Good practice regiment
What are some good exercises I should include in a 1 hr practice session every day?
I always :
Wash my hands in hot water...gets the blood moving (old trick from my metal guitar days)
Stretch my fingers and wrists, sticking hand straight out like a "stop" motion and gently pulling my fingers back with my other hand.
Start fret exercises with a simple minor penatonic scale across all strings, paying close attention to right hand fingers alternating...... start this around about "b" on your 9th fret and slowly work down till your doing "f" in the first position.
Start learning songs.
(Hey I'm in a cover band.. I got things to learn....)
I believe the National guard has good practice regiments :hiding:
Start with something simple that you can play without any real effort. This gets your mind in gear with sounds and bass.
Then move to something that has been difficult for you in a past gig or rehearsal. Not necessarily a whole song, just fill or something that didn't get played smoothly.
After that, do something that this not on your 'playlist'. Like new kinds of scale forms, chords, songs you've heard on the TV or from some place that has nothing to do with bass. For instance, folk songs, children's songs, a song you knew in HS, or something classical.
Lastly, play something that makes you feel good as a bassist.
Don't just fluff through these things, take time to get them right.
I always warm up with say the E string 5th fret as position 1 and playing 1-2-3-4 (up to the C), A string 1-2-3-4 and so on for the D and G string. Then play it backwards. Always making sure to fret each note precisely as possible with each finger. Rinse and repeat. Keep the precision there and gradually increase your speed. Move to different positions on the neck and do it again. I usually do it until my hand starts to get a little tired, take a little time out, stretch, and go again.
One of the great things I've learned from studying with Jim Stinette @ Berklee was to break your points of emphasis into 15 and 5.
Practice something you'd like to learn for 15 mins. Whether its a scale, pattern, lick, transcription etc.
Mess around with it for 5 mins out of context and noodle
move on to something else.
I think you'd be surprised at how much you'll actually retain and improve.
some good things to work on:
Broken Interval patterns
For building technique I like to practice things that fall outside typical Bass patterns. To stretch your abilities try practicing lines conceived on other instruments such as Violin or Keyboard.
As an example, practicing fast Irish jigs and reels will
greatly increase your playing skill. Start slowly and gradually build up speed as you make progress. There are books of jigs and reels available. Also, try "Dirty Linen" a medley by Fairport Convention where the Bass doubles or triples the melody.
The Bass lines in some Doors songs originally written for Keyboard will also take you outside your comfort zone with a lot of variations on outlining chords.
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