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Practice tips?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Bassically_J, Mar 7, 2006.


  1. Here is a dumb question... any advice on how to keep practicing interesting and fun... I know that this is pretty lame, but I used to love precticing and now its a chore, I'll go in preparing for a 3-4 hour session and I end up stopping after 45 min... after having accomplished absolutly nothing... I know this is kinda lame, but I was just looking for any advice that may be useful...
     
  2. What do you practice? What does your teacher say? You could try adding a change to your practice routine or increase the tempos at which you practice certain things. Try to find an aspect of your playing you want to change and focus on it. You need to find ways to keep practicing fresh, kind of like life.
     
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I dunno... if you're full and lose your appetite, what do you do? Keep eating? :confused:

    If I feel like I'm not motivated to practice then I'll take a break for a couple of days. After that, I get the hankering to play again and it becomes fun again. Works for me.
     
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    The only hit to my motivation was when I didn't get a live audition at McGill University. That sucked a lot of it out of me for a couple weeks -- I just didn't WANT to play. It was a really big disappointment. Now, however, I'm just like I was when I was preparing for the audition.

    I have no practice regimen. I "prepare" to practice for about 5 minutes, and just keep going for anywhere from 2-6 hours depending -- I think the longest I've done consecutively is 7 hours (about 9 or 10 in total that day including class) with about 2 hours on slab and 1 on guitar, then 4 on DB. I might start by doing some technique stuff -- scales, arpeggios, etc. I'll usually work on tunes for the bulk of the time -- right now I'm preparing for my UoT audition on Monday, so I'm working on St. Thomas, Body and Soul, and Groovin' High (this includes walking, melody, and soloing.) I'm also the music director for a short play (about 20 minutes long, I guess) so I also work on the program for that a bit. I also just got a couple orchestral excerpts from some Berlioz and Mozart stuff, so I'll be working on that. A couple classical etudes, maybe. Soon I'll be busting out the slab to practice stuff for a musical (pit band -- we open in late April.)

    I find that having any sort of preorganized way into how you practice is just about the quickest way to NOT practice. It sucks the fun and the energy out. I mean, you can't have musical ADD and just fly all over the place, but I think you need to be a bit more fluid in your approach to practicing.

    As Ray says..."Fall in love with the process. There is no finer feeling than your first forray to a new level, eventually achieving that level, and then knowing that...you'll get to do it again." This is what keeps me going.


    EDIT: Also, I see from your signature that you're a Mus.Ed major. In your classes, do you end up doing any practical instrument study? I found that during my practice slump in February that even though I wasn't actively practicing DB 4 hours a day, my overall level of musicianship had gone up anyway, because my entire school day is made up of music class (inst. music in first period where I play DB, guitar in second, and percussion in third.) So that's automatically 3.75 hours a day playing music on top of any DB practice. My basic fundamentals as a musician continued to develop, even if my functioning roll as a jazz bass player stayed fairly static throughout. What I'm getting at is that maybe a (short) break from DB practice as suggested by hdiddy might help you "fall in love with the process," while not really hurting your overall skill as a musician.
     
  5. Kam

    Kam

    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    My advice, being from SE Wisconsin myself, would be to get the heck out of Whitewater as soon as you can. Move somewhere where you can find some challenging ensembles or teachers that will really push you to new heights. If that isn't an option, prepare a recital just for the fun of it. I find that I usually get complacent in my practice when I don't really have a specific goal to attain.
     
  6. GirlBass

    GirlBass

    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    I have to respectfully disagree with aaron's idea of not having any sort of practice plan. If you don't have a detailed idea of what you're doing and what you aim to accomplish in your practicing, then you can essentially be messing around with no focus for many hours (this is only speaking for classical, I don't know about the jazz).
    It might be a good idea to divide up your time with 1/3 scales, arpeggios, technique in general; 1/3 orchestra rep; and 1/3 solo rep. this way you can evenly ration your time and get a lot done: even if you only do an hour of each, that's three hours of practice! This has helped me extend my productive hours in the practice room by hours, and you don't get bored because you have a good plan before you pick up the bass.
     
  7. I also think you should have a goal in mind when you practice, but I also know if you practice the same way every time, it gets tedious and frustrating, yielding Diminished returns on your time and effort. What I have been doing is based on a suggestion from Rabbath. I will practice the scales, etc. concentrating on one aspect, i.e. hand position, bowing, notes, whatever and then move on to the next goal, achieve that, then move on to the next one, and so on.
     
  8. I totally agree... and I have been really trying to do just that... I have a great teacher here, but I would really like to get down to Chicago area to get some lessons... thanks for all the advice everyone!!!