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How often do you practice your bass? POLL

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by NealBass, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Never

    10 vote(s)
  2. 1 hour a week, or less

    42 vote(s)
  3. 2 to 4 hours a week

    119 vote(s)
  4. 4 to 6 hours a week

    146 vote(s)
  5. 1 hour a day

    154 vote(s)
  6. 2 to 4 hours a day

    109 vote(s)
  7. More than 4 hours a day (yikes!)

    8 vote(s)
  1. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    My band does serious rehearsals once a week. Besides that, it varies between 0-2 hours a week.

    I used to do this before getting derailed by a giant year-and-a-half project. I am going to get back on it.
  2. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    I don't count "band practice" as "practicing my bass." I have a 5 (ish) hour iTunes playlist called "songs my band won't play." I put that on shuffle and play along. Next thing I know, it's a couple hours later.
  3. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I very rarely go a day without at least picking up the bass and playing for 20 - 30 minutes. Sometimes I will practice for several hours either all at once or spread out over several "sessions" throughout the day.

    I am in 2 bands with a 3rd band just now starting up. So band rehearsals average 6 - 10 hours a week all together. All of these projects are predominately original music so a large portion of my practice time is devoted to writing and practicing my basslines for this music.

    Theory-wise I usually work on modes, scales, chords and walking lines and then whatever "technique issues" are catching my interest at the time, for example I am concentrating on developing my pick style right now. I have always been weak in that area and I am really wanting to get that into my toolkit and it is proving a real challenge. I am also working on strengthening my melodic sensabilities. I am listening to melodic instruments, guitar, sax, trumpet, keyboards etc, and learning their lines and solos.
  4. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    I took some time off to be a dad, but failed to realize the importance of being myself at the same time. Both are on my list of greatest feelings.
  5. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    Yeah, becoming a father is sort of a whole other dimension of good feeling. I hear you on losing yourself a little too. I've had some problems with that because, goshdarnit, I'm just a giver at heart.

    But playing live...I remember the first "real" show I played, I was not really nervous, but kind of trancing out, floorgazing, watching my fingers on the neck of the bass a little, but then I looked out and there was this sea of people moving and gyrating to the music I was helping to make! Chicks were looking up at me smiling! Dudes were nodding at me and bobbing their heads as if to say "Man, you guys are flat getting it. This is gooood!"...it completely blew me away.

    I clearly remember thinking "Oh, I gotta do this as often as I can for the rest of my life!"
  6. 4-6 hrs/week. I wish I had more time...and I don't even have kids!:crying:
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'm a laggard. If I hit two hours a week, I'm doing well. Funny thing - every time I practice more, I sound better.
  8. I agree, except for one thing: we never do a song in front of a paying audience that we have'nt beat to death in private first. We also never start from zero playing a new song together. We always practice/learn the song at home so that when we do play it together the first time, we don't waste valuable rehearsal time. Of course we will jam a tune now and then, but it is generally a tune most of us have either played with other people before or one so simple that very little practice is needed.

    One of our favorite rehearsal venues is busking downtown on a nice evening, entertaining people sitting in sidewalk cafes: we have gotten numerous gigs while doing this also.
  9. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Yes, we do the same. Everyone has to be 100% comfortable and satisfied with the way a song sounds before we play it live. And because none of us are professional musicians, it means a lot of time has been put in at practice to getting it sounding good. Once the song is ready to play live, I think that experience is much more valuable than any practice time alone at home. So that's why I don't practice scales and technique, I practice songs. It's one thing to flawlessly play something in your bedroom, it's another to play it well in front of an audience with a full band.

    At practice on Friday, we spent the entire 4 hours on one song, but that was starting from ground zero to a finished song. While we were warming up, the guitarist came up with a cool riff and the drummer put a cool beat on it and that's how it started. We worked out the intro, verse, chorus, solo, and most of the lyrics. The singer is working on the lyrics more this weekend and we'll change some small things in the chorus, but the song is 85% complete. That 4 hours of creating with three other people was more valuable to me than practicing 20 hours at home alone doing scales and exercises. I play bass because it's fun to create and play songs with others and then play those songs live. If I'm not doing that with my bass, then I feel like it's a waste of time for me.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I've been playing bass since 1967 ... and currently gig 6-8 months, sometimes more. I don't practice any more ... I hardly even rehearse. When I spend 30-40 hours a month playing on stage there's little incentive to practice. I DO practice my acoustic guitar/vocal stuff (solo/duo) because I gig that act less often.
  11. Creating a new song is whole differnet topic than learning a new song, in my book. My guitar buddy and I spend hours working on song ideas, hooks, etc, but I don't really consider that "practice", I consider that to be song writing! In fact, we have regularly scheduled meetings where we only do that.
  12. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I practice as much as I can--and I also play guitar & am starting mandolin--so factor that in with life.
    I'd love an hour or so a day--but that won't happen on a regular basis...
  13. As I've posted before, I am taking 2 classes worth of bass instruction this semester, bass studies and jazz improvisation. The teacher (same for both areas of instruction) was burying me in song charts after the first couple of months so I made up the following practice log (linked below).

    After using the practice log for a week or 10 days or so, I realized 2 things. First, it did push me to practice more, so I wouldn't have to look at empty check boxes. It also had the effect of making my practice much more focused, with almost no pointless noodling about. After all, the blank boxes are there for me and my instructor to see.

    The practice log contains all the assignments that I got from my lessons, configured into a checklist. I have tunes, and also specific things within those tunes to work on. There are check boxes for just playing the tune for the sake of smooth execution, as well as boxes to indicate where I've put time into expanding ii-V changes, turnarounds, etc.

    This has improved my daily practice routine more than I would have expected, and I would suggest it for anyone who is not satisfied with their practice or progress.

    Attached Files:

  14. judeix808


    Oct 2, 2010
    Hilo, HI
    In general, 1 hour a day. There are days where I get in to the 2+ hour territory, but that tends to be a bit rare. I could be in the 2-4 hour range, but poor time management in regards to my off (work) hours contributes to me only getting 60-90 minutes a day. Every so often, I'll take a day off, but I try to keep that to a minimum.
  15. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    I get about two + hours a day bass practice a day which is less than I use to practice.

    I also compose and play a host of other instruments so I do a lot of writing, arranging, recording and producing.
  16. ConnManX


    Jun 12, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I usually practice 1-2 hours a day, though I voted "2-4 hours/day", since that was the closest option available. In preparation for my Sunday church gigs, especially once Sunday finally comes around, I'm practicing/playing for close to 4 hours.

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