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A great Way To Warm Up

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fergie Fulton, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    One of the most frequent question i get asked is about warm up and there benifits, basicaly "are they worth it"?

    Well the answer is yes because they are a preventative measure to minimilise damage and aid any performance to come by preparing the body and a benchmark to ability. That benchmark to ability is an important one because players abilities vary due to daily life, your body and in particular the hands and fingers may not be up to what you want them to do.....this time. Just as we get tired and run down so does our hands, they may not be up for that 3 hrs show tonight.

    Then you need a good warm up routine, something that you repeat everytime you pick up the bass to play. 5-10 min. is more than long enough but you must repeat it everytime.

    By virtue of repeating the warm up everytime you will get to know your hands and how healthy they are. When you repeat the same routine you will have a bench mark to gauge your capabilities. Any tiredness or injury will show up here because you will know how well you should be doing the warm up from previous experience. Aches pains, twinges etc., that where not there before if they show up now then you can question why?

    A good quick warm up and a great fun exercise is Alphabetic warms ups, that is to write your name and address on the neck through the all four strings at about the 7th fret.
    This will take a little time to work out and finger at first but once you have it your away, it will give your hands a good warm up that can be repeated and used as a bench mark to your playing. Again because it is personal to you it is easy remembered, i like players to use name and adress but it could easly be a line from a song, or a phrase like,

    A good warm up helps my hands stay healthy

    Anything really that helps, is simple to remember and the player relates to.
    Think how the letters would appear computer fashion across all four strings using the frets as marker points to corners or changes in direction.
    Play the notes as you would write them..so an M would be from a players perspective of looking down, so upside down to any one looking on( you can do it either way)

    D -----------Gb------G string
    A--Bb----C---Db-----D string
    E-----Gb-----Ab-----A string
    B------------Eb------E string


    a G would be

    D--Eb---E--------G string
    A-------B--------D string
    E---F---Gb-------A string
    B---C---Db-------E string


    and so on.

    Like i said play it as you would write it and finger it one finger one fret, no barring allowed, hence the idea to be up around the 7th fret, go higher if need be.
    On the M
    i start on the B and go up the 7th fret to the D the back down on the angle to the Gb then up on the angle to the Gb then down the 11th fret to the Eb.

    On the G
    I start on the B up 9th fret to the E then to the D down the
    7th fret to the b along to the Db up to the Gb then to the F.
    It will be all chromatic and across sting fingering so it is your imagination on how you picture the letters or word you use.

    Again by virtue of using one finger per fret you have to use all the fingers on the fretting hand, four strings four fingers. How you travelling up and down the neck will depend on how you see the letters being written.
    I like to stretch them out as it is more of a workout in the dexterity for the fingerings so do not worry about uniform size its just a bit of healthy fun.
    I have worked out all the alphabet and numerals and use it to help players how want a quick fun warm up or use it as part of a more structured exercise plan in dexterity away from a pure music based structure, which it also helps as a good foundation for if you wish to apply it there..a win win situation on all accounts.:)
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Hi Fergie,

    I think the idea of a warm up thread is a great one, and depending on how it goes, maybe it could be stickied.

    However, I'm not completely sure I understand the concept of the above exercise (e.g. how the notes you mention can represent "M" ). :bag:
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    It a visual thing i use face to face but thought i try and represent it here but the graphics don't support it well.
    But if you look at the first example you will see the letter M in there and the same in the second separate example about G.

    Write the letter M down and look at how you done it, in my case i start at D and play D-E-A-B to form the line down at the 7th fret. Then back up that line B-A-E-D to start the diagonal of Bb-Gb-C-Gb, which is the little v in the M, then the line down of Gb-Db-Ab-Eb at the 11th fret for the last line down.
    When played as you would write them you have the letter M. It is one flowing movement to achieve this.
    They are just visual representions of letters and numbers on the fretboard to engage the hand and brain so you have to see them, they are there trust me, so its a great warm up.:D
  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    LOL just went to make a picture of it and of course it is up-side down if you view it from the front. The letters are to the players perspective of looking down, not looking at it, so the M looks like a W when viewed from the front. Sorry mate like i said it is a one to one lesson used so i now have learned a usefull point about how it should be written it out if it is to be explained to others in a written form. Sorry for the confusion i will tackle it again with some pictures in a moment. It is viewed looking down from the players perspective.:D
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Sorry mate i have no time to photo it up but i will do and post a picture of it. i have ammended the OP to show that it is infact from the players perspective of looking down and named the strings to help. Again sorry for the confusion i will make up some pictures to help make it clearer, hope the ammendments help?:confused: LOL
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Thanks for that explaination Fergie. I think the penny has dropped now. :D

    I'll give it a try before my next practice session.
  7. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    I use something easier to remember, and, frankly, less complicated. For my 5, I use a B minor 2-octave ascending run.
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota

    I have now added pictures to the OP

    Great stuff with you warm up and stick to it if it works for you, but what i offer its not complicated to do, only to try and explain LOL,...and without visuals... as it is a visual co-ordination exercise that engages the brain i have added pictures to better show the idea.
    It also give you lines and progression not other wise found in music, so the dexterity needed to make these exercises flow is some what greater to "keep out your own way".

    It takes less that a minute to explain and demonstrate so again i apoligise for the confusion of the original post and hope the new info make it clearer.:)
  9. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Clear as a bell now, Fergie !

    Thanks for going to the trouble to post pics. :)
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    No probs, i have discovered that my brain sorts it out for me to be the correct way to read, so when i view it being played i can see it from the players perspective.
    The idea is its just some fun that can give some serious results to playing technique in a warm up, by virtue of being easily repeatable, dexterity exercises, again it gives you shapes to play not readly associated in conventional playing.
    Because it give you new shapes it will then give you more complicated and varied movements to play, so repeditive strain injuries can be reduced by the introduction of new movements on a different plane that normaly associated with playing the bass.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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