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No Time to Warm Up

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Dr_Funkdamental, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. What do you do when you dont have time to properly warm up for a gig? Since Ive been practicing ALOT more, I find that it takes longer to get warmed up and to that "Zone". Depending on what Im doing, sometimes the only playing I get to do is soundcheck. Is there anything you do when you dont have time to sit with your bass and warm up, OR have only like 5-10 minutes?
  2. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    Not sure if this will help you but I read on the Gary Willis website that he doesn't need any time to warm up as he's learnt to relax the tendons in his fingers... or something like that...

    Don't quote me on that but its something similar!
  3. FWIW I dont know many musicians that get loads of time to "warm up"? maybe have a spare bass around to warm ya fingers up on? stretch and relax for those 5 mins so your nice and fluid when you start?
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I know exactly what you mean. I find that I'm basically OK with fretted, but I do have to warm up on fretless. And I don't really its a muscle thing as much as it is just getting the feel for different intervals all over the neck... in other words 'remembering' where the notes are.

    I used to really obsess over this when I was playing french horn. I came to realize that most of the warm up is mental and not physical. That is to say, there is some physical of course, but its best not to let that take over the whole process. Getting your head straight on what to do to play is probably more important than any specific physical warm up.
  5. JmJ


    Jan 1, 2008
    Wash your hands with hot hot water for an extended period (like 4-5 minutes) Keeps your strings fresher tasting longer too. Follow this with some basic hand stretching. Heres a bunch: http://ergocise.com/wrists.html
  6. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    but wouldnt the strings shred your newly softening fingers? or atleast they would too mine!
  7. Scot


    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I never warm up before the gig these days. After setting up, tuning up, getting a drink, saying hello to the regulars, etc. there's just no time. If you have a place to warm up off the stage and out of the view of the audience, fine but I don't think it looks good (or sounds good if you have your volume up) to be standing on the stage before the downbeat playing your bass.

    I'm fully warmed up by the end of the first tune. If you have tunes where you must be fully warmed up to pull them off, try to get the band to play them after the first set/first song. Singers do that all the time. :)
  8. XtreO


    Jan 2, 2008
    We (the band) are recording our four tracks (EP :p ) in a studio at the moment, and I found it took me about 30 minutes to get completely warmed up. Meaning I had trouble with the most challenging riff of the first song , and the three last went like a dream. So I guess I'll be needing 15 min effective warmup before playing. As for a gig, the first this year is in April :3

    Reading the posts, I agree with Scot.
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Warm up? LOL I tune up, do some chromatic exercises up and down the board and across strings. Unless you are in a technical project, doesnt much matter. After a few songs, you're ready to go anyways. Gotta warm up to play "Honky Tonk Woman"? I think not. LOL

  10. Good link, bookmarked. Thanks.
  11. JmJ


    Jan 1, 2008

    Hmmm.... I never had that happen. 4 to 5 minutes may be too long, try it for a shorter period or run the water over the back of your hands. For me it seems to speed up circulation.
  12. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006

    Yo Dr. Funk,
    I know this is off topic, but I thought I'd post some pics from this awesome tour we're on right now! Some chick actually complimented my bass face, and check of the high school crowd surfer. :)
    Me and Spohn were laughing about how no vocalists in our band actually warm up...they just get out there any sing their faces off. LOL.

    If I don't have time to warm up, I run some chromatic stuff across the strings while I can and then hope the group starts with something medium tempo. BTW...you don't need to warm up, you are Dr.Funk!
  13. NICE!!!! Man I know yall are killin it! All I can think of is Corbett crushing some kind of super roll and Yoo going "I TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!!" LOLOL. Glad yall having fun. The face is coming. You gotta get that "who pooted" face influence LOL.

    I was asking more for responses on experiences, not necessarily for advice. Just wanted to see what everyone does, if they do anything at all. Thanks so far. :bassist:
  14. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Wear gloves. I live in Canada, they're pretty essential for anything other than summer gigs. Wash your hands in warm water before you get on stage, but don't soak 'em. That'll just soften you up. Some light excercise (jumping jacks, sit ups, whatever) helps get the circulation going, too. Hand stretches are a necessity when you can't properly warm up, and pretty essential even if you can.
  15. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    I find it helpful if I've played for a while, earlier that same day. The warmup period seems to last a while, for me.

    Not ideal, but helpful IMO.
  16. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I find that just setting up gets me warmed up enough to play.

    I agree with BassChuck, a lot of the warmup is mental. It really helps if your first song is one you know so well you can play it in your sleep. It helps you get over the warmup period and gives you a good start to the gig.
  17. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I could not have said it better myself - good play time earlier in the day does it for me. That and a Captain & Coke. I live in Vegas & here you can go from minding your own business to being on stage with some one else's bass in your hands with 2 seconds notice.
  18. tyggis


    Mar 11, 2008
    If I dont have the time to warm up I put my hands in as hot water as possible for 5 minutes. That makes wonders:)
  19. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    +1 to the first song being one you can use to warmup... had to explain to band that certain songs I just *wouldn't* be able to nail if they were first!
    Espically considering gigs are usually, get off work, run home, change clothes, toss equipment in truck, get to gig, setup, play. Warmup? I'm lucky if I can check my sound by the time the rest of the group sets up.....
    If I have time after work I'll play on my practice bass for a couple minutes, scales or a favorite riff........ :)
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    an alternative way to warm up is take your bass and warm up unplugged ...

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