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Thread: Strum knuckle pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Strum knuckle pain

    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?

  2. #2

    Default

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joshsimpson79 View Post
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    2,053

    Default

    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.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Nor Cal USA
    Posts
    1,156

    Default

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    5,909

    Default

    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.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    412

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,797

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    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.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    156

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    Definitely can't speak for proficient players, but I often use nails a lot - forefinger nail on the downstroke and thumbnail on the upstroke.
    I too, have nothing of value to add to this thread...

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