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Practice Time Management...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MarkM13, May 6, 2018.

  1. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    I'm not talking about how to find the time but, how you organize what goes into the time you have. What I'm finding is that when I intently focus on one area of playing i.e. walking or slapping, the other areas get very stale and I'm having to review stuff again. Or, even worse I don't have time to address/finish something I've started. For example a typical practice session for my might go like this.

    Warm up: 20-30' Technical exercises geared towards the main style I'm working on. If I'm working on walking then they will be arpeggio exercises. If it's funk/slap it will included slap/pop warm ups. Both will included some type of string crossing exercised.

    Tunes: If my current gigging situation demands learning new tunes they go first.

    Main Session: Walking or Funk.

    Next day the same or slight variations.

    I have a really hard time switching mind sets and moving from walking to more funk/ rock stuff or vise versa in one session. Moving from one to the other each day seems to slow both. Then there's stuff I want to address but am not. I.E. learning transcriptions. i've had both Steely Dan's "Peg" (Chuck Rainey) and Rush's YYZ in their beginning stages for way too long. Then there's reviewing songs that I've learned but have not nailed the technique in an efficient manner yet.

    I usually average 12-13hrs a week but i don't seem to be excelling in any one area. Or maybe I'm being impatient. I'm fortunate to have an incredible teacher in Todd Johnson to guide me through the walking and straight ahead stuff. He's pleased with my progress. For funk and slap I'm on 'Simple Steps To Slap Vol. 2" over at Talkingbass.net It's been a huuuuge help.

    Anyway, I've driveled on too long. Just wondering how other organize their sessions.

  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Understand you are exercising your brain more than your body. Keep it fresh and relax, just like you would with muscles.
    I like to organize things like the old wedding verse:
    Something old - Play something you know, love and can play very well.
    Something new - Work on new material or techniques.
    Something borrowed - Play some music that's not generally played on bass. Cartoon themes, TV commericals, children's songs, and thing that is unlike what you usually play.
    Something blue - Music can (and should) move you emotionally. Play music that does that for you.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Here are some food for thought suggestions.

    1. My "warm up" is physical and consists of gentle stretches before I even touch the bass. Then I play some arpeggios starting high on the neck and working down. Ten to fifteen minutes max. for the entire warm up. IMO the more musical the practice the better.

    2. On a given day, concentrate on one type of music and next time a different one, if mixing them does not appeal to you.

    3. Don't try to measure progress. It's like trying to watch your hair grow. No change for a long time, then one morning you look in the mirror and notice you need a hair cut. ;)

    4. Impatience comes across strongly in your post. Learning any instrument is a life long journey with the destination always just up ahead. So slow down and be patient. Everyone learns at their own individual pace.

    5. What doesn't come across strongly in your post is...fun. Yes, hard graft is required to be as good as possible, but make sure to let your hair down from time to time, and just enjoy yourself. :)
    Malcolm35 and GBarnstable like this.
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