Essential Secrets 27: Always Warm Up
Always Warm Up
Rising to the Challenge
Playing the bass is a lot like playing sports. You develop specialized skills, you can succeed or fail on any given day, and you need to warm up before you play. For musicians, warming up has three components: body, mind, and technique.
First, you’ve got to be warmed up physically to play at your best. Your body needs to feel comfortable and up to the physical challenge of playing bass. Stretch out a little. Jump up and down a few times to get the blood pumping. If you’re cold, soak your hands in warm water and put on a sweater. This entire process can be done in about a minute.
Second, you need to be mentally ready. Finalize your practice plans so you know exactly what you’re going to do. set a specific goal that you will achieve today. Tell yourself you’re up to the challenge and that you’ll be successful. Visualize the process going perfectly. Essentially, you’re psyching yourself up. To save time, do this at the same time you’re warming up your body.
Third, when you first start practicing, build up your technique so you have the dexterity and strength needed to do your best. Play something simple. Try a scale or arpeggio, a favorite lick, a bass line you know well, long tones, or an exercise specifically designed as a warm-up drill. No matter what, play slowly and carefully. Don’t ask too much of yourself at first. Every day you’ll get reacquainted with your bass by playing a warm-up.
A short warm-up regimen will get you ready to play at the peak of your abilities. You’ll have more energy, be more focused, and be better prepared to tackle any technical challenge you’ve set for yourself today.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET