How do you not become destracted while playing?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Trist6075, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Trist6075

    Trist6075 Guest

    Mar 6, 2001
    I was up late last night until about two o'clock so I may have been a little worn out. Well, I had a bass lesson today and I've been going over this shuffle assignment that my teacher gave me this whole week. I became so familiar with it that I could play it to a metronome and knew all the notes in my head. So once we went over it, I totally blanked. I couldn't keep time, I kept forgetting what the next bar was. Does anyone else get this at all, or perhaps I just had one of those days? I was also thinking it was that the teacher was using "his" metronome. But even then, that was after I was having trouble keeping time in my mind. It was like an overload and was the first time anything like this has happend Maybe I was just tired, but it was really annoying. I feel underrated as a bassist or someothing. I donno...
  2. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    That happens to me lots of times. I'll play something perfectly at home and then get to my lesson and blank out. I think sometimes, at least for me, it's nerves. I tend to get nervous, which is something I have to work on. Then there's getting "in the zone". This helps me to avoid distractions. That "place" where nothing exists but me and my bass.
  3. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    At the last outdoor gig we did, in the middle of a song, I just happened to look to the left of the stage, and these 2 HOT chix were sitting on a blanket kissing!! I hit a clam the very next bar. I struggled not to look over there again! :eek:
  4. could be that you just feel comfortable in your own home....and when your at your lesson, its a new setting and you just forget what to do....

    not outta the relm of possiblity

    could be nerves too. just get ahold of yourself and play that bad boy like nobody's business! :D
  5. I'm probably about to reveal something that may alienate me from the rest of the male TB community, but why? I don't see two women engaging in sexual activity as very appealing, just as I don't see two men doing it as appealing. I see it as a statement of sexuality, not two hot lesbians doing it for the guys. That's just a porn movie mentality. The truth is, any lesbian who caught a guy looking would kick their ass :D
  6. what are you gay?? :confused: just kidding just kidding :D
  7. Maybe I'm alienating myself here, but the idea of getting my ass kicked by two hot lesbians, is somehow morbidly appealing...hmm....

    As for blanking out, that's just what happens to your brain over time, you get older, it gets worse.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    My bass teacher probably thinks a lot worse than I actually am. We play together, and he gives me a lot of guidance and information to use toward my personal practice time. I practice, go home, go over it. But, there's something in my head about when I'm being watched by someone. If it's a performance, it's no big deal, because the guests are there to enjoy music, and I'm confident. But, when my teacher, is just staring at me, listening, one on one, no distractions, I'm not as confident. Personally, confidence is one of the most important aspects of my playing. When I lose it, I won't take a chance on what I'm hearing in my head. I'll play it safe, I won't try anything new.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm with you.
    ...then again, I sometimes play with my eyes closed so I woulda probably missed what Woodchucker saw. ;)

    Which reminds me-
    Way back, I'm playing in an '80s Top-40 band, I'm groovin' some schmaltzy bassline WITH my eyes closed & the hot chickie singer in the band comes up & sticks her hand in my left-front pocket.
    I fixed her...after that, I cut a hole in that pocket & went sans briefs.
    (We did start dating after that, though...).

    Current Books-
    Improvisation-Derek Bailey
    Forces In Motion: Music & Thoughts Of Anthony Braxton-Graham Lock

    Current Music In Mass Rotation-
    Art Ensemble Of Chicago-Box set
    Ornette Coleman-Box set
    Hasidic New Wave-All 4 discs

    Current Favourite Drink
    Starbucks' Decaf Venti Frappacino with Whip
  10. :eek:

    Focus, and singleminded commitment... I suggest you take this thread as a shining counterexample.
  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I always suck 10 times worse than I already suck when I play for my teacher. I'll be at home, and I'll be able to play the pieces forwards and backwards at 210bpm. Then I get to my lesson, and it'll take three tries to get thru it without fretbuzz etc. etc. My teach says that's the way it is, but it does bug me.

    Another thing is that I usually practice while standing at home, and seated during lessons. I don't know why, but I find it 10 times harder to play while sitting. Just can't seem to find the right position when I'm sitting. :confused:
  12. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I don't consider myself a homophobe, but I don't care for same sex partnerships, so the two women kissing would've been disturbing to me. I can be quite distracted by a pretty girl dancing and totally blow a song though when my mind wanders. I have no solution to this problem.
  13. I have to be distracted from playing in a sense in order to play well. I find if I am %100 focused on my playing I end up forgetting what notes come next and so on. That is when I draw a blank. I like to look out to the audience and just let everything else flow. This usually works best for me, maybe it is something to do with being more relaxed and not as pressured.
  14. I really had a problem with this with my first teacher. That the guy was a big bag of ass didn't help, I'm sure.

    With my current teacher, it's a lot better and while I'm still nervous to play in front of him, I'm getting over it. A breakthrough came one day when I was trying to play a song that I'd been working on and I totally bungled it. I let fly the F word and he started cracking up and told me to lighten up a little. Being self-critical is a good and necessary thing, but being overly self-critical can end your playing.

    If you can see your teacher as a human being and not as The Teacher, that might help.
  15. mva


    Jul 1, 2002
    this reminds me of a time when i was playing in a gb band and became very distracted by a fishing show on tv over the bar. "wow look at that fish!" oops. i guess that shows my level of enthusiasm for gb bands.
  16. i was playing our outside gig and i couldn't stop looknig at the ice cream man's vans and the ice creams
    i got one free at end :)
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There was a certain Beach bar w/ the TV in prime viewing position...
    ...and I recall those nights of the entire rhythm section watching Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.
  18. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Seriously, it will help. If hanging out with a bunch of pregnant ladies is too much for you, consider the following:

    1) Don't hold your breath. When you get nervous there is a tendency to do so, which starves your brain of O2 and makes you more nervous ...

    2) Positive visualization. Take a moment before you start to close your eyes and visualize as vividly as you can, doing it successfully.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    You think that's distracting? I went to a show the other night, and there was this chick in the audience with a very short minidress and no panties! When she danced, you could see what she had pierced. The guitarist and bassist for the band had a few fumbles, to say the least!
  20. mva


    Jul 1, 2002
    that reminds me of playing a college production of "hair". when the nude scene came, i have never seen musicians memorize a chart so quickly!!