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Least amount of time to play keep skills...?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cire113, May 18, 2011.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    What's the least amount of time i can play bass everday and not get rusty?

    The reason im asking is i love bass but ive been playing over 6 hours a day for about 2 years now.. i want to slow down and take a break for a few months and listen to more "music"...

    and rest my arms a bit
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Six hours a day practice for 2 years is dedication, man.
    If you feel the need to "slow down", try cutting it down to whatever feels comfy to you.
    Dont stop completly. Maybe an hour or two a day?? It's gonna be different for everyone.
    Do not fear becoming rusty. Rust only happens when you stop altogether for a length of time, then pick it back up.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    +1. Regularity is the key to avoid getting rusty. An hour or two of focused practice every day, should be enough to keep you ticking over.
  4. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    IMHO, if your skills are at a very high level, it will take several hours per day of practice/drill to keep them there. If your skills are of a more moderate level, perhaps only an hour or two per week. Kinda like this:

    Attached Files:

  5. Col Pruse

    Col Pruse

    May 28, 2003
    Savannah, GA
    wish I had 6 hrs a day of free time...
  6. Rhythm guitar in another band has been on auto pilot for years. Been playing with this band for over 10 years. Ten years of the same ole 50 +/- songs. None of us practice together anymore until Christmas when we add the Christmas songs into our selection. If someone wants to add a new song they pass out fake chord on it and we go over it prior to the gig.

    We gig about once a week so the rust does not get very thick.

    Noq on the bass, I'm still so new that I put in somewhere around an hour to an hour and a half four or five time a week.

    Six hours a day -- I hope you have turned professional, if not get a life.
  7. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    Under normal circumstances, I have about an 1-1/2 hours a day I can practice. On a good night, a couple of hours. On a great weekend maybe 3 or 4.

    I try to make it count. If I can't physically spend a lot of time with the bass, I try to go over theory, of reading exercises to keep the edge.
  8. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    45 mins to an hour should keep you from going behind ...but then again 6 hours a day is extreme and leads to rapid development....you might feel like everything is slowing down for you ...however, listening to lot's of music is huge for development so ....
  9. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    yeah i figure hour a day should be good... what i was thinking...

    I'm sure in 1 or 2 weeks ill be back to 6+ hrs lol... I just love music im not even a musican for living.. im totally happy playing in my basement forever lol :) i love it that much... wish i would have discovered it sooner
  10. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I hear you on that one! Due to long hours at work (where I'm at now) my practicing is limited to weekends only.
  11. Yeah, I'm practically in the same boat these days. I can practice the odd weekday evening, like tonight, but that's rare. I decided to go and buy this (Planet Waves Varigrip Adjustable Hand Exerciser) and am really glad I did. I mess around with it while I'm driving, which I do a lot through out the day. First I just practiced getting used to the thing, but now I run through scales and what-not. I never noticed before that I had a hard time fretting my ring finger without also moving my pinky or middle (it was practically impossible to fret the ring finger plunger down half an inch without the middle doing a little too), but this thing showed it and now I've gotten independent control over each finger.

    I also do plucking exercises while I drive. I listen to music and either hum to the bass and motion my fingers on my gear-shifter as I'm going it, as if I was playing, or sometimes I catch a rhythm and do 1/16ths to it or something to keep my speed up. I've also burned metronome CD's (just snares at different beats and tempos) and plucked to that.

    It's not a very "hands-free" couple of exercises, but if I don't get to play that day, then I still feel like I didn't lose too much.
  12. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    This blows me away. I guess I never really practiced since I took some lessons over 20 years ago. I play guitar just about everyday, bass every other perhaps for 20 minutes unless at rehearsal which is about 3 hours once a week. I've never noticed stamina as an issue as playing is like riding a bike to me. I'm not Wooten fast nor a slap player as I play rock, but even after not playing guitar for a few months I could whip out a passible Eruption solo, some chicken pickin on acoustic or fast bass line without feeling rusty.

    There isn't much that I could ever do for 6 hours a day besides sleep or stare at Sofia Vergara. 6 hours....just wow.
  13. ThorGodOfBass


    Feb 20, 2011
    Personally, I think it depends on the person. If you've got a decent degree of raw talent, and have developed a natural feel for the instrument and music in general (sounds like you have) you could not play for a week or two and not be too bad off. Of course you'd need to start up for a few days of minimal flexing to get ready for a gig. skill and form will never go away. Confidence and precision will, eventually. Chancellor and flea both have said they never really "practice" outside of writing or playing shows.
  14. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I honestly don't practice much, with 2 bands,practice,and family etc. If I practiced 6 hours a day id have no friends or a wife.
  15. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    well the only reason i practice so much is because i have no real responsibilities in the real world... I go to school i dont have to pay bills etc.. just dumped my GF....

    I just love doing it,, im not even trying to go pro either lol.. It gives me joy and piece of mind..

    Usually ill practice for about 1hr sesions then take 30 min breaks in between..

    I'm really working hard to keep all parts of my body relaxed while playing and getting rid of tension....

    I used to get bored practicing but now i listen to music usually and when i hear something that inspires me ill work it out.. like a bassline or trumpet solo...
  16. That was really uncalled for. For a lot of people on this site, music is a passion. When I have no school over the summer, I practice between 6 and 10 hours a day (sometimes more or less)

    Anyways, like I said, I did 6 to 10 hours a day for weeks, and then school kicked back up. There are some weeks where I practice an hour, and some weeks where I play two hours a day. Then I rehearse with the band most Sundays for about 6 hours, and a lot of wednesdays for around 3. My chops never seem to deteriorate, but on weeks where I practice more, they seem to get a super charged boost. It's during those weeks when I attempt to pull off such insanities as Dream Theater's Panic Attack and Symphony X's Domination. I need to be practicing and warming up at least a couple of days a week to have a shot at those, but I suspect it's because they're way outside my level.

    I will say that, the less I play, the longer it takes me to get warmed up, up to a degree. Sometimes when I play too much (say 6 hours a day) my muscles will be stiffer and take almost as long to warm up as when I've not played at all that week. But, as long as you don't overdo it, you probably won't notice a lot of deterioration if you're doing a couple hours a week. And from what I hear of your lifestyle and passion, I suspect you'll be playing more than that.
  17. perkidan


    Sep 13, 2000
    Augusta, ky
    I been playing for about 30 years, and mostly only play when I perform unless there is new music to learn. Sometimes I notice if I haven't had a gig in a couple of weeks, I actually play better. DOn't know if it is the mental freshness or what. The reason I don't play alot when I am not performing is more hand issues than anything. Don't need to aggravate the carpal tunnel if I can help it.

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