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Better after practice break

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassplayerjojo, Apr 23, 2002.


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  1. Hey does anyone find that after they take a break from what they were practicing (for any amount of undetermined time) then go back to it and are better at it? Hmm...
     
  2. I felt compelled to let everyone know that the only reason I posted this post was because it is what I should have posted in the first place, and regretfully did not. Sorry I started a riot, so to speak.
     
  3. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    darn, i missed the riot.

    there have been times where i've practiced like a maniac for months.

    for one reason or another, i'm pulled away for a week or so.

    and yes, there's a freshness to coming back after some time off.

    f
     
  4. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I'm riding the fence on this issue, because I have experienced both sides:

    About eight months after I started playing, I was in hospital for a week and a bit. At that point I was practicing several hours a day, so it was somewhat of a shock to be bass-deprived. When I got out, it didn't feel like I had lost anything, and the techniques seemed to come a little more easily.

    On the other side of the coin, I was in a black-metal band in Detroit a few years ago, and I went home for two weeks at Christmas (again going bass-less). Laugh at metal all you want, but some of these songs were TOUGH, and I found that if you let up in practicing for a few days, you got more sloppy. Anyway, needless to say, after I got home from the vacation, I blew serious rear end for the first couple of rehearsals.

    I can't explain either way... however, I have heard of the phenomenon of "overpracticing" in sports. Does anyone think this can apply to music as well? I don't know.
     
  5. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    my current band is a mix of metal, funk, jazz, prog.

    i respect some metal players.

    my guitarist at one point asked it would be easier if i played with a pick through some really insane passages.

    i refused...back to the woodshed i went.

    as far as over-practicing is concerned, if you continually challenge yourself with new material, i don't think its a problem.

    since you mentioned sports over-practicing, this leads me to think your speaking of fatigue and/or injury.

    a light touch is in order here. IMO.

    f
     
  6. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I remember a column in bass player about it. Will Lee wrote it and he said it's a good idea to take a break sometimes. I don't know if you are better after the break, but you at least you took some time off and you have a fresh attitude.
    Maybe 2 or 3 times a year it would be a good idea.
     
  7. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I think it was a psychological thing, not a physical thing. I read it in a book by some rower - he said if they trained too hard, they became almost like automatons, ready to practice until they dropped, not doing anything else, yet not really putting their heart into what they were doing.

    I don't think you can physically hurt yourself by practicing bass too hard if you do the proper warmups. (Well, maybe some blisters... :p )
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You can run, but you can't hide.

    BASS HOLDER JIVE JIVE - if you don't want to hear the answers, you shouldn't ask the question. In your other thread you claimed some specific knowledge of what I sound like, musically. I offered what I thought would be an equitable demonstration of what each of us sounds like, I do so again here.
    If you cannot physically come to NYC, you pick 3 tunes, I'll pick three and let's get'em down on tape and send'em to Xav so he can post the mp3s. That way you can point out exactly how average my playing is.

    If you don't want to do that, I'll accept your apology at any time.


    PRACTICING:
    I'm not talking about playing along with CDs or working on your part to tunes that your band plays or running scales while you watch TV. I am talking about exercises that are put together to work on weak areas in either your execution (technique) or understanding (theory) of musical fundamentals. Working on execution is what helps get that theory out of your head and into your ears and under your fingers. Being able to play something you hear in your head on your instrument, in time, no matter where your left hand or right are on the instrument, no matter what finger you start on. That's one thing. Being able to hear on a continually deeper level, that's the other. And it comes from putting the work in, not trying to get around it.

