Re: Left hand-hurties

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Posted by Rudi Weeks on September 29, 2000 at 23:53:06:

In Reply to: Left hand-hurties posted by Asbestos Man on August 07, 2000 at 07:04:45:

Hi Asbestos Man

As usual I agree fully with Alfonso, and El Pájaro.
I would also like to add the following.

The two most important things to keep in mind for playing bass with out injuring yourself are:
1.) Play in with a hand position that is as close to a fully at rest position as is possible.
2.) Stay as relaxed as possible. While playing on the tips of your fingers just behind the fret wires.

Exercise: Let you arm hang down at your side make a fist briefly then let your hand relax. Notice how all three joints in every finger is slightly arched and the tip of your thumb is almost in line with the tip of your index finger.
Now bring your hand up to the neck of your bass (don't even think about playing) just gently insert the neck into your relaxed hand. What you will have at this point is the perfect playing position. Play any note with your 1st finger. If any of the other fingers move you are flexing unnecessary muscles and thus causing unnecessary strain in your hand. Repetitively finger a single note with any given finger very lightly only gradually increasing the pressure on the string until it contacts the fret and you can generate a sound. Keep doing this until you can recognize which muscles to relax in order to keep your unused fingers from dancing around or pulling out away from the finger board.
This would be an excellent way to warm up.

If you play just behind the fret you will seldom need more pressure than this minimal amount (regardless of how hard you pluck the string) to play without fret buzzing (assuming your bass is properly set up).
P.S. There you can find more information on functional technique at my web site:
(click on "Technique" and check it out)

Good luck,
Rudi Weeks

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