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Practice Practice Practice?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by d8g3jdh, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Ok, so ive read all the stickys and the articles, and im still stuck , so here goes

    I'm trying to get better (arent we all :rolleyes: ) and i know that theres a whole world out there i havent even busted into yet, and yet i still find that my practice time is being wasted. Away from my instrument im doing lots: trainers, etc. but when i sit down with my bass, i find that i just end up playing the same old licks, riffs and solos that i have already learned (through tab, to make matters worse). I sometimes do a bit of fingering exercises to work on dexterity, and im chipping away at pacmans scale method (although i think it may be going over my head), but i dont think this is enough, so i want to know: when i sit down with my bass, what should i do? I know i should transcribe more, but other than that, what should i be doing? What are some good routines/exercises/things to do to improve my ability both physically and musically? If this matters i play rock and metal, so dont suggest jazz-specific practice, as it will be wasted.

    Help! I dont want to sit down with my bass and 30 minutes later think 'well that was pointless'
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Get a good teacher. I'm sure they have plenty of ideas.
  3. A friend of mine who plays mainly rock took bass lesson this summer and learned mostly theory. He says it helped him improve greatly. I agree, I have studied music in college for three years now and I can't imagine playing without my theory background. Also, reading music helps immensly since the bulk of music is written out.

    Try other styles to. Classical training and jazz can really help your rock sound.
  4. Get lessons, a guy i know had lessons for 2 years, and he was an amazing player after only 2 years! GIT!

    I would if i could afford it and if i had a steadyish timetable to which i could fit them in :(
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think you need to have an aim - obviously as Jimmy says, a teacher can help - but really you need to know where you're going what you're trying to do and then work towards that!

    Otherwise, practice will be aimless and unfocused, dry and academic, as you have no ultimate aim in view..
  6. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    I practiced like you for years and really got no where...same old same old. My playing is good and solid but i was bored ...do what i did go out and join a band ..start a band or jam with other players..a drummer would be great. All the players i have played with in the last few months said the same thing about me and my playing....they say i am a good solid player but need to work on timing and the inter structure of playing live music...they are 100% right. I now know how to play with drums what cues to look for ...this is the first time in my playing years i feel worthy of owning a couple of basses and amps...i really for the first time use them right and dont feel like i am in the basement fiddling with the bass wasting time. The band is great try it or just get out and jam.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's exactly what I meant by a purpose or aim - so if you're practicing to be able to play stuff with other people, this is far more motivating and gets you focused on what you need to do to get where you want to be, rather than just fiddling about!! ;)
  8. Get a teacher and play with people who are waaaay better than you.
  9. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Hmm, well your comments were valid they also didnt really help. Theory and reading music is what im working on away from my instrument, and i already have a teacher, and none of my friends are much better than me, and they're always too lazy/stoned to jam. i suppose i need to work harder to get them off the couch, but this thread pertains more to what i can do with just little ol me

    What i am more looking for is things to do with just my and my bass. Routines and exercises (and i dont mean learning in patterns) to improve my abilities musically, physically and i suppose theoretically.

    My aim is to get to a point where i can jam and make up riffs and things both on my own as well as with others, and to be able to play some harder songs like YYZ and fight fire with fire, etc.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - if you're just working on your own with no clear aim in mind - then it's really going to be dry and academic - well at least that's my experience...:meh:

    I've always needed to be motivated by recording stuff I have made up, playing with other people, bands, etc.
  11. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    As a fellow bassist trying to get better, I know how you're feeling. Like some of have suggested, jamming with friends will help alot. Getting a good bass teacher helps too. I was taking lessons for a while, but I had to stop them for a while because of tight money flow problems.

    But, I have been setting short-term goals for myself and trying to self-teach myself. Right now I am trying to learn intervals (look at Adam Nitti's site Adam Nitti). I am also trying to transpose songs as well. I wish I could say that I am good at it, but I just started trying it. I almost nailed part of a Yes song, "Owner of a lonely heart". I have also ordered Hal Leonard's Complete Bass Method book - I hear it's a great book.

    My goals are as follows...

    1) Being able to transpose songs.
    2) Being able to read bass and treble clefs.
    3) Improving my technique
  12. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
  13. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    I don't know if you've tried it yet grug, but if you have something similar to what some cable channels have - music-only channels - with a variety of different genres playing nonstop all day long, you might just sit down with your rig and play along with everything and anything that comes on. Switch channels - play underground, house, reggae, new age. If there isn't a bass part in the piece, make one up, or single out a melody and play along with it if you can. Seems you're at a dead end as far as playing with other people, but don't let them stop you. Get your ear going, your melodic/harmonic sense. Play along to music you're not familiar with at all (as in the above-mentioned styles and genres - and more), and let all the practice and study and technique you have, actually 'do' something other than the same things over and over again.