    So you say you want to take time off because you're getting "stale" - well why don't you instead look at why you are getting stale in the first place? Are you actually working on things that push up against your limitations or are you sticking with the things that you can do "well enough" already? Are you finding things that you can't understand and finding a way to get them into your vocabulary? Are you learning new things and moving forward or just rehashing stuff you already pretty much know?
    I personally find it hard to get stale working on new ideas, new sounds and new concepts whenever I practice.
    And, as somebody above said, if you take time off you may come back psychologically refreshed and, maybe, what skills you have developed up to the point you stopped practicing haven't diminished, but have they actually improved or are you just hearing them "for the first time" again? And are you comparing them to the last time you tried them or to the other "first time" when you were just learning them? Plus, if all you have done is take time off and have not addressed any of the issues that led to your becoming "stale" in the first place, by what mechanism do you expect those issues to correct themselves?

    Again, as RobW implies in the thread that you seem to have run away from, once you have a concept/technique well and truly down, you don't need to keep revisiting it (except perhaps occasionally). But unless you are doing work to continually move forward and deeper, that's where you stop growing as a musician.

    WHAT I AM NOT SAYING -
    I'm not saying that unless you have your hand on your instrument at all times, you don't grow. If I had CTS and had to stop playing bass for a year, I could kepp working on my ear, my understanding of harmony etc by
    1. continuing to practice ear training
    2. working on 4 part harmony and extensions on the piano
    3. transcribing and singing solos
    4. singing my own solos over harmony

    The problem is that when I was able to start to play bass again, I would have to put in a lot of work to get the concepts in my head and in my ear out on my instrument. If I was playing electric instead of upright, it would be a little easier because the physical demands of the instrument are not as great, but it would still take some practice before the fluidity of thought to sound was there. Not as much as if I were a beginner, but it would still be there. People who have had their hearing restored or are able to speak again after a stroke experience the same thing;ie you have to condition the physical instrument to be able to express mental concepts you have already developed.

    I don't find the weight traing metaphor an apt one, simply because you are not just developing muscle strength here.

    Being a practicing musician doesn't mean that you divorce yourself from the rest of the world. You still have friends and family, go to museums and parks, go hear music, hang. It's just that you also have this time everyday that is sacrosanct, just you and the bass and your personal limitations in the shed.
     
  9. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    is this the riot?

    ;)

    f
     
  10. I'm sorry you misunderstood what I said
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Just a misunderstanding, apparently! :D
     
  12. I'm not sure why it is that you want me to apologize to you anyway....was it not you who called me a "bass wearer", because I said it is possible to 'practice' without practicing. You took that to mean "you can get better without doing any work whatsoever". Thats not true and its also not what I meant OR said. You can practice without your bass, you just said it in this thread. (Ear training and so on...) So again I say, I'm sorry, I phrased my question poorly, and it was taken wrong. Now maybe this child's play can stop and we can continue to dwell in peace and unity in bass players land.
     
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well which part of
    Ed, you sound like one of those bass players who spend 8 hours a day practicing only to be an average player at best.
    did I misunderstand? You want to splain it a little better so I do understand what it is you are saying?
    The only thing I think I am having trouble understanding is your current reluctance to either stand behind what you said (with your bass in hand) or your inability to apologise for an inaccurate and inflammatory remark.

    Ball's in your court.

    ooo, posting at the same time.
    ie bass wearer - nope, pay more attention. Maybe Bruce?

    practicing without bass - again, that wasn't your original question, none of your posts ever spoke to anything other than putting the bass down and walking away and it wasn't even your second question. If you want to ask CAN YOU PRACTICE WITHOUT USING YOUR BASS? then ask that question and I'll answer it.
     
  14. Well I am sorry I said THAT. It was out of line. However, also out of line was your comment of my being a "bass wearer" as opposed to bass player, simply because I believe you don't need your bass in hand to be practicing (something you said you believe also). I do believe that would also deserve an apology.
     
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    See above edit. You want an apology for anything else I didn't say?
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Nope he didn't say that and it was me who mentioned this concept - in the context of a joke, that wasn't aimed at anyone in particular and was taken way too seriously by certain individuals....methinks they doth protesteth too much! ;)
     
  17. Nope thats good
     
  18. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    nobody is trying to answer the question anymore....
     



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