Practice Routine/Time Alotment

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cassanova, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Im going to be extremely low on time in the very near future and will only have about 2 hours a day to spend on my bass. I dont know why I never realized this, but my practice routine wasnt as good as it should be. Id practice here and there, whenever i had time, (unless I had to learn a cover then id make the time) any how, i think this missmanagement of time alotment is hindering me from being more proficient on my instrament.

    Im partial to Routine's 1 and 2
    #1 gives me adaquate time on each aspect i mentioned, and lets me cover all but one of the things id like to practice.

    #2 only alots me only 15 minutes on each technique, but allows me to cover more of them. (Something dont seem right about only spending 15 minutes on something though)

    #3 would allow me ample time for stuff to sink in, but i wouldnt be able to cover as much material.

    Or once a week i could sub one in instead of practicing the regular routine

    I pretty much already know how Im going to do this, and pretty much posted this for others who are looking for decent practice routines. or dont know how to alot the time they use practicing. (this is what I plan to practice and ymmv as to what you practice)

    Routine #1

    20 minutes-scales
    20 minutes-arpeggios
    20 minutes-site reading
    20 minutes- walking bass lines (method book)
    20 minutes-funk/fusion (method book)
    10 minutes-slap/pop
    10 minutes-tap
    total practice time 2 hours.

    Routine #2

    15 minutes - scales
    15 minutes - arpeggios
    15 minutes - site reading
    15 minutes - walking bass lines (method book)
    15 minutes - funk/fusion (method book)
    15 minutes - slap/pop
    15 minutes - tap
    15 minutes - 16th note fingerstyle funk technique
    total practice time 2 hours

    Routine #3

    30 minutes - scales/arpeggios
    30 minutes - site reading
    30 minutes - walking bass
    30 minutes - funk/fusion
    total practice time 2 hours.
  2. Tronictq


    Jan 23, 2001
    I like your Routine 3.

    I think 15 minutes or 20 minute time slots are not enough time to get "into" it I think.

    That's what I've found, if i want to really practice something.... i will practice something for an hour straight or 45 minutes, then move onto something else. Even if i only have 2 hours a night, you can do something else the next night.

  3. td1368


    Jan 9, 2001
    Only two hours a day to practice? Man I'm Jealous. I like option #3. My time is really limited I try to practice for about 1/2 hour every day. I think it's just about long enough to hit one concept with some depth. Generally I rotate through topics: site reading, general theory concepts, Time excercises.
  4. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    2 hours a day??!?!?!?!?!?!?! Man, I wish. I'll get 45 minutes to an hour at best, not counting stuff I play while watching TV.
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    How can you do scales for 30 minutes! I'd be putting a gun to my head! :D
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I always warm up with scales for 20-30 minutes every time I practice. So far, no bullet holes have appeared.

    My scale routine:

    Pick a metronome tempo, a type of scale, and a key

    Play two octave scales in the following divisions:

    Whole notes

    Half Notes

    Quarter notes

    8th notes

    Triplet 8ths

    16th notes

    During the whole, half, and (depending on the tempo) quarter portion of the warmup, I try to focus on intonation, tone, and vibrato. During the faster subdivisions, I forget about vibrato and focus on intonation and tone. Once I finish with the first key, then I do the same for the other 11.

    After that (20-30 minutes for 12 keys), I move on to the topic of the day. I'm pretty happy with this warmup routine so far, and the possibilities for variation patterns are endless...I find that once I manage to get my @$$ into the music room, turn on the 'nome, and get into that ZEN kinda headspace where time-feel and tone are all that exists, the time goes by pretty fast.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    So I just timed myself doing my usual scale routine. (Some variation of Aebersold's Vol. 1, pages 98-102, covering six keys). 40 minutes. Maybe it is that Zen thing where you no longer no time or space. What do you know about that?
  8. I am sorry, but you forgot one of the most important things. Try to transcribe at least a part of a song every day. Not just bass parts. This will train your ears and will improve your understanding of how to use the scales you just practiced.;)
  9. just felt like this thread needed to be bumped!


    those are good routines, cass
  10. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Sorry, felt like it needed a resurrection bump... For those in need of practice routine guidance.

    Any new routines discovered since then? :)

    For example, more elaboration on practicing scales? I find I'm mixing mine up, and forgetting them by the next session.
  11. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I feel, that 2 hrs per day of structured and focused practice is more than enough. I even keep a diary of what I acheived and how I felt. I do about the same, between 1 1/2 and 2 hours.

    However, I stuff around on the bass a little more, but that's not structured and focused practice (metronome etc). Big difference I think.
  12. One thing I'd like to say on this issue is that I personally don't believe anyone should limit themselves to a routine. Sometimes you have to sit down and really practice something but I've always been of the opinion that what you need to practice changes weekly, if not daily. The only thing I do as a routine is warm up the bass (and this is only on upright) with some scales up and down the neck. Then I might take out a method book, or improvise for an hour, or practice pieces, or I might quit after fifteen minutes because I'm getting bored and/or not feeling it. The thing I think is important is to be there the whole time your playing, never just go through the motions. I am personally of the opinion that repeating scales or arpeggios over and over is a less efficient way of learning the instrument than exploring it musically. This is not to say that they are not sometimes necessary, but I probably spend less than 5% of my practice time on scales yet I can play most of them without trouble (in tune too) because I am very much paying attention during that 5% of the time, because I hate doing scales so I shouldn't waste any time being inefficient.
    Anyway, I mean not to rant against anything, but would rather like to discuss with whomever is interested.
  13. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Another thought on the subject.

    Experimenting with a structured practice routine will have it's benefits, as aposed to an ad hoc routine. It teaches you the logical progression of building a skill. You can use structured practice to accurately measure how well you are developing a techniuqe.

    And perhaps after a while, you may prefer an ad hoc approach. Just for some variation?

    Everyone is differnet. Practicing is not a "one size fits" all. Experiementing with different approaches may uncover ideas that may never have arisen. It's that same Scenario, this vs. that. Why not move better the two. you never know what you may learn.

    All the best for your routine. I'm sure it will be beneficial.
  14. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    i'm lucky.. I play about 5 hours a day. But anyway, 20 minutes on a given subject really isn't that great (in my own experiance) Maybe do everything in 1 hour intervals, but change the subjects..Like monday do this.. tuesday do this.. and so on
  15. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    I think you should skip the slapping and tapping and focus in ither things instead...

    10min or 15min isn't going to improve these techmiques much at all i guess...