Gary Karr | Pedagogy | Stretch Exercises

Gary Karr's thinking about the idea of a successful, and last-longing musical life it is directly connected to maintain the good physical conditions of the musician. As the double bass it is a big instrument that takes its performers to hard positions, accordingly, he organized a sequence of stretch exercises, that I experienced to do every day at his double bass camp sessions, after the vomit exercise, which will be explained after. During the 1996 Karr’s Camp at Victoria University (Canada), I photographed most of these stretch exercises, and with the help of my former Physical Education teacher at Butler University, Dr. Eugenia Scott, who was in my Butler University studies’ times (1997-99), the Program Coordinator for Physical Education in the College of Education (Butler University), we put together these Gary Karr stretches shown and explained below.

Shoulder Rotations

  1. Ten shoulder rotations forward

  2. Ten shoulder rotation backward

Individual Shoulder Rotations

  1. Ten forward right shoulder rotations

  2. Ten forward left shoulder rotations

  3. Ten backward right shoulder rotations

  4. Ten backward left shoulder rotations

Ten Shoulder Shrug

Arm Extension

  1. Arm extension at the shoulder level

  2. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds

  1. Hand behind your back in interlocked fingers

  2. Lift straight arms towards shoulder level

  1. Bend forward until the back is parallel with the floor

  2. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds

  3. Bend knees before returning to a standing position

  1. Clasp hands on the back of the head

  2. Lean head forward with the weight of hands and arms giving additional stretch to the neck and upper back muscles

  3. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds

  1. Twist right

  2. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds

  3. Twist left

  4. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds

  1. Left arm extension toward the floor

  2. Right hand reach overhead to the left ear

  3. Pull toward right while stretching left arm toward the floor

  4. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds

  5. Do the reverse (what was left is now right)

Neck Circles

  1. Slowly

  2. Carefully when going back

  3. Ten neck circles to right

  4. Ten neck circles to the left

  1. Right hand over the left shoulder

  2. Left elbow cradles right arm above the elbow

  3. Left harm puts pressure on the right arm to get a stretch through the right shoulder

  4. Both hands relaxed over the left shoulder

  5. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds and do the reverse

Triceps Stretch

  1. Place right hand on back with elbow up

  2. Left hand will go over head to grasp the elbow

  3. Apply pressure toward the back

  4. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds and do the reverse

Rest Position

  1. On your knees with forehead touching the floor

  2. Arms extended straight back towards the feet

  3. Hold that position for a minute

This Gary Karr Stretch part is dedicated to professor Eugenia Scott (1947-2016)