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  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 4: You’ve Got Some Nerve

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 4: You’ve Got Some Nerve

    Strapped — Proper Strap Construction and Use Typically bassists are used to having a heavy weight around their necks. Earlier in this series we studied problems related to the wrists and forearms, which are usually muscle and tendon related (tendons attach muscles to bones, hence when overuse occurs it is from the pulling that the... »

  • Developing Stamina

    Developing Stamina

    I have trouble with stamina, especially when playing difficult music. How do you develop stamina? – John H. Developing stamina can be a real challenge on an instrument as large and as physically demanding as the upright bass. If developing stamina is a goal you need to achieve, I would suggest focusing on the following... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 3: Warm Up & Exercise Tips

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 3: Warm Up & Exercise Tips

    Bass Playing as a Sport Approaching the bass in the same manner athletes approach their chosen field of endeavor will pay dividends in stamina, injury reduction, and improved playing. Just as an athlete trains for an event in which they have to perform at their best, bassists practice, rehearse, and gig for hours at a... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 2: Posture, Posture, Posture

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 2: Posture, Posture, Posture

    The Importance of Posture, in Life and Music In this installment, our focus is on posture, and how it – and lack of it – can affect bass playing in particular, and everything else you do in general. Bad habits started when we were young have a way of sticking with us as we get... »

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  • Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

    Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

    Q: Every morning, when I wake up at about 5 am to practice my bass, I find that my fingers get cold and blood stops going to them. When I stop and rest, I feel the blood rushing back to them. This started happening since I upgraded my practice time from four hours to about... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 1: Basic Technique

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 1: Basic Technique

    Common injuries that rob bassists of stage time Let’s start with an overview of the most common types of injuries bassists experience, the dreaded tendonitis, also known as repetitive stress injury, which will usually be felt in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, or neck and shoulder. As repetitive stress injury suggests, overuse is the cause... »

  • Playing Pain Free

    Playing Pain Free

    Q: As someone who wants to practice for hours each day, what advice would you give to prevent injury? Do you have any warm up routines or other advice? A: You know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve never consciously warmed up when practicing, and I’ve never had any pain issues. However, I’ve noticed more recently that... »