practice habits

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by handsomeman858, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. handsomeman858


    Apr 26, 2004
    Hi I'm new. So if i mess up don't beat me. Okay?

    Anyway I've been playing bass for about 1 and 1/2 years and I admit it I suck. I own a squier p-bass (which I resent), and a really nice behringer amp. I've been having some major problems forcing myself to get some good practice time. What happens is I sit down all motivated and get a few songs played through once or twice then get sidetracked on something like messing around with riffs or other unproductive activities.

    In the past year and a half I've definitely improved, but not as much I think I could have.

    Somebody please help me!!!
  2. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Hi Handsomeman!

    A bass girl is here. First off you, you resent your bass. Is there any way on earth you could get something better that you like? What do you resent about it? Would a better set of strings make a difference? Sometimes that does wonders. If price is an issue, there are some other good options in that price range. An Ibanez for example. They have some quality new models that are very playable. I just bought at new Ibanez and I'm going through a I-can't-wait-to-get-home-and-practice phase. I didn't like my first bass so, after a few months, when I had a better idea of what was the right fit for me, I traded it in for something I liked and it wasn't much more expensive either. Still have that bass.

    Another question to ask is....what are you practicing for? When I sit down to practice I think about my music goals, whether its as simple as I want to get this right for my next lesson, to, in three months I want to feel like I've got the chops to play out in a regularly gigging cover band. Something like that. There's nothing like an upcoming gig or audition to get things going either. You suck? What does that mean? Sounds like you need equipment you like -- you got a nice amp -- Maybe you need a good teacher. Someone who will give you a good foundation in theory, help you get a good sense of notes and chords, one who will get you playing some songs you're really excited about, and give you some things to study each week. How long are you practicing? I wouldn't recomment much over an hour. After that time, it can get boring (I'm practicing more than one tonight because I have two instruments and a vocal thing I'm working on). That would be the time to start fooling around.

    I am tired tonight, but I am going to practice for two hours because I need to get a demo tape together by the end of the week for an audition, I have a lesson on Saturday and I have a song to learn I have a jazz gig and I've got to go over a few things, and I want to sound good. I want to get my chops up and some new songs learned. I'm ready to go, and I can't wait to play my new bass. And when I finish practicing I'm going to write down briefly what I accomplished so I can look back on those dry spells and remind myself that I have been working at it. Hope this gives you some ideas.
  3. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I think it would be advisable to lay out a reasonable lesson plan for yourself. Getting a good teacher is beneficial with this, in that he can first point out areas that need to be improved which can be incorporated into the lesson plan. And he can help you structure your practice time.

    With that said you need to look at what you want to accomplish with your practice. It's good to have goals, as long as you don't lose track of where you are in the present time (worrying too much about the future will cause you to lose focus in the 'here and now'). I always write down my goals, examine them, and figure out how I'm going to achieve them, and then begin at the beginning.

    Good luck. :)
  4. MattyN


    May 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    don't just do one thing.

    work on some scales and some theory a bit one day. learn some tasty bass lines the next.

    focus on your right hand one day, your left the next.


    get a teacher if you can afford it and let him/her know where you want to go as a player.

    find people at your level to to jam with.

    (btw - if you wanna take jgbass' advice, i have a ibanez btb400qm i'm looking to sell. i'd give you a good deal).

  5. handsomeman858


    Apr 26, 2004
    Hey thanks for all the advice!!

    Sorry, I kinda forgot to tell you. I've had a teacher for like 9 months. He's an awesome teacher from what I can tell. He's gives alot of theory stuff to me to work on.

    Anyway I never even thought about the writing goals down, or what I accomplished in a day. Those are really good ideas. I'll try out that doing different things each day plan. That sounds like it would put more variety in my practicing so it wouldn't be so monotonous.

    Oh! On the whole Ibanez thing, thanks for the idea but I've tried alot of Ibanez basses and there not my kind of instrument. I've already got my eye on a gorgeous Fender Jbass. So thanks anyway.
  6. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    You might want to get your Squier set up. My first bass was a Squier and the setup out of the box was absolutely horrible. I got it professionally set up (cost me $35) and it was like getting a brand new bass.

    If you're adventurous, you could follow the instructions in the Setup forum on how to adjust the action on your bass. It really isn't too hard and is a useful skill to learn. After all, who will know how you like your bass set up better than you?