Hey BB fam! I’m curious how you all ‘warm up’ before you start playing bass for the day.
I’m especially interested to hear from our older/wiser members, as I know these bodies tend to need more warming up over time, and I’m still technically kind of a young gun.
Personally, I’ve never had a consistent warmup routine, but I do feel the value in approaching the first few minutes as ‘warmup’ in that I play slowly and focus on waking up blood flow and coordination, before flying off to the races.
So I’d love to hear:
Do you “warm up” or do you just start?
How long do you warm up for?
What kinds of things do you find helpful? Stretches? Exercises? Chemical assistance?
(I know we have a few warmup related threads scattered about, but they’re all fairly small and thought we could get more input with another one)
Definitely coffee…about 15 minutes before practice. I do a couple hand stretches and hand rubs for about 3 minutes. I then start with doing a few scales up and down neck, and then, … wait for it… a few people have mentioned doing this… get into some Billie Jean.
I think “older” definitely applies to me, not so sure about “wiser” though.
I have taken to specific warm-ups lately. Largely I do first position chromatics on the E, A, D, and G strings, and then back up. I go from whole notes to half notes, and then to quarter notes.
I also consider a couple of AC/DC songs - Hells Bells and Have a Drink on Me specifically - to be “warm up” songs, and I’ll play one or both as part of my “warm up”.
Of course, I also work right next to my “studio” so I tend to riff and noodle throughout the day.
I am bad at doing a consistent warm-up or following a certain routine.
Basically, I noodle to get warmed up… I play what I think are shapes up and down the neck, but very freely. I think they teach me (subconsciously) about what sounds good, what can be connected, where to aim for, where to land etc. - all the while I warm up.
As you can see, this is more a warm-up for the fretting fingers, and not so much for the plucking fingers.
I do like coffee around me, and I have started to use "aloe heat lotions to tackle my stiff and arthritis-plagued fingers. But, that’s about it
I start by running the major and minor scales up and down the fretboard. Then I play G Major diatonic arpeggio’s all over the fretboard from 3rd fret to 15th fret. I also play several arpeggio’s in different positions of other chords. Then I will do roots/5ths and root/octaves all over the fretboard. Finally, I set the metronome on 250bpm and just alternate pluck at that speed for at least 500 beats. After that, my fingers are warmed up enough to get started. Takes about 10 minutes. However, afterward, I will practice for about 5-10 minutes slap and pop techniques.
I wash my hands with warm water, open and close them 15 to 20 times, 15 to 20 forearm pumps, and I think that’s about it.
I play Feels Good Inc, always my starter riff
Then I move the key to the A string D#
Then I jam on Killing Floor by Howlin’ Wolf for a bit to get the fingers all stretched
That’s my quick warmup
I’m really not a “warmer upper “ I’m ashamed to say.
I suppose if anything I pick a simple tune and play that a couple of times. Then I pray things will improve
I just noodle, but no way would I accuse myself of being wise
I play modes up and down the neck, in major and minor. Then five pentatonic patterns up and down the neck.
Anywhere from 5-10 minutes is all I need to warm up.
I do this, just with the first few minutes extending to an hour and without the flying off to the races part. I call it bass practice.
I don’t have a warm-up routine either. Sometimes I pick a drum beat and start with some simple improv, sometimes some shredding or an easy song I really like and that gets me in a good mood.
I just start, or sometimes I noodle a little bit if the weather is cold
I usually just start usually with a couple of slower tempo songs or if it’s a fast song I’ll play it at maybe 75% speed to start. Sometimes I’ll practice arpeggios/triads in 4ths around the neck or some intervals. Depends on what I was doing before I play… if I just got out of bed I might need more of a warmup, if I just got back from riding my bike, I’m good and warm
I like to noodle around and then start playing along with whatever I am learning to play.
Sometimes it takes a fair bit of repetition to nail different sections of some songs.
But the more you practice the easier it will be
I first sit on the floor in front of the heat register because my studio is ice cold (better than the heat of summer though). I’m usually massaging my hands just to make sure I have feeling in them before I head upstairs and pick up one of the myriad basses and go down the fretboard, jumping from one string to the next.
I used to do warmups in the first year or so, but I no longer do. I don’t have the patience, and I don’t feel it’s necessary. I’m not at a crazy high skill level anyway, so my normal playing can be considered a warmup.
Having said that, my warmups used to be: wrist stretches (backwards-forwards, side to side, circles), opening and closing hands (fist to open hand), thumb stretches to base of pinky, and stretching the other four fingers (gently bending them backwards one by one with the other hand). When I had tendonitis symptoms I also did finger pulls (gently pulling them outwards).
I also have a USB hand warmer to literally warm up my hands on winter days, when necessary.
I just start, usually by playing something I already know. I guess you could call that my warmup routine.
Ibuprofen, high octane coffee, stretches and scales.
Then again, I’m old and full of arthritis. Wish i could Just strap up and play. My hands wouldn’t appreciate it much.
I make sure my fingernails are trimmed,hands washed and just go for it. I do avoid too complicated playing to start with though
When practicing, I typically do not warm up, but when jamming with others, I try to do some warmups since we usually play something fast right out of the gate and my right hand will cramp if I don’t…my left hand is usually fine. I just play something fast without the amp and stretch/shake my hands and find that it helps.