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#1 crompers

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

So I've been getting some pain in the joints of my fretting hand, mainly the first knuckle of my index finger.

Ive stopped playing for a few days and its still hurting, I'm worried I've done something permanent or I have arthritis. I know my technique hasn't been great and I've been trying to correct that, only been playing a couple of months. Help?

#2 dmccombe7

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:26 PM

What age group are you. ?
Is it just the one knuckle ?
Athritis usually happens on both hands i was told. Its rare to get just one knuckle.
Does the joint feel warm to touch compared with other joints in other hand. ?
Any swelling or lumps of the knuckle area, ?

Have you overdone your playing technique by holding down too hard ?

Have you been doing anything else that would possibly cause a joint injury ? (won't go into detail there :D )

If worrying you that much go see your GP. He will check the hand joints and take blood sample which should confirm either way.

Hope this helps but would def suggest GP visit to confirm

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#3 FinnDave

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:29 PM

Having had my right hand badly broken in an accident 15 months ago, and now back to playing 2-3 hour gigs, I would agree wth the above, seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity, if you just carry on you could be making things worse.
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#4 Coilte

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

I'd agree with the suggestion to first...see a doctor. Afterwards, when you get the OK to resume playing, you should revisit your technique. Below is a clip that deals with safe left hand technique.

Having said the above, it is quite possible that your problem is not bass related, but that playing simply aggravates it.

Either way, I hope you recover soon. :)


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#5 crompers

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:40 PM

View Postdmccombe7, on 17 March 2017 - 01:26 PM, said:

What age group are you. ?
Is it just the one knuckle ?
Athritis usually happens on both hands i was told. Its rare to get just one knuckle.
Does the joint feel warm to touch compared with other joints in other hand. ?
Any swelling or lumps of the knuckle area, ?

Have you overdone your playing technique by holding down too hard ?

Have you been doing anything else that would possibly cause a joint injury ? (won't go into detail there :D )

If worrying you that much go see your GP. He will check the hand joints and take blood sample which should confirm either way.

Hope this helps but would def suggest GP visit to confirm

Dave

I'm 32

It is the whole of my index finger really but particularly the middle knuckle, its also feels a bit weak and making a fist causes pain.

Nope not warm to touch, no swelling or lumps.

Up to the last few days i was practicing a lot, say 2 hours a day and yes I was using my grip in particular to fret, then I saw a video by Scott the other day where he explained that he uses the whole of his arm to pull back on the neck which was a bit of a eureka moment. I've been trying to correct my technique accordingly but I find it quite counter intuitive.

#6 Coilte

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:50 PM

View Postcrompers, on 17 March 2017 - 01:40 PM, said:

Up to the last few days i was practicing a lot, say 2 hours a day and yes I was using my grip in particular to fret

This could be the cause of your problem.

Try breaking up the practice time into one hour sessions then take a break. This is beneficial for both brain and hands/wrists/fingers alike.

Incorporate playing without the thumb behind the neck for a couple of minutes, just to get an idea of how much ( or little..) actual pressure is required to fret a note cleanly. Do this, briefly a few times during the course of your practice, until the fingers "get the message" about how much pressure to apply.

#7 crompers

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:54 PM

View PostCoilte, on 17 March 2017 - 01:50 PM, said:

This could be the cause of your problem.

Try breaking up the practice time into one hour sessions then take a break. This is beneficial for both brain and hands/wrists/fingers alike.

Incorporate playing without the thumb behind the neck for a couple of minutes, just to get an idea of how much ( or little..) actual pressure is required to fret a note cleanly. Do this, briefly a few times during the course of your practice, until the fingers "get the message" about how much pressure to apply.

Sounds like solid advice. I'm going to wait until Monday, see how it feels and if no better will get an appointment with the GP, if it is better I'll start doing the above.

#8 grunge666

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:00 PM

Are you taking Statins?? They can cause/contribute to point pain.
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#9 crompers

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:03 PM

View Postgrunge666, on 17 March 2017 - 02:00 PM, said:

Are you taking Statins?? They can cause/contribute to point pain.

Nope no Statins, just beer and an occasional visit from mary jane

#10 Roger2611

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:48 PM

View PostCoilte, on 17 March 2017 - 01:50 PM, said:

This could be the cause of your problem.

Try breaking up the practice time into one hour sessions then take a break. This is beneficial for both brain and hands/wrists/fingers alike.

Incorporate playing without the thumb behind the neck for a couple of minutes, just to get an idea of how much ( or little..) actual pressure is required to fret a note cleanly. Do this, briefly a few times during the course of your practice, until the fingers "get the message" about how much pressure to apply.

