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Tired of being average

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by amablkm, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. amablkm


    Dec 19, 2010
    I started playing guitar in 2005 because my son who was eight at the time wanted to take lessons. We took lessons together. Although I didn't progress as fast as he did I became a decent campfire strummer.

    In 2010 I started playing bass at my church because no one else would do it. I've been playing at the church now for 2 years. I have no trouble playing the songs on Sunday but it is soooo ordinary. I basically get up and hammer away on root chords. Varying the rhythm or tempo are my only means of putting life into the songs.

    I've taken lessons from a two teachers in our area but they usually end up being jam sessions. It was fun and I did learn some basic theory regarding modes and scales but I never developed a consistent practice routine. While lurking I came across some posts regarding Scott Devine's website.

    I realized after all this time and using two teachers I know the following:
    My major scales in 2nd position
    Minor pentatonic
    Blues scale
    Notes on the first 5 frets (Kinda. Don't venture on 1st or 2nd or it could get hairy. Lol)

    Pretty pathetic .

    Not going to blame my teachers because ultimately I didn't work hard.

    Scott's website made me realize three things.
    1. I'm lazy. I make a ton of excuses why I can't practice but it comes down to 'want to'
    2. I need structure. I need a roadmap. I'm not good at being given a general idea of what and how to practice. I do much better when I can attack a problem than move to the next.
    3. It's going to take more than 30 mins a day to play the way I want to play and its not going to happen overnight.

    So there you go.

    On one video Scott makes a bold statement. You can be as good as you want to be. Nothing is stopping you but you. If you want to be a professional musician (I don't ) you can do it.

    For the past week I've been practicing a minimum of 2 hours daily. The E major scale in three positions all over the neck singing the notes and three note arpeggios. I'm amazed how much focused consistent practice works.
  2. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Congratulations! What a way to man-up and turn things around.
  3. Sometimes you need to be pushed. Perhaps you need a teacher who will give you "homework" and really force you to put in the effort. I don't have this problem with music, but in other areas of my life, I'm the laziest git in on the planet.
  4. amablkm


    Dec 19, 2010
    I think your right. Anyone know of a good teacher in DFW area?
  5. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    go see more live bands play and stand in front. listen with your body! you'll begin to see/feel what it's all about, IME/O. if that dose not inspire you to practice...
  6. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    1. Listen to the music style you want to play.
    2. Playing songs is more fun than playing scales.
    3. Listen to the music style you want to play.
    4. www.studybass.com - Go thru it from start to end.
    5. Listen to the music style you want to play.
    6. Ed Friedland books.
    7. Listen to the music style you want to play.
    8. Scott Devine videos.
    9. Have fun!
  7. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I agree with phmike above about playing the songs/music that you like.

    At the end of your focused practice session, reward yourself by having some fun playing along to your favourite music. After all, this is what it's all about. As well as having fun, you will also be training your ear, and learning how the bass "fits in" to the music.
  8. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    Keep playing the songs you love and the songs you need to learn.
    Against every root note find the octave, then higher 5th, then the third, then the seventh.
    Then try root, third, seventh together
    root, fifth, seventh together

    I dunno, thats what I do. I think its fun, and challenging and gives me a variety of things to explore and come up with my own lines.
  9. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Congratulation :bassist: and I hope that one day you will be where you want.

    I'm like you, if I didn't have a teacher who knew what should come next I wouldn't be whre I am.
  10. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Might only take a 30 minutes a day if you practice every single day. Systematically practice chord arpeggios on your church songs and see what starts to make sense. Being bored with your playing is good. You must have those roots down good.
  11. amablkm


    Dec 19, 2010
    Great idea!
  12. amablkm


    Dec 19, 2010
    Well after a week of hitting the shed fairly hard I've discovered a few tidbits:

    1. Say notes out loud - After only a week I've greatly improved my knowledge of the fretboard. It's frustrating and tedious but it's getting easier everyday.
    2. Practice scales to a backing track - Just grooves better. I'm playing scales musically.
    3. Concentrate one key at a time - Tip from Scott Devine's website. I spent entire week on E major. All positions going thru all modes. I feel so much more comfortable in this key. I can actually do minor soloing and mix up my modes. Starting to make some sense (lol)
    4. Spend time transposing - Never did it because I didn't feel I was accurate. I feel this has helped sooo much. I still can't pick out all the notes but I'm able to pick the roots out easier. It also helps with learning notes and getting away from tabs. My goal is to transcribe steely dan's Peg. It's intimidating but I'm going to give it a try
    5. Use a timer - Prevents cheating. Allows me to concentrate for the set time and feel good knowing the time used was quality. No guilt for stopping when the bell dings. I've put in 2hrs everyday and the timer makes it manageable. Allows time to be split thru the day but still get required time in.
    6. Listed to music critically - I've started listening to music more critically. Even expanded my list and listened to some stuff I may have skipped in the past.

    Just a few observations.

    It's only been a week but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction.
    I'm going to try and video myself once a week so I can track my progress.
  13. Just one other bit of advice: Practise the most difficult stuff first. Your ears, as well as you brain get tired like any other muscles, so they'll work best when your fresh.
  14. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Glad to hear it's going well! You've reminded me that it's time to quit tb for the day and get my jazz together!
  15. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    Man, you're awesome, I wish I could do it.

    I'll try now, where's that bass.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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