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Thread: Thumb muscle pain - Should I take a break or push through it?

  1. #11
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    I think that fretting with thumb is common on the guitar (or more common at least). This is a good learning lesson for those of us who did not come from a guitar background!
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  2. #12
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    Aug 2017
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    For E chord I use 1x02. Notice I am definitely not muting with middle finger, but with index same time it is playing the G#.

    I posted in some thread advice that Dm6, 2212 is possible to play with thumb fretting the A note, but I have dropped that idea and only play x212 = Dm6 no 5th. That is muted by thumb.

    It is quite awkard to me using thumb to D and D7. I can also understand the pain
    You could play D as 2225 if the normal 3 finger 2220 is not possible. Using index finger barre. Myself I don't have big fingertips and use all four fingers sometimes for D7 too, like in the G minor key songs to avoid barre.

    So if you work there are solutions of avoiding fretting with thumb and getting a better technique. Am though is IMO just fine to fret with thumb too

    EDIT:
    Another way to play D with big fingertips, x220 with a thumb mute. Sounds just as good as the regular D, really!
    These 3 note chords work great with strumming.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 05-09-2018 at 10:18 PM.

  3. #13
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    Don't just push through it, if your ergonomics are off you will only get worse.
    I had a cramp in my neck and ignored it, I am now in severe pain with shoulder and arm issues.
    I have hardly played in a month. I am being treated for the condition, but it is a slow process.
    Keep Strummin'

  4. #14
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    Apr 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Weaver View Post
    .... Outside of playing video games I don't really use that thumb for much so I'm guessing the muscle isn't well developed. I've noticed a lot of pain in the muscle in the thumb.
    I would be willing to place the blame on the video game...

    After playing guitar and bass for decades, I started playing a few games on my iPad... after a couple months I noticed some advancing pain in my thumb of my fretting hand (even though my bass has no frets ) A change in game play helped eliminate the pain... if you have been gaming for a long time, it may take longer to reverse the damage... give up the games, play the uke!

  5. #15
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    May 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinboyd View Post
    I hope you didn't get that from my post. I didn't realise you were fretting with your thumb. My pain was from squeezing with the thumb while barring with my index finger. I've never fretted with my thumb at all. Fretting the E chord with the thumb is an interesting concept, but it would never work for be because my thumb is too fat.
    No it wasn't from your post, I got it from here when I first started learning the chords: https://ukuguides.com/how-to/how-to-...rific-e-chord/
    It specifically says using the thumb is an option. I've been trying to play it without the thumb and it seems impossible, but I'm sure with time I'll figure out a way to hit it cleanly.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Weaver View Post
    No it wasn't from your post, I got it from here when I first started learning the chords: https://ukuguides.com/how-to/how-to-...rific-e-chord/
    It specifically says using the thumb is an option. I've been trying to play it without the thumb and it seems impossible, but I'm sure with time I'll figure out a way to hit it cleanly.
    Well if you've got ultra bendy guitar player fingers, you can always go with the Aldrine Guerrero method.



    Unfortunately, my fingers are not very flexible, so I use all 4 fingers, or I play the open E, depending on which one flows better.

  7. #17
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    Just had a thumb joint replacement. With bad arthritis in that joint, the pain is often higher up. I get my brace off tomorrow AM. Thumb will be tender for a while, but basically have a "new thumb." A slow healing procedure.

  8. #18
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    Apr 2018
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Weaver View Post
    Hey guys, I signed up here specifically to ask this question. I've been playing the ukulele for about 2 months now. I used to play the guitar quite a bit but haven't touched it in a few years.

    Unlike the guitar I find that with the smaller neck of the ukulele and the way the chords are arranged that I make heavy use of my left thumb. Outside of playing video games I don't really use that thumb for much so I'm guessing the muscle isn't well developed. I've noticed a lot of pain in the muscle in the thumb.

    I know you guys aren't doctors so I'm not asking for medical advice, but I'm curious if this is something any of you went through when you were learning the ukulele. I've been trying to take breaks from playing but the pain doesn't subside very quickly. I waited several days without playing and the pain did subside a bit but when I tried playing for an hour yesterday it started hurting again.

    I'm not sure if it's a good idea to just forge ahead and ignore the pain and as time goes by it will go away or if I should just stop playing until the pain is completely gone. Has anyone else had this experience and what did you do and how did it turn out?

    I recall when I was learning the guitar that I got intense pain in my fingertips but I was able to push through it and eventually it stopped causing pain, but this feels like it might be a bit different considering it's a moving muscle.
    Hi, according to what you said, I'd highly suggest that you should take a break. When your thumb recovers, remember to put a high quality finger protector on your thumb. Moreover, don't play too hard for too long. Best wishes to you !

  9. #19
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    Beware of taking medical advice from a musical instrument forum. Pain 'can' be a signifier of something more serious. As someone who suffered with carpal tunnel in my thumb and suffering with just how awful it is - be VERY careful. See a doctor!
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