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How do you discipline yourself to go through a bass book?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by villarddefender, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Tip #1: Nothing will get done unless you make room for it in your schedule.
    Do you use a Microsoft Outlook calendar or Google Calendar or a built-in calendar in your smartphone? If so, schedule your bass lessons / practice sessions on your calendar and treat them like any other important meeting or appointment such as a doctor's appointment. Be realistic and honest with yourself about your priorities and your available time. Honor your commitments to yourself. If you break your commitment, you are only hurting yourself.

    Take ownership and recognize that where you choose to spend your time is your choice, and you will be the one impacted by the results of those choices. So you have to first identify your priorities in life, then fill up your schedule with activities that align with and support your priorities.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    FunWithBass and villarddefender like this.
  2. vadertheraider


    Dec 19, 2017
    Books? They still make books? What about the John Patitucci "Bass Workshop" on VHS? That was a great instructional. I think I saw it on youtube at some point. Of course I am kidding. I don't really use them anymore. However, there is a lot of great information in the books. Mel Bay has a great selection. I always found it useful for theory. My advice, is flip through what you know. There may be somtihng new. Don't get bogged down thinking you need to relearn anything. Spend your time on the information which is new to you before you hit burnout. I always did a quick read-through to find the stuff I wanted to learn, then go back to the beginning and work my way through. Work as you feel comfortable. Do not skip the order. There is usually value in order.
    villarddefender likes this.
  3. Don't think of trying to make it through a book. Think of it this way: Any time you spend on actual learning/practicing (as opposed to just noodling around, yes it's tough) will make you a better bass player. The best bass players are always learning, so don't think of "getting there", whether it is the end of a book or becoming great. Just keep reminding yourself that those 15 minutes or whatever (hopefully more), when combined with all the other 15 minutes or whatever you spend truly practicing/learning, will all add up, even though in the short term it doesn't seem like it did squat.

    While you are doing this learning/practicing (and I mean truly practicing, as in working on just the difficult sections of a tune, not just playing through the whole thing), it may seem like you are not making any progress. That's fine and natural. Just remind yourself that it will all help. After a while, you will surprise yourself.

    I didn't really use books much (originally was trained on piano when a kid, so I already learned notation and theory), but what I did when I picked up bass in the 70s while in high school was just listening to JPJ and trying to learn his lines. Back then it meant using a cassette player and repeatedly hitting stop, rewind, play. Today it's much easier! Doing those measures over and over again wasn't fun, but it gave me a solid base that still serves me today.
  4. vadertheraider


    Dec 19, 2017
    The cassette was a true struggle, but it was a better option than vinyl for that process. haha... I would use a double deck and a blank to create a repeating loop and just play it straight through.
    villarddefender likes this.
  5. oldNewbie

    oldNewbie Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Yeah . All the greats started with the fire-in-the-belly. Then they practiced for 8-10-12 hours every day because they wanted to. but it's kind of a bootstrap process , they have something to say, they start learning how to say it, get better, find new things to say .. Practicing a lot happens when you can't do what you want to do.

    My practice habits have gotten a lot more effective in the year since restarting after a decades-long layoff.
    -It's physical, play like you're in training. This is crucial for DB every note and fretless for consistent intonation in the short term, and for every instrument in the long term for avoiding or at least minimizing repetitive stress injuries.
    -Deliberate Practice (google it) actually works. It's "the 10,000 hours" guy but there's a lot more to it . Step one, every day : Do more than you did yesterday , push yourself a little bit , constantly. Make goals, stick to them .Deliberate practice makes practicing a lot more effective.
    A number of post bop-era and later jazz guys were or are excellent teachers , and had imo very interesting and useful things to say about life, music and practicing , and you don't have to be a jazz player to get a lot out of it . A bunch either recorded interviews for YouTube or their teaching videos uploaded. Clark Terry , Jimmy Heath and Sonny Rollins from that generation, John Clayton more recently too, as well as John Patitucci. Lots of sage advice out there from the masters. But practice,practice,practice.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    Jason Hollar and villarddefender like this.
  6. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    I prefer using a CD player for transcribing than youtube/logic/garageband etc. It's a much faster process for me to do it old school-ish.
  7. jaymelewis


    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    It's like any other goal - you have to want it bad enough. You won't lose weight or put on muscle just by wishing for it; it takes weeks and months of blood, sweat and tears to get in shape, so you either want that or you don't. Granted, getting in musical shape isn't nearly as grueling but the sentiment remains the same. You have to want to make it through that book or video or whatever and you have to make it a priority. And if you don't want it, then don't sweat it! Go work towards something that you do want bad enough. If you don't enjoy the grind, why do it? Just my thoughts :)
  8. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    @jmattbassplaya has the right idea.

