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Setting up a practice routine

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Velocimaniac, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. Velocimaniac


    Jun 14, 2002
    Ok...so, I've been playing bass since last december. I started off learning finger movement and placement, then I worked on rhythm and I've got both of those down(somewhat...I still can't play fast with a good rhythm or sound). Then I learned to read music. But now I've gotten a little stuck. I don't know what or how I should practice. Is there anything that I should start out on? I checked out a few books on theory from the library but that's not going to help my technique or ability to play. What should I do next?
  2. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Get a teacher.
  3. Velocimaniac


    Jun 14, 2002
    I'd like to, but I can't due to circumstances beyond my control.
  4. stinkfist82


    Oct 27, 2002
    cairo, egypt
    some bass sites give lessons and stuff, i think this one does but i'm not sure i barely went through it really, i been practicing some of those. they not only made me play better technically, but they also get u better familiarised with scales and gave me ideas to write bass lines for my own songs... i think that's a good point to move on from where you are...
  5. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Get a metronome. Start real slow... I mean REAL slow. Set the metronome to 60. Practice whole notes at 60. Play scales .. start with major scale (. Make sure your sound is clean and your touch is a light as possible without sounding weak. Gradually play halfnotes, 4ths, 8ths at 60 bpm... then eventually increace the tempo SLOWLY.

    Don't worry about playing fast or going through the exercise fast.. your goal is consistency here.

    Practice in all keys in all positions you can think of.
    I guarantee you this will give results, if your willing to shed this stuff hard.

  6. learn all of your major and minor scales with the corrosponding triads and 7 chords do this for 2-3 hrs. a day.
  7. buy a music book

    write out a practice for your self eg.

    write out a scale to say sing and play through (helps ears and nice slow warmup)

    write the names 2 pieces of music that u have never seen b4 to sight read through with your metronome going at 60 (increase as u can) treating all notes as quarters

    practice chromatic scales up across and diagonally

    then learn/play/improe 2 songs that u play

    practice scales as mentioned by others

    learn your arpegios by playing them through the cyle of 4ths

    practice hammer ons and PO's

    improvise on jazz chord progressions

    try and write as much of this out as u can to improve ur writing reading

    i have structured my practice lately and have noticed a very quick improvement
  8. all of those are excelent ideas, I can't stress enough how important it is to be able to write and read music.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    No, your mileage may vary, but I prefer a good, well-rounded routine that I can change up when the mood strikes me. This way I don't get too bored. So, I'll have several different "categories" of study, (let's call these 1-5), and I'll have several things I can do within these "categories", (let's call these a-e). So, this is an example:

    1. Warm-up
    a. Articulation exercises: With 'nome at 40bpm, play open E string. Object is to make the 'nome disappear. Alternate right hand fingers, concentrate on tone, articulation, and even pulse on each note. Play legato.
    b. Play-along: Choose 2 or 3 songs I know really well. Concentrate on right and left hand technique.
    c. Drills: Dummy stuff. Basically just non-musical finger patterns for strengthening left and right hand.

    2. Theory Enforcement
    a. Scales: 2 octaves, always. Play from a variety of starting points. Use 'nome.
    b. Arpeggios: A variety of drills are available. See Ed Fuqua's routine involving inversions.
    c. Progressions: ii/V7/I most commonly. Play through chords for all 12 keys. Using 'nome of course.
    d. Piano time: We should all spend time on the piano. Chords, scales, etc.

    3. Sight reading
    a. Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
    b. Simandl
    c. Arban's Conservatory for Trombone
    d. Rufus Reid
    e. Note Reading Studies for Electric Bass

    4. Ear training
    a. Learn new songs.
    b. Piano time. Identify intervals, chords, etc.
    c. Transcriptions. Transcribing favorite pieces. Note for note baby.
    d. Singing. Very important skill

    5. New material
    a. "Assignment" type stuff. Does my band need me to learn a cover? Does the teacher want me to concentrate on "I Remember Clifford"? Have I always wanted to figure out "My Sharona"?
    b. Technique. Slap, pop, tap, double-thumbing, (or whatever).
    c. Analysis of chord function within a tune. My teach is big on having me analyze the chord functions of standards.


    So, depending on how much time I have, maybe one day, my practice will be:

    1: a, b
    2: b, d
    3: a, b, c
    4: a
    5: a, c

    Then the next day it might be:

    1: a
    3: a, b
    5: c

    You have variety, options. Plus, you have a well-rounded program. I'm a bit of a dork, I have my routine color-coded and taped to my wall.

    Good luck.
  10. Velocimaniac


    Jun 14, 2002
    Thanks to all of you very much! I'm going to try everything suggested. I appreciate the help guys:)
  11. color coded thats is a good one :) but I can't fault you for it. I am just about as bad I have sticky notes up all around in my practice area. So to each his own and what ever works

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