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The Fonz

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any ideas on loosening up my wrist? as many of you know, i am now back into playing regularly after several years of not. now i have some pain when i play. not all the time, just when i play realy fast runs with lots of stretching and reaching with my fingers. i know this is just an issue of getting loose and back in shape as my wrist gets stiff and locks up, but it goes away quickly and tiger balm completely fixes the problem in the short run.

 

my question is does anyone have any ideas for warming up that will alleviate this problem or help me get over this faster?

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Hmmm, somehwre around here (or was it Carvin's forum I again referred to Carol Kaye's website where she gave my grist for exploring my pain issues a few years ago. I also mentioned this diminutive yet raging guitar grrrl I jammed with a couple years ago. She really shredded yet had the most facile and economical fret-hand movements I had perhaps ever witnessed. Yep, she could really burn the 'board and had major-league endurance. That made a strong impression.

 

My experiences with what Carol Kaye documented and which became the basis for her methodology, are that you don't need to use the ring finger much and you don't need to be playing one-finger-per-fret - especially down at the nut. Just pivot on the thumb to avoid stressing and over-stretching, and realize that the pinky, once it has some time on it, can do the ring finger stuf most of the time with less stress.

 

Warm-ups come in handy too. I live in a cold climate during much of the year. I hit the men's head and run warm water over my hands (not that warm water, homey!) before playing and get limbered up, and try not to open the first set with a 290-BPM knuckle-buster.

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That's how I play it. It's much more comfortable that way, especially on a 5er. And I can get to that upper register where I'm known to hang out at much easier. Then again, I'm right comfy in the lower side of things, too. And I get that cool old-bass-man look when I'm playing my fretless 4. I almost always play Pink Floyd's "Money" to warm up. It's a good exercise. Also that little blues standard is a good one.
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sigh, looks like my rock star days are over. time to move that bass off da waist and sling up to the ever so much less cool "man with joint problems trying to avoid carpal tunnel" chest postition.
Hey, if Rage Against the Machine can get away with playing their instruments up high...I think you'll be okay. ;)

 

Just don't go crazy...Mark King ways his bass WAY higher than I think is necessary...

 

I agree w/ Greenboy...1-2-4 is really all you need most of the time in the lower register unless you're playing some crazy unison line or something. I've seen Chuck Rainey play octaves and tenths using his thumb for the root. Crazy.

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Actually I use my thumb for that sometimes on my Fretless Five, and a couple of other tricks besides. But usually it's on the back of the neck.

 

I don't wear my bass very high. But when I am playing things that seem to stress the fingerboard hand more (like songs that I use lots of faster low position / double / triple stops) I just aim the neck up higher - more toward a 45 degree angle than my usual close to horiz. It also is pretty nice for the fingerpicking hand/wrist at that angle.

 

I actually found some things stressful wearing the bass like a bolo tie ; }

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greenboy:somewhere around here (or was it Carvin's forum I again referred to -
In keeping with my legendary to go tangential, I just thought I'd mention that I very rarely post on Carvin's forum. Why is that?

 

Because, like many other forums the quality of one's ideas and observations don't matter as much as knowing all the secret handshakes and which things to say that'll put you in good with various peeps. Then, unless you attempt to be provocative you will tend to be mostly ignored {you can get that anywhere - why go looking for another venue for it? ; }

 

The other reason is that most manufacturer-sponsored forums tend to attract people who not only wnat to discuss or learn more about their gear, but also to pledge Ultimate Gear Allegiance to the sponsor and thus really narrow the possibilities of learning more and practicing honest discussion and criticism, and education. It just tends to become an exercise in reading through tons of fanboy/girl fanaticism and malformed opinions to occasionally read a few jewels from people with a knack for humor and camaraderie, or some actual experience and insight.

 

And watch out when competitive gear is referred to as example, or in queries as to the quality or advisability of considering its use for specific applications. In spite of the forum's policy of discouraging bashing - epsecially if the other manufacturer is viewed as competing for the same turf - there are plenty of people who think it easier to bash than to listen to the gear and understand the pros and cons.

 

Actually the whole internet forum phenom is infused with this "special interest lobbying" and any schmo with ten hours on his Blatoblaster can push malformed dreck out along the wires right alongside the people who've been in the trenches or the front lines; I am not singling out Carvin's forum (which is better than many), and I of course use some Carvin gear and will probably get some more along with that of many other companies who seem to be meeting my needs...

 

But it is refreshing to participate in forums where there are more checks and balances against total brand name nazism, and where the humor comes in balanced doses with actual Deep Thought™ and experience. This forum does better than most to promote stronger bandwidth use simply by not being too closely tied to any particular manufacturer or special interest. That says something about the sponsor here (in spite of any failing we might think we see), and the moderators, the participants, and the general set of values we've established here.

 

HOO-RAY US! ; }

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<   wallowing in ambivalence, spouting irony, while still harboring certain illusions ; }

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As far as loosening up, before playing, I do all the normal arm stretches, and I also make sure to stretch both arms over my head. I clasp my hands together so the back is pointing down, then push and hold....(does this sound like an instructional video or what?!). I will also just rotate my wrists for about 30 seconds in each direction.

