Playing/practicing withouth screens ( computer, smartphone)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by boringbassist, Oct 2, 2022.

  1. boringbassist


    Jul 13, 2019
    Hi guys,
    wanted to ask how can I play/practice without a computer or smartphone and have fun. I usually play along to records or like to improvise over a drum beat on youtube.
    I know there are practice books but I think they are boring... good to learn but not much fun. Its my humble opinion at least. ( Or i got the wrong books )

    I've got a loop pedal, and im -not- playing in a band.

    any ideas??? Thank you so much in advance.

    ps. also wanted to apologize for not answering the first thread i openede. I bought the book you recommended to me, and thank you so much and im very sry. Sry.
  2. bassGtar


    Jul 29, 2009
    Milford, CT
    If you have a television, you could play while watching TV. There is lots of good music on TV.
    Outbush, five7 and Eric Wolfe like this.
  3. LukeSlywalker


    Jun 9, 2014
    Get a record player? Go to local jam sessions? What are your goals?

    If you’re a new player I honestly think the best and most fun way of learning is playing with others. Even if it’s just one other person playing drums, guitar, keys. Got any friends that play music?
    Killing Floor likes this.
  4. boringbassist


    Jul 13, 2019
    thank you bassGtar!! I want to play without screens at all. Or very little with screens but thank you anyway!
  5. boringbassist


    Jul 13, 2019
    hi Lukeslywalker! ok ok. Every sunday I play with my guitarist friend. But we play along records... and also jam with drum beats on the computer. Good idea, im gonna look for a drummer to jam along!

    I think where I live there arent local jam sessions, but there are a lot of musicians in the city.

    For goals... good question. I initially wanted to make music for video games, but since i dont want to be much on the screen anymore I dont know which musical goals I have. I will think about it.

    Thanks for answering
    LukeSlywalker likes this.
  6. LukeSlywalker


    Jun 9, 2014
    Playing with a drummer will help you work on timing and groove. And since you already have a guitar player you almost have a band. Nice! Good on you for trying to get away from screens. That’s something that I and probably most of us should work on more.
    LowActionHero and mikewalker like this.
  7. landrybass

    landrybass Guest

    Oct 23, 2011
    I have a neat little setup with a drum machine and 2 keyboard sustain 1/4” pedals attached to a piece of wood. One is a start/stop and one is an A/B section selector or hold for a drum fill. You can go nuts all day with that thing.
    boringbassist likes this.
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    What kind of loop? I write/doodle with a Nu-X that has some drum beats. It’s so easy to use I can play through things and layer bass, guitar, leads and tighten everything to prep for recording.
    It’s just a pedal.

    If you just want to accompany random tunes turn on a radio.
  9. TyBo


    Dec 12, 2014
    Playing without a computer screen? In my day we just called that "playing" :).
    But yeah, find someone to jam with if you can, a real good way to advance your playing. :thumbsup:
  10. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Being of a certain age I find myself wondering what the preponderance of screen-based stuff consists of, to the point where it dominates practice time. I get watching a video lesson for specific aspects of something, and I get using a screen to display scores, but beyond that, music is an aural art that should be practiced as such, i.e. by listening.
    There are hundreds of years worth of musical teaching/learning methods that don't rely on screens. Get a method book, put it on a music stand and get to work. In the words of James Bond, sometimes the old ways are the best.
  11. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    What you are describing is playing, not practicing.

    That's fine, if that's what you want to do, but you shouldn't confuse the two, because the goals are different.
  12. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    Just noodle man. Maybe make a beat on your loop pedal to noodle along to.
    boringbassist likes this.
  13. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    Put a metronome on 2 and 4, and play a tune you know, or just groove.
    boringbassist, mambo4 and GlennRH like this.
  14. swarfrat


    Sep 23, 2014
    zoom R8/16/24. Should have never sold mine
    Bass4Brkfast and mikewalker like this.
  15. Thegreatzambini


    Aug 25, 2022
    I stare at computer screens all day at work as I have a desk job so as you can imagine when I come home to practice, play/record the last thing I want to be doing is looking at a screen. My boss BR 800 crapped out and I am currently looking at other offerings by tascam, etc for an Multi track that I can dump my ideas on to. If I need to then polish the recordings I can take them to in my buddies and he’s got all the sweet recording stuff to make it sound pro but like I said in the initial idea catching stage I do not want a screen anywhere.

    Also can anybody here recommend me some good multi track digital recorders currently in production that they feel are easy to use and have great recording sound? I’ve had the zoom and the boss but was curious about the other brands out there…
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  16. Jogobass


    Feb 5, 2013
    Groningen, NL
    I like to just sit with my bass and amp, and improvise on some tonal region, like E major or A minor. Just improvise on the instrument, let it flow, see what you can get out of it. It helps in understanding the instrument.
    Malcolm35 and boringbassist like this.
  17. When playing a bass I think it's like a foundation, so if it depends on anything else it's probably not working well enough. Being responsive to other people is one thing, needing them, quite another.

    I like to have a structure to a song. I won't jam, or even play over a recording. I'll plunder a recording for all I can get out of it, looking at a screen, listening to it slowed down, filtered, time stretched, whatever it takes to figure out a complex detail hidden in other sounds, but when I play it, I play it with no screen or other distraction, and I'll only go back to a computer to listen to it playing a recording of me to show me where it sucks most. Usually timing of lengthy rests in odd time signatures.

    If you're intending to sing while playing a bass, that can get tough, and this deep familiarity with structure, and having the moves built into your bones by practise, is pretty much the only reliable way. I do not separate the notion of playing, from practising. Each is a chance to do the other. That deliberation saved me from sucking when playing live, alone, in a pub last week. :)

    Answering the call for suggestions of multitrack recorders, I say go with a computer, and older software of high quality, little if any eye candy. Use something that easily lets you drop markers, and SEE the waveform, not just hear it. Selecting marked regions for repeat, etc... This sort of tool really helps, and trying to get a dedicated hardware device to do this well is difficult and expensive, and at least with a computer it can be something else equally useful the rest of the time. If you can use one like this, then silence it, turn away from the screen, and still play what you just heard, you're well under way to making the tune yours, whatever it is, because at that instant you'll be figuring out how you do it, not how they did it.. It's a very good way to build confidence in what you do.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  18. lark_z

    lark_z Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2020
    Overland Park, KS
  19. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    CDs and LPs. How analog!