PDA

View Full Version : Strum knuckle pain



Selmer
08-20-2017, 12:50 PM
Firstly, hello to everybody.

I'm a musician of some 40 years approx, mostly guitar and other stringed instruments, and have been fooling around with the Ukulele for a couple of months.

Recently, I've been getting what I thought was Arthritic pain in my strum hand Index finger.

I had an x-ray and it came back normal, and then it struck me that perhaps what was causing my pain, was the strumming of the Ukulule.

Because of my background, I play very much a freestyle variety of strumming, and probably have taken a few things for granted.

So, I've decided that I've probably been careless with my technique, and have been straining the finger by using too much 'side' contact, as opposed to 'nail on' where the finger would bend.

Is this something other guys have experienced, and if so, did you rectify it with better technique, or did the problem persist?

Are the more proficient players amongst you ensuring you are using 'nail on' or like me, do you often use side on?

joshsimpson79
08-20-2017, 03:20 PM
I've only been playing a couple of months after playing guitar for years, but I have also had to make some strumming modifications after some knuckle pain. It is quite a bit better now.

Selmer
08-20-2017, 03:31 PM
I've only been playing a couple of months after playing guitar for years, but I have also had to make some strumming modifications after some knuckle pain. It is quite a bit better now.

Thanks Josh.

I was a bit worried initially as I'd never had it before and abused my hands on other instruments plenty. I must be catching the strings sideways too much. I'm enjoying the instrument a lot though and wish I'd took the plunge much sooner. New instrument new learning curve.

Choirguy
08-20-2017, 04:47 PM
I have moved away from a "purist's" view and am going to allow students to buy and use felt and leather picks this year. Ukulele is all about accessibility and what works...and I have been fighting a number of students over this issue. In retrospect, I needed to ask what I was fighting. I need to remove potential barriers...not add them. I can make sure that they are not using thick plastic guitar picks...but I can meet them part way.

All that is to say...buy some felt or leather picks if the strumming is the issue; free yourself to play as you want to play.

JackLuis
08-20-2017, 05:02 PM
I have the same problem if I play too long. Changing the vector of your strumming hand helps, make the finger bend the way it is supposed to. ;-)

Playing a little softer too helps.

robinboyd
08-20-2017, 06:02 PM
I haven't had exactly this problem, but I had something similar when I chunked too much on a really rough low G that came with one of my ukes. Now that I have changed the strings, I don't have a problem.

Croaky Keith
08-20-2017, 10:25 PM
I don't often strum, but when I do, I've noticed that I use considerably less pressure on the up strum, more like just brushing the strings. :)

besley
08-21-2017, 04:44 AM
I have moved away from a "purist's" view and am going to allow students to buy and use felt and leather picks this year. Ukulele is all about accessibility and what works...and I have been fighting a number of students over this issue. In retrospect, I needed to ask what I was fighting. I need to remove potential barriers...not add them. I can make sure that they are not using thick plastic guitar picks...but I can meet them part way.

All that is to say...buy some felt or leather picks if the strumming is the issue; free yourself to play as you want to play.

I too would absolutely suggest trying a felt or leather pick. I must be a wuss compared with most of you, but I actually find it fairly painful to strum vigorously with just my finger.

Rllink
08-21-2017, 05:42 AM
I've never had stiffness or pain, other than toughening up my fingers, but in June I went on a new medication that I take at night and that I think is causing the joints in my hands to stiffen up. But they get worked out after a while and do not bother me the rest of the day. I am attributing it to the medication because it started when I started taking the medication and nothing else changed in my daily routine.

LDS714
08-21-2017, 06:50 AM
Definitely can't speak for proficient players, but I often use nails a lot - forefinger nail on the downstroke and thumbnail on the upstroke.

Nickie
08-21-2017, 12:48 PM
I learned as a beginner to hook my right forefinger, in the 1st joint, lightly over the end of my thumb, as a rest. It gives me a lot more leverage, and I can strum a lot longer. I teach it to all my beginners.

102500

mikelz777
08-21-2017, 01:01 PM
I've recently had the opposite problem, I've been feeling pain/soreness in the first knuckle on the forefinger of my fretting hand. It's kind of weird because it's not so much when I'm playing but more so when I'm not playing.

Selmer
08-21-2017, 03:22 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I think an adjustment in my technique is in order, as I guess it's easy to forget that the Ukulele strings (especially on a Tenor) are quite taught, and not respect them.
I definitely wouldn't go down the pick route, as I'm getting a lot of enjoyment from the open handed styles that attracted me to the Uke in the first place. I don't know if 'Ukulele Uff' posts on here, but that's the kind of style that inspires me. Very kind of folk to chime in, thank you.

Nickie
08-22-2017, 04:48 AM
I've recently had the opposite problem, I've been feeling pain/soreness in the first knuckle on the forefinger of my fretting hand. It's kind of weird because it's not so much when I'm playing but more so when I'm not playing.

I have pain there too sometimes, so I'm learning to rely more on my other fingers, especially up the neck. I Also take Curcumin caps.

dinghy
08-23-2017, 10:11 AM
ahoy

might want
try different finger

hurts to use index finger

many years ago
printing press mashed it a bit
still works but reminds me
of the abuse

have
started using middle finger

yours truly
mac