Sore left thumb

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Dick Mattson January 17, 2022 at 5:32 pm.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #1551

    David Wright
    Participant

    My left thumb gets sore when playing ‘pinched’ notes, at the left corner of the nail. I’ve carefully trimmed and smoothed the nail but hasn’t really helped. My Aulos bass has sharp edges to the thumb hole which may aggravate things, but I’m very reluctant to smooth the edges as it can’t be reversed!
    I had chemo 18 months ago and I wonder if this may have left my skin a bit delicate.
    Any suggestions as to what I could try?

    #1552

    Dick Mattson
    Participant

    You might try the technique of playing the “half hole” with the pad of your thumb instead of with the nail. It’s a widely accepted way of doing it.

    #1553

    David Wright
    Participant

    Thanks for this. I’ve tried various thumb positions but they haven’t helped. The problem is the pressure between the flesh and the edge of the nail along the left side of the thumb. The rather sharp edge of the thumb-hole seems to aggravate this.
    My Aulos bass seems particularly critical over the thumb position playing a top D when played ‘cold’, or from a note in the lower register. When approached from the C just below there’s no problem at all!
    Would it be detrimental to smooth the edges of the thumb-hole slightly?

    #1554

    Dick Mattson
    Participant

    I have two thoughts for you.
    1) Is it possible that you’re squeezing way to hard with your thumb? Perhaps with both thumbs? Try lightening up the pressure and simply make contact.
    2) Smoothing the outer edge of the thumb hole shouldn’t have any negative impact on the response of the instrument as long as you don’t overdo it.

    #1555

    David Wright
    Participant

    Thanks. You may well be right about squeezing hard. I find it difficult to control the very small gap without some pressure. I only took up the instrument a couple of years ago and much of that time it’s been idle thanks to Covid. Some careful practice needed.
    I’ll try some very gentle smoothing.

    #1556

    Dick Mattson
    Participant

    BTW, I checked several of my recorders when I was practicing this morning. All of them have the thumb and finger holes with slightly rounded (not sharp) edges. None of the edges feel sharp when I touch them with normal contact pressure.

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