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What do you practice that really works?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jallenbass, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    What do you practice that has made a noticeable positive difference in your playing?
  2. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    IamGroot, Nashrakh and MrLenny1 like this.
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    There are so many aspects to playing, there is no one thing you can do to improve it all. Scales and arpeggios with a metronome will improve your timing and help you learn the fretboard which is essential to playing well. Transcribing other people's bass lines will help develop your ear and improvisational skills. Learning theory/reading will help you understand what you are playing and help you break the habit of playing the same stale, go-to licks.

    There's no magic to excellence and being a well rounded player, there is just a lot of hard work. No shortcuts, tricks, or gimmicks. But the day you realize that you are really, really good makes all the hard work worth it.
    928cat, Doctor_Clock, JRA and 6 others like this.
  4. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000

    I'd also like to add "pushing your limits". Complacency is the enemy of progress. You've got to push yourself to learn things that you find difficult or even impossible to play--whether it be scales, songs, techniques, etc.
    IamGroot, JRA, lfmn16 and 1 other person like this.
  5. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    Right now it's Anthony Wellington's MILLPAD approach to modes. Brilliant system and I thought I already knew the modes.
    SteveBass5 and consectaneus like this.
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I try to work on things that I messed up the last time I played a rehearsal or gig.
    Also, for me, working on the same thing 3 days in a row is a waste of time. I have to mix it up and go after technique, reading, and gig preparation in a different way (same goals, different path) to get maximum results from practice time.
  7. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    P.S. I still remember your discussion with JB and his advice for you on your D note on Beat 4 before Bb7.
    I've found a very similar bass note choice and decided to post it for you here, because
    JB has completed his marketing "spiel" at TB.

    JimK likes this.
  8. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    Transcribing has the most benefit by far. That said my self discipline needs some work as i dont often have patience for the more intricate lines.

    For me, working on music which i have a purpose for (gig, recording, whatever) and expqnding my playing through that vehicle. Personally i need that motivation to truely be productive. The most effective practice method i stick to is recording myself and listening back critically. Errors seem to stick out and get fixed easiest this way.
    chaak likes this.
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Care to elaborate on this MILLPAD stuff?
    share links?
  10. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    SteveBass5 likes this.
  11. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Ah, So, MILLPAD is just an acronym for the modes in order of the circle of 5ths,
    the order in which you move through the diatonic "uber pattern"
    Dogbertday likes this.
  12. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Taste, tone & time.
  13. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  14. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    This is very jazz soloing specific, but i've been working on phrases much more than I ever used to. I think its a matter of growing up in a lot of ways that has let me work on this. For a long time I've wanted more patience in my playing and this method finally (i think) brining that into my playing.
  15. Rompin Roddy

    Rompin Roddy

    Jun 29, 2016
    Being relaxed on a gig.
  16. This video is awesome, when my instructor was commenting on modes I started whipping them out using Ant's technique from this video, he was truly amazed that I could simply do it. Now, putting them into practice is a whole nuther story, lol. I still don't truly understand when to apply modes in my playing.
  17. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Life is too short - don't waste your practice time without a metronome/click!
    Groove Master likes this.
  18. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany

    I've gotta say - in all my years of playing, NOTHING has made as much of an impact on my musical skills as reading and especially playing written music. Mindblowing. I wish I had started sooner.
    Groove Doctor and Groove Master like this.
  19. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Anytime I ran across something that felt alien to me - and I decided to claw my way through it until I finally saw some light. I practiced on until it became second nature and emerged as a better bassist.

    This could be as simple as playing a note that I personally would not have placed there, had it been my job to write the bassline - or something bigger like a rhythm that I could not grasp with my gut feeling and had to count out. I can't play groovy when I'm counting so it means play it until it leaves the head and arrives in the gut.
  20. Practising 7 days a week.
    928cat and Spin Doctor like this.

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