had a scary one the other night...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TNT, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. TNT


    Jan 18, 2005
    :help: Hey all.

    This thread is really aimed at talking endurance and stamina technique. I play in a punky covers band, and while I consider myself to be a more than competent fast finger player, some of the stuff we play is just way too fast to get any sort of decent attack on the strings, but enough of that.

    Gigging Sunday night, and as always, halfway through first set my pick is slipping around, but worse, sometimes, my right playing hand just kind of gives up, and will barely move,my fingers seem to freeze. whats going wrong? Also, for second set, I thought, `fingers only` bar one or two songs, and this time my index finger `locked` into a clenched position for about two minutes, and I could not move it whatsoever. That was a hairy experience, in the middle of ` too drunk too f...` let me tell you.

    It righted itself eventually, but it left me thinking, whats going on here? I dont pussy around with my bass, and I do hit it, am I going too much? do i need some `stamina` techniques? strings? volume levels?

    Your help and comments are appreciated in advance my friends.

    Tech bit:- using a Fender Geddy jazz, 40-100 Gauge, dunlop nylon 1mm pick.

    Cheers all

  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    You may be cramping like an athlete! Definitely get plenty of fluids... Seriously, look at how hard you're working on a gig... They call it playing, but it can be physically demanding. If I don't hydrate, I cramp...

  3. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    If you're cramping you may have to lighten up.

    Some guys abslutely hate to have to do that, but there may be no other choice.

    As you grow older, your hands will be less and less tolerant of extended periods of hard playing.

    Maybe turn yourself up so you can play lighter and still hear yourself well.
  4. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    Is your forearm pumping up at the same time? If it is than thats the cause.

    I have noticed myself getting arm pump from being real tense while playing. But it usually happens in my left arm causing my fingers in my fretting hand to lock up. It has happened in my right hand to but not as bad.

    Try to relax and watch your technique. I found myself squeezing the pick really hard and moving only my wrist while holding the bass body down with my fore arm. This was happening when I played near the bridge.

    I learned to relax while playing and it pretty much went away. I still get a little in my left hand if I have been playing for a couple of hours and I start getting sloppy.
  5. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Thoroughly stretch your fingers out before you play. Works...
  6. TNT


    Jan 18, 2005
    Thanks to all who replied there,..

    I have lots to work with there, and I will heed all the advice.

    Thanks again, appreciated.

  7. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    Try adopting a 3 finger technique. It'll lessen the wear on your fingers. Though, you'll have to work at it harder because your ring finger is reluctant to being used as hard as the other two. But overall you will be much happier with the increase of speed.
  8. Dell


    Apr 7, 2005
    Maybe you can look into where you can "dumb down" you're playing to make it simpler where nobody will notice. Its what I had to do, I just couldnt physicaly move around so much on stage and play everything I had written when sitting on a couch in my living room without getting so physicaly drained I couldnt move my hand fast enough. 9 times out of ten nobody but the other bass players in the room will notice anyway, and who wants to impress them ay? :p

    Put the good stuff on record, and go for "impression" live perhaps?
  9. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    1.drink lot's of WATER before and while you play 2.warm up before you play,a few scales and a little streching helps alot 3. lighten up with your right hand,getting a good set up on your bass help with this too.4.RELAX while your playing 5.if this is a constant problem, eat a bananna before you play,the potasseum helps with cramps
  10. powerslave

    powerslave Guest

    Feb 24, 2005
    United States
    same thing happened to me just over a year ago, i wasn't drinking enough water, streching, and i was playing to tense. try to allways play with the same pick force but turn up so you don't have to work so hard. you'll notice a lot of punk bass players look like they are really working hard, most of the time its an illusion because of the energy they have in they're playing; you can make it look like it, without doing it.

    :bassist: look at the shiney bass :hyper:
  11. i find that not working out provides a lot less stress for my arms, making it easy for me to play with a pick. but i'm fat now, and trying to figure out how to keep both going. i read in a newspaper 6 small meals a day helps along with 15 minutes of jumping jacks in the morning, but A i'm lazy, and B i manage to overeat in the morning
  12. This is an interesting thread. I suffer from exactly the same thing during particularly fast songs and I do play quite heavily too which exascerbates the problem.

    I've seen it stated elsewhere that the blood supply to the hands can be insufficent to oxygenate the muscles during strenuous activity. If this is a possibility then I don't suppose smoking helps (which I do) as it restricts the blood supply to the extremities.

    But I'll be trying some of the suggestions given here.