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A more efficient way to practice scales?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by greekorican, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    When I practice scales, I play each position of a major scale, starting with quarter notes, then quarter note triplets, eight notes, eight note triplets, and then 16th notes. I do a couple of coils and play through the positions in thirds. Then I play through the relevant minor pentatonic the same way. Each day I practice the next key in the cycle. On top of this I do some ear training, I practice counting rhythyms from a snare drum book, and I do some exercises from Bass Fitness. While I have definitely improved a ton from doing this, it takes up alot of time. Sometimes I am burnt out afterwards and I don't even feeling like playing anymore.

    I need to way to condense all of this somehow. I don't really want to stop doing any of this because it is definitely useful, but it gets a bit frustrating at times, which makes me just want to put my bass away when I'm done instead of learning songs or just playing.

    How should I condense all this material to make it more manageable? Any suggestions?
  2. jrklmx(Andrew)


    Mar 31, 2009
    You could try playing broken chords rather than scales
    like am7 D7 playing in 3/4 a c e g e c a d f# c f# d
    Have you ever tried doing a major scale on the same string? Then try minor/ harmonic minor etc.

    Learn songs like "So What"
    That should help you keep time and avoid boredom
  3. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    There's lots you can do to keep it interesting: Try some arpeggio patterns, practice your scales over some cool chord progressions (eg II-V-I), round out your practice routine with some ear training/sight reading/improvisation etc.
  4. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Try using the ascending/descending thirds thing like Jaco shows in his DCI video with Jerry Jemmott. You play the I chord ascending, the ii descending, iii ascending, IV descending, V ascending, vi descending, vii ascending, I descending, ii ascending, iii descending, IV ascending, V descending, vi ascending, viii descending, I ascending.

    SING the scale, arpeggio, etc. as you play them. Play them over the entire neck. Play them over as much of two octaves as you can on one string.


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