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Any Suggestions from experienced players?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Braindead302, Jan 6, 2001.

  1. Braindead302


    Jan 5, 2001
    Hey everyone,

    Just a question, do you guys know of any exercises i can do on my bass to improve my speed/accuracy/endurance. My right forearm gets quite tired after I play for a little while, it might be because my band plays fast stuff, i don't know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. W.J.


    Oct 31, 2000
    play , play , play ... BUT..
    don't force yourself and maybe , maybe you can set your action lower so you don't have to put all your energy into fingerpicking OR ... just turn up your volumekob :D:D:D
    it would help too , you know ...
  3. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Chromatic exercises and scales while your watching the tube. It will all come in time...
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Where do you "wear" your bass? High, low, or average? The position could make a difference in the comfort you feel in your forearm. Experiment with a different position to see if it improves the situation. Also, are you tense when you play? I had that problem as a beginner. I would tense up so much that my fingers and wrist would just ache. Someone finally called my attention to how tense I looked. I hadn't even realized it. When I made a conscious effort to loosen up, it made a tremendous diffrence in my comfort and endurance.

    Jason Oldsted
  5. I believe that tension is the problem, not how high or low your bass is. I used to suffer from the sore right forearm thing, then a fabulous guy by the name of Jeff Berlin said you're playing too hard, relax. Now I play very soft, the soreness is gone, and my sound improved dramatically. Also, it opened up the door for a more dynamic style. I still play with my right wrist bent at a sharp angle, but it causes no discomfort.

  6. LiNT


    Aug 30, 2000
    well...the song that i learned that REALLY improved my left hand's agility was Anasthesia(Pulling Teeth)...the bass solo thing from Kill 'em All (Metallica)....burton is the man..i love that one...and it opened up alot for me
  7. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    I just got home from a gig. The band I play in plays maybe once every couple of months, we're not that active. I am BEAT UP. I have the same forearm problem. My thought tonight was I need to practice more standing up. FWIW. And I second the relaxation suggestion by Jason. I was so tense my whole body aches. Hard to relax though when you don't play in front of people that much.
  8. Deceased Cerebrum -

    I'd put my money on 3 things that have already been pointed out to you. Where you wear the bass, and if you tense up when you play.

    If you wear the bass particularly high or low, try going to a more "middle" area, I usually recommend that the average player put the average sized bass (say a Fender J or P) so that the bottom of the body rests at about their waist. Then try to keep your right elbow elevated just a bit, so that your wrist is fairly straight (I'm assuming that you're a fingerstyle player...?).

    Tension is a big problem for many players, and not just newbies. Try to relax, but don't TRY, if you follow me, just kinda "do it". Another part of all this relaxing stuff is to breathe normally when you play, if you hold your breath for anything, you will always tense up, bad stuff that.

    Finally, like someone else pointed out, the more you play, the more endurance you'll develop. It's the same as a guy that runs the 100 yard dash trying to do a marathon if you're not practicing a lot then you go do a 3 hour rehearsal or gig. Your muscles and tendons just aren't up for that kind of exertion if you're not keeping them in proper shape for that kind of workout.

    Good luck.
  9. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    This is a book I found helpful: "Bass Fitness" by Josquin des Pres Pub.Hal Leonard ISBN D-7935-0248-9
  10. polo3378


    Nov 21, 2000
    Man...Bass Fitness is a great book, and at the same time, is punishment. But boy is it worth it. Go out and buy it.
  11. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Try doing some breathing exercises or something before you play to help you loosen up. Just take deep breaths, you know. It helps to relax you and slow down your heart rate. The best part about playing relaxed is that not only do you hurt yourself less often, but you also sound much better. So try breathing deeply before you go on to perform and try to take your mind off the crowd, if stage fright is your problem. Just look "through" them, like you're looking at one of those 3D pictures things that used to be in style a few years back (what the Hell happened to those, man?).

    Also, definitely mess with your strap. I'm constantly fighting with mine to find a perfect balance for my LEFT hand posture. Bass position also affects your right hand, though.

    And Gard, man... what's the deal with stealing Kung Fuqua's bit? You know he's the only one who's allowed to call people funky names. ;)

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