Questions about endurance

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by bfitz, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. bfitz


    May 18, 2005
    lorain, ohio
    I have played upright now for a few years, but besides a few shows in high school, it has more or less just been a side project of mine. Lately though I have been taking it a little more serious. I’ve taken lessons of and on for years and I think that I have a pretty good understanding of the technique but lately I’ve noticed that I get tired very quick. After only ten minutes of playing my shoulders hurt and I have to stop. I know that you guys haven’t seen me play so this might be a hard question to answer but is there anything kind of obvious that you know of that might cause this fatigue? I don’t really notice any pain; I just stiffen up in the shoulders and back. Also, I noticed that it happens a lot worse when I stand, and not as much so when I sit. And if there are any exercises that you know of to build up endurance so that I could play a half-hour to an hour at a time that would be great. Right now I’m just practicing playing scales with a metronome nonstop to try and get my strength up. Thank you for any help.
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I like to do body warm ups much like an athlete would do before working out. After that I lie on my back and let all of my muscles relax. With that I'm ready to go. You might want to see a licensed massage therapist to work out any tension that may be hidering you as well. I know that Gary Karr goes to one on a regular basis. Hope this is helpful.
  3. I have a tendency to hunch my shoulders and hang my head down when I play ie the "Lurch" pose. That's when I notice fatigue and pain.

    I try to concentrate on a maintaining a relaxed posture; stand up straight, shoulders square and not rounded forward or hunched, arms loose (you'd be surprised at how high in thumb position you can play without hunching over the bass). I think back to what they taught in class voice in college, about feeling like you're being suspended by a rubber band attached to your spine.

    Strange, but most of my shoulder pain comes from playing electric.
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    little blue triangular pill ??? just kidding ...
  5. bfitz


    May 18, 2005
    lorain, ohio
    thank you for your help guys. and i think that mike might have figured out what was wrong. when i sit it is normally because i am reading new music. when i stand it is to play and i watch my hands very closely, i never noticed untill now. i just forced myself to look at the wall instead of my hands and the problem eased up. thanks you.
  6. I really developed my playing when I stopped looking at my hands while I play. Add playing in the dark for intonation. It's like extending your arm to the side, then touching your nose.
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I sometimes use a different endpin height for sitting than I do standing. This also depends on the stool. Also, if reading and looking up at a conductor, it depends on how high he is from me. Am I looking up high or straight ahead? All this matters as well. Also, are you playing the exact same Bass as you were before? Shoulder size of the Bass may alter your posture. Neck thickness and string height/tension my alter your left hand technique. String types may make you bow differently as well. It is not just how you sit or stand in my book. It all matters as each situation may be slightly different.