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creating a practice regimen

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by dalconthenovice, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. so i need a more concrete and focuses practice regimen and i'm lookin for ideas and discussion on that. so far all i've gotten down is just to practice my scales, modes, chords, jam with different time signatures, and jam to records.

    the idea is i want a concrete weekly practice regimen so i can stay focused and have a well rounded list of things to work on

    any ideas?
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
  3. i'm looking for something more concrete, i already am well aware of pacman's method to practicing scales (and a thorough believer that it should be rigorously practiced) but i'm looking for something a little more
  4. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
  5. Toddy54


    Mar 12, 2010
    Boston England
  6. so no ones really getting what i'm trying to get help with or maybe no one cares. in which case that would be incredibly disappointing, i'm tryin to develop a concrete practice routine and frankly i feel like i must be talkin to wrong people right now
  7. I doubt that no one cares bro, we're all connected by a common love: bass.

    The way I approach practicing is I warm up with scales and some chord triads and diads then move on to playing through some songs or pieces of songs with various techniques (hammer-ons/pulloffs, slap, triplets, etc.) If I want to work on a song that I'm trying to learn, I do it next, then I think to myself about where my weaknesses are and practice that.

    The problem is, that's the way that -I- practice. You need to find what works for you and practice your way. It's kind of like choosing a bass, you have to find what suits you. Obviously certain things work for everyone in general, however no one is the exact same.
  8. progrmr


    Sep 3, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    Your practice routine isn't going to match what anyone else is doing - it's tailored to your current level of proficiency and skills.

    I practice every day, 20 minutes on reading music, 20 minutes blues, 20 minutes book music theory. The 20 minutes is kinda flexible - if I'm in a blues jamming mode, I'll let the timer go off and just keep going until I get tired of playing :) But it also means that on those days where a straight hour is good enough, this routine ensure I hit everything that I happen to be working on.

    Probably not going to match what you're working on - you have to figure out what it is that you're working on and want to learn. Then schedule set time frames for each thing you want to study.
  9. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I do the 20 minute thing too. First off is chord tone exercises, if you don't do them take a look at Jeff Berlin's thread. Then I'll run the chord tones I'm working on through a cycle of some sort, and lastly a tune. This runs to about 40 minutes.

    Then I will pick some pieces that are relatively difficult for me to read through, slowly. I'll follow that reading session with a review (at this time, did them years ago) of Jamersons lines. A couple times a week I grab something to read and go for it in time to test myself. Total time here about 40 minutes.

    Next I will work on a walking line concept for about 20 minutes and follow that with jazz heads for 20 minutes. Another 40 minutes or so.

    After that it is dedicated to band stuff.

    All my practice time is work time.

    I think it's a pretty solid routine, just find those things at your level. I don't do much with scales anymore, just a brush up a few times a week or in conjunction with chord tone work.

    Oh, it looks like a lot of stuff is 40 minutes, but I take a break every 20 minutes to stay fresh.
  10. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    I suggest you make a list of goals; for example, reading skills, analyzing music, dexterity, learning melodies, transcribing ... From that make a list of tasks; specific reading exercises with tempo's, tunes to analyze, scale practice, rhythm practice, pieces to transcribe, play-a-long, gig prep, ... Decide how much time you have for your music. Set up a week's worth of day sheets & go to work. Keep a diary of what you practiced, when, for how long ...

    Some resources to look over. Interested in music other than jazz? Perhaps others here can offer resources;

    Here is a very good plan for dealing with single tunes, posted on TB by Ed Fuqua;

    Jamie Aebersold Volume 76 also deals with learning songs; http://aebersold.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=V76DS&Category_Code=

    Jamie's Jazz Handbook is a great reference work; http://www.jazzwise.com/catalog/article_info.php?articles_id=10

    Todd Johnson did a 6 part series for Bass Musician Magazine called The Jazz Gym. Here is the BMM search page list with links. Alternately go to BMM & search The Jazz Gym;

    Hope that helps. :cool:
    BassChuck and Old P Bass Guy like this.
  11. thankx everyone, you've all been a big help :D
  12. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008

    To assist in setting up a practice routines, you'll have to specify your immediate goals. These will differ from time to time, based on your skill level and immediate needs. For example if you're going to play from sheet music soon, you better get yourself trained in reading them! Without proper hand dexterity you won't be abled to play anything - therefore my freejamtracks suggestion.

    An important factor is how much practice time you're prepared to spend every day! Some routines / excercises speed up the watch by a magnitude of 10! :)
  13. If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest reading the recent Jeff Berlin threads...

    Jeff Berlin Discussing Musid Ed Pt. I
    Jeff Berlin Discussing Musid Ed Pt. II
    Jeff Berlin Discussing Musid Ed Pt. III

    Roy Vogt's carrying on the discussion in Roy Vogt's Bass Ed Think Tank

    One of the main points from the JB threads (amongst many points) is to make the distinctions between Pratctice & Performance, Art & Academia. Once you realise you need to spend time praticing the academic stuff, that's when to set your little goals...

    Someone posted in the last JB thread some links to an online syllabus from Berkelee...

    Music Theory 101
    Music Theory 201
    Music Theory 301

    Start with 101, run down the list until you find something you don't know & work on that, when you've got a good understanding of it, go back to the list & find the next "gap" in your knowledge.

    That's roughly what I'm doing at the moment (& adding in the chord studies stuff & some walking exercises.)

    hth. :)
  14. Reaper Man

    Reaper Man

    Jan 15, 2010
    I'll tell you guys what- you make me feel like a complete and utter slacker since I only practice an hour a day.
  15. ericw


    Aug 19, 2009
    Hagerstown, MD
    I rarely stick to my schedule but I try and cover: scales/modes (to metronome), arpeggios (multiple shapes/positions to metronome), reading, walking (and writing out walking lines), songs for the cover band, and transcribing. Split up whatever amount of time you have according to what you need the most work on.

    I have really been slacking in some of these areas lately.

    Also going to add this into my "routine" for a couple jazz tunes.
  16. purpletornado


    Aug 5, 2009
    Great thread.
    Old P Bass Guy likes this.
  17. I would suggest you split up your time, use an alarm on your cell phone or something to mark "periods." Depending on how much time you have you make the periods as long as possible. I usually do 20 minutes each. I try to focus on sight reading something new everyday as well as work on other exercises. The material I practice is from either John Patitucci's "60 Melodic Etudes" book and Anton Slama's "66 Studies In All Keys for Double Bass" (I practice these exercises on both electric and upright bass). These are all scale based and eliminate the need to just run scales. When I sight read I go once through without a metronome and workout any tricky spots, then I go through at a moderate tempo gradually increasing it. I also practice through some jazz standards playing the melody, arpeggios, walking, and soloing. For more on this look at this thread:


    There are many ways to practice, you're question is pretty general and can be answered in many ways.
  18. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    There must be a sound reason many of us stick to 20 minute increments. I arrived at mine randomly, but it seems efficient, even if the day adds up to many hours of practice.
  19. Remguy


    Mar 26, 2008
    Also, try to play a different instrument from time to time. Logical choices would include guitar or keyboards. I dunno, sometimes things finally sink in when you see it from a different angle. Keys are especially helpful for learning standard notation and grasping music theory. Gives your fingers, back and wrists a break, too.
  20. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008

    In my case it's pedal steel guitar. Ever felt the need to use both feet, both knees & both hands simultaneously? ;)
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