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Re: Speaking of pain (5 string pain)

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Posted by Paige on January 19, 2000 at 07:11:22:

In Reply to: Speaking of pain (5 string pain) posted by greg on January 19, 2000 at 05:06:16:

: Hello,

I am fairly sure my LH technique is good, I use my thumb as a pivot point, and use alternate fingerings for scales that allow me to not reach as far to get to the notes (starting on the 2nd finger for major and 7th chords, and the 4th finger for minor chords).

: However, lately I have been having the problem of my LH fingers going numb after 30 minutes of practice, and sometimes some slight cramping goes along with this. Any suggestions? Could this be a result of playing too much at first after not doing any playing for the past 5 years or so? My practice sessions usually run in 1 hour longs blocks, for a total of 5 hours a day.

Paige responds:
Greg -
The fact that you are experiencing numbness in your LH fingers points out that you are NOT using proper technique.... your hand is telling you the truth - listen to it. Please don't take this as a slam on you or your playing... but if you persist in this and don't change, you are going to hurt yourself. Playing should not make your fingers go numb. Somewhere, you are shutting down circulation causing your numbness. Does this happen when you practice ONLY, or do you experience this when you gig, also. If that's the case, then you are practicing incorrectly.... when you practice, are you sitting or standing? Also, when you practice are you using a strap? Do you hold the bass up high or does it hang low on your body? Left arm position can be a big factor, as well as your left hand.
You say you use the thumb as a pivot... but where is the thumb? When you play, is your thumb positioned (relatively speaking) in line with the 2nd or third finger, or is it placed more behind the index finger....
There are lots of things to consider, Greg as you can see... but please know, if you use the proper technique you should be able to play for hours without a problem. Recently I played an 8 hour jazz gig, rested three hours and then played in two rock'n and rollin' church services (it's not your daddy's Southern Baptist church!) with no pain.
Hope I helped.
someone who used to hurt but no longer does

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