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What is the biggest frustration in your practice time?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass Mentor, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    I think the biggest that I've found in my years of teaching and also my personal experience in my first few years of playing and setting myself on the path of being a full time professional:

    1. not working or identifying weaknesses
    2. not doing consistent daily practice
    3. ignoring basic music principles
    4. how to combat boredom
    5. being relevant to what you need to improve as a musician who happens to play bass
  2. Mr L

    Mr L

    Jul 22, 2012
    Vancouver BC
    I play both guitar and bass so boredom is never the issue.

    I find that I get frustrated at not being able to play something I hear in my head exactly how I want it.

    Also when I practice with my band and me putting in more than what is needed or asked for gets looked down on as a bassist.
  3. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    people who call me on the cell phone who cant get to the point
  4. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    Are you doing any kind of ear training or working on chord tones? ( great place to start if you are not doing this already:)

    Have you told the band how much time and effort you are putting into your shared goal? unfortunately, many times things like this can get sort of swept under the rug....and be sure that you give your bandmates time and respect to hear them out on their ideas too....many times people are more receptive to one's ideas if they feel that they are being heard and understood -----I'm sure you know what that like!!:) Good luck and I hope your hard work gets more recognition and respect..
  5. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    +1 on the OP's list.

    I'd say being lazy and not practicing the 'boring' stuff that I know I need. That is, doing 'quality' practice rather than 'quantity' practice.
  6. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs

    sometimes, Voice Mail can be a beautiful thing:) Shields up!;)

    I've certainly had that experience....some times I've asked the caller politely to come to the point and/or the reason for the call.....if that does not work, I remind them that i don't want to take up their valuable time for a prolonged call....and if they say, '' I have all the time in the world!'' I very gently remind them that i don't.....

    "There are no such thing as grade D people, but they can bring a time wasting grade D to you'' -- Charles Hobbs --Time management expert.........s

  7. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    My biggest frustration - not having enough practice time during weekdays.
  8. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    I used to practice 6 hours a day, but have got to the boring stage, nothing to practice...I mean you can play your cord tones in a matter of minutes, then what...I have a very good ear so learning a song takes me at the most 15 minutes..I wish there was something more to practice, I feel like I hit a brick wall. I can read, so now what? I find myself jamming to the same set list everyday...it really sucks because I was so motivated and excited to play and practice my bass everyday and now thats gone!~
  9. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    Yes, always work on good music content and remember that practicing can be dry at times and you are getting information and that is not the most emotional thing..

    so many of my students over the years were using practice to do a Performance and not spending time on learning music and giving time and space to the connection of ears, mind. and fingers and taking short breaks doing this most valued work.......
    They also did not give themselves permission to make mistakes and go slow .....mistakes are how we learn!! you know, the only bad mistake is not realizing you made one ....this is why we study music....the why and how things work
    When you study music you are learning the why and how of playing
    When you rehearse for performance you are learning what to play
    this is a distinction to remember:cool:
  10. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    loss of focus due to just plain being tired

    that time when I start playing some simple song I know, rather than work through another lesson that requires reading and working out fingering
  11. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    Henry, I know what you mean! I am a full time career musician and i sometimes find it hard:)
    May I suggest doing just 15-20 minutes per day of effective practice? Also choose the time of day that your other activities are not distracting you. this is much better than doing two hours and then skipping four days.....consistency counts and make sure you are making your time count by doing high value things.....not just revisiting what you know or re-enforcing bad habits. You might also consider giving up a little on a lower priority activity to gain more time..

    famous quote....author unknown:

    " efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things''
    nuff said....
  12. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs

    Check out my response to Henry.....but specifically to you I would recommend the time of day when you are most alert...prehaps this is early in the a.m. or late p.m.--everyone has a unique '' body clock'' and yes, shore burst of practice is best....get up and stretch at times to get you refocused...

    good luck!
  13. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    Yes, You have convinced me you are bored....and working your way into it:D.........you should be out applying it! Get out and play with others...it will become apparent where your weaknesses are and will point the way.

    1.) I admire your work ethic -- but realize that just fingering the chord tones ( yes you can ''play them''- but understanding what they are and how they function in a progression and above all Hearing it and what other are doing takes time, work, and the experience of playing with others....

