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Practicing vs Playing with people

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jazzkuma, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    I want to know what peoples opinions are. Lately I have been playing with people 6+hours a day (rehearsing, gigs, recording, jams) Its something really easy to for me because I am in music school and if I wanted to and had the time for it I could even be playing with people the whole day, every day. But now that I am playing a lot I have almost no time to practice (sit down with my bass do scales, transcriptions, technique...etc). I feel that my playing is improving every week because I get to play for different groups and always new music but I can't even remember the last time I sat down to practice a solid 2+hours.

    Lately I feel that it might be better to have more practice time and fine tune little things on my own so I want to know what people here think as far as what is more beneficial or maybe both are the same... I don't know.

    And by practicing I mean actually practicing... not noodling around on the bass.
  2. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    If you're analyzing your playing and learning from it, then noodling can be just as beneficial as any other type of practice.

    Regarding playing with other musicians and yourself, it's good to do both.
  3. if you genuinely can't find the time to practice by yourself and you feel there's something that needs improving that wouldn't be improved by your rehearsal time try and work it into the rehearsal. So say you want to practice a scale, when your playing a song in that scale use that time to explore the scale more. Or if you want to work on a technique, play a song using that technique. As long as you do it in a way that doesn't annoy your band mates. In my opinion there's no better practice than playing with other musicians, as long as you put the effort in.
  4. LayDownABoogie


    Jan 3, 2012
    Jamming with others is great and will definitely have a positive effect on your playing.


    It won't teach you the fundamentals of music and how to apply it on bass..
    The best way learn this, IMO, is with a good teacher and regular practice routine.

    So in short, I think both are important.
  5. Pretty much. You learn what to do on your own terms, and you learn how to incorporate that in a live aspect by jamming with others. It's like going to school and learning vs real life experience. And combined you have the best combination
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Playing should inform what you need to shed, when I was at Berklee I spent more time playing than practicing and that was work I had to put in MUCH later. To my detriment.
    As my teacher says, no musical experience is wasted. But you want to be smart about it...