Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Gander, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. Gander


    Jun 5, 2002
    Hi, I have trouble maintaining concentration all the way through a song, even songs I've played many times and know well, and as a result I hit some sour notes. I will start thinking about other things during the song and miss a note. Any suggestions on how to stay focused will be appreciated.
  2. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    set your practice area up so its conductive to study. minimal preferably no distractions. start psyching yourself up to practice before you even sit down to practice. practice new material this should challenge you a bit and help maintain youre concentration. works for me anyway
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Watch less television.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    There's no way around it. Practice the songs on your own. Play to the recording and make sure you nail every note.

    Then again, maybe you don't like the music as much as you thought or you're not writing basslines that are interesting to you. If your mind wanders off your basslines and you are playing them, how do you think your audience feels?

    When a musician is being creative and they have the tools to express the music in their minds, everything they play should sound interesting to them.

    A creative musician who has the tools to express the music in their minds is always busy grooving on their own bassline or figuring out a way to make it better, so they'll feel good about it.

    The goal when creating a bassline is to find a line that'll fit the requirements of a song but will still challenge and excite you.

    To get better:

    Make an activity out of listening to music, instead of using it as a background to other activities.

    Listen to good music, even from people whose style you don't like. Get in the habit of listening to the whole song, focusing on the transition between sections. Figure out creative ways to connect sections of a song and memorize them.

    Sit down and practice, dammit!
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I do this a lot, especially at rehearsals, and it gets worse the longer we have had a particular song on our repertouire. It's not the same at gigs though, so it must have to do with how psyched up I am about playing the song. I've tried a trick that works for me, and that is promising myself before a song I will nail every note, and not be happy if I miss even one. Seems to work, puts some adrenalin back in the system. One thing I noticed is that after we started recording gigs and rehersals I play with better concentration, maybe that takes the role of an audience. Also, don't expect your concentration or playing to be very good if you're tired, I never practice late at night, I'm not inspired then.
  6. Gander


    Jun 5, 2002
    Thanks for sharing with me and God bless, and God bless America.
  7. I think that if you have a hard time keeping your focus at gigs what you can do is set up your practising room just like how it will be at the gig and consentrat then on proctising. It is like taking a test was in school. They told you not to study the material with music or by laying down on your bed, because that is not how you are going to take you test. Most problems from consentration come from your suroundings. So adjust them and see how you do. Just a thought. I practice with something going on in the background so I can not only proctice my bass, but also I can proctice tuning thing out. Thus I focus on focusing on my bass (if that makes sense, it does to me and that is what works for me). Try different things and find out what works for you.
  8. I also failed to mention that due to my addiction to caffein I find a nice hot cup of coffee to really help me focus a lot. So if you are in the same situation as me you might not be getting your caffein fix at the same time that you play. I would like to add that if you can avoid caffein, I have never smoked but I think that caffein is just as bad and it can really screw you up. I am working right now to get myself unaddicted, but for the time being it helps me focus.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Yes. And God Bless America.
  10. Gander


    Jun 5, 2002
    Special, I was addicted to cigarettes for 25 years. Smoked until I had a black spot on one lung. Finally threw myself on God's mercy and he set me free and took away the desire and also healed my lung. But first, I had to step out and lay them down. I'm probably gonna get yelled at for going off subject in this forum, but maybe this will help. Thanks again, my Brothers, for your input.
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Let's keep it on topic here.
  12. I was thinking and you might be able to do breathing exercises to help you consentrate i don't know jsut a thought
  13. Grygore


    Oct 25, 2002
    Grand Prairie, TX
    I've had that problem before Gander, mostly when recording (not so much at practice or at gigs). That's because I would get so nervous and worked up over getting it right the first time. I finally just told myself to relax, calm down - I know this song dangit, I've only played it a million times!

    So, deep breath, chill and let the groove flow through! If I can do it - so can you:)

    And yes, breathing is very important. I used to hold my breath constantly when playing. One of our friends that always watched us practice noticed and pointed it out. He would yell out "breathe!" whenever he saw me do it, that got me out of that heh:cool:
  14. Friends are a great thing "they can be your closest ally or your worst enemy" depending on how you look at their help. I'v had my friends sit and watch me pratice and they have turned out to great. Some of the just critique a lot, which is not a bad thing, just at first it was kind of annoying. And now I have learned to live and grow from their advice.
    Basiclly keep friends around you + if you get good at playing in front of them then when you get put in front of others you might be able to concentrat more and be able to focus.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree and avoid all foods with E numbers, additives and too many sugary-sweet things! ;)
  16. anit that the truth with the sweets thing. They can lower your concentration level, just like not enough sleep or drinking. Keep that in mind the next time you eat a Mr. Good Bar
  17. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    No TV, no additives, no E-numbers or sugar, no smoking or drinking, don't stay up late and get tired, practice, practice, practice...

    Bass playing is beginning to look distinctly un-attractive... :)
  18. It reminds me of Prison or school or both
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    A good spell of either would probably improve concentration! Or the armed forces - bring back conscription that would help!! ;)