can I get some help with practiceing

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bass_extremes, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. bass_extremes


    Jul 9, 2005
    Hey everone could I get your some help with practicing? I think this is my weakest spot when I want to settle down and practice I dont know what to practice or what to do. I warm up and play songs till im bored. Can someone give me some suggestions on how to practice so that when I practice its constructive so that I can start improveing on my skills and be the best I can be.
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    For fingerboard familiarization, working on consistency in attack, ease of position shift etc.
    ALL major scales in two octaves -start at 60bpm on the metronome, play the two octaves in quarter notes, up and down. DON'T MOVE THE NOME until you nail it EVERY time, not just the FIRST time you hit them all without a mistake. Then move the nome up a notch, repeat until you are playing 2 octave major scales in all 12 keys at 120bpm. Then drop the nom eback to 60bpm and play the majors as accent 1 eight notes; that is the first 8th note of a 4 note grouping gets the strong accent -ONE and two and THREE and four and ONE and two and THREE etc. As before, when you nail it, move the nome up a notch. Again, get to 120, drop it back down to 60 and start with accent 2 eighth notes - one AND two and three AND four and. Rinse and repeat through accent 4. Then start with triplets -accent one, accent two, accent 3. Then melodic minor, then harmonic minor. Then triad arpeggios in all inversions and open and closed position, then 7th chords.

    Then learn melodies.
    Then ear training- hearing identifying, singing intervals in the octave. Then in the second octave (tensions), then triads in all inversions(first closed, then open position), then 7th chords, then 7th with one tension, then 7th with two tensions.
    Then sight reading.
    Then transcribing solos.
    Then improvisational exercises.

    One thing that would help you specifically and consistently is to get a teacher.
  3. You asked for something to keep you busy, and I can't touch what Ed said, but I do know one thing. A solid, strong, experienced and well-rounded teacher will always be able to give you something to do. Then, it is simply a question of motivation. The thing is, IME, is that the better the teacher, the better the motivation that is both given to you and that you wholly feel. That's not to say that when I haven't taken lessons that I don't feel as motivated, but I am guaranteed something to practice when I have a teacher.
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Bordom is a barrier that you will over-come.

    Just keep chipping away it.

    Don't push it to hard at the beginning. If you do, other more serious barriers will come into view.

    It's a bit like a 100m spritter, you hit full gas about 1/3 to 1/2 the way down the track.

    So the the boredom will disappear, and you feel like you're flying.
  5. cirwin


    May 2, 2005
    Scales, time studies, etc can be boring. I break things up into 10-15 minute mini-sessions. Do a scale routine and then work on a song on a CD. I also make up my own exercises. FOr instance, if there's a riff I really like but I can't play easily, I'll turn it into an exercise and play it up and down the neck, using the metronome (I use a drum machine set to beat on the 2 & 4). I do a lot of pick-up work so being able to things in various keys and at various places on the neck is important.
  6. This has got to be some of the best advice I've ever seen.

    The only thing I can add is some advice I received from a teacher many years ago, and it kind of goes with what cirwin brought up.

    I break my practice up into 3, 20 min sessions a day (every day) 1. 20 minutes of technical execises, scales, modes, fingerings etc...... 2. 20 minutes learning a new tune 3. 20 minutes of practicing and polishing repetiore, usually with either a CD, a playalong, or a metronome.

    The best part is I can do one practice or three or even six ten minute sessions, depending on my schedule :cool:

  7. bass_extremes


    Jul 9, 2005
    Can someone explain the 8th note part of that excersise it makes no sense to me at all. I would love to go get a teacher but I live in a small town. at our music store my teacher was a guitar player he didnt play bass ( or atleast that much.) so getting a teacher is kinda hard.
  8. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Sure, it's spelled "practicing". ;)

    Okay, seriously, 2 8th notes are equal in length to one 4th (quarter) note. So set your metronome to 60 bpm, each click will represent a 4th note. If you play a note on each click (1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, etc.) you are playing quarter notes at 60 bpm. To play 8th notes at a tempo of 60 bpm (with quarter = 1 beat, which is usually how tempo is given), play two notes for each quarter note (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, etc.). Try to keep the 8th notes as evenly spaced as possible, i.e. avoid "galloping."

