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Motivation to Practice

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by paperbag1213, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. paperbag1213


    Feb 12, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Hey guys, I was wondering how you motivate yourselves to
    practice? I love playing bass, but a lot of the time I'm just
    much more willing to sit down and watch tv then pick up the bass and practice scales. Any advice would be helpful, thanks.
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I don't know what to tell you. I love playing and I love practicing. Practicing allows me to improve my technique and tune list so that when it comes to play, I come closer to playing what I hear in my head. It also allows me better communication with my fellow musicians, which is what it's all about for me. BTW, gotta say, I love Ed Fuqua's sig quote. True dat!
  4. Plus 1000 to the You Tube Ed posted.
  5. Practice IS playing the bass... you're just playing for an audience of yourself, and what you want to hear. Which is mostly you playing better than you did yesterday. Simple then, if playing is fun then practice is fun.
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    +1 to all the above. Usually it's pretty rewarding seeing results from a breakthrough - suddenly you're doing something that you didn't do before, and that's pretty dang cool.

    I think the key also to is to enjoy the noise you make, even when it's just scales and arpeggios. Sometimes I find it kinda meditative. Heck, I play better when things feel like it comes from a meditative place.
  7. tomshepp


    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    Just remember, when you get really good, you'll get all the hot chicks!:D
  8. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    People fall into a mental trap of telling themselves they don't FEEL motivated or they don't FEEL inspired enough to do something.

    The truth is that they just FEEL like being lazy and it is much easier to believe that they are lacking in some unknown motivator rather than confronting their own undesirable traits.

    It is very simple. If you want to be a better bass player, excellent. Get up and go practice. If you find yourself asking "what's my motivation to do this?", remember that you are not a method actor in some play pretending to be a bass player. You don't need that bullcrap in your head to function. You ARE a REAL bass player in the flesh and playing bass is WHAT YOU DO. Just get off your lazy ass and go do it!
  9. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    First rule of practice for me is set a timer and stick to it. I've an app called smart timer and it keeps track of your time, when the time is up, it puts you on break. Time yourself and you are more likely to be intelligently focused. Also practice no more than three things at a stretch. Noodling in front of the TV is not practice, more like exercise.
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Speaking of timers, my trick is to at least get off my ass, and practice for a solid 5 minutes. Maybe that 5 minutes evolves into 3 hours, but at least I can always say I accomplished something for the first 5.
  11. I think playing with other people helps. Makes you want to practice so you have the things to play with each other.
  12. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Ed's video post was fantastic, I will have to watch that a few times. I love practicing. It is a physical, mental, creative discipline that is really rewarding. I tune out distractions internal/external, I focus with my ears, hands and mind. I watch how I breathe, the tension in my jaw, the sound of the bass how it vibrates. Practicing the bass/sports/art/business or anything else is about working on who we are, refining, working it out so we will be in a better place as people or musicians. IMHO the road blocks to practicing are internal, dealing with ourselves on that level opens us up to be more inspired etc. I don't mean to be critical but excessive computer or TV watching can be an addictive, self medicating activity.
  13. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Motivate yourself to warm-up. After that 10 minutes-go on to a song intro that you like. (You can noodle on that, later when you're picking up the bass for 10-20 minutes). Pick a song that you like/want to learn and practice-parts of the song when time is limited. If making noise has you gun shy about disturbing housemates, or neighbors, practice with headphones. Remind yourself that 25 minutes of practice beats watching TV all night.
  14. I used to do a lot of the mindless finger exercises while I was watching tv. When I was a kid, there were three 1/2 hour back to back shows I watched every day...3 exercises, 1/2 hour each. I couldn't do them for more than a minute otherwise.
  15. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Thanks for your post Ed!!!

  16. I approach it like this:
    My life has to be more than sleep, eat, work and repeat.
    I have a band and that is something most 'normal' folks don't have.
    I couldn't imagine how boring and mundane my life would be if all I did were those three things.

    I watch people on the road when I'm coming home each night and wonder....what do all of these people do when they are done with work.
    I'm willing to bet most of it is just things that aren't as fun as playing music.

    I need an outlet.
    Listening to music is one thing. We all can do that. Finding time to practice and play music is something that a lot of folks wish they could do or even have time to do, so I am grateful that I chose to play bass because without that my life would be as boring as I percieve a lot of others lives to be.

    Most folks are happy with the same routine every day. I'm not.
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    While you weren't practicing, you missed this. :)

    There seems to be one of those false dichotomies developing here on TB again. This time it's about "giftedness" and innate talent vs. acquisition of skill via practice. News flash-- it's both! Humans end up being quite diverse with regard to at what they excel. Whatever innate musical talent is, it's not sufficient to become highly skilled at playing an instrument. Muscles have to be trained; discriminations must be learned; concepts must be integrated. All of that requires practice! Still, those with innate talent, whatever that is, can and do excel faster than those without it. As I see it, that cannot be denied. Intelligence and specific aptitudes are quite real. When you couple an enormous amount of innate talent/aptitude/giftedness (whatever you wish to call it) with a drive to practice and excel, you get... Ray Brown, for example.

    No, not everyone can become a "rocket scientist." To reach the stratosphere of accomplishment in any field really requires a certain affinity or disposition coupled with nose-to-the-grindstone effort. Neither will suffice on its own.

    No matter how hard I try, there is only a certain level of accomplishment I will achieve on the DB. That's not an excuse. I practice daily. I keep pushing. I keep trying. There are high-school kids who, with far less practice, can pull off licks that I'd take days to learn. They haven't even been alive long enough to have put in tens of thousands of hours of practice. They have a predisposition and an ability to map what they hear to their motor systems and just do it. They're talented. On the other hand, if they were to stop practicing altogether, then I'd likely surpass them over time. Potential only counts for so much. Couple it with a drive to excel and look out!

    Talent is real and it counts. So does practice!
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Fantastic link from FUQHORN. Thread moved to Miscellaneous.
  19. sunnycal


    Aug 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am a "newbie" so I think I am qualified to put my 2 cents worth in here. I have taken guitar lessons as a kid but stopped once I had to learn scales and realized I couldn't be an instant rock star. Unfortunately I never got beyond chords. Later I taught myself drums but can only keep time, play by feel and have no technique.

    Once I realized I was drawn to bass I got teacher and told him please start me at the beginning because this time I wanted to do it right. I taught myself the basic major scale box pattern and my teacher took it from their. Now I sit around and practice scale patterns and not only does it train my ear, it trains my fingers and improves fretboard note knowledge. I really like it and I find it meditative.

    Practice you do and the motivation comes from within because you/I want to be better. I want to be able to play. I am currently working on the circle of 5ths/4ths and throughout my day I am either writing down the circle and including the flats and sharps or trying to state them verbally (to myself of course) so that I can internalize that knowledge.

    I don't think there is any trick that someone here can teach you but rather it's something you have to dig deep and decide. Do you want to be better versed on the bass or your favorite tv programs? The answer is simple and I think if you look withing you will find it.

    On another topic my son takes guitar lessons and all he ever learns is riffs from his favorite songs but has no knowledge of musick theory. He laughs at me doing scales because currently I know scales better than riffs. So I say let's jam. How about a I-IV-V blues in whatever chord. Or I try to explain how to play a 12 bar pattern but he can't really do it or get the concept. He get's bored and says "nah not right now old man."
  20. fmoore200


    Mar 22, 2011
    I feel like putting this on a poster and hanging it on my ceiling, that way when I wake up in the morning this is what I see.

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