#1
Ok, I couldn't find a thread like this in searching, so if you know of one go ahead and redirect me, but anyway:

Bass is a strength instrument and requires a lot of muscle use--really throughout the entire body. It's pretty easy to hurt yourself and your technique and kill your stamina by getting tensed up while playing. I wondered what everyone does to relax themselves before playing (if they do at all) and what you do to stay realaxed while playing.

I mostly just try to stay in the groove (which of course is what any good bass player should do anyway) so that I'm more fluid in all of my movements and less mechanical, but im not a very technically proficient player so on some faster parts I will get really tense anyway (admitedly this is probably because I stop being as fluid and that just takes practice) When I feel a muscle group in my hand/forearm/neck or back cramping up I just visualize it as relaxing and really focuse some of my conscious energy on letting the muscle loosen up.

I'd like to know some other techniques people use that are helpful, thanks!

*off topic*
Also sorry about spelling here and in general as of late, I hate bad spelling, but I moved from a classic ergonomic keyboard to a new style and I can't seem to type at all, you cannot imagine how much it is irritating me.
#2
whenever i play a gig i sit backstage for 15 minutes lstening to some bethoven
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#3
i drink a lot of monster, then just lay down for 10 minutes or so before we go on. just going through the riffs/ lyrics/ all that
on stage i'm really just playing and singing, i don't really get tense very much

as for getting tense on the faster parts, it's all about "headroom"
what headroom is... is say that you need to play a song at 120 BPM, on a good day, you can play it perfectly, but on a rough day you might only be able to play it at, say 110 BPM, throw a live performance in there and you may only be able to play at 90 BPM
ya dig?

so what you need to do is get comfertable with the songs at a faster tempo (i.e. song:120 BPM, get comfertable at 140/150 BPM

as for spelling, i have trouble with qwerty
#4
My teacher says I;m not relaxed. But when I am playing with the band or alone: I am not noticing anything! Don't not what it is! I can play a lot better than I do on basslessons.

But arr.. what does it mather. As long as I play good alone and in a band. That's what it's all about!
#5
Quote by King Of Suede

so what you need to do is get comfertable with the songs at a faster tempo (i.e. song:120 BPM, get comfertable at 140/150 BPM


*81 on that definetly, it's also really great if you ever record music to do this as it will sound much cleaner aswell as being easier to play.
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#6
It's funny, adrenaline usually takes care of it for me. When I hit the stage, it's always my voice that seems shaky, not my physical strength. But, when I'm up there, I usually impress myself.
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#7
i tend to just let it flow when i play
i find when im tensed my fingers dont seem to move smoothly and i then get annoyed, which spirals in to me playing awfully!
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#8
yeah, I wasn't necessarily thinking about live performances, but those are some very good approaches.

To the fitz^ I seem to have the opposite problem, if I get really pumped while playing my body tenses up, and if my fretting hand is quickly rolling back and forth from index to ring or index to pinky a whole lot (which is most of my playing since i tend to move almost entirely across the strings instead of up and down the neck when I'm playing my own songs) then like clockwork my hand will start to cramp until I can't open and close it or move my pinky. The only way I've been able to avoid it is to put a lot of conscious effort into relaxing it (and of course massaging it between songs).

I can keep it loose with some effort, but I kinda feel pissed that I can't just go nuts and ride off the adrenaline, I actually have to be in a kind of mellowed out medatative mode.

I guess this goes hand and hand with the speed mastery thing, I don't feel like I'm really getting pumped up and into it sometimes unless I'm going about as fast as I can. Guess there's no shame in being a relaxed player though, I just have to keep up the relaxation and slow things down a bit--as a plus it makes everything more rhythmically consistant which is one of the most important parts of playing bass...

What other specific relaxation techniques does everyone know? After the first few posts I'd also like to know other ways people relax before/during a gig.
#9
Quote by dullsilver_mike
To the fitz^ I seem to have the opposite problem, if I get really pumped while playing my body tenses up, and if my fretting hand is quickly rolling back and forth from index to ring or index to pinky a whole lot (which is most of my playing since i tend to move almost entirely across the strings instead of up and down the neck when I'm playing my own songs) then like clockwork my hand will start to cramp until I can't open and close it or move my pinky. The only way I've been able to avoid it is to put a lot of conscious effort into relaxing it (and of course massaging it between songs).


thats sounds more like a problem in techneique(sp?) than nerves.
make sure you're not stressing your hand. once it gets hurt the first time, it never really goes away, love your hands man.

ask your techer about your playing, play him some of the stuff that hurts you, he should be able to help you out (wether it be a wrist problem, just playing something harder than it should be, anything like that)
#10
I keep focussed and calm by listening to the other instruments... in jazz band, im staring at the keyboard player and pretty much imagining a jam just between me, the keys, and the bari sax... the other stuff is just fluff... us and the trombones hold it down...

Before i play, i am always relaxed

i dont play angry or upset
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no

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#11
Playing gigs, I tend to tense up quite a bit. Most notably, my picking hand tends to cramp up more often during gigs...I dunno why. I barely made it through a Hysteria cover
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Last edited by Confused4930 at Oct 16, 2007,