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Thread: Pain in Fretting Hand?

  1. #1
    Registered User cbroadbridge's Avatar
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    Default Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Hi all,

    So I'm finally trying to lock down a proper practice routine to improve, as opposed to just jamming the songs I know. I'm developing a routine to spend at least 10 mins every morning before I head off to work going over FFcP scale exercises from jazzmando.com.

    My issue is that when I'm trying to play these exercises, I start getting a pain in my left hand, in the palm area. If I'm playing chords and licks and such it's fine, but when I play these particular exercises I get the pain.

    Is this just poor left hand technique? Has anyone else experienced this?

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    Registered User gfury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Same here. Lately been working on B-flat scale patterns in first position. It's a stretch and I was having some pain in the left hand palm area for a couple of weeks.

    I've tried to relax, and not push too hard. Break practice sessions into shorter intervals. Work up to it slowly and let strength build up. Stretch the hand out before practice. Run some warm water over the hand.

    Pain is beginning to go away.
    Greg Fury

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    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    You might be mindful of how you support the back of the neck. If your pushing your thumb against the back of the neck like a guitarist would playing a bar chord you can have injury. Try to release the tension as the V of your hand guides your fretting fingers at the correct angle of dangle! Good Luck
    "A sudden clash of thunder, the mind doors burst open, and lo, there sits old man Buddha-nature in all his homeliness."
    CHAO-PIEN

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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    I'm noticing the same thing when I start adding speed to my playing. Ive been watching Chris Thile's DVD on essential techniques to ensure all of my habits are the right ones.

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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Start the ffcp practice up the neck from the nut and work towards the nut, starting at D for instance. This allows for a warmup before you work on the positions with the hardest stretches. The Bb scale in first position starting on the middle finger is, in my opinion, the hardest scale of all as all of the reaches are a full step. Keeping the fingers down as you play makes this a real difficult exercise.

    Don't force it, a stretching injury can be slow to heal. 'You make the most progress by not getting hurt'-Bill Pearl.
    Play it like you mean it.

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    Registered User cbroadbridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    I'm noticing the same thing when I start adding speed to my playing. Ive been watching Chris Thile's DVD on essential techniques to ensure all of my habits are the right ones.
    Oh, I've got that DVD, but I've not really been using it much. I'm a guitarist of many years and I learned by tabs for the most part, never had any instructional DVDs. Any chapters in the Thile DVD you recommend?
    Last edited by cbroadbridge; Oct-21-2019 at 7:27pm. Reason: Quote to make more sense

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    Registered User cbroadbridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Start the ffcp practice up the neck from the nut and work towards the nut, starting at D for instance.
    I hadn't thought about doing this, the scale exercises I got from jazzmando.com all start pretty low down the neck, but I figure that's because they're 'finger busters'. I'll give this a try in my next session!
    Last edited by cbroadbridge; Oct-21-2019 at 7:30pm. Reason: Quote to make more sense

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    Registered User cbroadbridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    You might be mindful of how you support the back of the neck. If your pushing your thumb against the back of the neck like a guitarist would playing a bar chord you can have injury. Try to release the tension as the V of your hand guides your fretting fingers at the correct angle of dangle! Good Luck
    I think I'm pushing the thumb against the neck like a guitarist, been a guitarist for many years before picking up the mandolin so that makes a whole lot of sense. I wish I could find a good teacher in here in Brisbane to correct these bad habits!

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    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    You can probably find a free YouTube on line of Mike Marshall going thru the leading particulars of correct mandolin manipulation. Your not alone many of us had to become aware of what works ergonomically on guitar does not on mandolin. As you practice this new method of attack you will begin to become more aware of where your thumb is when any stress starts to tighten your hand and release it before it gets worse. Unfortunately unlearning what you have already self taught yourself isn’t easy but well worth the time given to it before you go back to racing thru scale patterns.
    The same is true of your right hand technique. This is the side that truly makes your sound. The personalized tone and power of an individuals technique that comes thru no matter what make of instrument they play is about their ability to dig in and out with a floating plectrum. If your too timid much of your instrument’s tone is never revealed. If your too heavy handed you can overdrive some instruments into distorted tone.
    "A sudden clash of thunder, the mind doors burst open, and lo, there sits old man Buddha-nature in all his homeliness."
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    CB, Also keep in mind how you are holding the mandolin. A sharper angle with the headstock higher than the body will relieve some of the tension in your left hand. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Could be technique, could be the neck shape/size doesn't really agree with you, could be that you need to warm up before. Those FFCP exercises like in Todd Collins and Ted Eschliman's books (which I recommend) are pretty demanding, big stretches
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    You might be mindful of how you support the back of the neck. If your pushing your thumb against the back of the neck like a guitarist would playing a bar chord you can have injury. Try to release the tension as the V of your hand guides your fretting fingers at the correct angle of dangle! Good Luck
    How to support? Not at all, of course.The left hand is there only to stop the strings. Secure the instrument in place, bring your left hand to the neck and start playing. That's been my approach for 52 years (and 62 on guitar).

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    You can probably find a free YouTube on line of Mike Marshall going thru the leading particulars of correct mandolin manipulation. .
    Indulge responsibly!

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    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    I agree with Usuallypickin'. I get a more relaxed left hand by increasing the angle of the neck toward the left shoulder, as opposed to level to the ground. This is on a continuum and varies from player to player, but it does seem to be helpful with hand cramping issues on the guitar as well.
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  20. #15

    Default Re: Pain in Fretting Hand?

    I have been dealing with pain in my wrist (fretting hand) and thumb as well. I am resting it more (knocked off playing for 2 weeks), ibuprofen and icing, focusing on technique, and just started raising the headstock more toward my left shoulder. Combined with better technique, the increased height of the headstock seems to be helping. I still have a little way to go before there is no pain, but it's improving. I think I had not been paying attention to proper technique in my fretting hand, resulting in a cocked wrist rather than straight/neutral position; it came back to bite me after long enough of improper wrist position.

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