19.11.16

Warming up and the car-crash fingers

I decided it would do know harm to try an instructional video on bass warm up techniques. My usual warm-up technique is 'take the bass out the bag and tune it up'.

I scoffed at the five whole minutes of physical warm up suggested before picking up the instrument. I heartily laughed at the initial exercises.

Then I tried again.

Although I could easily play the opening exercises it seemed worthwhile to look closely at how I was playing. My fingers were not doing what the pro was doing. In fact, my fingers were going through something of a car crash compared to his graceful manoeuvring of the fingerboard.

I looked really carefully at what was going on. Instead of each finger of my left hand falling neatly on each fret in turn I was seeing index, middle finger, little finger and little finger again. Or, worse, index, middle finger, ring and middle finger fighting for the fret, little finger. Rubbish. I went over this again and again, trying to get the fingers to do the right thing. It turns out that decades of bad technique don't go away that fast.

So now I have a rather more humbling practice regime. And I have stopped scoffing at the physical warm ups. There is always something new to learn.