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  • Fingernail Care: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Fingernail Care: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: As I’m getting pretty deeply into a right hand technique using a ramp, light touch, etc… I’d like to hear your thoughts on fingernail care, particularly for your plucking hand. I keep mine pretty short (it’s hard to open canned drinks), and I’m guessing yours might be similar. Also wondering if you so anything... »

  • Stage Volume: Turn Up and Play Light (and Other Considerations)

    Stage Volume: Turn Up and Play Light (and Other Considerations)

    Q: In hard rock and metal music, many players – including me – resort to playing with a heavy right hand to cut through the mix of distortion. As time goes by my right wrist starts to experience some pain and I’m thinking I should be playing lighter. Jeff Berlin and Gary Willis have been... »

  • Flu Season Fumbles and Avoiding Lost Gigs

    Flu Season Fumbles and Avoiding Lost Gigs

    As we get over the start of a new year and the holidays seem like a distant memory, we enter a new season with the worst surprise of them all… the flu. With the weather, the “warriors” who insist on coming into the office, travel, and the nights off to hang out with friends at... »

  • Randall Kertz Releases New Edition of The Bassist’s Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health

    Randall Kertz Releases New Edition of The Bassist’s Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health

    Dr. Randall Kertz, DC has released an all-new, second edition of his popular book, The Bassist’s Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health. The second edition features expanded content and a new cover. The Bassist’s Guide is written specifically for bassists, dealing with the common, and not-so-common issues bass players encounter when practicing and... »

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  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 6: It’s All In Your Head

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 6: It’s All In Your Head

    Never Mind — if It’s All in Your Head Your Mind Can Fix It “It’s all in your head” is a phrase commonly used by physicians – publicly or privately – when they aren’t sure what is wrong with the patient because symptoms don’t fit in with a test performed or a question on the... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 5: Odds & Sods

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 5: Odds & Sods

    Lift Off — Common Sense Guidelines for Lifting and Moving Your Equipment Most of us carry our own gear around. Sometimes we get lucky and use house gear or somebody else’s gear (which isn’t always as good a deal as it may sound). At times, some of us are fortunate enough to have somebody else... »

  • 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... »