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How do you deal with 'off' days?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Lord Henry, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. I like to put in an hours practice a day. For the last week or so I've been feeling really good: Notes have been clean, rhythm has beed solid, and I've been picking up speed.

    Anyway, today I got home from work, picked up the bass, and sounded like a beginner. Nothing was going right: fret buzz, sliping out of time, no groove what-so-ever. I gave myself half an hour, chilled, and went back. Still awful. I laboured through a few scale, butched a few tunes, and gave up after about 30 minutes.

    Now, we all (I hope) have these kind of days. How do you deal with it? Have you got a trick to kick yourself back into shape? or is this something that you just have to chalk up as a bad day and wait for tomorrow?

    Cheers in advance
  2. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Usually I'll play through it just doing the best I can. Every once in awhile I'll go find something else to do.

    If I'm not feeling creative I'll work on scales or things on the mechanical side of playing, like intonation.
  3. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    take a nap.
  4. MO542


    Jan 6, 2006
    I find that when I’m having an off day of practice it is because I’m too tense when I’m playing. I usually put down the bass for 30 minutes and try again; if it is still not working then I just take the day off. I find that practices were it seems that everything goes wrong do nothing but frustrate me, thus not very productive. Usually when I pick up the bass the next day everything is back to normal. If you play almost everyday for a few hours, a day off every now and then will do you some good.

    Just my $0.02
  5. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    If you're getting in an hour a day every day, then you're doing good. If you have an off day, then just figure it's not not meant to be, and go do something else. Come back the next day feeling good and ready to play.

    On the other hand if you start having more off days than on, you need to figure out whats going wrong, and fix the problem.

  6. Thanks to all of you for letting me know that it's not just me. To be honest I find that this happens once or twice every month.

    I just feel a bit pressured (and I know I shouldn't) because of this new band. The guitarist and I are the, let's say 'joint leaders'. He's still at uni and so practices for about four hours a day (and he really is **** hot). Given that I don't think I could do more than an hour a day (not and keep my girlfriend at any rate), I always feel pretty bad taking a day off.

    I know, it's just my stuff, I should deal with it.

    Cheers guys
  7. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    I listen to music for an hour or so, then I play much much better. Another trick, if you can, mix vinyls together. DJing really slaps rhythm into you, after I DJ for 30 minutes I play my bass really well.

    The whole problem is mindset. You absolutly have to enjoy yourself if you want to sound good, so make sure you're as comfortable as possible, both physically and mentally, and things should be better :)
  8. so true
  9. billbern


    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    well, I've been playing for quite some time (got my first bass 40 years ago this year) and my take on playing is much like Ben Hogan said about golf "it's not how good your good shots are but how good your bad shots are". When your having a "good" day and you're one with the bass, enjoy! when things are not perfect I like to settle into the "pocket" enjoy the groove, listen more to the over all sound of the band and less about my playing. On an off day practicing, if my physical abilities are lacking, I'll work more on cord structure, or ear training or my timing, maybe some scales, sight reading.
    hang in there! it's about the journey and the road is not flat. enjoy the ups and downs.
  10. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I get off days now and then, it depends what mood im in or what im practicing, but i just chill out and watch tv and go back to bass playing when i feel like or get the urge, after watching rocco prestia or victor wooten at bass day (dvd)
  11. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    yer i have at least one bad day a week, altough i put a lot of pressure on my self so i can become the best i can be and forget to have fun. I think its generally a good idea to get on the bass when your mind is open and your at peace with everything, let that good karma flow through the strings and hear the heavens sing with each wave of a frequency of 20hz pulsating through your room. Altough i usually just go on the drums as an alternative and to let off steam, or i get the ol squire bass and slap away:bassist:
  12. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    I would set goals and work hard towards that goal. One odd thing would be sets a time, not an hour aday. It would be today will be 1 hour and 3 minutes, tommorrow is 57 minutes or 2hours and 1 minute, different figures each day. Practice (not jamming, listening, adjusting something) would mean practice, today is finger placement, do it better, learn a newxyz whatever.

    Fortunetly now, practice is learn a song enough to practice it with the band and be happy.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  13. I usually just catch up on some Musical Theory and my chart reading, or, answer posts on Talk Bass. As you can tell, I am having an off day :)
  14. An "off day" can come from a number of things. One of them is burn out over what you have been doing. When you have an "off day" try to do something totally different with the bass for that day and break new ground.

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