    Hope that helps. But you will probably have many questions like this I would recommend to get a Harmony & Theory book which will help, considering you don't have a teacher.
  9. MrBassManG


    Jun 5, 2012
    Wow, this looks like some sound practice advice. The only questoion I've got is, when you're playing a two octave scale, do you have to start on the root note of the scale, or for example if I was playing the Cmaj could I start on the lowest E and play the notes of the scale (ie. no sharps)?

    I ask because it seems to play a two octave Cmaj I have to play nearly an octave on one string. Is this right?

    Nothing like dragging an ancient thread back into the light, bass extremes, did this work for you?
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Do what Ed says.
    Don't mess with the man.
    We are so lucky to have great bass players drop in here
    and tell it like it is.
  11. MrBassManG


    Jun 5, 2012
    I want to do what Ed said, I just don't know how. Is there a recognised fingering pattern for two octave scales?
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Any scale you're playing, start on the root wherever it is lowest on the fingerboard.
    Part of why you work on scales in two octaves is so you can figure out which fingering makes the most sense for you, where do you make the shifts etc. In the first octave for a C major scale you're presented with a multitude of choices and you should work on all of them. Do you start with the low C on your A string (3rd fret) or on the E string (8th fret)? Do you finger the note with your first finger or second finger or fourth finger?
  13. MrBassManG


    Jun 5, 2012
    Thanks Ed, everything just snapped into focus. Two octaves in more ways than one. Any plans I had for this afternoon have just gone out of the window!!

    Cheers again.
  14. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    What makes some players great who always seem to be improving and others seem stuck in place? It's not the amount of practicing but the quality of practicing.

    Write down your goals as a player and regiment your practice time accordingly.

    For example, here's what I ('d like to) do:

    Learn to read better. Improve my understanding of theory. Improve finger dexterity and stamina. Write more and better songs. Have fun.

    So if I have a couple hours of practice time I do a little bit of each of those ^ things.

    So, after warming up I do some reading (Mary Had a Little Lamb =D), then I run through scales / modes / arpeggios trying to add a little bit each time - and this can be combined with the dexterity thing by running scales etc. at ever increasing bpm's on the metronome and by running through different patterns and inversions and bla bla bla... After doing all that stuff I usually have a bunch of new ideas knocking around the old melon which can be applied to writing new riffs / songs etc. And to wind down I like to play along with some of my favorite oldies.

    I don't just noodle around doing things I already know. Noodling around is good for warming up but you've gotta push yourself into uncharted territory.

    Oh, yeah, get a metronome if you don't have one. The best practice tool ever, ever!

    Hope that helps.


    Jan 21, 2012
    I fought with my theroy studies Like I did with math in high school.
    Till one day, I read something that caught me just right. And. Away I went. Things fell into place.
    I Just focussed on my muscle memory while I wrestled with understanding All these other things.
    And when the theroy light in my head went off. I was so thankful That I kept after it. While developing my ear ,muscles, library, economy of hand movements.
    I tried to hard and clouded the water for myself. So once I approached it from another angle. Things Fit.
    I compare learning any instrument as a puzzle. I just needed to work on getting the corners first. Then things started falling into place.
    They basically had too.
    So if one approach doesn't click for you. Keep trying another route. Alot of folks think they Can't get it. That it's to hard. But I'm thankful for all the help I got from the fine folks off this site.
  16. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Practise is the verb, practice is the noun. So it is actually practising.;)
  17. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    First thing, learn to play with your fingers COMPLETELY relaxed. Completely, as in the only finger which has the slightest tension is the one actually doing something. You are going to have to learn to play so slow it doesn't even really feel like playing for a while. The second thing, learn to keep your fingers together and actually doing something! In other words, when you finish some fancy run stop and check whether your fingers are all off the fretboard, and useless or whether they are all loose and acting to mute every string you aren't playing, this is one of the many techniques real masters do so effortlessly, and unless you make it point to learn you won't achieve. Spend just ten minutes a day learning this way and tell me whether you are bored. Best of luck.
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    And typing about it is doing neither.