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"Chop Building" Exercises?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by The Diaper Geni, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it.

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Admittedly, my "technique" is not all that great. And will prolly never be. Just don't have tons of coordination or fast twitch muscles to pull off fast. I'm pretty much big, tall, uncoordinated and middle aged.

    BUT, I am looking to build some "technique" (speed/agility/playing more cleanly) over and above what I've got now.

    Any resources you guys know about? Maybe something that I can work into my daily warm-up routine?
  2. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
  3. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    The key is to be able to stay relaxed while you're playing. The minute you tense up you'll struggle to do anything fast. It's hard to tell sometimes though whether you choked because you were tense, because you're so busy concentrating on playing.

    Make a point of stopping yourself and asking 'Did I choke on that because I wasn't relaxed?', and try it again slower so you can feel how it is to play it relaxed.
  4. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it.

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
  5. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    IMO the "Bass Aerobics" book is much better. The exercises are longer, much more musical, and fun to play.

    However, neither book will tell you about technique. The exercises in the "Aerobics" book are quite fast. How I approach them is I use a metronome at a slow comfortable tempo and play the piece, making sure each note sounds clear and my playing is smooth and relaxed. When I nail it at this tempo, I increase it by about five BPM and so on until I can play along with the CD comfortably.

    Make sure to warm up with gentle stretches first. ;)
  6. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it.

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Thanks for the insight!

    I understand your comment about technique. I already have decent (not fantastic) technique (hand positions, etc). Just looking to improve on it with some speed, agility, precision, clean-ness. If that makes sense?

    "Technique" is one of those words that can mean soooo many things and is sooooo subjective. Or is it objective?? I can never remember. :confused:

    And yeah, stretching is important. I run a lot and believe me, I know the importance and the power of stretching! Especially as I close in on 50. I've found, as time marches on, my muscles need more time to be stretched before/after a long/hard run, or of that matter, before/after a decent practice/gig.

    Also, and it sounds like preaching but, along with stretching, good diet, hydration and some decent exercise go a looooong way towards warding off injuries associated with playing the bass.
  7. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I'd go with Todd Johnson's "Technique Builder" book and/or video. It offers a very good spa of technical issues to deal with and Todd's instruction is excellent.
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I like the Bass Fitness book, haven't tried the Aerobics one. It is true that it doesn't necessarily really teach technique per se. You can run through the exercises with poor technique, heck, I probably am. What it does do is build accuracy, speed, and finger independence. I think those are worth it.
  9. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    This is the key. In my younger days we all read Timothy Galway's "The Inner Game of Tennis". The book deals with focusing your mental energy on the task at hand and freeing you body to do the work. Barry Green, an world class bassist brought Galway to the conservatory at Cincinnati for a talk that was quite illuminating. Later Barry wrote "The Inner Game of Music" and I think that might be more on point than the tennis book. Either way, the message is the same; focus on the task.