i know, this probably shouldn't be in this thread, but it's kind of a bass-playing-related problem (in that it uses fingerstyle not a pick).

My band is playing parallel universe in a gig in early september. However, atm, when I play it, using fingerstyle, my right forearm muscle completely kills me by about halfway through, and haven't yet been able to finish it in one go (despite it being a technically very easy song).

Normally, of course, I would now have plenty of time to practice and therefore strengthen the muscles, but I'll be on holiday until a few weeks before the gig...

so, are there any excercises I can do that you know of to strengthen these muscles (without a bass-unless I can smuggle it on to the plane!)??

Thanks in advance
Parallel Universe is actually played with a pick on the album, if that helps.

Not sure about exercises, but when you play it, try using a lighter touch with your fingers
taking a bass on the plane isn't that hard. hard case should survive not being a carry on, and a soft case will survive as a carry on if you are careful w/ where you put it (I just flew american airlines and there were people w/ guitars so i know you can take it with you). also depending on where you are goinhg it might be worth to just buy a cheapo bass there and pracitce on that.
i could take my squier, but yeah, I'd have to pass it with my parents! (can't se them liking that any time soon!!)

on the other hand, I could learn to use a pick...d'you guys reckon three weeks would be enough to learn to alternate pick fast enough to play that song? that's about as much time as I will have at home including before I go
Three weeks is enough if that's ALL you do for three weeks. And as Scourge says, it's played with a pick for a reason. If your hand is cramping up you are attacking the strings too hard.. also, try playing by the bridge pickup for high speed work..
This is one of those songs that kills us bassists. Fairly fast 16th notes throughout the whole song. You need to build up endurance. Play the song once or twice a day. After a while, you will be able to go further and further. Practice will help you build up endurance in your fingers. This might also help with speed. You will be able to play things faster as you build up endurance.

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Just keep playing it the pain will eventually go away when the muscles build up from playing.
Quote by Kendawg4TooL
You know you're a bassist when you think a guitar is just some freaky type of short scale, six string bass.

This is The Central Scrutinizer......
I think it needs to be made clear that the muscles need to rest every once in a while, as well. When you do something tiring, they are broken down, and the rest re-builds them.
which band is the song from?
anyway try to relax your arm, put the thumb on the bridge pickup and try to play smoothly
im a finger player

Originally Posted by DaddyTwoFoot
It's obvious that those songs were illegally downloaded, so Metallica wanted him to "ride the lightning," if you get my meaning.:quote:
Quote by MustangMan311
I think it needs to be made clear that the muscles need to rest every once in a while, as well. When you do something tiring, they are broken down, and the rest re-builds them.


Which is why you shouldn't over-do it. You will not help yourself in the long run. Dont you find when you give something a rest for a day, the next day you seem to magically be able to do it?

But if it is really hurting, then stop. You can hurt yourself otherwise
on whatever surfaces you can find (leg, table, etc) just practice alternating your fingers, in bass-playing position, until it burns. then keep doing it until it no longer burns.
i would just play it with a pick. I feel it would suit the style of the song better and it would be easier on you. Its a win win situation. I rarley play with a pick, but i have found it is a good skill to have just in case, so i make myself practice occasionally with one.
Get some cocoa butter and rub your forearms with it. No, this is not the cure. You will need to cross your arms in front of you and place them on your lap. Using the top forearm, push down on the bottom forearm from elbow to wrist--first with palms down, then palms up. Repeat with the other arm.

The idea is this: your muscles are fatigued, and need to relax. But in order for them to relax, you need blood circulating back into them properly. Squeezing them like a toothpaste tube from elbow to wrist will relax out the muscles in your forearms nicely. If you can't do this, ask someone you know reasonably well to do this for you, or get them done by a masseuse. Once you do this, take some time to stretch the muscles out by pulling your fingers backwards and pulling your fist forwards. Then wrap them in a warm towel to get them to relax further.

If your muscles are tight and you are trying to overwork them by playing bass, the weak point in your arm will be affected--the tendons. They have nowhere to go but get pulled. And when they get pulled, they get inflamed. This leads to tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome (when the thumb and first two fingers go numb), or ulnar tunnel syndrome (when the pinky and ring fingers go numb). When you massage your forearm muscles, the tendons are no longer under hypertension, and stretching the muscles will be beneficial. If you stretch them without massaging your forearm muscles, you can damage the tendons.

Massage the muscles; stretch them out; warm them; drink lots of water; REST!!! If you need to keep them exercised get yourself one of those "Gripmaster" gizmos (light tension), a thick rubber band (wrap them around your fingers and spread your fingers outwards), and a "Dyna Bee" forearm exerciser. Jaco used to carry around two tennis balls in his bass case, just to keep his arms in shape.

Hope that helps!