheel. Even on my vertical trackball mouse, the scroll wheel was the single culprit. I now have a trackpad instead, and a shuttle controller I use for scrolling, and no more pain at all.
     
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  9. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I've always been pretty aggressive with a bass, and have never had anything like you've described. Closest I can compare to is some bad sticking technique on drums where my arm will burn pretty bad if I'm too tense or trying to play stuff juuuuuust outside my ability. I can't imagine playing a bass so hard that the same thing would happen, but I guess it's possible. When that started happening to me, I got pretty worried that I was doing some real damage to my right arm (it felt how I imagine carpal tunnel would feel) and I spent some time re-working how I stick with that hand. Correcting it got rid of the extra tension, which both eased up on the arm burning, but also helped me pass a sort of skill/speed ceiling with that arm. Learning to play "correctly" without the tension was a win all around.

    What I take from this is that if it hurts, it's trying to tell you something. Maybe you're too tense, or moving in a way your body dislikes, etc. +1 for don't ignore it, and don't expect it to go away on it's own.
     
  10. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    This. Get on top of it, see a professional if you need to. If you're not stretching before you play, the time to start is meow. Whatever you do, don't try to "push through the pain." Pain is a message from your body, always listen.

    It sounds like this is a new problem so you can probably help it with exercise and stretching. Just keep in mind that the underlying issue will likely not go away, you have to keep exercising it and caring for it properly or it will just come back and eventually get worse.

    Might be a good idea to buy some braces. I have a splinted wrist brace and an elastic "thumb brace" fingerless mitten thing, I use them each a couple times a year whenever my joints act up. I find that the brace is a constant reminder to be gentle as much as an actual physical restraint.
     
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