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How much practice is to much

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by joel406, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    My band is getting the final line up of players in place. We plan on starting our tour in January. Being the bass player I find myself eager and wanting to get this show on the road. I can't keep my hands off my bass. I have practiced at least 4 hours so far today. Possibly 5 or more yesterday. Mind you these are not solid stretches. I take 20 minute or so breaks here and there. But even after I post this I'm strapping back up for at least another 45 minutes to an hour.

    Is it possible to practice too much?

    How much ibuprofen is safe to take in a day?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ibuprofen? 800mg 4 times a day.

    That being said, if you're practicing enough to need Ibuprofen it's too (not "to") much.

    Go for a walk with the songs you are working on playing through your ear buds. Visualize yourself playing them. That is every bit as effective as physically practicing in some cases.
    jallenbass and MrLenny1 like this.
  3. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I do just that(not the ibuprofen). I also make CD's and listen in the car.
  4. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Fixed it....too
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If it causes pain, it's too much. The last thing you need is to cause permanent injury - it can, and does happen (tell one of my guitarists - carpal tunnel) Back off, and slowly build up.
    fretter and Groove Master like this.
  6. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There's a point of diminished return. I'm betting you reach it long before four to five hours.
    fearceol, ZenG and saltydude like this.
  7. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Oh god...

    Maybe I should break for the night.

    What's on tv these days?
  8. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Tron is on HBO.
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  9. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Bleeding from your ears and fingertips=stop.
    RoadRanger likes this.
  10. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    Yup for me it happens right around the hour and 1/2 mark.
    As much as we want to rock out to our most comfortable favorite jams, focus on the material with the highest level of difficulty first.
    There's something to be said for taking lengthy breaks as well. For daily hardcore practicers, a few days can feel like weeks. Your rested hands and jam withdrawals can sometimes transform you into magician than can conjure up playing that will surprise you.
  11. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Also remember to warm up and stretch your hands, fingers and wrists before and after playing.

    Try do a search for hand exercises on google or YouTube and plenty will come up.

    What I personally do is using some pretty simple exercises I picked up from a Yoga book:

    1. First hold your arm stretched out, close your fist hard together then slowly but without tension open it up to full stretched fingers, do this 10-20 times, preferably in the same rhythm that you breath, which will also strengthen your awareness of your hand's movements.

    2. Now open your fist to an open flat hand (not with the fingers stretched out from each other) and slowly tilt your wrist up and down 10-20 times.

    4. Now close your fist again and do the same movement as in the second point for the same amount.

    5. Finally hold your hand closed and rotate your wrists about 10 times first clockwork and then counter clockwork.

    Preferably you do this one hand a time from 1-5, and eventually if needed you can support your working hand/arm by the elbow with your other hand/arm while doing point 5.

    This is really simple but works really well, and if you use it in conjunction with your breathing as suggested it will even help you to sort of get into a meditative state as well meaning you will obtain more focus and relax better.

    At least those exercises always helped me.

    When that is said you are practicing way too much, and as someone said you would risk permanently damaging your hands/fingers and/or wrists if you continue.

    Painkillers makes the pain (symptoms) go away, not the course!

    The exercise above should help you to be able to go longer than normally before experiencing pain though.

    Finally some sort of wrist protector can be helpful too, if you are experiencing pain in your wrists when playing.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    vishalicious likes this.
  12. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    In the NFL they don't practice full speed every day. There's a reason for that. You don't want to be exhausted or worse, injured on game day.
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    So, no day job or children, then. :D

    How much do you practice reliably each day?
    It's not about occasional marathons but daily sprints
    15 minutes every day will trump 5 hours on a weekend.
    It's all about nurturing the habit.

    I should listen to my own advice...
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Never enough practice on your own.
  15. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    Ever tour before? Don't get 'burned out' at home. Know the setlists-do the shows.
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Several years ago I was preparing to audition for a gig I really wanted while working 60-80 hours a week. Since I didn't have the time (or energy) to learn all the songs with bass in hand I listened through ear buds to the material for probably over 100 hours. Acing it and getting the gig was a real "ah hah!" confirmation of what I already knew that having something in my mind's ear is waaaay more important than learning a finger wiggling pattern.
    zenman and vishalicious like this.

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