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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. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Banned

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Same way to discipline yourself to do anything. Could also be confused with, or synonymous with, persistence. I’m not sure which.
    villarddefender likes this.
  2. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    At the risk of repeating someone else's post... it's all about a routine. Figure out how much time you have to play on a certain day, and set up a practice schedule. You need to practise some technique, play a couple of tunes you like, lift part of a song, and do some improvisation. Work on a bit of something each day. Force yourself to do new things. REALLY force yourself to work on things that you know you aren't good at. Don't settle for playing the same old things, unless you are brushing up tunes for a gig or rehearsal. You should always be pushing the envelope a bit. When you get something sounding good, make yourself learn something a little harder. It's a process, a daily grind. As I get older I seem to enjoy it more - I wish I had this work ethic some years back.

    For all those folks that say "pretty sure Paul McCartney/John Entwhistle/Jaco Pastorius/Victor Wooten didn't ever pick up a book", I disagree. Even if they didn't pick up a book they worked tirelessly on honing their craft. It takes time, effort, and enthusiasm to get good - and nobody gets that way by sitting around wishing.

    My practice regime improved exponentially the day I decided to cut my internet time by 75%, and devote that to playing bass.
    Berniez40, jcsk8, Lee Moses and 2 others like this.
  3. jamh2000


    Aug 15, 2001
    +1 to this. You can't start that 'daily grind' soon enough IMO. I am 31 and have improved more in the last year than in the previous 10 by regular, targeted, limited-time practice sessions and always looking for something a little harder. Wish I'd started at 18 or 20, but the maturity needed to have this work ethic, and the understanding about how practice works, isn't always there until later.
  4. jcsk8


    Feb 15, 2013
    You need focus. Set a goal. Let´s say improve reading, improve slap, improve improvisation. Find the material for the reading training and songs or riffs for the slap and good backtracks for improvise.
    Set your time, one or two ours. TURN OFF you cell phone or at least silence it. Forget it.
    Do a warm up with stretches (important to avoid pain) and finger exercices (5 to 10 min).
    Do the reading part first, as it´s the most boring (at least to me). 1/3 of the time. Slow, repeating the mistakes and hard parts. Don´t go forward until you really dominated the part. Doesn´t fool yourself.
    Do the same with the other goals. Slow, precise, sounding clear.
    And remember, study is not just picking up your instrument and playing musics that you already know. Focus on your deficiences.
    1 hour of good study per day will make you a little monster in six months of regular efforts.
    And don´t forget: Stay away from distractions. Turn of the phone.
    villarddefender and esoxhntr like this.
  5. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    I literally can't like this enough.
    villarddefender and jcsk8 like this.
  6. HA Ha!---...and you already know what's in the refrigerator, so don't go looking again for the umpteenth time.....Not that I'd know anything about that. LOL.......
    esoxhntr and villarddefender like this.
  7. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    Sadly, I almost never know what's in the refrigerator - the dog makes periodic withdrawals...
    villarddefender and Berniez40 like this.
  8. Tbsx

    Tbsx Troll Banned

    Sep 12, 2017
    The books are good for exercises. I catch myself using only my first 3 fingers. The book has an exercise specifically for the ring finger and pinky.
    Then there's the learning of notes on the fingerboard and reading music. Used to be "I'll get around to it someday." I'm not lazy. I'm just motivation-ally challenged. It's kind of like making the adjustment to a 5 string. I had to put the 4 string in the closet and play the 5 exclusively. Same way with reading music and learning my fingerboard notes. I had to put the tabs up and stick to sheet music. I recently bought a Hal Leonard book on walking bass lines. It has no tab in it at all, thank goodness. I practice songs I like. That helps with the motivation. I played it on the first 4 frets for awhile till I learned the notes there. Then I played it from the 5th fret to learn the notes in that area. Now I'm working on music several lines above the staff to learn the notes in the 12th fret area. I still don't read fast, but I'm getting better as long as I stick to it and don't go back to a tab habit.
    Good luck! Sounds like you've found a workable schedule.
    villarddefender likes this.
  9. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    That's one case where withdrawals are better than deposits!
  10. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    If I am remembering his interviews correctly Verdine White was in all-city orchestras before being called up by his big brother. With EWF he would improvise the bassline from the chord charts and hearing the head played by the song writer. later in concert he thought it was his duty to play close to the final recorded version of a song.

    For me in my childhood time as a musician I only had the one book. There was no free internet lessons and only guitar magazines while I was on woodwinds. In my adult turn I first went through the Hal Leonard/Friedland method and from there branched out into just taking a part of many individual books. About the only other book I did cover to cover was Jerry Jemmont's Blues and R&B Bass.
    villarddefender and JimmyM like this.
  11. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I whip myself with 25 lashes over my back every time I turn a page, seems to keep me motivated.
    villarddefender likes this.
  12. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Another factor is the amount of time I have on my hands. When I'm so busy learning new songs and gigging, I don't have a lot of time to work through books. But when I'm in a lull, I turn to them for musical ideas, listening to other songs, learning challenging bass lines, etcetera. And composing. Most of the work is in books on various licks I can match to various chords so I can use them in public.

    The sad truth is that very few of other people's licks make it into my vocabulary. I tend to play my own licks after a long search for melodies and patterns that really sound good to me. Those that I think are cool, usually created by myself are the only ones I play.

    For me, the Real Book is my most important learning book...
    villarddefender likes this.
  13. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Why on Earth do you want to go through a book about Bass?

    OK.. if you've got an answer to that, get to work. Lot's of good advice here. If you don't have an answer, go do something else.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  14. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    It takes an environment conducive for study.

  15. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I could never concentrate enough to study knowing that there was a roll of toilet paper installed underhanded next to me.
    millennium3, smeet and bassdude51 like this.
  16. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    LOL Good eye!!!!

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I get "anal" about the tp's orientation also.
    Thuddy Waters likes this.
  17. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah, it always surprises me how many people install their toilet paper that way. I just don't get it!
  18. Chili_Time


    Oct 11, 2016
    I really enjoy the Hal Leonard Bass Method books and Ed Friedland's other books like his blues book. I guess I stick to it because I like it. If I didn't enjoy it I don't think I'd stick with it. So maybe figure out what makes playing bass fun for you whether that be learning songs, using books, joining a band, etc.
    villarddefender likes this.

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