Good advice indeed, you should find that with pressure from your left fore arm against the body you can actually play fairly comfortably without needing your thumb on the back of the neck
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#11 dmccombe7

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:56 PM

As mentioned see GP to be absolutely sure and that you aren't making things worse.
Sounds like you've over-done it a bit.
At 32 its unlikely to be athritis or similar.

After you described what you've been doing with your fretting etc i would say its more than likely a strain of some kind.

I would def see your GP tho.

Dave
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#12 crompers

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:13 PM

Thanks for the advice, its quite difficult starting out to know what other people do and what is normal!

If you watch someone else playing it just looks like they are using grip and you cant see the pressure being applied by the arm.

Hopefully just a strain and I'll be back on the bass next week.

#13 dmccombe7

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:26 PM

I use to play fingerstyle very aggressively in various rock and prog bands over the years. I used to find that when i started playing with a new band after few mths off my fingers on right hand would tighten and cramp up. I've been at rehearsals where my left hand cramped that much i was almost at stage i couldn't loosen my grip on the neck. I had to do something if i wanted to keep playing and took advice from fellow basschatters and turned the volume up and played lighter.
It worked a treat and an unforseen bonus for me was i found i could play faster and more accurately. I didn't lose the aggressive style completely but i no longer got aches or cramps.
If you are changing your style of playing maybe do it in small stages at a time.

Dave
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#14 PaulGibsonBass

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 09:30 PM

View Postdmccombe7, on 17 March 2017 - 07:26 PM, said:

I use to play fingerstyle very aggressively in various rock and prog bands over the years. I used to find that when i started playing with a new band after few mths off my fingers on right hand would tighten and cramp up. I've been at rehearsals where my left hand cramped that much i was almost at stage i couldn't loosen my grip on the neck. I had to do something if i wanted to keep playing and took advice from fellow basschatters and turned the volume up and played lighter.
It worked a treat and an unforseen bonus for me was i found i could play faster and more accurately. I didn't lose the aggressive style completely but i no longer got aches or cramps.
If you are changing your style of playing maybe do it in small stages at a time.

Dave

Similar tale for me; I used to get cramp in the thumb of my fretting (left) hand, my thumb would cramp up and push itself into the palm of my hand (contracting tendons?) with such strength that I couldn't pull my thumb away from my palm with my other hand. It never hurt as such, but it happened a couple of times during gigs and although it would soon pass and loosen up, it caused interruptions and embarrassment. For me a change of technique was needed; I realised I was pushing very hard with my thumb on the back of the neck, and once I'd developed a lighter touch it didn't happen any more. Maybe reviewing your technique will help. As you've not been playing long you probably haven't developed any stubborn bad habits. Hope you get it sorted.

Edited by PaulGibsonBass, 17 March 2017 - 09:31 PM.

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#15 tonyquipment

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:11 PM

Yeah I get pains in my picking finger. Usually the index finger. I figure it's because it's over used or haven't got the stamina. Like RSI heh
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#16 el borracho

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:52 PM

I was diagnosed with arthritis at 29. I've had a wide variety of pains over the years but I'm still playing and ignoring them at 52!

#17 Dan Dare

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 04:36 PM

As others suggest, it's almost certainly to do with over-straining. Seeing a doctor is good advice, but it will not help long term if you are doing something to cause pain and discomfort (medic's refer to that as a 'maintaining cause'). Playing a musical instrument, whilst not a natural skill and something that needs to be learned, should not be overly physically demanding or require excessive force. If it does cause pain, you're doing something wrong. You refer to the fact that you have not been playing for long. Are you self taught? If so, some lessons to get you on the right track will be invaluable. A teacher will also be able to check that your instrument is set up properly.
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#18 NancyJohnson

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:47 PM

Been here a couple of times on different threads. Had four hand operations so far and a scan six months ago showed up STT arthritis in my right hand (and similar symptoms are manifesting in my left hand too).

Understandably, I'm a tad pissed about it.

I'll pass on a few bits of sound advice here and while I doubt this post will even get a single acknowledgement, hopefully someone will read it and it'll help.

1) Don't crack your freaking knuckles all the time.
2) If you do get recurrent after playing, try to stop and rest your hands. This isn't like training to run a marathon; my consultatant said that hands do not particularly build up stamina or retain muscle memory and have the ability to push further next time out.
3) If pain is persistent, GET IT INVESTIGATED SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. Don't be a cock like I was; if your idea of fun is putting things off then having an operation where the pain after is so intense you would like to saw your arm off, then fine.

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#19 paul_5

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 09:07 PM

Refer yourself to a Physiotherapist. It's not cheap, but it saved my bass playing. Years of poor technique resulted in chronic posture problems which manifested themselves in my fretting hand thumb. Got it sorted, changed my playing position and it's never been back.
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