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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DRN, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. DRN


    Mar 17, 2002
    Las Vegas
    Does anyone have any recommendations or books for stretching before playing.
    Everything from finger stretching to forearm, arms, neck, back etc.

    How may of you stretch out before picking up your bass and starting your fretboard warmup exercises?

  2. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Heh, I just posted in another forum about finger stretches, but I'll post here:

    You might want to check out the January 2003 issue of Bass Player (the one with Ryan Martinie on the cover). There was an article on Tendinitis. Gives you a few things to do to warm up, which includes some gentle stretching of the fingers. It also says shoulder shrugs are good. This all gives you way to relieve tension and get you set up to do your other warm-up exercises (scales, etc.).

    Also, I would recommend getting into some beginner yoga. I have a book called "Life Is A Stretch" that I work out of.
  3. Amethska


    Jan 27, 2003
    NJ, USA
    I'm kind of new to bass (half a year), so I might be doing somerthing bad... but I push each finger backwards with the other hand, one by one. Then I push back on the palm to stretch the wrist a bit. Then switch hands.

    It helps my fingers loosen up and move faster... I don't think I'm killing anything... :D
  4. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    That's sounds like what they wrote about in Bass Player. When stretching, make sure what you feel is a stretch not a pain. And you're not out to crack your knuckles or anything like that. Take it slow.
  5. I like Carol Kaye's thumb pivot concept. No stretching involved, just natural reaching.
  6. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    this wont really help you all that much because you need to explore and find your own unique way of stretching, that type of stretching may not be as good for you. its a bit like marmite you either love it or hate it
  7. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    I got the following advice from a classical bassplayer :

    This is the thread that is dedicated to the exercises for your body to heal and strengthen muscles in your entire body. Believe it or not, playing a musical instrument effects most of your body. Do you play with a strap? What do you think the weight of your bass does to your neck and back? Do you jump around like a chicken on speed when you play? Do you realize that your elbows and arms get sore and tired just from playing? So.... in order to keep playing... and not have to deal with adverse side effects that can further ruin your career... or even your hobby, I'm going to post every single
    exercise that I know to keep you guys playing!

    I have alot of them, so it's not going to be all in one post. Slowly but surely, they will all get put up.

    Upper Body Exercises:

    Exercise #1
    -Restores mobility to neck, lengthens short and tight neck muscles and shoulder muscles. Reduces the opportunity for nerve compression at the neck.

    Stand or sit comfortably with your shoulders relaxed. Drop your head forward and wait there, noticing the stretch point that appears at the back of your neck. Wait in this position until the stretch point releases. Roll your head one inch to the left. Notice the new muscle fibers being stretched in this position. Hold until you feel stretch point release. Roll head another one inch to the left and wiat for release. Do this until you complete a circle.

    A STRETCH POINT is when you stretch a muscle and just begin to actually feel the muscle stretch. The more gently you do these exercises, the more effective they are. By going farther than the stretch point makes your muscles rip instead of stretch. A RELEASE is when you hold at the stretch point until the stretch feeling goes away.

    Exercise #2
    -Lengthens muscles at the back of the neck. Stretches upper back muscle.

    Interlace your fingers and place them at the back of your head. tilt your head forward, bringing your chin to your chest. Do not pull forward with your hands, rather, allow the weight of your arms to help create the stretch. The exercise is complete when you feel a "softening" at the back of the neck.

    Exerices #3
    -Reduces general shoulder tension, helps create awarness of unconscious holding in the shoulders.

    Allow your arms to hand relaxed by your sides. Shrug your shoulders upward trying to touch your ears with the tops of your shoulders. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds. Slowly pull your shoulders down, away from your ears, as far as they will go.
    Hold this position for 5 to ten sceonds.

    If you allow your arms to hang loosely as you do this exercise, you should experience a good stretch through the upper arms as well and the upper shoulders.

    Exercise #4
    -Lengthens muscles at the side of the neck, stretches upper shoulder and upper arm.

    Pay attention to strech point and release with this exercise. Clasp your hands behind your back at hip level. With your shoulders down and relaxed, pull your clasped hands to the left. Tilt your head to the left, bringing your left ear and you left shoulder closer. Notice the stretch point that appears at the side of your neck. Wait for release and then repeat on right side.

    Exercise #5
    -Relieves tension between the shoulder blades, mobilizes shoulder blades

    Clasp your hands together, interlocking your fingers, infront of your face. Bring your elbows together, imagining they are glued together. This position often brings a stretch point. Wait for a release. With your elbows pressed together, lift your forearms toward the ceiling. Pause at the first sign of a stretch point. Wait for release.
    (This exercise might be easier done in bed) Return your arms to the beginning position of the exercise, with elbows together, pull your forearms down. Hold this position until the stretch point releases.
  8. DRN


    Mar 17, 2002
    Las Vegas
    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    I picked up the Jan copy very good info. Plus I love Ryan as a player.

    Thanks that info is great. I have been getting some neck and back strain lately. Stretching has helped out alot. I also have changed to a larger strap.


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