I am not a pro, but I have a good steady gig. I have played for years, off and on. Stopping to help raise a family and take part in different family projects. I gigged almost constantly for about seven years before getting married. I have been in the studio several times, recording a few albums.
With that in mind, take my information for what it is worth.
I am always trying to improve as a musician. We all get stuck from time to time. Here is basically what I do now to feel that I am improving and making progress as a musician
* I practice the songs for our shows until I know them well. I study them and make sure I am ready for a show, I want to be comfortable and enjoy myself while I play. The music could be any genre, so it is varied. We mostly use lead sheets, but occasionally I create a chart.
When not learning songs for the next show, I do the following:
* I purchased this book
. I use it to learn and improve my reading skills. I also use this book as well
. This book, to me anyway, stress timing and learning the different notes and rests.
* I work on learning more theory. For instance, study the Circle of Fifths
or Circle of Fourths
. Learn the different keys and chords. Relate them to the fretboard so you can locate them quickly. Learn the "Order of Sharps and Flats"
. These are just a few examples of theory topics to work on.
* I pick songs that I like personally, but that offer me a challenge and also allow me to study and understand the chord structure and relationship. I work on learning those songs to expand my general knowledge of music and chord relationships.
* I study The Nashville Number System
. I find this very helpful, especially with the gig that I currently have. We are often faced with transposing and know this system seems to help. Our band leader uses this system to call out changes to the rest of the band on the fly. Being familiar with it makes my job easier.
* Last but not least
, you can find a ton of useful information right here on this forum! Look at some of the topics in this section. Great musical minds have shared tons of information and it's here for you to use. Plus links like StudyBass.com
is an excellent resource.
I hope this information helps. Good Luck!!!