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An unpassable barrier...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Vorago, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    called Teen Town, and more specific, the second lick, the one that starts on F and goes all the way up across all 4 strings.

    I've been playing this song for nearly two years now, and I half of the time I still screw up. I have it all figured out, the ideal left hand fingering, the perfect right hand alternation, which note should be played with which finger, timing and it's still unplayable half of the time.

    I practice it with a play along version, without, in a whole, at real time speed, at 70 % of the original speed, singling out licks, as a whole, with metronome, without...

    Also, because I've been playing this for so long, I am absolutely fed up with it, I really have to drag myself through every practice session, and half an hour after having pulled it off I try it again and mess up completely.

    Plus, I have to play this in 3.5 weeks for a bass exam.

    :help: :help: :help:
  2. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's like any section of music that is giving you difficulty. The problem is you've played it wrong so many times the brain isn't sure which is which. The brain is like a computer if only knows data, doesn't know right from wrong just data. So you play something you tell the brain is Teentown and its wrong it remembers, play it right it remembers. More wrongs than rights the brain is more likely to give you a wrong one versus a right one. So the key is to never play anything wrong, then the brain only know the right way to do things. Sounds stupid but it isn't. How many times have you played a major scale 1000's probably, but do you still screw it up now and then. Point made.

    When learning stuff slow it down to a snails pace if you have to so you avoid mistakes. As the body learns the physical movement then it will naturally speed up.

    So isolate the section you are having trouble with. Work on it as a tempo slow enough you can play it perfect or stop when think your going to hit a wrong note. Get to where you play it perfect slow and repeat and repeat and repeat till its second nature. Now little by little add a little speed. Since you've played it wrong many time you need to get a lot of right times in so they out number the bad time you are trying to eliminate.

    Remember to learn a lot of info fast, learn a little info slow.
  3. i can play that lick decent, i always have trouble with the very first part of that song, with the string skipping.
  4. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Someone assigned this for an exam?
  5. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I did :p
  6. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    Here comes 2cents!

    Although I think it's great to select something fast and technical for your auditions and exams, I feel this often gives the wrong impression to the graders.

    Barely pulling off Teen Town may give you a much worse grade/score than perfectly playing a Steely Dan song where you just hold down the bass line through nice chords.
    Many times I've regretted trying to over step my bounds on an audition, trying to do the "leadbass" thing. When had I showed off my restraint and accompaniment/"sideman" skills, I feel I would have done much better.

    p.s. I was doing two auditions/boards a semester for 5 years!
  7. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Here's how alot of professionals practice.

    At tempo. Play the first note, leave the rest of the measure empty. Add the second note, leaving the rest empty. Continue adding one note at a time til you hit the hard leap. Stay here for 20 minutes, just playing up to the leap.

    Isolate your problems. Playing slower is just that. Slower.

    This method will solve all your problems in half the time.

    Funny how people never teach *how to practice.*

    Also, don't waste your time playing the parts you play well. Only play the licks, 20 minutes a day, you'll be at tempo playing the whole tune real quick.

    For reference, I expect my intermediate students to play Teen Town along with the recording in two weeks...
  8. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium

    Thanks for the advice though :)
  9. This sounds like an awesome method CD, thanks for sharing!

    One reason that I always had difficulty slowing down parts is that, when I do build up to tempo, I seem to spend just as much time isolating my "trouble part" and playing through it smoothly with the rest of the passage. This method seems like it would allow for easier flow once the trouble spot has been worked out. Do you find this to be true?
  10. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Concentrate on your weaknesses. When you play the whole thing slow, you are concentrating far too much of your time playing the parts you already play, but more slowly! Isolate the problem spots. Destroy them. Divide and conquer.

    The "at tempo" method is one of the great secrets of the musical world. I just hope the Berklee people don't come for me in the night because I gave their secret away.:ninja:

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