What most musicians wouldn’t give for just one day packed full of growth. Bob Franceschini: world renowned saxophonist; helped design a new breed of sax for Yamaha. Victor Wooten: most proficient bassist on the planet. JD Blair: drummer for Shania Twain; so tight, they thought someone turned the metronome off during the audition. Not to mention Richard the nature guy, the one dude you’d want to be friends with if you were half eaten by a bear. I get to spend three weeks with this, and much other amazing talent, and have direct access to ask them questions, request demonstrations, or just pal around. If you haven’t signed up for a camp yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. This blog certainly doesn’t do it justice.
I’ve been recovering from heat exhaustion the past 24 hours, so I missed out on some of the festivities last night and early this morning. Our morning kicked off with another nature walk followed by some archery. Quite frankly, I prefer shooting things until they’re dead. I can do that real well. I have no need for toy sticks and rubber bands. Give me a .44 magnum and we’re cool.
I know Kung-Fu… and about seven other Japanese words. Victor started out the morning showing us some limbering exercises to build our tendons, in preparation for our SiFu’s visit later on in the week. Victor says once you build a tendon, you never lose it. We approach the martial arts from a defensive perspective, but in many ways directly relates to bass playing. Today’s session didn’t feel like it was related to anything but pain. As I type this, I’m still tending to swollen body parts that I never knew I had.
The first exercise had us on our knees with our palms faced backwards. Vic showed us a little magic trick: Flip your hand the other way backwards, then rotate it out, and it looks like you’re rotating it a full 360 degrees. Eat your heart out, David Blane. The next exercise had us lay on our stomach and put all four appendages in the air, like we were a banana. This built our abs, or some other muscle that hurts down there. We then flipped to each side and on our back, balancing only on our center mass with all other body parts up in the air. Next up, calf exercises. Grab a partner’s arm and then push up and down on your calves to raise and lower your legs, without moving the rest of your body. Then spend three minutes raising your leg parallel to the floor and point your foot at the wall. If you’re not in agony by now, pull it to your chest. Finally, grab a partner, take their arm, and alternate round kicks. Try not to kick your partner in the package.