Hurt my stupid wrist

I practiced for about 90 minutes last night, and felt okay, but an hour or so later, my left wrist hurt so bad I couldn’t even hold the book I was reading. It’s better today but still tender. (I had my lesson, but tried to take it a bit easy, and I probably won’t play again today.)

I’m mostly just venting here, because I think I’m already doing everything I can to take care of my wrist when I play. I pay a lot of attention to trying to hold the bass where my wrist can be as relaxed and neutral as possible. It’s not really possible for me to play high frets on especially the E and A strings without contorting my wrist, because my fingers just won’t reach otherwise.

Still…grumble grumble.

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I wish you a speedy recovery. That stinks.

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I’m sorry to hear this. Rest, give your wrist a break, and heal up. You’ll be good as new in a day or so. Just don’t push it and make it worse.

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I second the motions above. Hope it subsides quickly!

Also:

I’d like to see a photo of your fretting hand in action. If you’re playing a four-string bass (that is not a Precision Bass or some similar ironing board), this may indicate that you are “grabbing the bass by the neck” and trying to strangle it.
I have decidedly feminine-sized hands, and I don’t have that problem anymore.

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Hi there,
I hope your wrist gets better quickly.
If your having trouble getting to low e and a ,maybe a shorter/ compact bass may reduce the strain.
it takes along time to train your wrists and hands/fingers to work comfortably up the top of the neck, and apply enough pressure to play notes without humming.
Cheers

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It’s actually up the neck, meaning towards the body of the bass, that I have more trouble with. Here is a picture of me putting my pinky on a medium fret of the E string. I know there’s not a ton of wrist contortion here, but doing it quickly and putting enough pressure on it, it’s not the most natural position either.

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I would recomend trying moving your thumb. It may be much easier to fret lower string notes if you rotate and slide your thumb to the bottom edge of the neck. I bet this feels much more natural and is a totally fine thing to do when needed.

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Moving my thumb like that doesn’t seem to help. I would try to explain why, but I already hurt my wrist a little more taking that picture earlier, so I can’t tell you. But I know I have tried it before and it doesn’t really do anything to get my fingers further towards the E string.

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For me, my thumb stays kind of in the same place in relation to my fingers but I rotate it all around the fretboard, so my thumb is at the bottom and my fingers have a more natural reach to the top strings. I have to push my elbow forward a little to do this. Kind of hard to describe though.

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Hi @tamaraster,
Based on the soreness your getting in the middle of the fretboard, as Howard said maybe just try playing in a position that feels comfortable for you.
I’m sure over time you will more flexibility with your wrist / fingers etc.
I can remember when I first started and my bass teacher kept saying stretch your 4 fingers to 4 individual fret positions on each string.
I’d go home and try it and kept saying to myself, he is dreaming.
But over time it just clicks and works and I look back now and think to myself it wasn’t that hard.
Hang in there, keep working on it and I reckon in a few months you be posting me back and saying you know what Brian it wasn’t that hard after all. :sunglasses:

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Lengthen your strap a little (lower the body of the bass), and tilt your head stock way up, then play in the first 5 frets. That should be a bit more comfortable for your wrist.

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So sorry to hear this. Take a breaks during the 90 minutes of practise!!! I always do some stretching before, during and after each time I take the bass!!! Don’t give up BASS is a wonderful instruments.

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I can feel your pain @tamaraster… There have been times when I have had to play my bass wearing a wrist support. I keep on handy in my music room for when those bouts of Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel kick in.

Oh,… and for me, a few Single Malt Scotch’s :tumbler_glass: mixed with a few other vibations :question: does help to ease the pain, :upside_down_face:… and in some cases may even help me sound better :crazy_face:… Well, at least until the next day when I play back what I might have recorded… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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welcome back @Lanny :slightly_smiling_face: :guitar:

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Thank You @Jamietashi Jamie!! Great to be back in good company!!

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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@tamaraster have you tried this? I’m just curious if it helped you.

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I haven’t tried it yet, because my wrist is still a little weird, and I dropped my bass off today to be set up. I’m not sure it will work, because I play sitting down about two-thirds of the time, and I haven’t found a way with my strap and body and the chairs I have here to make it work with the neck more up. But I’ll see when my bass makes its no doubt triumphant return!

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Okay, please let us know.
I had a similar issue when I first started and was always playing on the 2nd position (6-12 frets) because it was easier for me to see the strings. After I finally learned the fretboard and became more adept at playing without looking down at the neck, I found that the first position (1-5 frets) was easier on my wrist, especially with the neck tilted upward.

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I’m sure that is true for me too, about the positions. The lesson of Josh’s I was doing the day my wrist got hurt was all the 4th through 7th frets on the E and A strings. Rough!

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BTW, I should point out that I always play standing. I’ve tried sitting when I play, but it just feels awkward.

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