Essential Secrets 48: Focus on Physical Comfort
Focus on Physical Comfort
Playing with Ease
The physical positions used to play the bass can be unnatural. Because of this, it’s important to remain as comfortable as possible while you’re playing.
If you stand while you play, make sure your legs feel loose and your knees are not locked. Balance your weight over both feet and be wary of always putting your weight on just your heels or only the balls of your feet.
If you sit while playing, use a comfortable chair or stool. Be sure the height of your chair and position of your music stand are adjusted to be comfortable for you. You may need to use a pad to support your back or to help your overall posture.
Comfort can also be increased by making your playing stress-free. To lower the physical stress of playing your instrument, relax your shoulders, keep your left hand grip loose, and bend all of your joints naturally. Pay special attention to your left thumb to make sure it’s not pressing too forcefully into the neck. This approach will improve your dexterity and allow you to build your technique more quickly. Staying comfortable eliminates distractions and improves your concentration, which speeds up the learning process and saves you a lot of time.
When you play the bass, small muscle groups go through repetitive motions, the equivalent of lifting tiny weights over and over again. You need to build strength in these muscles and not over-exert them. Make sure you are pain-free when working on repetitive patterns, and slowly increase your muscles’ stamina over time. Failing to respect your muscles can lead to overuse injuries and set back your progress by months.
Basically, do whatever it takes to be comfortable. Every time you play bass, you are forming habits and building muscle memory. It’s best to form habits that are good for your body.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET