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Best Way To Build Up Stamina?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MrSexy, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. MrSexy


    Jul 10, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Lately I feel like I have NO stamina. What are some suggestions on how to fix this? I greatly your responses!
  2. ishouldbeking


    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    (might have better luck in the technique forum)

    Otherwise: practice like a maniac! Make those fingers bleed! Drink 12 cups of coffee and hide a catheter bag in your boots!
  3. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    nothing builds stamina like cranking out hours upon hours in the woodshed..

    If you play it, stamina will come..
  4. They make creams for that.
  5. MrSexy


    Jul 10, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    ...shoulda seen that coming. I try playing as much as possible but it seems like I actually like..LOST stamina since last week.

    Woops can someone move this to technique then? Much obliged!
  6. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Just saying "practice" really isn't enough. You have to be doing exercises that work on stamina.

    Here's a great one I learned from Dave Weiner (guitarist for Steve Vai):

    Alternating between your index and middle fingers on your left hand, play this:


    Then slide up 1 fret and come back down, starting with your middle finger on your left hand:


    then slide up another fret, and repeat, starting on your index finger:


    Go up and down the entire neck a few times, quickly but cleanly, using a metronome to build up your speed.

    Then, switch to alternating your middle and ring fingers on your left hand, instead of your index and middle, and go up & down the neck a few times, and then switch to your ring and pinky. Then, alternate your index & ring, index & pinky, and middle & pinky.

    Then, use all four fingers, like this (index, middle, ring, pinky):


    then slide up one fret and come back down, reversing the finger order (to pinky, ring, middle, index):


    and so on, up and down the neck a few times.

    This is what I do to warm up before I play. If you do this at, say 1/16th notes at 100 bpm for 3 minutes without stopping at all, half a dozen times a day, you'll have excellent stamina in no time.

    For an extra workout, get a cheap bass with high action (or raise the action on your bass temporarily) and practice these exercises on that.

    Edit: Aha! I found a video of him showing the same exercise:

  7. gig
  8. Don't you get them emails about Canadian pharmacies?

    Oh well, to be more serious here, I just ordered a book called Bass Fitness (Hal Leonard Publ.) it's probably as close to fitness I have ever been, and I really look forward to it, looks like something you maybe could have a look at as well?


  9. MrSexy


    Jul 10, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    ...Can I fellate you know? Awesome man thanks so much
  10. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    No thanks :smug: and no problem :bassist:
  11. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Yikes 1/16 notes at 100 Bpm. :eek: I've been doing this exercise for a while now at 160 Bpm 1/4 notes. No wonder I'm not increasing speed or stamina.

    Thanks for the wake up call.
  12. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    The only way to get stamina is to play.......for hours.......
    Gig is a good solution :). Nothing like being forced to play for 4 hours regardless of how tired you are.......*whew*. Not to mention the woodsheddng you'll be putting in to get ready for the gig. :)
  13. Traver


    Sep 25, 2007
    Normal working out should also help some, to get your general stamina up, although there's no real substitute for practicing. (I know John Petrucci started working out as well when he started playing guitar, to improve his general stamina)
    But unless you're really anxious to get to virtuoso level, all you really need to do is follow the great tips given by Dave.
  14. 1. Get a copy of Live After Death
    2. Learn how to play all the songs on it.
    3. Play all the way through daily.

    If you are comfortable with that it's probably about as much stamina as you are going to need.
  15. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Practice all the tunes on upright. When you switch back to electric, it will feel like a toy and you can play forever. Found this out quite by accident.
  16. yaniv


    Oct 26, 2006
    i agree about the iron maiden,playing thier songs can REALLY improve your stamina
    start with Murders In The Rue Morgue,then do The Trooper,after that play To Tame A Land and you're ready for anything else (which doesnt include slapping\tapping)
    besides that,try to play for 3-4 hours,with maximum a minute of rest after each hour.this thing really works
  17. RedCoatMonster


    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    My stamina seems to increase if I tire out my hands, then wait about 20 minutes and start playing again, Im fine after that.
  18. lowbass68


    Feb 3, 2008
    +1 to that. Everytime I need to build up stamina I play Maiden.
    After shoveling snow the past two days and breaking up the ice cube at the front of my driveway that the snow plow left(I live in Cleveland), I can barely pick up my bass. :crying:
    Maybe should start a threat: What bass would make the best snow shovel in an emergency.
  19. rochishin


    Jan 23, 2008
    +1 on the Maiden. Also, try playing Metallica's "Disposable Heroes". Works the right hand quite well. Have fun.
  20. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Is the problem mainly with the plucking or fretting hand?

    Well, the trick is of course to play. On the limit to your ability, not above it. Play exercises like the one mentioned earlier in this thread, or check out the stickies for other ones. Start at a speed that are comfortable and speed up gradually. Don't increase the tempo before you're able to keep it for 3-5 minutes.

    If the problem mainly is with your plucking hand, I recommend to try minimizing the movement per pluck - if you're "digging" a lot with your fingers when playing, like I used to do, it will kill your stamina in no time. The exercise in post #1 in the exercise sticky helped me a lot (that's why I wrote it down for others to use as well). Just do it CAREFULLY. It will help you minimize the finger movement, increase your stamina, gain better control over your plucking hand and all this leads to that you're able to cope with higher tempos than before.

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