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is it ok to practice everyday?.....

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Tree, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Tree


    Apr 14, 2005
    I have read somewhere (can't remember where though??) that you should practice all the days of the week.......exept one
    i was confused with this theroy so i read more......

    'this is to allow the muscles to recuperate from the effort required to play the bass'

    i am not sure if this is true or not, i dont really want to waste a day of practice just to rest, but if its important i will.

    any ideas on this would be really helpful,
    thanks Tay
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    This must be an old wives' tale that I've never heard. If it doesn't hurt, it must be good, right?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I skipped a day's practice on the upright Monday because of a gig, and I'm suffering for it. The stuff that was starting to come very easy before Monday is now difficult again. I probably set myself back 4 days by missing a day. But I can skip a day on the electric bass no problem because I have 30 years experience on it and muscle memory prevents me from faltering. I just have to warm up for a half hour and I'm back where I was.

    I think skipping a day when you're just learning an instrument is going to make it really difficult to develop any proficiency, and I will try not to do that again!
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I try to never play a note unless I'm financially compensated for it. As a result, I haven't practiced in 25 years,

    Sorry, that was facetious :smug: If I were to miss a couple of days' playing, I'd probably notice it for a bit. I think you need to let your hands be your guide. At some point, you should be able to play as much as you like without any physical backlash. If you're inspired to practice something in particular, it's probably best to play it while it's fresh in your mind.

    I actually have two weeks away from the bass this summer, so I'll be able to put this theory to the test. I'll probably be a madman when I get back to work.
  5. Let us know how long it takes for you to "get back in shape," okay? I often miss a day or two of practicing per week - and then feel quite GUILTY about it....
  6. I know or know of a lot of professionals who purposefully won't touch the bass 1 or possibly 2 days a week, and there are times when I'll do the same thing. Orchestra cats, for example, who practice a few hours a day, rehearse, and perform constantly, spending 6-8 hours a day playing the bass need to take time off. If I'm playing a pit gig w/8 or 10 shows a week and I'm also practicing all week I won't go near the bass on Mondays. Come to think of it, I recall reading an article about this very thing in Bass World several years ago.
  7. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    I spent 3 1/2 weeks away from the bass last summer and it took me about two weeks to get back into decent shape, probably closer to two months to get my power and stamina fully back to where they were. I had a few days off a couple of years earlier and I think I was back in shape within a week.

    I always practice daily even if I have long tiresome gigs.

  8. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Then there's always the Professor Harold Hill Method!
  9. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    My experience with this over the decades is that there is definitely a drop in physical prowess. Doesn't take too long to get it back. But I've consistently found a mental freshness to be part of the come-back, too. I think that's a good reason for a little layoff from time to time, too. In a rut? Do something else for a while.

    There's little doubt that DB is among the most physical of instruments, though. You pay for the time off.
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    This is the truest thing I know about learning any musical instrument. That "expectations" part is really hard.
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I like stopping for a day after doing some rigorous practicing several days in a row - stuff that required alot of hand strength. I always feel like my hands are a little stronger after a day or two of rest. Stopping for a week is bad too in the sense that your callouses get weak and the blisters start to come back.

    Odd thing tho: as a kid, I grew up playing piano. After practicing for several days in a row I'd always improve with practice, but also reinforced some bad habits as well. However, I always noticed that if I stopped playing for a day or two, I'd forget a little of what I gained but I would forget most of the bad habits that were accumulated. Keeping that in mind, I don't feel bad if I go for a day without practicing. Maybe i'm just wierd. :smug:
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    nah, don't practice. just soak your hands in warm water for 20 minutes a day...
  13. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I am a big advocate of taking a day now and then to stop playing, and just listen. Find a new recording of a great bassist and identify something about his/her playing you'd like to try for yourself. Then the next day start playing again with new perspective.
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    +1. I don't touch the thing on my days off, which is usually 2-3 days a month. I do intend to get a practice regimen up and running soon :)rolleyes: yeah, right). I usually leave a couple of ukulele laying around for messing around with, and that's what gets played at home for the most part. I like to listen to Cirrus radio's jazz stuff, just to get my ass kicked by the real guys. Come back to work inspired, y'know.
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    So do the pro's soak their hands for 8 hours a day? Some of us can only soak for about 20 minutes to an hour a day. :D

    I forget that on an off day, unless I'm on a trip somewhere or busy being social, I'm working on transcriptions even tho I'm not playing bass. :)
  16. Tree


    Apr 14, 2005
    wow! i never expected so many people to reply, thank so much, I will defanitly take all of that into account. i understand where you are coming from because I play trumpet aswell as bass and if i miss a day of practice i loose a lot of strength in the mucles surrounding my lips and my range is drasticaly decreased the next time i play.

    thanks once again!

  17. Issues of mental freshness aside.

    If your hand muscles really couldn't recover adequately in the 24 hours separating daily practices, you would need to practice every other day, much like you would do if you were doing serious wieght training.

    I practice every day for only 1 1/2 hours on weekdays, and about 2 hours a day on weekends, in addition to a 1 hour private lesson and a 2 hour orchestra rehearsal each week. So I can't comment on the heavy practice and work load of a professional.

    I do occasionaly, after a long or tough practice, soak my hands and elbows in warm water with epsom salts in it (though this is probably an old wive's tale too).

    If after an hour and a half practice and a particularly grueling 2 hour archestra rehearsal, my hands feel weak or sore in the morning, then either I would take the day off (has never actually happened), or I would just do some scales and arpeggios, and keep the session short. Sometimes just the switch to jazz pizz is all the change of pace I need.
  18. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Well today I had two gigs, one outdoors and it was very humid. All of this seemed to bother my calluses. I know that in order not to blister, I'll have to take it easy tomorrow. Nothing wrong with that.

    The two types of pain/discomfort that make me want to give it a short rest are back pain and finger "rawness". I've never really had sustained hand pain (but I'm young so who knows what will happen years from now).
  19. I typically will take at least one day off a week from the D bass, although I will ususally work on piano or electric bass or something. I find that I play better after being away from it for a while. Also this is what is suggested in school. But, mind you ,I try to limit myself to no more than 8 hours a day of total playing time, so somedays I don't practice by myself at all. I find that it takes about 10% of the time off to get back in stride after a break. Usually this is just a matter of playing in tune. My strength and agility usually improves if I don't take off too much time. I think I exist in a state of functional physical and mental playing fatique so the break helps.

  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Life usually dictates my practice habits - sometimes it says that there is time, sometimes it says that there isn't. Since I play bridge cable strings and like to use full arm/body weight in my pizz hand, sometimes my RH fingers are shredded after a long gigging weekend. When they are, I won't practice bass until they're ready to go, but I'll usually substitute piano, listening, or transcribing to get my music fix on those days. I don't think I've taken a day off because of left hand issues since the very beginning - it's almost always a right hand skin issue that makes practice on Sundays and the occasional Monday of dubious worth in the long run.

    Of course, it's entirely possible that I'd play a lot better if I just got my butt on the stool and practiced on Sundays anyway...

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