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endurance/stamina/strength training?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by aaguudis, Jun 29, 2002.

  1. aaguudis


    Apr 3, 2001
    what would yall recommend working on for some endurance?
  2. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Can you be a bit more specific?
  3. aaguudis


    Apr 3, 2001
    endurance meaning being able to play for more than just a short while without hands and arms becoming fatigued and fingers being blistered. i know the obvious answer is "practice." im wonder if there are some certain things i can practice that will help in this area.
    if the three main practice areas of DB are theory/notes, intonation/technique, and just being able to play the damn thing, i need the most help on the latter.

  4. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Gary Peacock has this video out called the Acoustic Bass, you can even find it on ebay, I'd like to mention the video because he wants to bring our attention to our body awareness when we practice, being that we are talking about endurance I thought that to be very important, since it could mean more phisical effort.
    Also I'd like to add that I experiment with different string height and the other day my strings were very high and I played a piano trio gig, the sound was so good that I felt very comfortable with that height, but if I am playing in very noise places it feels like no matter how hard you hit that bass nothing comes out, so with only few tunes you find yourself tired and probably your body is all tense.
  5. Heck, if your back doesn't kill as well (as mine did when I started), you must be doing something right!
  6. I think improving endurance comes from improving the ability to play as relaxed as possible. I have seen some jazz drummers who can play up a storm and do not even appear to be sweating. When I ask them about it, they say they practice playing as relaxed as possible.
    Reiska likes this.
  7. *****In college, I was taught circuit training in physical education class by a Hungarian gym professor, which helps athletes improve their speed, strength and endurance. This approach might help you as applied to double bass practicing.
    *****For sports, it works in the following manner:
    --1) You pick 10 calisthenic exercises, for example jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, etc.
    --2) Then let's say you decide you can do a routine of 20 repetitions of each exercise, going from 20 repetitions of each exercise without stopping to take a rest until you have done 20 repetitions of all 10 exercises.
    --3) Baseline Time: Now you maybe need a buddy to time you with a stopwatch in order to see how fast you can do the entire routine of 10 exercises 20 repetitions each. That time becomes your "Baseline time". Let's suppose your baseline time is 15 minutes.
    --4) Target Time: Now each day you do your circuit training exercise routine, you see if you can cut your overall baseline time down. Let's say you want your "target time" to be 10 minutes.
    --5) When you reach your 10 minute target time, you could then add 5 repetitions of each exercise, so that you are now going to do all 10 exercises for 25 repetitions each without stopping for a rest.
    --6) You now need to ask your buddy to time you doing the 10 exercises for 25 repetitions each to obtain a new "Baseline time".
    --7) Now you continue doing your "circuit training" routine as fast as possible until you can do all 10 exercises for 25 repetitions each for a target time of 10 minutes.
    *****You will see that this is a fantastic way to increase your speed, strength and endurance, because what you used to be able to do in 15 minutes for 20 repetitions each, you are soon doing for 25, 30, 40, etc., repetitions each. Hence, you are doubling your speed and endurance.
    +++++What would members of this board recommend as a good group of 10 exercises to play for a circuit training routine for the double bass?
    BlueAliceOasis likes this.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I know it's a bit late, but I bought this video a while ago as I saw it and remembered it being mentioned - but I really don't like it and find it very frustrating and vague. Theonly thing it taught me was that, great bass player that he is, I wouldn't want Gary peacock as teacher. He would really annoy me - but then I can see this is personal taste and maybe it all meant something, to other people?
  9. Karl


    Sep 9, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    I had this problem in a very extreme way the last couple of weeks. I changed string tension from soft to medium, just to check out how it sounds and feels and everything, and since I am a working musician I was used to play up to 6 hrs/day with the soft strings and had rehearsals and gigs of that length already made clear and found my hands aching after about 1hr of practicing with the harder strings.
    So what I did was brain-training instead of trying to get my fingers harder by just fatigueing them everyday, taking a bit longer evey day.

    So the training thing is: tense your arms, right up to the fingers, clearly feel the tension then say "relax" and at once totally relax everything except your legs so you dont fall. Do this a couple of times. With the relaxed feeling start playing, preferably something you tend to have most tense on ("swing hard" :) ). If you feel the tension being somewhere in your arms, may it be shoulder, forearms, finger-muscles or hands loudly say "relax" without stopping to play and feel the same amount of relaxation that you did without the bass. At the beginning you will be likely not to have enough pressure to make the tones sound, but you will figure out after a while, just like you will figure out to think "relax" having the same effect without having to say it loudly.
    This way I grew able to play those gigs and rehearsals pretty OK, though not perfect.

    Hope this is helpful.
    M0ses and BlueAliceOasis like this.
  10. Interesting and valuable thread, IMO. I agree with the importance of relaxing. However, the ability to relax must come after an accumulation of strength. One can relax if he has the strength to spare to play what he wants to play. A beginning bassist with no strength cannot relax, nothing will happen. So it seems to me one has to introduce just enough tension *while practicing* to build up his stregth - gradually, and through repetitive exercises. But to try to progress too rapidly, you might introduce too much tension and be counterproductive. This is why we really have to be "in tune" with our bodies. The circuit training idea sounds sensible, and I'm sure there are many variations of that concept that people have used.

  11. stagger lee

    stagger lee

    Jul 11, 2004
    i've been working from a book by john petrucci to build up my technique on guitar and there's a good little section on endurance in it.

    it came from football training where the players would do endurance training so they could last a whole match and not be too tired and it works well on guitar and bass.

    play an 8th note pattern for a few measures at a tempo you're comfortable at. after around 8 bars break into a bar or 2 of sextuplets then back to the 8th note pattern.

    it's the musical equivelant of jogging around the pitch then sprinting down one side of it.

    the method i use to stay comfortable when playing is to always practice at a faster tempo than i'll need to play at. this way you're always playing in your comfort zone and never on the limits of your technique.
  12. Assuming you can do so without mistakes.

    ...OTB, SWF, TNT...
  13. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    It has occurred to me, after quite a few years, is that a lot of the physical aspect of bass playing involves figuring out which muscles NOT to use.
    M0ses likes this.
  14. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Endurance and lack of blisters comes from playing a lot.
    With other people.
  15. Fur Shure. And this is where it is especially important to channel the adrenalin energy (which doesn't exist to the same extent in the practice room) to the right places so you don't tense up.
  16. I would think arm workouts would help too, no? Because I just started and I feel a bit of tiredness in my left forearm just from holding it up. Nothing draining, but still very much felt.

    Then to get strength in the fingers one would just practice, right? Sorry for the 12 year bump btw.