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Health Archives

Improving Finger Strength to Avoid Injury?
Ask Damian Erskine

Improving Finger Strength to Avoid Injury?

This week, a reader asks Damian for advice on how to strengthen the muscles in my fingers to help avoid injury. Damian puts together a great roundup in this column on player health.

WristGrips Now Available
Accessories & Strings

WristGrips Now Available

Playing a lot of bass can lead to some serious issues with your hands and wrists. Ryan Sollee and Gabe Castro are combatting those issues with WristGrips, a one-size-fits-all compression wrap that aims at preventing health problems. “WristGrips help prevent and heal tendonitis, arthritis, and carpal tunnel issues, by compressing and supporting the wrist, increasing oxygen and blood flow to...

Dealing with Focal Dystonia: Resources for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing with Focal Dystonia: Resources for Bass Players

Q: In the last year or so, I’ve started having issues in my right hand. It seems somewhat random but I’ve had a few gigs we’re my ring and middle finger have completely curled into my hand, and it’s pretty scary. I think it may be Focal Dystonia. I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard about this. Maybe it’s something you...

Dealing with Blisters on the Pizzicato Hand
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Dealing with Blisters on the Pizzicato Hand

So, you recently acquired a double bass. This is great news! Welcome! Or perhaps you simply resolved that this was the year you got serious about playing and you increased your time at the instrument. Fantastic! Or maybe you picked up some regular gigs! Even better! Either way, this recent positive change in your life will allow you the opportunity...

Resistance to Change
Ask Damian Erskine

Resistance to Change

Q: Why are some musicians resistant to changing gear and/or playing techniques when the player gets faced with pain, hits a technical wall or is dissatisfied with their own progress? A: Note: I saw this question on a Facebook thread I was tagged in recently and thought it was a good one. I paraphrased it a little bit to keep...

Solving Finger Pain To Continue Practicing
Ask Damian Erskine

Solving Finger Pain To Continue Practicing

Q: As a bass player, having practiced all day until one’s fingernails are aching, what is the solution for a quick pain relief so I can continue to practice the next day, without skipping a day? A: While I can’t imagine what kind of practice makes your fingernails hurt (double thumb workouts?), I do have some thoughts. I worry, if...

Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players

Q: I met you several years ago at NAMM when I worked for Alfred Music and I filmed you when you played at our booth. Anyway, I have since switched careers from Video Editor to Massage Therapist and I still play bass – jazz on electric and classical on upright. Because of my involvement in the San Diego music scene,...

Avoiding Discomfort and Pain When Playing the Upright Bass
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Avoiding Discomfort and Pain When Playing the Upright Bass

It should be physically easy to play the upright bass. When we experience discomfort or pain, during or after playing, it is our body’s way of telling us that we are doing something wrong. While each body is unique, there are general guidelines all bassists can follow which will reduce the potential for bass-related injury. Below are some general recommendations...

Left Hand Exercises and Resources for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Left Hand Exercises and Resources for Bass Players

Q: I live in Ethiopia and I am a 4th year bass student. I have some problems my left hand. Do you have advanced finger exercises? A: For this question, I’m going to point you to a variety of resources – here on No Treble, and across the web. There are a variety of stretching exercises, finger independence exercises, tendon...

Right Hand Endurance for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Right Hand Endurance for Bass Players

Q: I’d like to ask something about right hand endurance. I’m playing in two metal bands, so some of our songs are rather fast-paced (I play 95% of the time with a pick). When rehearsing, everything seems just okay – no problems. But when playing live, my right tends to get this irregular muscular tension, and after a short bit...