do you warm up before you play?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mara, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. everytime

    46 vote(s)
  2. sometimes

    19 vote(s)
  3. never

    7 vote(s)
  1. Mara


    Jan 11, 2001
    Just out of curiosity, how many of us actually warms up before practising/gigging? Stretching

    fingers, playing scales, string skipping, etc...

    What sort of warm up do you do?
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    if you don't warm up before you play you run the risk of injury. furthermore, your first few songs will be your "warm up" and the performance will suffer accordingly.
  3. in a way i warm up before practicing: I play the easy songs first, but if planning to play something complex first I warm up... alot: string skipping, chromatics etc.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I always warm up, with an emphasis on careful stretching. Then some 1-2-3-4 exercises and arpeggios, and some stretched fingering (5 frets) exercises.
  5. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    On electric bass I warm up for a few minutes. I do scales up and down using all fingers starting slow and speeding up. I do them without stopping until I can start to 'feel it' then I stop a little and do it again. I usually don't warm up at all for practicing.
    On double bass it's essential to warm up anytime you plan on attempting to play any kind of real music so I always warm up there.
  6. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I always do. I usually start out with a chromatic scale and playing scales with different intervallic variations then I play a couple of exercises that are in a book I have
  7. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA

    Before I begin my practicing day, after tuning up, I always shake my hands out (gets the acid flowing...I keep forgetting what it's called). Then I play some scales. I was playing through the cycle of 5ths, 2 octaves up and down, but now I've changed to modes, still going through the cycle of 5ths, but I'll do 1 or 2 scales a day, going through all the modes of that scale. It gets my fingers working and my teacher long ago suggested this to warm up b/c I was always coming into lessons with cold hands and he told me I should go through the scales right before I leave for my lesson. So it's become a habit.

    JT is right. If you don't warm up you are risking injury. I used to take dancing classes when I was little and it was crucial to warm-up. I mean, it only makes sense, right? You don't go running or play sports without stretching first, right?
  8. savagelucy


    Apr 27, 2002
    sometimes i do 10 or so push-ups before playing, if my hands are cold, i guess it gets the blood flowing, or something. :D

    but actually playing a do string skipping and stretch exercise, so my fingers are nice and limber.;)
  9. If I'm gigging, I will usually warm up at home/backstage where no one can see me, with the amp on low. I play a fretless, and have found it helps my tone, and precision if I warm up like most brass/reed instruments do, with long slow notes. Than I'll run through a few scales/arpeggios/chromatics and melodies of the songs we're doing that night.

    Right before the show, (when most of my band is warming up, and there are people present) I might do chromatic scales, but its mostly for show and to psych myself out (I still get nervous before gigs, so I have to be constantly doing something.)
  10. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I SHOULD warm up. I think I'll start doing push ups and shaking the hands, that seems like a good idea.

    I remember last practice I was at I guess I played for too long and my hand started hurting. However, the practice was more important, so when practice was over, I couldn't really move my hand without it hurting and some muscle in my arm swelled up real bad. It hurt and took 2 weeks to recover. I was pissed.
  11. When I warm up, I usually do some scales, slap/pop octaves and different types of spider drills.
  12. Sanger

    Sanger Guest

    Feb 15, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    To me warming up is on the literal level - I warm up my hands if they're cold, or I can't move them round the fretboard or pluck the strings nearly as fast as when they're warm. I also just play around the board a few times, just to see what kind of volume I have and make sure I'm plugged may laugh, but it's saved me embarassment on more than one occasion :D
  13. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Yep, if i'm on a gig. at home, not really, don't need to.
  14. Yeah, I usually start with something slow, perhaps scales and fingering exercises. When I play horns I'm a tone junkie so I spend a lot of time to make sure I get the sound I want, so I'm used to it. If the room's cool at all, my hands just get stiff, so I have to anyway.
  15. Yes, of course. Next question please..

    (that was an easy one ):)
  16. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    I always warm up with some scales, then I'll just start adding speed and feel.
    I have a acquired a habit of washing my hands just before I play as well. It makes sense that the hot water would help me warm up and my fingers arent as slipery. It has also become a mental thing, when I forget to wash my hands right before I play, I seem play awfull.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I wash my hands and, time permitted, may play a little on the bass. I use a pretty light touch so even if I don't warm-up it hasn't been an issue. The main thing I try to do is get there early enough to relax before starting.
  18. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    i do warm up before practicing with a band or on my own. and absolutely before any gig. i do so by playing thorugh some scales and increasing tempos. i also do a few dexterity exercises that i learned when i first started playing.

    i think the most unique thing about my warming up is yoga. i go through some different routines before a gig somewhere backstage. you guys should really try it, freeing your mind and getting a good, even stretch throughout your body really improves my playing and keeps me at peace.

  19. As a drummer I warm up every time. I have to. If I hit the kit cold my time sucks, my feel sucks, my hands are tight, my ankles are tight, etc., etc.

    I've taken the same habit to bass and it works for me. You would never see a horn player playing cold. You have to get your head into your instrument.

    JT hit it right on the mark. If you don't, your first few songs will be your warm up, and they will sound like it.