Why steal the hub caps...take the whole damn car instead!

http://www.carpecervesa.com

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while marching drum line we'd warm up for something like 45 min before a show.

 

We had a list of something like 10 excercises of increasing difficulty to get us into the playing mode.

 

eights and eights was the gem... 8 8ths on the right hand 8 8th on the left... repeat forever.

 

is there something like this on bass to loosen up the hand... I usually pick up the bass and just go but thinking back on the wisdom of warming up maybe I should change my ways

 

Dave

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Hey Bastid,

 

There is a great warm-up exercise called 'isometrics' that really works. About 2 years ago Glen Letch (hope I got the spelling right) wrote an article in BP called 'Bass Isometrics'. Basically what it does is work on using your fret-fingers independently from each other. This warm-up exercise really works, Ive been using it since I firs read about it. Try going to the BP site and typing in 'bass isometrics' and it should come up.

 

just my .02

 

new and improved: 'married' ikestr

...hertz down low....
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it makes me feel better to stretch completely before i play (lets not read too much into that) just arms legs, stuff like that.

being relaxed helps me to concentrate on what im doing, instead of what all the yahoo's around me are doing

 

i saw a band this summer in baton rouge called milemarker who is a band from chicago. they were fantastic and are really a must see if they are in town near you. The point of the short story here is before the set the entire band stretched for atleast 30 or so minutes, not in unison or anything, just while milling about getting prepared. i was quite perplexed as to why until they started playing. im quite sure that if they hadnt stretched every muscle they had, they would have needed a trip to the hospital. it was the most intense windmilling gyrating insanity, while still playing very well, that ive ever seen.

 

anyway, back to my point...STRETCH EVERYTHING

Double what we got o mr. roboto

 

Double

Double

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yeah, warmups help. i'm thinking about getting one of those sleeve dealies like athletes wear. you know, those jobbie-doos that keep your arm real warm and loose? i think allen iverson wears one. football players wear them too. kind of like compression shorts for your forearm. any opinions?
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Two more technique thoughts (never seen you play, so not sure if this applies to your left hand technique) ...

 

1. Try to position your thumb under your left Middle finger - this makes it easier to "pivot" around. The trick is to allow your thumb to MOVE when you move that second finger - ie. if you stretch from 1-2, shift your thumb up with your middle finger.

 

2. Keep your left thumb at or around the mid-point of the neck (don't slide it around to the bass-side of the neck).

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As you already know, stretching is the key, both "locally" (fingers & wrists) but (as TKE96 suggests) your entire arm---elbows & shoulders---it's all connected!

Do that before, during & after playing, as well at other times, too!

 

Keeping mental tension low also helps keep you from tightening up physically.

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Originally posted by greenboy:

There are certain places the thumb doesn't belong during musical performance, or just before. That's the main thing. Understood?

damnit, there goes my chief philosophy on active participation. thanks greenboy.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Make sure your wrist is straight. And when I look in BP magazine, I really see a fairly pronounced trend to rather severe neck angles to accomodate the wrist. Didn't Tom C post one time about a bass that you rested on your chair and played upright.

 

You know, the old radius/ulna will only allow you to rotate your hand so far before they touch each other...find the comfortable place by rotating palm up in the left hand...without a bass. When you find the most comfortable place for the arm/wrist, while straight...adjust the bass so that the neck is right there in the palm of your hand.

 

Your body will tell you where you need to place the bass. Rock and Roll be hanged.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Originally posted by davebrownbass:

.. Didn't Tom C post one time about a bass that you rested on your chair and played upright...

...... Rock and Roll be hanged.

oh oh oh that's me !! My drummer said he couldn't imagine that the Dammann bass would look cool enough. I'm with dbb - I'll have one of these puppies some day...

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http://tomcapasso.tripod.com/stuff/Chris_Dammann_playing.txt

 

Here's Ralph's son Chris doing his thing...Notice the hand position. When my time comes, I'll go for the Lightwave model.

 

Ralph hasn't updated his site in a while, but he's still building...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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All good suggestions. I'd add, from my own experience, BE PATIENT. Muscles gain or regain strength/facility at their own pace and cannot be rushed. Pushing too hard *will* get you injured.

 

When your hands start to get tired, take a break. Sip a glass of lemonade, crash in front of the Telemundo channel (or whatever your equivalents for relaxing are), and don't stress about where your chops are not yet. If possible, several shorter practice sessions are better than one long one. You will regain your former level of facility in time. Patience, grasshopper.

 

I know whereof I speak, I've got the tendinitis to prove it...

 

 

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I posted a couple days ago about playing at a high angle instead of wearing the bass high. I know Tom remembers hearing that I put an extra straplock button on my fretless on the upper bout side to change the balance toward that comfortable profile - and then use the strapbutton at the original position for securing the output cable.
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I remember !! I must admit to a fear of putting in straplocks, but I know this works. My new one came with two "bottom" strap locks so I have a choice about the balance.

(but I still want a Dammann Lightwave 5 some day)

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Anyway, that position is usually achievable with most basses and straps; you may just have to support the neck a bit more. I actually moved my bass down a tad after adopting it, and both hands like me for it.
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