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Essential Secrets 49: Stretch Out Before You Work Out

29 May 2018

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 49:
Stretch Out Before You Work Out

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Bassists as Athletes

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Physical comfort when playing your instrument is crucial. And, your actions before and after you play can be just as important. Too often, bassists just pick up their instrument, play something really difficult, and then walk away with no regard to the demands they place on their bodies.

You may not regard your bass playing as an athletic endeavor. After all, your heartbeat generally won’t rise to its target exercise rate, and you may not sweat while you play. But, your muscles, joints, and spine are all being taxed. Make sure your body is ready for this physical demand before you start playing music.

Like all good athletes, bass players should stretch out before practicing or playing. It’s a great idea to stretch afterwards also. You don't need to do 30 minutes of yoga or Tai Chi. You don’t have time for that! Just do some quick, basic stretches of your neck, back, arms, and hands. A minute of stretching now could save you from injury later.

Many bass players develop tightness or pain in specific areas. If this is the case for you, focus your stretching on that area and related areas in your body. For instance, if your hands tighten up while you play, stretch not only your hands, but also your wrists, arms, and shoulders. Feeling the effects of wearing a guitar strap? Make sure you stretch your shoulders, neck, and back.

There are other methods that help both musicians and athletes improve their performance. In addition to stretching, for instance, it can be useful to apply heat or ice to painful or tight muscles. Massage, Alexander Technique, Pilates, and Feldenkrais are also helpful for some bass players.

If you think of yourself as an athlete, you will always prepare yourself for practicing and performing. Stretching just might keep you healthy. Then, you will be able to enjoy playing your bass for a lifetime.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



BASS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

HOME PLAYER

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

SLAP IT!
SLAP IT!
Also check out the
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

JOSQUIN DES PRES

JOSQUIN DES PRES
Bass player, record producer, songwriter, and TV composer Josquin Des Pres has also found time to write many instructive books for bass. His work includes everything from funk and hip hop and R&B to classical music, sight reading, fretless and even music-career advice.

Click here to see all Josquin's books.

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