I've been playing bass for about 3 years, but only as a hobby. I've never had a teacher either. Usually I play for around 1 hour a day, sometimes up to 3 hours, but now I've got a gig coming up, so I met up with my band and practice for a whole day, two days in a row.

I didn't have any problem during the practice itself, but a few days after the practice they just hurt (after waking up, playing badminton which usually doesn't hurt either).

This has happened to me twice now. What should I do? How can I figure out if I have bad posture? Thank you.

Ps. Both my wrists hurt, but not necessarily at the same time.

  • I'm no bass player but do get into the habit to relax your hands when you play. So much discomfort in guitar playing comes from unnecessary stress.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 9:16
  • Thanks for that. It's still weird for me. I usually play metal when I practice alone, but the band only play pop/rock, so I thought I should have plenty of stamina for it. Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 11:12
  • Wristbands/taping wrists will help when playing or even when not... do extra wrist exercises regularly to strengthen them: no pain, no gain is not applicable here - when it hurts, stop and rest them. You,re likely dealing with inflammation in the wrists so, an aspirin may help. Examine your diet for acidic foods that may increase chances of inflammation in the body (acidic ph level.) Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 1:49

5 Answers 5


It's almost impossible to be a direct help here. We don't know what sort of stuff you're playing, how you play - low slung bass, etc., so more clues will help.

If it's your wrists, it may be because your bass is too low for your hands to reach comfortably, thus stressing your wrists. Ifd there's a lot of high energy playing, maybe you're not fit enough in the appropriate way. It may also be the stress brought on by an impending gig, which makes you squeeze the neck harder than needed, and play the strings harder than you need.

All supposition, but it may help. A whole day's practice seems over the top - to me, a rehearsal is to just polish stuff together, after each member has sorted out his own parts. The time needs to be shared between playing and other things, not solid play.


There are to many cares might be You are avoiding/omitting/not aware.

Don't use cold water on hands after playing for example. This also could cause arthritis in a long term. And definitely get instructions from a real master in case You are playing/using a wrong wrist/hand/arm/back/body position.

And practicing is like any physical exercise, should start slowly and eventually going to more intense/faster exercises. Can't immediately do a pull off from 5rd fret to 12th ;)

You can use a bandage and some unguent/ointment after playing before go sleep.

All the best with the band!


Sounds like basic tendinitis. Your tendons are probably a little raw from all the practice before the gig. A little rest, ice and tylenol / ibuprofen should help. I usually rest or do a very light practice the night before a gig.


When you do something physical for an unusually long time, you will get tired and/or sore. Maybe consult a teacher to check you aren't making it worse with bad posture. Try to relax anything that CAN be relaxed while playing. Again a teacher can advise.

But if you suddenly decide to run a marathon, you must expect blisters on your feet. You knew that really, didn't you?


Play less.

Some ways you can prepare while not having your bass strapped on:

  1. Memorize anything you need to: lyrics, chord progressions, etc.
  2. Listen to rehearsal recordings (you should always make them), figure out what's good and what's not, take notes.
  3. Practice any singing separately, if you have any.
  4. If you have any rhythmic coordination issues (tricky bass rhythm, different rhythms in vocal and bass line), you can often sort those out just by e.g. tapping on a table.
  5. Mentally practice: literally run through what you're going to play in your head. A whole song, or a tricky passage, whatever needs it most.

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