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Practice away from bass

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Perplexer, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. Perplexer


    Sep 2, 2003
    Any interesting ideas for practice when a bass is not available?

    I will be visiting family soon for about 6 days, and have done some research on renting a bass in some capacity while I'm there. (Wheeling WV). It's not looking good. I can take a guitar and some reading material, but it's not enough to keep my finger strength or calluses up...any ideas?

    Will 6 days really affect your strength and toughness? I could see where a layoff of a couple of weeks might have an effect but it seems to me that working out on a guitar would be sufficient to maintain what you have for such a short period of time.
  3. What about renting an EUB to take with you?
  4. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Mill Valley, CA
    I don't think it will affect you that much, and sometimes a little layoff is good. Within a few days of practice when you get back, you should be fine.

    For me its usually not the question of it hurting my progress, but rather the fact that I miss it. 6-7 days is probably the most I can go without DB before I turn into a grouchy bastard. One time I almost brought my fretless bass and a headphone amp, but I was like "why bother"....
  5. That short a time won't kill you. When I can't play for a few days I have some excersize putty that I play around with. dunno if it really does any good, but it keeps my hands occupied.
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    My self-defence teacher introduced me to a concept that I've found seems to be working with bass playing. A lot of sports people beleive that you can practice in yr mind as long as you can concentrate on several senses - ie think through self defence moves, imagining an attacker, trying to feel, hear, smell etc and yr brain will actually process the information and learn from it. This wont help with yr callauses or physical strength, but I've found that running through difficult passages, concentrating on the sound, the feel of the string, etc... has actually led me to play better when I have my bass in my hands. If I can't sleep at night I often play scales and patterns in my head for ages!
    Sorry if this sounds like new-age bollocks...
  7. Why not take some etude books or a piece that you're working on with you and try to work out some bowings/fingerings in your head?
  8. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Get a snare-drum book and work on sight-reading tricky rhythms.

    There, and you thought I was going to joke, didn't you!
  9. i have always practiced in my head when away from my instruments. I know it definitely helps me. I have done it since I was a kid-I used to do it on the bus ride home from school alot. I mostly do it with new things I am working on or things that are challenging to me. I simply recreate everything I see, hear feel, etc. when I am really playing but in my head. I am convinced it has helped me move along quickly over the years. The great advantage is that you can visualize yourself doing things that you haven't been able to do before---you can play it in your head, or figure out how to play it in your head first and then when you get to the instrument it seems to fall in to place with ease. That's my experience at least.
  10. The whole visualize it your head doesn't quite work for me. I need a bass there or else my hands. In fact it makes the fact that I dont have a bass worse. I am on vacation from school and have been away from my bass for a week now. I am starting to get as someone mentioned earlier a grumpy bastard. The more I visualize the beautiful creature the more I want to play it. I've tried electric bass, playing drums and sax, but nothing can fill the gap of the big ol' bass. And my fingers are getting stupid. The horror...the horror.
  11. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    sometimes the best thing you can do is put the instrument down for a few days. Life is not all music. If it were, it would be boring. Enjoy your time with your family.

    If you really need to work on something, do ear-training or sight-singing.

    I sometimes find it is good to come back to the instrument after a few days.

    You can always get your calluses back.....you can't do the same with family time.

    Have fun
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