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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TerribleTim68, Aug 21, 2019.
2-3 hours a day I would guess, sometimes more. 53 years in (I'm almost 72) and I still just like it.
For some reason I'm kind of obsessed with practicing. At least 90 minutes a day but usually more. I'm a couple of months away from finishing Joe Hubbard's 2 year Bass Mastery course and also have other avenues of learning I've had in my practice regiment. I play in a basement band and we have an occasional gig. I'm 63 years old and sometimes wonder why I spend so much time doing this. I guess I just really enjoy learning this instrument and music in general.
I'd suggest keeping a practice log to anyone who wants to get into a regular regiment of practice. It really helps me keep on track. I just wish I'd started doing this 30 years ago.
I play in a gigging band, but that band tends to play the same songs, so not a lot of practice is needed beyond weekly rehearsals, although that's changing. But I practice at home every night, at least a half an hour, often more. I play many different instruments, so it could be any of them. I practice material that interests me, that I will often likely never have the opportunity to perform with my main band. Lately it's been song lists for several bands that I either hope to fill in with or have heard might be looking for someone soon. These range from modern country originals with some covers, to an R&B/Motown review, to another with a bunch James Taylor covers. That's on bass. On piano, I've got The Spy Who Loved Me sheet music on the stand. On guitar, I've been working on the solo from Crazy Little Thing Called Love. I also just bought a banjo, have a ukulele which has been gathering dust and seem to think I need a mandolin for some reason. I always find the time to noodle on something; sometimes intentionally and with purpose, sometimes absentmindedly while watching TV, sometimes while waiting for the pasta water to boil. My situation is a little different than many in that my kid and my parents have moved away and I have no significant other, so my time is my own. But even when when the house was full, I would always find time.
I left gigging / bands behind about 20 years ago (original metal mostly - with a side of dyed hair and pointy basses). I still like to play so I do. I have a man-cave bass (and 4 other hanging in the house) that I pick up when I feel like it. Sometimes just a few minutes at a time. Friday nights - things change. It is my only "free" night - and I like to have some beers and jam! I have been creating drum patterns in Hydrogen - exporting to Audacity - and then recording a bass line and a guitar line as well. Total play time per week is maybe 2 - 3 hours.
Depends on what's happening. Sometimes, I go a week without playing. More often lately, I have been playing 5 to 7 times a week for an hour at a time; my originals band is scattered throughout LA and we don't get together to rehearse very often, so I want to have the songs down COLD so as to not waste time when we do manage to get together. A set with all the current album tunes is an hour, so that's what I play.
I spend a few minutes working on difficult passages afterwards with a metronome.
Sounds oddly familiar!
I seem to have a thing for pointy basses!
Being that you played mostly original, have you found it to be an issue now? When I was in bands back in the day, we only played originals. So I never learned a bunch of songs off the radio, we wrote our own stuff. So now I find myself going "I don't know what to play because I don't know any songs off the radio."
Not at all any more, too busy gigging.
I haven’t been in a regularly gigging band since my daughter was born 4 years ago.
But I still play 1-2 hours a day, often more. Not always bass though, sometimes piano.
It’s just my hobby but I still have the drive and impulse.
right now is my busy season, so not much practice.
I still fit a 30 min upright practice once a week or so, but that is about it.
When things are slow, I take upright lessons once every 2 weeks, and practice for 30 min about 3 times a week.
I’ve been in a tribute band for the last 7 years, so it’s paint by numbers for me. I go over some songs that we haven’t played in a while if we have a 2-3 hour gig, just to refresh my fingers and mind.
If I need to learn a new song, I will practice that until it is burned in my mind and muscle memory.
Otherwise, mostly I screw around noodling and playing stuff I like as well as experimenting with different tones with my various amps and pedals.
So in short, not much practicing these days, more screwing around.
With a full time job and no kids, this is my goal, which I more or less stick to: one hour per day on weekdays, two hours per day on weekends, with one day off per week. It seems to be enough to improve. Much more than that and I wouldn't have enough down time in general to recharge.
I tend to only practice when I have a rehearsal or a gig coming up, which unfortunately is not very often - maybe 1-2 gigs a year? I can answer confidently that I do not practice enough! Had a jam session with a new guitarist and a drummer I know - I was only able to play an hour or so the day before the session - the killer was Going Down (the version by the Jeff Beck Group) - just a month ago I could have handled the 8th notes with ease (had a gig and a bunch of rehearsals back then) but with one solid month of not playing I could feel it and couldn't keep it up through the whole song
I'm working on a project now... In addition to that...
Literally 6 - 8 hours a day. Every Saturday I play in a duo from 2 - 6 or 8:30pm. If a gig comes up, I try not to practice that day more than an hour if at all. It doesn't matter if I'm working a day gig or not... I've always practiced this way. Now that I'm playing upright, I have to practice, but I've also had RSI and have learned to listen when my body says stop.
I study with Rufus Reid in addition...
It doesn't matter about age, practice for me is more fun than gigging. I've gigged way too much... I preferred being in studios, but methinks "those were the days "
I don't beat myself up if I don't play for a day or two. It's important to do other things in conjunction for inspiration. It compensates for being obsessive the rest of the time.
Couple hours a day. I could probably gig more but lack the social skills. That's what I should be practicing.
I play almost everyday. 30 minutes to over a couple of hours -just depends on what I need to get done for my band/audition.
If I wasn't in a band, I honestly doubt I'd play as much. I know this because once I have the band's list down pretty tight, my practice slows way down and will usually just play along with some Motown or soul to have fun - but not really working.
Sure, I have a ton of things I need to conquer (dual finger picking, slap, 6 string, soloing, muting), but I honestly find I don't have a lot of motivation if I'm not preparing to play for people. For me, skills seem to come along faster when I "need" them, not so much "just because".
If a bass is out and on the stand next to the amp, every day, compulsively. If the basses are put away, it doesn't happen. If you're like me, keep a bass out -
I practice about 2 hr a day, no bands as I got sick of the drama associated. Now I focus on getting better and doing what made me pick the bass up in the first place.
I've been to both places. Gigging and not. Right now, it's in the not mode
So I am working on this angle with myself.
I am putting together setlists of songs that I like. Whether I've played them or not, mostly not because, that's the reason for this exercise.
So, after I get my imaginary setlists together. I learn the songs as if I have a gig approaching like,
really learn them as if someone is expecting me to come through with the goods.
And that's how I practice right now
Oh so, the original question how long? About 2-3 hours every other day.
I've been playing since late 1963. I still probably spend an average of two hours a day 330 - 340 days a year working on bass. General woodshedding, learning songs, sharpening ones I know, improving technique.
I've not hesitated to get with a good friend, fellow bass player, and retired music educator when I'm stumped or feel I need more theory. But, for the past couple years improving has been a matter of listening, getting my fingers on the fingerboard, and putting in the time. Muscle memory rescues me in more situations than does (hopefully) raw, instinctive theoretical knowledge about where I should be. This said, theory certainly helps, enhances my skill level, and gets me to finding lines more quickly. Applying the muscle memory then becomes the frosting on the cake.
I'm not saying this is the right way for everyone....OP asked what we do, and this is what seems to work the best for me.