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Tips for keeping your fingers in shape

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tommygun_ted, Oct 6, 2017.


  1. Hey, so I've been playing bass for about 10 years, and have always preferred playing with my fingers. However, I work in a factory and the work is really hard on my hands. After taking a 2 year break from music, it feels like my fingers are stiff, mostly on my picking hand. I've gotten into a band and we've been jamming 2-3 times a week plus whatever practice I squeeze in between, so I'm not sure if I'm still just that rusty or if my hands have been affected by my job. Does anyone have any hand excersizes they do to keep their fingers strong and limber?
     
  2. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Once your technique is safe... i.e. your wrist is not bent severely, then IMO jamming as you are doing, should be enough to keep the hands and fingers in shape.

    The only other thing I'd suggest, before you even touch the bass is to do some gentle stretches for a few minutes, (both before and after a practice session). Then take another couple of minutes SLOWLY doing chromatic scales or arpeggios (above the fifth fret).

     
  3. Bassperson26

    Bassperson26

    Sep 30, 2012
    fearceol posted a good vid and advice about stretching so listen to him for that!
    I just wanted to add that after taking such a long break it may take a little time to get back to your previous level of dexterity but some stretching and exercises should help catch you up! There are TONS of resources on finger dexterity and strength building online and in music stores and since I'm not sure what level of playing you are or what music you like its kinda difficult to recommend any one but it shouldn't be too hard to find something helpful. The most important rule of finger strength is practicing EVERY DAY. Even if its 5 minutes before dinner, get your hands on the bass and play something, it'll make a world of difference.
     
  4. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    Factory or not, IMO it's the 2 year break. Just need to get used to really playing again. Only way is to keep practicing.
     
    Lownote38, fearceol and Johnny Crab like this.
  5. Just practice, man. It takes time to build facility and endurance. Just like it takes time to lose it.
     
    tlc1976 likes this.
  6. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Yeah, I suspect you're still just shaking the rust off. The above posts mention stretches and warm up techniques, all of which will help get you back up and running at full speed and pain free in no time. The more you play, the more endurance you'll build up.

    If you're just getting back at it after a hiatus, take breaks when you start to feel discomfort. It usually shakes off in a few minutes, and you can get back to playing. If it persists, call it a day and try again tomorrow.
     

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