    Do not concern yourself with finishing books
    Rather put your daily focus and effort on small chunks of lessons /exercises.

    also, If you really want to learn about discipline, google Jocko Willink :)

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    villarddefender likes this.
  9. villarddefender


    Nov 21, 2017


    I love ittttttttttttttt
  10. Book are so 1980's and back... We now have the internet and Youtube.
    villarddefender likes this.
  11. phillipkregg

    phillipkregg Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I've met many a great jazz player and they all said the same thing : "Listen to other great players, regardless of their instrument, and learn what they are playing by ear."

    Jaco would practice by learning John Coltrane pieces.

    Transcription is the key to progress. You don't have to actually write out the music, but learn exactly what they are playing by listening to it over and over again.
  12. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    Find youtube videos that show someone playing a song you want to learn. Play along over and over. Us the the book to break down what you are playing. In other words, try inverting your approach as another form of practice. So use the book to learn, play around with that. Then go the other way, learn something, and see how the book applies.
    villarddefender likes this.
  13. graphics1988

    graphics1988 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Ontario Canada
    Still a newb in comparison to many on TB - i also noodle noodle noodle - BUT..for ME, i prefer to make and create riffs on my own., I assume my ear is good enough to get decent idea of what sounds right or wrong (if there IS such a thing)...when i get bored or stuck on something im working on, i go and learn a riff of a tune i like - off youtube (i slow down the videos)...usually 15 minutes into it, i get it enough that i want to focus back on my own stuff. Probably very weird - but i find more satisfaction in making my OWN music - if someone was to ask me..."do you know "this song or that song"...likely NO is my answer. BUT i dont care - i do this for anxiety relief and for ME..nobody else. (selfish i know hahaha)...
    ..i too have Ariana's book/videos...Jon Voght's DVD series AND book (expensive)....ebassguitar also i have......i get a few minutes into them and lose focus "listening" to the talking...or i get overwhelmed and shut it down. This is for anxiety relief, not anxiety causing. lol

    ...i am also self employed, so setting a schedule in a person who NEVER has a set schedule for work, is impossible.

    ...where i DID get the most improvement - was 6 weeks with an actual instructor. Once a week - he was good....but also it became too friendly to the point where i was paying him to PLAY his bass and so he could tell me who he has played for and how long etc etc. I quit cuz at 40 bucks for 45 min, i got about 6 minutes of value per lesson. Albeit, it was productive for forcing me to learn my homework before the next lesson.
    ...i think another hard part, is playing in FRONT of people...its embarassing to screw up, and for newbs - even MORE so!
    villarddefender likes this.
  14. FenderB


    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Take lessons. It keeps you on track, you don't want to go to the next lesson looking like a fool. Plus you're paying for the lesson so you don't want it to be a total waste of your money.
    villarddefender likes this.
  15. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I am similar, but in my case, every time things start to look a little difficult... I buy a new bass :roflmao:
    villarddefender and Fat Freddy like this.
  16. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    :laugh:...I thought that went without saying :woot::bassist:...
    villarddefender and JACink like this.
  17. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    On the way to me from Adrian....:D...

    JACink and villarddefender like this.
  18. I make sure whatever book it is addresses specific issues I really do want to deal with, just so I can set a goal. Then I set little mini-goals based upon what that specific goal really is/was. One year it was three octave scales on the upright. I went to the specific part in the book which addressed the technical side of the issue in order to learn a solid fingering. Then when that was done, I went to the etude (exercises) section of the book so that I could learn different bowings and phrasings that incorporated those same three octave scales. Next it became three octave arpeggios........you get the idea. You can never learn your fingerboard too well. Instinctual geography is an absolute when you're playing real tunes.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    Tbsx, oldNewbie and villarddefender like this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don't mistake not knowing how to read music for not knowing music theory. McCartney knows every note he's playing on bass, guitar and piano, every note the band is playing, and studied chord theory long after the Beatles became successful.

    If you buy your first bass today and show up to play in a band tomorrow, you are going to get asked to leave unless you show up to a band where everyone bought their first instruments yesterday. And then you're going to sit around for hours asking each other, "What do we do now?" Maybe one of you will luck into being able to play some simple riff eventually, that's about it. The idea that one is more important than the other is a gross misinterpretation of the idea that playing with others is the fastest way to improve as a player. Like I said, nobody learns this stuff through osmosis alone.

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