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Muscle tissue

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by AllodoX, Sep 20, 2001.


  1. I've been working on my hand-muscle's for quite some time now, yes.. i can give quite a grip now :D

    I've been using a pinch-thingy ( handle with springs in it ), and i've been using an " abtronic " on my lower-arms a lot.

    An "abtronic" is a small device which was originally designed to tone the abdominal muscle's, but it can also be used to build muscle tissue in your arms.
    It administers small electric shocks, which cause your muscle to tighten. This is done about 100 to 300 times per minute, and thus it's a pretty good workout :D
    and you can do it while sitting in front of your PC, bla bla, pretty much anywhere.
    I'd recomend it to anyone !

    I was wondering.. do you train your muscle's ? and if so, how do you do it ?
     
  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Hi AllodoX,

    Just for your information, the "abtronic" device and other devices like this may "tone" up your muscles but will not build up any strength in the muscle or increase muscle mass as there is no resistance, only movement.
     
  3. Correct,

    but.. if you combine it with regular fitness, it's a blast
     
  4. Murf

    Murf

    Mar 28, 2001
    Ireland
    Study Aikido..that'll build up your wrist/forearm strength, I guarantee it, a few of the senior guys in my dojo have wrists like tree trunks and when u grab 'em its like trying to move a mountain.

    then again theres always masturbation...oh wait..thats more for biceps...
     
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You don't need to increase muscle strength at all.

    Like Gary Willis states in his video, you have all the strength you need since you were 3 years old.

    You just have to work on clean technique and dexterity, that's all.
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Absolutely, 100% true! I'd add that endurance might be an issue, but you don't need to be able to bench press 200 lbs with your fingers :D



    Or if you do, you need an action job!
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I would agree whole-heartedly with this and none of the great bass players I've seen have looked muscle-bound - in fact the person with the best technique and playing ability I've met, was pretty "weedy" compared with me.

    I think that the more effortless your technique becomes, the better and muscle mass can often impede stamina - marathon runners, don't go for this, whereas sprinters do.

    I would also worry about repetitive strain injuries - I talked to a physiotherapist in London who was treating several pro bass players for wrist/arm injuries caused by this. If just playing can do this, then surely using these muscles more is only going to increase the danger?

    As Jon says - low action and a light touch are the key to being able to play bass well - this is the advice I've heard from all the best pros.
     
  8. Murf

    Murf

    Mar 28, 2001
    Ireland
    This is all very true however on the subject of muscles, has anyone ever experienced an ache which begins in the shoulder (of your picking arm) and as you play it works its way down your arm until eventually your whole arm seizes up and just 'throbs'?(like your arm is one big toothache), it happened to me a few years ago when I was doing a LOT of gigs over a short period and most of the music required fast finger funk type basslines (a la Rocco Prestia), one night my arm just seized up and my God the pain was unbearable.

    Luckily it was fine the next day however I had a long hard luck at my fingerstyle technique and I found that I was resting my forearm on the bass as I played which meant the bloodflow was being interrupted...until BANG! messed up muscles.
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That's something I can attest to, BG.

    I was prescribed a portable TENS unit, ("Electro Neuro Stimulator" or something like that; I forget what the "T" is). The abtronic stuff in nothing more than one of these.

    I used it for a slipped disk, (too many refrigerator amps :rolleyes: ). When I went to get a pain-relieving steroid injection in my spine, the doc couldn't find my lower spine at first because the muscles were rock hard from the electro-stimulation unit. But my back wasn't stronger at all.
     
  10. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    You need a different technique! ;)

    I don't do much for hand/finger exercises, as I have been playing for about seven years now (I used the GripMaster religiously when I first started playing). I do lift weights regularly -- lots of bicep curls, which I'm sure you all know, incorporate the forearms. :D
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've had a slipped disc more than once and many years with physiotherapists! Painkillers never had any effect for me.

    Have you ever heard the album "Rock Bottom" by Robert Wyatt? He was the drummer/singer in Soft Machine, but fell out of a window at a party causing spinal injuries which left him in a wheelchair since. He explained in interviews how the doctors didn't want to give him any painkillers for several days afterwards as it was only by accurately locating the pain, that they felt there was any chance of assessing the damage to see if they could repair his spine - but obviosuly unsuccessfully.

    What came out of his experiences went into "Rock Bottom" and a lot of people find it depressing, but I find it strangely uplifting....
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
     
  13. I wish I had got that advice six months ago. Oh well, I've worked it out for myself now. It's absolutely amazing how little effort you need to fret something cleanly.
     
  14. The muscle building is not for strength.. it's for building up speed. strong muscle's can tighten a lot faster than weak muscles..

    fast finger muscles + practice = faster playing = kick-ass solo's :)
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I just don't see any evidence for this. The people I've seen playing the fastest solos have not been developing their muscles and some of the best players like Gary Willis and Jeff Berlin definitely advise against this and say that you would be better off improving your technique.

    All the advice I've seen from pros in articles etc. has said that speed comes from technique, light touch and low action.

    I've also met and heard about a lot of bass players who tried to play fast without paying attention to good technique who got repetitive strain injuries which meant they had to give up playing altogether for many months!! :eek:
     
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    If you were going to use a fitness component in this equation, I'd go with flexibility. Flexible muscles will stay loose, where really strong, stiff muscles won't.
     
  17. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    It's common prejudice that strong muscles equals stiff muscles - that is not necessarily the truth. If you do your stretching exercises as well, you can be both strong and flexible.

    That said, I can't see why strong muscles would make you faster by default? I think that has very little to do with things... but if it works for you...
     
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Right, take swimmers for axample - all loose muscles.
     
  19. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Yes, or gymnasts. I wouldn't exactly tell the guys who do flying rings or parallell bars that they look "stiff". ;)
     
  20. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    It's not impossible to be strong and flexible. You have to work on both. If you only work your muscle you will be stiff. But if you also strech than you will be flexible also.