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How to prioritize practice times?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by baddarryl, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. baddarryl


    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    Hi I am a 45 year old who has fiddled with bass for years. I have a rock background and can play most things by ear. I started to study theory and re dedicate myself. I budget 1 and a half hours in the morning for theory and usually 1 hour at night for transcribing songs. my goal is to be able to go to open mic night at the blues Club and sit in with songs I don't know. This is my weakest point. How do I best divide that morning time to learn improvisation? I have a drum machine and lots of books. Thank you.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You don't transcribe blues songs. You get a rough feel for how they go and then go play them. Blues is nothing if not improv. I was the house bass player for an open mic blues night once a week for years. Never saw a sheet of music or a chart.

    Now, learn yourself some chord structure. That's where you can lay down some blues. Find some charts of songs you like and study the chords contained therein. Build your bass lines from a combination of your new-found chord structure knowledge and listening to the original recordings.

    But really "studying" the blues is kind of like getting a degree in eating pizza. You don't need a degree to eat pizza. Figure out what you like, and then eat it.
  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Practicing improvisation on your own is never going to be the same as actually going to a jam. There's only so much preparation you can really do at home. As long as you know the basic blues forms and how to play over them, you're ready - go for it!

    If you're still not feeling so sure, take a look at the songs you're transcribing. Rather than learn the songs note for note, analyze the theory principles the bass lines use - for example, triads, passing tones and tension/release.
  4. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    You are cool.
  5. baddarryl


    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    Thanks guys. Let me add that have there been opportunities for me to jam with funk players that I have steered from because I don't feel to prepared. I am interested in Jazz, southern rock, country and all that stuff too. Wow tastes broaden as we age!
  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Call up videos from the Internet and jam along to them at home. When you get comfortable take it public.

    To jam you gotta jam. A jamming circle is a very safe place to be. As long as you are civil and look like you are trying everyone will go out of their way to help you.

    Go for it.

    On another note, that is how I practice now. We get the fake chord on 6 new songs each Wednesday (Praise band). I come home with the fake chord; call up a video of each song from the Internet and practice playing them with the video. Works great.
  7. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    If you don't mind spending a few bucks an have an ipad, check out the irealb app and download some of the blues, etc playlists. Lots of classic blues tunes to play along with