Originally Posted by truecanadian04
I was just told by my band that I shouldn't have to warm up before we jam. They said I should be ready at all times. How do you feel about that?
Well that's (at least for me) a bunch of crap! I play fast, and I play hard on my strings, so I need strength and speed from my muscles. A couple of our fastest songs are in the beginning of the usual setlist.
Years back I thought so, too. Just go on stage, play a bit, it will all be fine. But looking back at videos from that time now, it was everything but tight and I can see why. Muscles are not warmed up, I can see how I have to fight cramping of fingers until the muscles are really warmed up (but of cause wrongly warmed up). I am left-handed but play right-handed, so I have to fight a contineous handycap concerning natural strength-balance between my left and my right hand, anyway.
Since a couple of years, I always warm up (gigs, rehearsal, jams...) - but I know now that making music at the "not-semi-professional-but-no-amateur-either" level requires fitness. I stopped smoking 2 years ago and I go to the gym 4 times a week (not only for making music, of cause - I also want to be fit in general
). Warming up is a very very important thing to do - if your hobby is cycling or jogging, you also warm up, right? Playing any instrument seriously requires a bunch of movement, so your muscles need to warm up. Ask any first-year sports-student at your local university, it's the first thing they learn!
In my band, we all warm up a couple of minutes. Everybody has his own kind of movement-combinations for a couple of minutes, then we jam 5 minutes to get the feeling - and then we go!
From Talkbass I learned some special warming-up methods and daily trainings for more strength and speed in your under-arms and fingers, which also makes a world of a difference (I asked a couple of personal trainers at my gym, but none can show you training methods for your fingers ;-) )
PS: Watch some concert-DVDs with extras (every Iron Maiden DVD will do). Watch youtube movies "behind the stage". Every band that tries to work seriously does warming-up sessions. Heck, Metallica has an own rehearsal room backstage :-)