Believe it or not, playing the bass guitar is almost like playing a sport; you use your body in ways that, when done without proper care, can cause injuries.
You push yourself each day to better yourself physically and mentally; you work hard and, well, you don’t want to wind up unable to see the fruits of your labor, do you?
Hopefully not. In this article, we will discuss several ways that can help you to avoid injuries in bass guitar playing.
Now, just before we get into this article, you should take into consideration that we are not doctors, and if you have any playing related pains you should immediately consult one for proper treatment. Always be safe; it is far better than every being sorry.
Let’s start this article off strong; what is the number one way to avoid injuries when you are playing the bass guitar?
Yeah, it’s that simple.
Many of the injuries that musicians face are nerve related injuries. These are caused by improper warm ups or even improper warm up techniques. Before each and every playing session, starting today, you should play the chromatic scale all the way up the neck, starting in position one on the low E string, moving (one finger at a time—index, middle, ring, then pinky) up to fret four, then moving to the next string, repeating the exercise up the entire neck.
After this, you should play some simple chords or perform some simple finger exercises up the neck. Make sure not to stretch too much too early; a warmed up tendon is much more responsive than a cold tendon. For a detailed look, check out our article on how to warm up on the bass guitar.
Stretching is optional, but we highly suggest that you stretch your shoulders , chest, and triceps (the most used muscle groups when playing the bass guitar) before playing.
Next up, think about limits; we all have them. Start off slowly. Don’t jump right into a high speed, ultra-flexible piece. Start your first song after your warm up as a post-warm-up warm up. That is to say, play something nice and easy and allow your fingers to further limber themselves up. This will save you from any possible strains.
Never play too long.
This may sound absurd, but just like any other activity, there is such thing as too much. Your body wears down after a certain amount of time, and if you keep pushing it after that time has been expended, you’ll wind up hurting yourself. Then you won’t only be back at square one again, you’ll also have to take time off from your instrument.
It isn’t worth it to push yourself day in and day out. Practicing every day is okay, just like working out every day is; but practicing to an excess every day is not okay, and the same goes for working out.
You know your limits; you know when your body is tired and it is telling you, enough is enough. Listen to your body; it is the number one way to avoid injuries in bass guitar playing.
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