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bobbitybobman
06-11-2009, 04:47 AM
When I was playing an my soprano as a beginner (mostly chords), my hand was fine. But when I switched to a tenor, I began to have pain at the lower joint of my left thumb. Granted I have been practicing barr chords and actual songs a lot more, but I don't quite understand how such pain could come on so quick (usually only after a couple minutes of playing, staying with me until I stop). I'm going to assume it has something to do with my left hand placement, but for the life of me I can't find out what to do instead. Is there a hand position that takes the pressure of the thumb joint?

UKISOCIETY
06-11-2009, 05:10 AM
When I was playing an my soprano as a beginner (mostly chords), my hand was fine. But when I switched to a tenor, I began to have pain at the lower joint of my left thumb. Granted I have been practicing barr chords and actual songs a lot more, but I don't quite understand how such pain could come on so quick (usually only after a couple minutes of playing, staying with me until I stop). I'm going to assume it has something to do with my left hand placement, but for the life of me I can't find out what to do instead. Is there a hand position that takes the pressure of the thumb joint?

Aldrine has a uke minutes video on this. Says to place the thumb opposite the barring finger. I've noticed that I will place my thumb too far toward the headstock, which causes me to need to place more pressure on the neck.

Honu
06-11-2009, 06:08 AM
Placing the thumb opposite the barring finger will really help as Ukisociety said, but the other thing that helped me out was to relax my fingers. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but relaxing my left hand allowed me to press on the strings a lot stronger.

BBcakes
06-11-2009, 06:59 AM
I'm having the same problem while playing my soprano, but then again I'm a total newbie. I think I'm gripping too hard and too busy trying to play the chords correctly, I end up forgetting to relax my fingers. I guess it all gets better with more practice (I hope?).

Uke-lahoma
06-11-2009, 07:16 AM
Placing the thumb opposite the barring finger will really help as Ukisociety said, but the other thing that helped me out was to relax my fingers. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but relaxing my left hand allowed me to press on the strings a lot stronger.

I agree with Honu on this one. At first, I had a death grip on the instrument between my barr finger and thumb. Lightening up a little helped a lot.

Honu
06-11-2009, 07:18 AM
I guess it all gets better with more practice (I hope?).

The good news is that it gets better with pratice... the bad news is that once you get okay at it you realize how little you really know.:D It's a never ending cycle...

sukie
06-11-2009, 08:43 AM
My teacher constantly harps at me about keeping my wrist straight too. Not that that has anything to do with a sore thumb, but you never know. It's hard to do, but worth the effort. Keeping injuries away is really important.

ichadwick
06-11-2009, 11:43 AM
At first, I had a death grip on the instrument...
Hold it lightly enough to be able to move the chord up and down without hesitation, And without leaving dents in the wood, either!
It's really a matter of practice, practice, practice.
You might consider carrying a squeeze ball to exercise with when you're not playing. I have a great squeeze toy shaped like a UPS truck. It works better than a ball because it's closer in shape to a uke neck.

bobbitybobman
06-15-2009, 07:50 AM
Problem solved. I realized I was exacerbating the pain issue with what I was doing to attempt to solve it. To see what my hand position was while playing, I got into the habit of playing so that the entire fretboard was visible at all times, almost laying it horizontal across my lap. This put strain on my wrist and thumb joint. Now that I have it set so that the fretboard is perpendicular to the ground, the problem appears to be mostly solved. Thanks for the advices.

ichadwick
06-18-2009, 01:25 AM
...I got into the habit of playing so that the entire fretboard was visible at all times, almost laying it horizontal across my lap.
Ah, the Jeff Healy school of ukulele playing....