January 14, 2022 at 7:05 pm #1551
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?January 16, 2022 at 12:11 am #1552
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.January 16, 2022 at 6:17 pm #1553
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?January 16, 2022 at 11:57 pm #1554
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.January 17, 2022 at 9:10 am #1555
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.January 17, 2022 at 5:32 pm #1556
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.February 8, 2022 at 6:25 am #1577Ken In DallasParticipant
Two things that I do in a dry-Winter environment: 1. I lightly Vasoline my fingers and wipe them dry before playing. It completely changes the touch enabling lighter finger pressures due to better closures. Sometimes too much pressure results in unexpected gaps. 2. Though I can play my Aulos Bass without a neck strap or other support, it requires greater pressure due to the fingertips doing double duty both closing the holes and holding up the instrument. My neck strap permits my bass playing with a very light touch… and greater speed. Best of luck — k
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