    2.) may i suggest that you look into any additonal playing opportunities in your area? not sure where you live but this will give you a breath of fresh air and will grow you.... and open your world as you meet new musicians...and always work if possible with experienced players who can show you things.....

    3.) Get with a competent instructor who can give you structure, encouragement, and good musical information to build you into the musician you want and deserve to be.--- this will be such a help in getting you to your goals quicker

    4.) I appreciate and respect your passion -- when i was just starting out at 16 I practiced till my fingers blistered and sometimes bled --- it was all i wanted to do....please believe me when i kindly say I would have progressed much faster if i had gotten supportive and nurturing instruction of how,what, and why music works..........Man, I had to unlearn tons of stuff!! But I was blessed by many pro musicians who saw how hard I was working and they were real task masters but they challenged me to be better and put me on the path to solid musicianship skills that I use this very day in the studio, live, or giving instruction.....

    All the best in your growing musical life.....:bassist:
  14. +10,029.43

    #1 on the OP's list is my weakness. So, I have already improved just by posting on talkbass.com.
  15. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Great stuff Mentor.

    Another good quote - IIRC one of the Jazz greats said (maybe Bird or Miles): "If I don't practice for one day I notice it - if I don't practice for two days my audience notices it."

  16. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I always liked that quote, but I've seen it attributed to a lot of people so I don't really know who said it. Doesn't take away from the truth of it, though.

    For me, the biggest frustration is simply the lack of time that I get to practice, which is a function of my family situation at the moment. For one thing, my wife travels a lot on business. Then my high school sophomore son plays year-round for a pretty competitive soccer club as well playing on his school soccer team in the fall. Plus he also plays in the school jazz band - and any parent with kids in a school music program knows how much parental involvement is needed to keep short staffed and underfunded school music programs going these days.

    So for now, I can't commit to a band and I'm just taking lessons in order to keep making some progress. But I've got a great teacher who gets the variety of demands on adult students and doesn't question my dedication on the weeks when I get little to no practice time.
  17. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    I remember that! a timeless piece of advice:) consistency counts..just even 20-30 min per day of productive time on your instrument is better than cramming a lot of time in on one day and not practicing for several days afterwards....if you are a pro player and can practice a couple hours per day, for example --remember to take breaks every 30 min or so as the brain tends to go '' to sleep'' and getting up and stretching is a wonderful way to keep alert and fresh to absorb what you are learning...
  18. Cosmodude


    Aug 14, 2012
    The biggest problem i have with practise time is not knowing if what i practise i good for my development or not. I am completely self taught and just like getting a pet for instance, you cant possibly know the correct way of taking care of the pet, without any guidance. Wich leaves to me practicing what Feels good and what i notice i need to practice on.

    I have no life exept my girlfriend, friends and music so i usualy practise around 25-30 hours a week on various stuff.

    I suffer from slight symptoms of Aspergers and i tryed to take lessons from a great standup bassist. But when i got to homework, listening to hes advices and stuff like that. I just didnt recieve the information at all so every week when we met up i didnt know my homework due to me focusing on My way of doing stuff and not quite remebering what he said i should work on.

    I do practise with alot of variety. How i can manipulate the tone within the same note, playing infront of a mirror to se if i strain up or if my possitioning doesnt look natural. Playing what i say, like " I have a car " to " Octave - P5 - P4 - b7 " and stuff like that. And use different Articulations and phrasing in " I have a car " and translate that to the " 8 - 5 - 4 - b7 " pattern and stuff like that.

    Going to audition for a Reggae Jazz band in two days, hope it goes the way i want!
  19. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    On the practical side of things...I would:
    1. take notes when taking a lesson and ask questions of your instructor in regards to what to work on--- please make that a priority..
    2. Be sure to clarify with your instructor what you don't understand and perhaps be transparent with him on your difficulties if you have not already
    3. Playing with others is more valuable than practicing 25 hours per week alone if you are doing the wrong things- you will then have to unlearn .....go slow with what you are doing and enjoy the life outside of the practice room in playing with others ( I suspect you are trying too hard and loading yourself up with activity and not results..don't get me wrong- this is a VERY COMMON thing among bassists in the first couple of years of playing, and they wind up feeling defeated)--- wishing you luck and joy with your audition with the Reggae Band! Play with passion:)

  20. Personally, I'd suggest taking Steve's kind advice, and then "test your assumptions". A wise teacher once told me that, and it works.

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