Alternative Warm Up?
For the last few years I have used the Bass Fitness book by Josquin Des Pres as a warm up in addition to scales in different modes. I usually play one page from each section and gradually increase the tempo on my metronome. This has been great for warming up my fingers before practicing or a gig but it does get a little stale. Are there any similar books out there that will be a good warmup and provide a little different perspective?
That's a good book. If you like it, you'll love Bass Aerobics by Jon Liebman.
See your warm up like this?
If you develop a short workout up about 10mins. and see it like this.
If it is repetitive and familier you can gauge how well your hands are performing and ready for the playing to come.
Your warm up should be a familier routine that you use every time before you play, you should know it inside out.
It is not meant to be interesting as such, what it is, is a warm up, getting the body, hands, and finger muscles loose, getting the blood flowing, and giving you that familier feeling of doing this before.
As such it can relieve tension, because it is familer to you, not any given playing situation. The big thing is if one day you struggle in your warm up, you know something is not right, so it is a benchmark on your usual skill level.
So now you may want to do some additional stretches, take in more fluids, have a energy bar, and try again and see if 'normal service' has returned.
If not then do not over play or strain yourself as your body may not take it, play within yourself.
Warm ups should start easy and gradually build in more, as should warm downs after you have finished playing.
Keep them short and keep them functional, you should not feel tired or sore after a warm up, you should feel ready to play.
Mine is about 5mins and includes stretches, rubs and a few playing exercises of major scales up...minor scales down over a short cycle of 5ths, then some triads, then some arps....and has been for over thirty odd years. :)
Man +1 to that advice! If you're looking to throw in something new or just a general exercise check this out. http://cyberfretbass.com/chops/georg.../playing-fast/
Playing this through the cycle is great. It really gets both hands together and gets you all over the bass. Maybe just choose a small portion of his suggestions to throw into your warmup regimen but as just a general exercise throw this in the bag. It will pay huge dividends. As always, Major, Minor, Dom7, -7b5, minMaj7, Diminished. Same goes for arpeggios.
Just to bring a physiological perspective away from the instrument, don't a lot of drummers do exercises outside of the kit to warm up their muscles? It makes you think if there is any exercises for that sort of thing for bass? Not to hijack the topic, just adding to it. :)
Well then as side bar on that note, My drummer friend showed me a great exercise that has nothing to do with the bass. It strengthens and stretches the wrists and forearms. Put your hands in front of your face like you're praying, now slowly bring your elbows together so that there is contact from the elbows all the way to the tips of your fingers. Bring that position 4 to 6 inches from your face, turn on a metronome, and start clapping but keep your wrists together and fingers straight. Only the finger tips will "clap". Do that with quarters and eighths as slow or as fast as you want. I don't actually know how much benefit it has to us since we don't use anything related to their playing technique but it will strengthen the wrists and forearms.
That also reminds me: Playing double stops is a great tool to add into your warm up bag. As you know, playing any kind of double stops or chords requires some flexibility and strength. At the very end of your warm up play one major scale on one string ( E string ) using double stops and tell me you don't feel totally limber and ready to play anything put in front of you.
Do what Fergie said.
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